Regarding capping benefits for employees:
I have worked for a few districts that have capped benefits for employees, and in the end it never works out well for the employees. In a district I worked at for the last few years the union went ahead and gave this concession to the district, and as the years passed the teachers began to realize what a mistake this was.
First of all, they did this with the idea that it would only be for a while, to help balance the budget and perhaps keep things better in the district, but as the state of budgetary affairs turned south over the years the notion that they would ever get back what they signed away faded with the breeze. There was no way the district was going to give this one back to the teachers. And this hurt. For example, to cover my family of three with a nice Kaiser package in the Windsor district I only have to pay roughly $150.00 a month. The Windsor district right now has some of the best coverage for district employees in the northern part of the state. However, in the previous district where the employees allowed their benefits to be capped, for the exact same benefit package I have at Windsor, I had to pay $975.00 a month, while the district paid roughly $500.00. This difference is almost comical (except I never laughed as I opened my paycheck monthly).
This is also a slippery slope, as the employees are asked to give up their rights for the good of the district. Please be aware that all rights given up are rarely given back and I have seen this firsthand. The idea that since teachers care, they will do anything is used as leverage and blown out of proportion and then held against us. It is true that teachers care and most will do anything for their students, but is this any reason to take away their rights and benefits? An act that I have come to believe completely devalues teachers and all that we do. There are other answers and making it even more challenging and more stressful for teachers is not a viable option. I would urge folks to be acutely aware of what they pay for benefits, and all their rights. I have seen first hand many districts lure these away from teachers who only came to resent the fact that they had been duped.