ALLEN PARK RETIREES ASSOCIATION, INC., and RUSSELL PILLAR, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
CITY OF ALLEN PARK and JOYCE A. PARKER, Defendants-Appellees.
OPINION IS UNCORRECTED AND SUBJECT TO REVISION BEFORE FINAL
PUBLICATION IN THE MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS REPORTS.
Circuit Court. LC No. 14-003826-CZ.
ALLEN PARK RETIREES ASSOCATION INC, PILLAR RUSSELL/ALL OTHERS
SIMILARLY SITUATED, Plaintiffs-Appellants: MARK A. PORTER.
ALLEN PARK CITY OF, Defendant-Appellee: DENNIS R. POLLARD.
JOYCE A. PARKER, Defendant-Appellee: ERIK GRANEY.
Before: SAWYER, P.J., and CAVANAGH and SERVITTO, JJ.
appeal from an order of the circuit court granting summary
disposition on plaintiffs' claims for retiree health care
benefits under a collective bargaining agreement. We affirm
in part, reverse in part, and remand.
Pillar was a command officer employed by the Allen Park
Police Department and a member of the Allen Park Police
Lieutenants and Sergeants Association collective bargaining
unit. He retired from employment in July 1993. At the time of
his retirement, Pillar's employment was governed by a
collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in effect for the
period July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1994. That CBA provided for
retiree health insurance benefits. The CBA provided for
specific coverages, though those coverages varied somewhat
depending upon the age at retirement and date of hire. The
CBA provides that the city " reserves the right to
change any and/or all insurance company(ies) and/or plan(s),
providing the replacement program is equal to or better than
the program available from the present company, subject to
the mutual agreement of the City and the Union."
Defendant Parker was appointed Emergency Manager ("
EM" ) of the city before March 28, 2013. At that time,
the EM's rights and duties were governed by the Local
Government Fiscal Responsibility Act, formerly MCL
141.1201 et seq. The Local Financial Stability and Choice Act
(LFSCA), 2012 PA 436 (" PA 436" ), became effective
March 28, 2013. MCL 141.1541 et seq. EM Parker
continued her duties as the city's EM under the new
legislation. EM Parker notified city retirees in
correspondence dated March 8, 2013, that she was "
proposing changes in our health care program in an effort to
reduce our expense, while making every effort to minimize the
impact on retirees." She requested the retirees'
" support of the changes that are proposed and outlined
in this letter." The letter stated:
Effective July 1, 2013, the health insurance for all retirees
and dependents will be changing. The coverage you will be
afforded as of our fiscal year is Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Michigan (BCBSM) Community Blue PPO Option 2 .
Community Blue PPO features an extensive network of doctors,
hospitals and other health care providers that agree to
accept BCBSM's benefit and payment policies. The Blue
Cross PPO operates nationwide and allows members to receive
services from any health care provider that accepts the
Community Blue PPO ID card. This plan does not require the
selection of a primary care doctor or other health care
provider. Your out-of-pocket expenses are less when health
care services are rendered by PPO network providers
Parker issued Order No. 2013 - 015 (" Order 15" ),
1. All Medicare Part A and B
enrolled/eligible retirees and their Medicare