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Employee Benefits

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NEWS
January 19, 2015 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
John M. Phelps Jr., 61, of Lebanon, Hunterdon County, a former employee benefits specialist for firms in Philadelphia and New Jersey, died of a heart attack Sunday, Jan. 11, at home. In 2014, daughter Laura Howells said, Mr. Phelps became CEO of Grow Solutions Inc., which its website describes as providing "services, products, financing, technology and management consulting to the expanding legal cannabis industry. " The firm deals with medical marijuana, a continuation of Mr. Phelps' work "in health benefits," Howells said.
NEWS
August 15, 1991
Philadelphia's municipal employees' unions won big last week in their arbitration with the city over the cost of health benefits. But like the Iraqi victory over Kuwait, this is one rout the winners may live to regret. At a time when the city can balance its budget only with borrowed millions, and when all the old ways of doing business are under assault, the unions' claim on an additional $45 million over the next two years highlights just how out of whack the city's compensation system has become.
BUSINESS
February 14, 1999 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Cigna Corp. is shedding its old dependence on the vagaries of storm, fire and flood, and embracing the surer bets of illness and retirement. Last week, the Philadelphia insurer posted its third straight year of record profits, earning $1.3 billion on $21 billion in revenues. But it was how Cigna earned its money, not how much, that highlights its evolution from a global insurance supermarket into a corporate health- and retirement-benefits giant. During the last three months of 1998, Cigna netted three-quarters of its profits, or $185 million, from its employee life, health-care and disability-benefits business, the company said last week.
NEWS
June 15, 2016 | By Claudia Vargas, Tricia L. Nadolny, and Julia Terruso, STAFF WRITERS
While Mayor Kenney pitched his sugary drink tax as needed to fund early childhood education, it turns out that nearly 20 percent of the money raised would go to other city programs and employee benefits. The additional spending - never mentioned while Kenney was selling the tax to the public - was added on during talks with Council on the proposed tax, according to the administration. "These changes are the result of weeks of negotiations between City Council and the administration," said Mike Dunn, spokesman for the administration.
NEWS
May 24, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA doesn't have enough engineers to run all of its trains all of the time. On Saturday, eight Regional Rail trains were canceled because of crew shortages, and engineers say the problem is chronic and may get worse. In 2011, federal work rules were toughened, reducing the number of hours passenger-train crews can work in a week or month and exacerbating SEPTA's long-standing staffing woes. Because of a shortage of qualified workers, the complex nature of rush-hour scheduling, and SEPTA's desire to limit costs for employee benefits, all engineers and conductors work overtime every week and are paid accordingly.
NEWS
October 19, 2012
Gerald E. "Bud" Faller, 80, a longtime employee benefits and pensions specialist in the Philadelphia area, died of heart failure on Sept. 20 at his home in Hillsboro Beach, Fla. Mr. Faller had a long career in employee benefits and pension business, retiring in 2007. He joined First Investment Annuity Co. in Philadelphia in 1968, as vice president for sales. He later managed the sales offices of Great West Life & Annuity Co in Philadelphia and New Jersey. He also operated businesses of his own in Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey.
NEWS
December 13, 1990 | By Edward Ohlbaum, Special to The Inquirer
Dramatic increases in the costs of employee benefits, fuel oil, and water and sewer service will have to be factored into the Central Bucks School District's 1991-1992 budget, administrators told the school board at its meeting Tuesday night. In the next to last in a series of presentations on the budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, John A. Fraser, the district personnel director, said the board probably would have to spend an additional 17 percent for employee benefits.
NEWS
June 11, 1996 | by Leon Taylor, Daily News Staff Writer
If you're gay or lesbian and have a job that allows your same-sex domestic partner to use your employee benefits, you can count yourself among the fortunate few. Many companies in Philadelphia and government agencies do not extend their benefits that far, a random survey shows. Temple University "does not currently offer employee benefits for domestic partners," said Temple spokesman George Ingram. A committee is reviewing it. Temple's response was typical of eight major Philadelphia employers contacted yesterday.
NEWS
February 28, 1991 | By Gene D'Alessandro, Special to The Inquirer
Impending state budget cuts and increased spending obligations have the Haverford Township school board expecting the worst possible scenario for next year's budget. The board last week projected a possible $4 million deficit when discussing district expenditures for the 1991-92 budget. Richard Greenstein, head of the board's finance committee, said at a Feb. 19 conference meeting that Haverford would feel the brunt of state cutbacks in three areas: the state's basic subsidy to the township; the state's reimbursement to the district for employee benefits, and special-education programs.
NEWS
May 2, 1991 | By Glenn Berkey, Special to The Inquirer
The way things size up now, the Neshaminy school board expects to spend about 7 percent more next year, mostly to meet higher salaries and benefit costs, officials say. The school board on Tuesday discussed its 1991-92 preliminary budget of $76.3 million, up 6.9 percent from this year's $71.4 million. But administrators stressed that the numbers were subject to change. The effect on taxes is not yet known; no revenue figures were supplied. More than 80 percent of the budget applies to salaries and employee benefits.
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NEWS
June 15, 2016 | By Claudia Vargas, Tricia L. Nadolny, and Julia Terruso, STAFF WRITERS
While Mayor Kenney pitched his sugary drink tax as needed to fund early childhood education, it turns out that nearly 20 percent of the money raised would go to other city programs and employee benefits. The additional spending - never mentioned while Kenney was selling the tax to the public - was added on during talks with Council on the proposed tax, according to the administration. "These changes are the result of weeks of negotiations between City Council and the administration," said Mike Dunn, spokesman for the administration.
NEWS
February 24, 2016
ISSUE | PENSIONS Look at the long term The Inquirer drew a woefully incomplete picture when it claimed, "Falling stocks squeezing pension funds" (Feb. 15). Looking at investment returns in one-year increments is shortsighted at best. Public pension funds such as the state employees' and teachers' funds operate in perpetuity and invest with a continuous, 30-year horizon. This strategy helps to smooth the inevitable effects of market bubbles and global economic unrest. Budgetary increases for pensions are diminishing because of the powerful impact of Act 120, which placed the state on a predictable payment schedule.
BUSINESS
January 22, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
An effort to give the Delaware River Port Authority's chief executive a five-figure raise hit a speed bump Wednesday because of a procedural mix-up. Still, the proposal sparked anger that the authority's board tried to give CEO John Hanson a $39,474 pay increase while 66 percent of the authority's personnel have gone without a raise for four years. "I'm here to make sure it's a front-burner issue and it stays a front-burner issue with you," said Bill Hosey of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 351, which represents about 20 information-services workers.
NEWS
May 30, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the face of steep funding cuts, the city school system is now spending less to educate each student than it had since 2008, and benefits are costing nearly $8,000 more per teacher than they did three years ago. Mix lower revenues with rising fixed costs and the result is fewer dollars spent in Philadelphia School District classrooms, an outside analysis of district finances released Thursday found. Chief financial officer Matthew Stanski said the analysis underscored the points officials were trying to make this week to a skeptical, frustrated City Council: They keep coming back for more money year after year because the money they receive isn't enough to cover their fixed costs.
NEWS
January 19, 2015 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
John M. Phelps Jr., 61, of Lebanon, Hunterdon County, a former employee benefits specialist for firms in Philadelphia and New Jersey, died of a heart attack Sunday, Jan. 11, at home. In 2014, daughter Laura Howells said, Mr. Phelps became CEO of Grow Solutions Inc., which its website describes as providing "services, products, financing, technology and management consulting to the expanding legal cannabis industry. " The firm deals with medical marijuana, a continuation of Mr. Phelps' work "in health benefits," Howells said.
NEWS
May 24, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA doesn't have enough engineers to run all of its trains all of the time. On Saturday, eight Regional Rail trains were canceled because of crew shortages, and engineers say the problem is chronic and may get worse. In 2011, federal work rules were toughened, reducing the number of hours passenger-train crews can work in a week or month and exacerbating SEPTA's long-standing staffing woes. Because of a shortage of qualified workers, the complex nature of rush-hour scheduling, and SEPTA's desire to limit costs for employee benefits, all engineers and conductors work overtime every week and are paid accordingly.
NEWS
March 15, 2013
CITY Council chambers can seat 350, so we're assuming that's the number of union members who filled the chambers with shouting and whistling loud enough to have Council President Darrell Clarke recess the session about 10 minutes into Mayor Nutter's budget address. The mayor had begun yelling his speech over the din, but finally finished delivering it in the mayor's reception room. So, here's the math: It took only 350 people to put a halt to city government Thursday. As union leaders declare victory in shutting down a budget address, we can't help wondering: Victory over what, really?
NEWS
November 8, 2012
Question 1 Do you approve an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution, as agreed to by the Legislature, to allow contributions set by law to be taken from the salaries of Supreme Court Justices and Superior Court Judges for their employee benefits? (93% of the vote) Yes . . . 1,274,618 No . . . 774,121 Question 2 Do you approve the "Building Our Future Bond Act"? This bond act authorizes the State to issue bonds in the aggregate principal amount of $750 million to provide matching grants to New Jersey's colleges and universities.
BUSINESS
November 8, 2012 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Greyhound Lines Inc. employee on her way home from work Monday said she's the kind of worker who prides herself on always being on the job. So she's not happy that Greyhound is docking her for Oct. 29 and 30 - the two days that the entire region was shut down due to Hurricane Sandy. "I'm totally upset," she said. "I think it's horrible. They were closed anyway. " Because the employee would like to keep her job, she doesn't want her name published, but she acknowledged that companies are in a tough spot, too. After all, they couldn't make any money when they were closed.
NEWS
October 19, 2012
New Jersey voters have two ballot questions to consider, one would give a boost to higher education, and the other would require judges to pay more for employee benefits. Voters should say YES to a $750 million bond issue for the state's public and private universities. The state hasn't approved a bond issue for higher education in nearly a quarter-century. Meanwhile, state funding for colleges has been slashed. The bond money would be used to expand classroom and lab space. Community colleges as well as state universities and private colleges would benefit.
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