Montana lawmakers on Friday put off further discussion on dismantling and privatizing the state’s massive workers compensation system, saying the task was too daunting to take up in the waning days of the legislative session. Instead, the matter will be studied more thoroughly in the months after the Legislature adjourns. Getting rid of the $1.6 billion State Fund would be a major undertaking — not only in practical terms because of the thousands of businesses that would be affected but also politically. While Montana Republicans, who control both chambers of the Legislature, have generally favored privatizing some aspects of big government, they appear split on what to do about the State Fund. …
AFSCME Council 28 has invested additional resources into fighting privatization since the passage of the Civil Service Reform Act of 2002.
In the Civil Service Reform Act of 2002, contracting-out of state work that was previously prohibited was made permissible under certain circumstances:
– it must result in a savings or efficiency improvement; and
– affected employees must have an opportunity to present alternatives.
Since the effective date in July 2005 our biggest fight has been getting the state to honor the obligation to bargain the decision to contract and to apply the competitive contracting law that allows employees to present alternatives.
We’ve had some successes in fighting of major efforts to privatize but have seen some contracting-out in individual, low-impact circumstances.
Successful campaign strategies include:…
Examples of Recent Contracting Out Campaigns:
Child Welfare Privatization, 2009 – 2013…
Closing Juvenile Rehabilitation institutions to move to community-based care, 2009…
Privatize Disability Lifeline/GAU, 2009…
DD Client care movement to community-based care, ongoing/constant…
IT consolidation and contracting, 2011…
Consolidation of state’s support services, 2011…
Parks: Fort Worden, 2007-present…
Labor and Industries: initiatives to privatize workers compensation, 2010 – present…
Statewide: Construction Trades, ongoing…
Source: Associated Press, March 12, 2013
The Oklahoma Senate has approved legislation to privatize the state’s nonprofit workers’ compensation agency. … CompSource was created by the Legislature in 1933 as an insurer of last resort. It has thousands of policyholders, including state, county and municipal government agencies, and it writes 35% of the workers’ compensation policies in the state.
A link to the proposed bill is now available here.
On Friday, Governor Malloy proposed two agency consolidations that would have a significant impact for employers in Connecticut.
First, he proposed a new “Department on Human Rights, Protection and Advocacy”. This new department would combine the Office of Protection and Advocacy and the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (with the directors still appointed by the Governor.)
Second, he proposed an expanded Connecticut Department of Labor that would include the existing functions and the Workers Compensation Commission.
Source: Tim Hoover, Denver Post, January 27, 2012
Gov. John Hickenlooper is recommending the privatization of Pinnacol Assurance, the state-chartered workers’ compensation insurance fund, despite the ongoing concerns of business groups.
However, Hickenlooper also is recommending a few tweaks to the proposal, giving the state a slightly larger ownership stake in what would be the newly privatized mutual assurance company and creating a new fund for injured workers.
Colorado lawmakers haven’t given up on Pinnacol privatization deal
Source: Tim Hoover, Denver Post, March 15, 2012
Zurich Insurance Co. has won a $19 million, one-year contract to provide workers’ compensation insurance to state agencies, West Virginia Acting Insurance Commissioner Michael Riley announced. “This is the final step of privatization,” Riley said, referring to the process that abolished the state-run system in 2006, created BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Co., and opened the market to competition….
BrickStreet and Zurich both submitted bids to provide insurance with a $250,000 deductible. This puts some risk on the state because if there are more claims than anticipated, the state could end up paying more. Riley said the state will pay Zurich an up-front premium of $6 million plus about $13 million to cover anticipated deductibles, for an estimated total of $19 million. BrickStreet’s bid with the deductible feature was estimated at $26 million.
Source: The Associated Press, November 2, 2010
Washington voters have rejected an initiative that would have privatized workers’ compensation insurance.
With more than half of the expected vote counted in Tuesday’s election, Initiative 1082 was being defeated by more than 16 points, with 58 percent of voters saying no on the ballot.
I-1082 was a business-backed initiative that sought to take away the state monopoly on workers’ compensation insurance.
Source: By Curt Woodward, The Associated Press (WA), 7/14/10 -11:47 PM
OLYMPIA — A campaign to end the state’s monopoly on workers’ compensation insurance appears to have enough support to qualify for the November ballot, adding to a busy initiative season in Washington politics.
….. At present, Washington is one of just four states that do not allow private companies to offer workers’ compensation insurance, although some employers self-insure under state supervision.
Source: OCSEA News (OH), June 26, 2009
(Columbus) – In a huge victory for OCSEA activists in BWC who fought the measure, the proposal to study privatizing the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is officially dead.
A conference committee passed the BWC budget by a 6-0 vote, without a BWC privatization task force in place. Go here to contact the lawmakers who helped make it happen. Tell them you appreciate their efforts in keeping the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation efficient and effective….and state-operated!
Source: By KEN DIXON, Connecticut Post, 01/31/2008
A multi-year investigation (.pdf) into a Rowland-era sweetheart contract to privatize Connecticut’s worker’s compensation claims, indicates the state may have overpaid tens of millions of dollars. The no-bid contract, awarded through the state Department of Administrative Services, used $80 million in state bonding funds, usually used for long-term capital construction projects.
……. Blumenthal, in a morning news conference in his office, said that while there was no apparent criminal activity – and no written order from Rowland to hire the consultants – the state clearly overpaid a consulting company to settle hundreds of worker’s compensation claims, using college interns who were paid $105 per hour. He said that state employees were clearly capable of settling the claims, but in the move to privatize the work, taxpayer funds were misspent.
….. He said MRM Consulting, Inc. made a “deeply flawed” consultant’s report advising an outside contractor be hired.
…… A firm called ACE Financial Solutions, LLC, was paid $80 million. About $60 million was spent to settle about 545 of the 600 worker’s compensation claims and ACE has been collecting interest on the remaining $20 million.