Grand Rapids Community College is raiding its piggy bank to cover a huge increase in health insurance and retirement benefits for its employees. They are expected to jump by fifteen percent or more next year. Robert Partridge, GRCC's CFO announced that the college will be looting three separate funds to cover these employee benefits. He expect to withdraw $734,000 from savings, $500,000 from the reserve fund, and $234,000 from a fringe benefit stabilization fund.
That's a hoot. Interesting how what were long ago termed "fringe" benefits has transmogrified into a financial tsunami of health and retirement liabilities that could wash away the college and other government institutions in the grip of public employee unions demanding 100% subsidized healthcare and defined benefit pension plans. Indeed, Partridge forecasts that GRCC will be underwater by $15.7 million come 2010 if the trend continues.
I wonder what River Rat Gary Schenk, a member of GRCC's board, thinks about this mess. I doubt the same tricks he has used to get his client Dykema Excavators off the hook with the Department of Environmental Quality will work to spare the college of the folly of its antiquated budget-busting employee benefit policy. Too many people will be watching. Then again maybe he won't be around when the tsunami crashes over GRCC. After all, who are the first to leave a sinking ship?