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Public workers want PEIA “fixed,” not “frozen”


Fred Albert (AFT-WV in Kanawha County); Joe White (WV School Service Personnel Association); Jay O’Neal (WVEA-Kanawha County); Carrena Rouse (AFT-WV in Boone County); Stephen Reedy


The roughly 350-person audience at Monday’s Public Employees Insurance Agency health coverage hearing made clear it wasn’t satisfied with the governor’s current proposal to provide enough additional PEIA funding to stop previously approved benefit cuts from taking effect next fiscal year.

“Fix it, don’t freeze it,” Fred Albert, president of Kanawha County’s arm of the American Federation of Teachers union, told the PEIA Finance Board. “A freeze is not going to help us, we need a long-term program that is a real benefit to our employees.”

Albert was referencing Gov. Jim Justice’s proposal to “freeze,” for one year PEIA premiums and other aspects of the coverage as they currently exist.