Tell HealthPartners: Don't Take $4 Million From Our Public Schools
In March, employees at St. Paul Public Schools represented by the St. Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE) and Teamsters Local 320 notified our school district that we were exercising our legal right to change health insurance plans and move into the Public Employees Insurance Program (PEIP) in order to reduce out-of-pocket health care costs and receive access to affordable health insurance.
SPFE was formally notified in July that HealthPartners was planning to levy a $4 million fee against St. Paul Public Schools for ending its contract one year ahead of schedule. In early August, HealthPartners told us they were unwilling to waive the penalty, and that SPPS would have to pay it in order for their employees to access these healthcare savings immediately.
HealthPartners is a multi-billion dollar non-profit organization. Because of their non-profit status, they pay no taxes in support of our school district. If they did, those taxes would amount to more than $3 million for our schools every year. Now they're saying they want to charge the district $4 million to protect their bottom line.
We know HealthPartners doesn't have to take that money from our public schools. Now, we need our community to join us in telling them to waive this unnecessary fee that will harm our students and our schools.
From: [Your Name]
Last month HealthPartners announced that it planned to impose a $4 million fee on St. Paul Public Schools due to a dispute over health insurance contracts. This fee is unnecessary, and will only cause harm to the students being served by St. Paul's public schools.
HealthPartners is a nonprofit organization that has chosen to make its home right here in St. Paul. Because of your nonprofit status, you pay none of the property taxes that are used to help improve our community and fund our public schools. In fact, if HealthPartners did pay those taxes it would contribute over $3 million annually to St. Paul Public Schools. Now, instead of contributing to our schools, you're trying to take $4 million.
We are calling on HealthPartners to waive the $4 million fee it is imposing on SPPS. As a major nonprofit organization in our community, you are supposed to be putting the common good ahead of the bottom line. Now if your chance to do so.
The proposed fee is punitive and regressive, and will only serve to make it harder for a school district that is already struggling to meet the diverse needs of our growing student population. And will only cause a rift between two of the largest institutions in our city.
Please, do the right thing by St. Paul children and waive the fee.