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Brownsville teachers protest proposal to increase health insurance premiums

Teachers protested a proposal to increase health insurance premiums Monday, forming a small crowd at the Brownsville Independent School District administration building.

Teachers protested a proposal to increase health insurance premiums Monday, forming a small crowd at the Brownsville Independent School District administration building.

Some teachers fear higher health insurance premiums will negate the effect of recent pay increases — and make health insurance too expensive for some employees.

"We're losing. We're losing money. We thought that because of the three years of pay raises, it was really going to help us move forward, economically speaking," said Alberto Algeria, president and executive director of the Texas Valley Educators Association. "It turns out that we're in the red now. If this proposal passes tomorrow, we're going to be in the red."

The school board is considering a proposal that would increase some premiums by $600.

Superintendent Esperanza Zendejas said Brownsville isn't the only school district struggling with higher health insurance costs.

"The bad news for BISD and other organizations, private or public, is that health care costs are rising," Zendejas said "As a district we have to come up with some options and we believe this is the best option."

Trustees tabled the item Tuesday and plans to discuss the insurance options again on Oct. 1.

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