Birmingham police frustrated by health insurance premium increase

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A potential increase in health insurance is causing some men and women in blue to see red.
         
Birmingham city employees will begin open enrollment next week. Police officers have learned their premiums will go from $260 to $420 a month.

Officers with the Birmingham chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police say, last week officials with the city's human resources department called everyone to alert them to the $160 dollar increase.
         
Officers say they understand the cost of insurance goes up.  However, when they consider they've only had a 2.5 percent cost of living increase in the last 7 years, yet they see the city continuing to spend money on other things they question the change.

The new rates won't go into effect until the start of the next fiscal year in July. But the concerns have already started to mount.

"People's outraged. Employees are outraged. Some of them can't afford it and when you look at the merits being frozen for two years…that puts
us back 10 percent. No cost of livings…we can't keep up. We can't keep going at this rate,” said FOP Immediate past president David Crews. "Younger officers are going to leave to go somewhere else and we're going to end up getting what we pay for. They have got to come to the table and treat their employees better when it comes to wages and benefits. They got to."

Crews said the FOP will hold a special called meeting for their members on Tuesday in which they will come up with a game plan to address the matter further.

FOX6 placed a call to Birmingham City Councilman Steven Hoyt to get his response to the concerns. Hoyt is did chairman of the public safety committee to get his response to the concerns. At the time this article was written, FOX6 was still waiting to hear back from him.

Copyright 2015 WBRC. All rights reserved.