Chapter 8 - Benefits
City of Redmond Personnel Manual
Chapter 8 - BENEFITS
The City provides a comprehensive benefits package for its employees and their eligible dependents. Regular status and limited duration employees who work twenty hours per week or more are eligible for City benefits. Benefits for supplemental employees are detailed in Section 5.90 Benefits.
8.20 Introduction to Benefits Offered
The benefit plans offered are:
- Choice of two medical insurance plans
- Prescription drug insurance included with each medical insurance plan
- Dental insurance
- Vision insurance
- Life and accidental death & dismemberment insurance
- Additional voluntary life insurance options
- Short- and long-term disability benefits
- Flexible spending accounts for health and dependent care expenses
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Wellness program
- Municipal Employees’ Benefit Trust
- Deferred compensation
- State administered retirement programs
For specific information regarding any of these benefits, please contact the Human Resources Department or visit the City of Redmond benefits page.
8.30 Administration of Health Insurance
The City of Redmond is responsible for implementing and maintaining benefit plans, including the self-insured health benefit plan (RedMed Plan) for its employees. The City also is responsible for determining whether modifications to benefit plans or a change in its administration must be approved by the Mayor and/or City Council and, as required by Chapter 41.56 RCW, the collective bargaining representatives of affected employees.
The Human Resources Director shall have the following duties:
- Recommend enhancements or modifications to the benefits plans to the City, with the advice and recommendations of the Employee Benefits Advisory Committee (EBAC).
- Monitor the administration of the benefits plans and recommend any changes as to the RedMed Plan administrator or RedMed Plan broker to the City.
- Develop and recommend an annual budget for the RedMed Plan to the City.
- Clarify and interpret benefit plan requirements.
- Respond to employee benefit inquiries.
- Conduct employee education concerning the benefit plans.
- Provide staffing at EBAC meetings.
When the recommendation of the Human Resources Director and the committee differs as to proposed plan modifications, the Human Resources Director will inform the Mayor and Council of the committee's recommendation as well as his or her own.
8.40 Employee Benefits Advisory Committee (EBAC)
To provide a forum, through representation of all participating employee groups, to understand, review, study, and develop recommended changes or enhancements to the City’s healthcare plans, including the self-insured health benefit plan (RedMed).
Recommendations will provide quality and cost-effective health (medical, dental, and vision) insurance and various alternatives for the employees of the City of Redmond.
Specifically, the EBAC is to explore different healthcare plan options, and as appropriate, to make recommendations regarding potential changes to existing healthcare plans. The EBAC is not intended to be an entity that will engage in collective bargaining and is not a replacement for collective bargaining. Rather, each participant in the EBAC will retain whatever collective bargaining rights that they would otherwise possess pursuant to RCW 41.56. Therefore, any recommendations and/or actions that are taken by the EBAC will not have the effect of waiving any entity’s bargaining rights pursuant to RCW 41.56, and the City must still engage in appropriate collective bargaining with each participant in the EBAC before any changes in healthcare plans or benefits will become effective for that participant and its members. Each participant in the EBAC also retains the right to opt out of the EBAC at any time should they choose to do so.
Duties and Responsibilities
The EBAC will function in a voting capacity and will make joint recommendations to Council on the bulleted items below consistent with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other federal privacy laws:
- Review de-identified claims experience reports from the third-party administrator.
- Review financial reports on the status of the self-insured fund.
- Review reports and recommendations of consultants engaged to evaluate the Plan or Plan components.
- Participate in training programs aimed at educating Committee members about medical care utilization and costs.
- Recommend Plan efficiencies, modifications and enhancements to the Human Resources Director that are considered or results in changes to benefits, all other changes that are administrative in nature (language clarification, process steps, carrier changes, etc.) will be made by the Plan Administrator and the committee will be informed prior to implementation.
- Review and recommend an annual budget for the Plan to the Human Resources Director.
- Review other programs related to the health insurance such as employee assistance programs, wellness programs, etc.
EBAC participation by any member of a collective bargaining unit, including the ultimate recommendations of the EBAC, shall not be construed as a waiver by any bargaining unit of its rights under Chapter 41.56 RCW (required to bargain impact of changes) or any applicable collective bargaining agreement. The RedMed Plan will also operate under the RCW and WAC to include compliance with the employee self-insurance rules of the Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM). It is the intent of both the City and the EBAC to have healthcare plans that are compliant with all applicable laws. Any updates to the healthcare plans that are legally required will be implemented by the Plan Administrator and the EBAC will be informed of such updates.
Composition of the Committee
The committee shall be comprised of the following:
Voting Members: One representative from each of the employee groups:
IAFF (Fire and Fire Support)
Police (Commissioned and Support)
Teamsters (Police Lieutenants)
Human Resources Designee (EBAC Facilitator) Risk Manager
Ex-Officio Members: These are non-voting members:
HR Plan Administrator
Appointment of Members Bargaining Unit Member
Bargaining unit leadership will be responsible for designating the individual(s) from their units to serve on the EBAC and must designate approval/voting authority on behalf of the union.
Will be appointed by the Mayor and will serve a two-year term subject to reappointment.
Alternates may be designated and may attend meetings as observers for continuity purposes. Alternates will have no voting authority unless the voting member has previously notified the chairperson(s) of proxy in writing.
EBAC Chairperson Designation
The EBAC shall select a chairperson from among its voting members in January of each year. The chairperson serves in that capacity until his/her successor is selected the following January. The committee may also elect to have co-chairs as long as both labor and management are represented equally.
- Review draft meeting agendas provided by Human Resources prior to an EBAC meeting.
- Co-facilitate EBAC meetings with the Human Resources designee.
- Review and edit draft minutes.
Healthcare Plan Changes Workflow
- Recommended changes to the healthcare plans are brought to the EBAC by representatives of the bargaining groups or Human Resources Department.
- The EBAC considers and discusses the proposed changes, which includes input by Human Resources, the City’s third-party administrator, and/or the healthcare vendors.
- The EBAC creates a formal written proposal for the change.
- Each labor union that is a participant in the EBAC will then present the proposed changes and related information to their respective union groups following the EBAC meeting. Each labor union that is an EBAC participant will then make a decision, using their respective internal procedures, as to whether to recommend and accept the proposed change, or whether to reject the proposed change. If a labor union that is an EBAC participant rejects a proposed change, and if the EBAC and/or the City still wish to make the change, then bargaining must occur pursuant to the requirements of RCW 41.56 between the EBAC labor union participant that has rejected the proposed change and the City before any implementation of the change can occur with respect to that EBAC participant and its members. For plan changes that require City Council approval, the Human Resources Director will inform the Mayor and City Council of any proposed plan change the EBAC has voted on to recommend and will provide his/her own recommendation.
- The Mayor and City Council will be the final decision maker on behalf of the City as to whether or not to accept any changes that are recommended by the EBAC.
- The Human Resources Director is responsible for developing and recommending changes to the annual budget as a result of the benefits changes (if any) to City Administration.
- The EBAC will strive to follow the timeline below with the intent to make changes effective January 1 of each plan year. There will be some exceptions to this timeline for changes that can and are deemed to warrant a mid-year change.
|Benefit Changes are effective
|January 2 - July 30
|Discussion and research regarding benefit changes initiated by committee members
|Preliminary renewals and benefit recommendations from vendors
|August (4th Tuesday)
|First Council touch regarding possible benefit recommendations at FAC meeting
|August 1 - September 15
|Negotiated renewals from vendors
|September (4th Tuesday)
|Second Council touch regarding possible benefit recommendations at FAC meeting or Executive Session
|September 1 - 30
|Union internal processes for communication and voting on proposed changes
|October (1st Tuesday)
|Benefit recommendations will be presented to Council for vote
|October (right after Council Meeting)
|Decisions regarding benefit changes communicated to vendors
|November 1 – 30
|December 1 – 30
|Administrative period for Human Resources
Regularly Scheduled Meetings
Regular meetings of the EBAC will be held each quarter or more frequently if needed. Meetings will generally not exceed two hours, unless advance notice has been provided.
Notification of Impending Vote
Thirty days’ advance notice of a vote shall be provided to the EBAC, unless otherwise agreed upon by all voting members. Voting shall be accepted in person or via email.
A quorum of four voting members is needed for formal EBAC actions.
Decisions shall be by majority vote of the voting members present or received by the Chairperson(s) via email prior to the meeting start time.
A commitment to the EBAC and attendance at meetings is critical to its success. Any planned absences should be reported as soon as possible. Alternates should be briefed prior to meetings so they will be prepared to participate in discussions when they attend. EBAC meetings are open to all City employees and plan participants.
EBAC meetings will generally follow Roberts Rules of Order which are designed to provide rules and procedures that allow a deliberative assembly to make its decisions efficiently.
Agendas and Meeting Materials
To the extent possible, meeting agendas and meeting materials will be distributed to EBAC members prior to each meeting. Members are encouraged to review the agendas and materials in advance of the meeting.