CWA Local 1081
60 Park Place, Suite 501
Newark, NJ, 07102
Office (973) 623-1081
Fax: (732) 988-1081

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Newark Teachers Union

New Jersey Citizen Action Oil Group

March 13, 2012


Hon. Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

Essex County Executive

Hall of Records, Room 405

465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Newark, NJ, 07102


Re: OPRA Request

       Aetna Premium Increases


Dear Mr. DiVincenzo:


CWA Local 1081 respectfully submits this Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request our Union be provided the following:


1.      A copy of the Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by the County of Essex in 2011 for a health benefits administrator for its employees and retirees in 2012.

2.      A copy of all responses to the abovementioned RFP.

3.      A copy of the contract(s) issued to administer the County's health benefits in 2012.

4.      A copy of all documents memorializing the reported $756,450 in broker fees paid Conner by Essex County over the past two years to negotiate health benefits on behalf of the County.

5.      A copy of a resolution passed by the Essex County Board of Freeholders in  2009 renewing the no-bid contract that has been held by Conner Strong for the past fourteen (14) years.

6.      A copy of all documented communications between Conner Strong and the County of Essex from January 1, 2011 through March 13, 2012.


According to the February 1, 2012 edition of The Wall Street Journal, "Aetna Inc.'s earnings rose 73%" in the fourth quarter of 2011. According to a Reuters article released that same day, "Although Aetna's fourth-quarter profit met Wall Street's target, analysts said the company's operations were actually stronger because results were hurt by higher-than-expected taxes". Lest that cited profit increase be thought a fluke, according to the company's own press release of October 27, 2011, "Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced third-quarter 2011 operating earnings of $528.4 million, or $1.40 per share, a per share increase of 40 percent over 2010". According to Aetna's own web site's 2010 Financial Annual Report, "we realized full-year operating earnings of $1.5 billion, a year-over-year increase of more than 25 percent; and full-year operating earnings per share of $3.68, an increase of 34 percent compared to 2009".


Meanwhile, the County of Essex accepted the following increases in health benefits costs from Aetna for 2012:


Pos/Dental - 16.5%

Pos Choice- 16.5%

Traditional -   16.5%


Overall average increase of 11.3%

As you are only too aware, unprecedentedly horrific legislation passed last summer, supported and enabled as it was by your political operatives and allies, adversely affected all New Jersey public employees. Previously having paid 1.5% of their respective salaries for the cost of their healthcare premiums through an arrangement achieved through the process of negotiations, Essex County employees now pay a percentage of their employer's actual health benefits' costs from 3% for those earning under $25,000 up to 35% of their healthcare premiums for those making up to $100,000 on a sliding scale based upon salary. The impact of the combined pension and health care contributions range from $1,142 for a worker making $25,000 to $6,058 for an employee earning $65,000 and more for higher-paid workers, according to Communications Workers of America (CWA) statistics.

The nearly 12% administrative costs increase your administration accepted from Aetna for 2012, therefore, has only served to excruciatingly exacerbate the fiscal pain the members of our Union are now already enduring.

CWA Local 1081 thanks you, in advance, for your anticipated expeditious cooperation with this sincere supplication you provide us the information we seek.


Yours truly,



David H. Weiner, President

CWA Local 1081