Members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) employed by Manhattan based nonprofit health insurer Group Health Inc. (GHI) ratified a new contract agreement yesterday, ending a twenty-six-day strike. The main point of contention in the negotiations was GHI?s insistence that employees begin paying for part of their health insurance---a break from past contracts that the company argued was necessitated by the rising cost of health care. Under the new four-year contract, new hires will have to make co-payments for doctors? visits and prescription drugs and payments towards dependant coverage less than those originally demanded by management, current employees will never have to pay for their health insurance, and all employees will receive a raise of over seventeen percent.
See STEVEN GREENHOUSE, The New York Times, May 13, 2002