BUSINESS BRIEFS: Business & Healthcare, Tipped Wage Fight,and a Chamber benefit


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Coalition Plans to Amplify Biz Voice In Health Care

Saying purchasers are underrepresented in health care policy decision-making at the State House, a new coalition of large and small employers is taking shape to shine a spotlight on rising care costs and frame health care as a competitiveness issue. Eileen McAnneny, pictured above, known for her work at major business trade groups, will lead the Employer Coalition on Health, which lists an an assortment of business groups and employers among its founding members as well as the state Group Insurance Commission. "As a small business, we are doing everything we can to offer good health insurance benefits to our employees, but businesses need state officials to do more to address health care affordability challenges," Erin Calvo-Bacci, owner of CB Stuffer chocolate store in Swampscott, said in a statement released with news of the coalition's launch. "These efforts are necessary if we want to achieve a more affordable, equitable, and sustainable healthcare system for everyone in the Commonwealth." The coalition is coming together as the Steward Health Care bankruptcy saga begins to unfold and as the Massachusetts House is ready to advance a sweeping health care reform bill. The coalition's priorities include strengthening Health Policy Commission cost containment tools, addressing health care cost drivers, and reducing costs that government shifts to the private sector.

SJC Weighs Two Pieces Of Tipped Worker Plan

The state's highest court set out last Wednesday to answer a straightforward, but massively impactful, question: does the state constitution permit Bay Staters to decide whether to increase wages for tipped workers and also whether to allow businesses to divide gratuities among all employees with a single yes or no vote? Supreme Judicial Court justices heard oral arguments in their third ballot question-eligibility case last week, this time involving a restaurant industry-led challenge against a proposal that would require businesses to pay a higher wage to tipped employees. Most of the measure's four pages -- comparably simpler than some of the other dense topics the court is already weighing -- lay out a process by which employers would gradually need to pay tipped workers more until the rate mirrors the general statewide minimum wage by 2029. Those workers could still continue to earn gratuities on top.

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From the Chamber: We know that being a business owner is hard. You're busy, and you want to focus on providing great products and services. But you also know that if you don't focus on growing your business, it's going to be harder to keep up with the demand for those products and services. We're here to help you make time for growing your business—and we can do it in a way that doesn't take away from the other things that you need to do as an entrepreneur/business owner. We can help you create graphics and newsletters, create/improve your website and optimize its content for search engines, branding and content strategy.

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