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Norman v. Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Chisholm

May 25, 2004

CAROLEE E. NORMAN, RESPONDENT,
v.
HOUSING AND REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF CHISHOLM, APPELLANT.



St. Louis County District Court. File No. CX-03-300673.

Considered and decided by Harten , Presiding Judge, Halbrooks , Judge, and Minge , Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

The requirement under Minn. Stat. § 471.61, subd. 2b (2002), that a public employer pay insurance premiums for a retired public employee if the collective bargaining agreement in effect when the employee retired provided that the employer would pay premiums indefinitely, prevails over the restriction in Minn. Stat. § 179A.20, subd. 2a (2002), on the duration of collective bargaining agreement provisions.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harten, Judge

Affirmed

OPINION

Respondent, a retired public employee, obtained a summary judgment requiring appellant, a public employer, to continue paying respondent's insurance premiums. Appellant challenges the summary judgment. We affirm.

FACTS

Respondent Carolee Norman worked for appellant Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Chisholm. She was a member of Minnesota Council 65-AFSCME Chapter of Local #536 (the union). The union and appellant negotiated a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that became effective in January 1993. It provided:

All employees who have reached an age acceptable to Federal Social Security or the private pension plan in effect at the time the employee qualifies for annuity under said plan or plans, and who have at least ten (10) years of service for the Employer, and who retire, shall continue to be covered under the life insurance plan or plans and the existing hospital medical, surgical, drug and dental programs covering employees of [appellant] or supplemental insurance plan for those retirees who are or will be eligible for Medicare. [Appellant] shall pay all insurance premiums in full, to include single coverage and disability retirement.

The CBA was in effect when respondent retired in February 1995. Upon retirement, respondent qualified for an annuity (pension) sponsored by appellant. In September 1995, the union was decertified and the CBA expired.

Appellant continued to pay respondent's insurance premiums through 30 November 2002, but notified her that payments would stop as of 1 December 2002. Respondent brought this promissory estoppel action to reinstate the payment of her premiums. The parties stipulated to facts and filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The district court granted summary judgment for respondent, and appellant now challenges that judgment.

ISSUE

Does the requirement under Minn. Stat. § 471.61, subd. 2b (2002), that a public employer pay insurance premiums for a retired public employee if the collective bargaining agreement in effect when the employee retired provided that the employer would pay premiums indefinitely, prevail over the restriction in Minn. Stat. § ...


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