The parties returned to the Regional Bargaining table today. The Union offered several modifications to its proposals on ACFC, TABEC, Dental Plan improvements, and the Medical Restriction Policy. The Union also questioned the Company about data it had provided in response to the joint requests for information by CWA and IBEW. The Company had no responses or modifications to its proposals to offer today.
The parties are scheduled to meet again tomorrow in off table discussions regarding health care.
Almost all of the Company’s retrogressive demands still remain on the table. The only proposals the Company has withdrawn is a proposal to eliminate the printing of our contracts and a proposal on call sharing in Livesource.
The Company has proposed major changes to our heath care plans for both active members and retirees. Not only are they demanding our members pay more in premiums for healthcare coverage, they are proposing changes to increase deductibles, increase co-insurance, increase out of pocket expenses and increase the costs for prescription drugs. These increases amount to several thousand dollars in cost-shifting per year to our members and retirees. This fight for health care is about more than just paying a premium. The Company wants us to pay more and feel it in our wallet so that we’ll think twice about visiting the doctor or seeking medical attention.
The Company continues to insist on changes to our defined benefit pension plan, including a choice between pension benefits and 401K savings plan benefits. The Company’s proposal seeks to freeze pension accrual at 30 years of service.
The Company continues to demand the elimination of Job Security and the elimination of the 35 mile transfer provision. The Company has proposed to increase the mileage provision to 60 miles to be eligible for home relocation benefits. In addition, the Company has proposed to close over 25 locations that would require most of the members reporting there to relocate their homes.
Your Union Bargaining team is working hard and is committed to finding ways to address both the concerns of the Company and the needs of our members in this round of negotiations. The Company continues to have only one goal, givebacks. Their agenda continues to include retrogressive demands across virtually every area of our contracts from job security to pensions and work rules. The Company is still not hearing us so it is more important than ever that we take this fight to a new level. Our members must continue to mobilize. Every member needs to commit to spending 4 hours per week participating in mobilization activities. Locals should continue to reach out to retirees to join in with mobilization activities and rallies.
Download PDF: Mid Atlantic Regional Bargaining Report # 26