Hey brothers, I am trying to provide some information of how this medical mess started. You can bash me all you want, but my goal is always keeping Local 1556 members informed. I will not respond to any bashing I may endure, since you should realize I am just trying to help. So fire away if you need, I will not comply…
In 2009, our medical plan was sustained by our man-hours that allowed us 24 months in reserve. Today that number is at 7 months. We had the surplus due some good times, but the belts have tightened considerably. The Market did crash in 2009 right?
Every year, we have this information posted in 5500 Form, which is mandated by the IRS. This information is free if you seek on the District council website and if you really want to say anything of this, I suggest you read it. It is one of the worst reads, but it provides the appropriate information.
In April of 2011, the district council had an audit from an outside firm called Zeigal and the evaluated the benefit fund. They said we were collecting 11.25 per hour in total contribution and the fund needs 15 dollars per hour to sustain.
Zeigal’s findings, stated we were losing a great deal of the reserve of medical and it was severely underfunded. This information was presented to Spencer (Mc Caronite), the old EST, and our 3 Trustees from the membership side (yeah, but not really). The Trusties, were appointed by Mc Caron as well, since we got in trouble once again... Any time we get in trouble, Mc Caron can gain International Trusteeship. That is what allows him to fuck with us. Yet, he would never want to merge us, since he would then transfer the Consent Decree to NERC. But that is another story…
The Trustees had to act on this information, since they did not want our fund to be bankrupted, so measures had to have been made (whatever, I guess that’s their job, right?). It was then, presented to the total body of Trustees (six in total) for a vote. The Trusties for the company side wanted us to decrease our benefits by six dollars an hour. The Trustees from both sides, became deadlocked and the matter went to arbitration.
The results of the arbitration, was found sometime in December. Not sure of the date, but we had to make up 3 dollars in our current funding of The Plan and the arbitrator still retains control of our funds until July.
Spencer then created a menu of how cuts should be appropriated. It was adverse to retirees (565 dollar per month for single coverage) and provisions were made(falling to the active members). This allowed the retiree premium to be 75 dollars per month for retirees.
It is my feeling that some of these assessment we currently have in our vacation check should either be lifted or at least reduced to put some money in the memberships hands to cover the cost of the medical premiums.
First let talk about the assessment and where they go. On our vacation checks, we have two separate assessments. The Additional assessment is calculated by the following formula. Total hours worked multiplied by 60cents. This money is used to pay for communication, Political Action and Organizing cost. The breakdown of where the 60 cents per hour is listed below:
50 cents to Organizing
5 cents to Political Action
5 cents to Communications (magazine and websites Local and NYCDCC)
Next, let speak of the 1% additional Assessment. This money goes to the District Council for operating cost and was put in place in 1982 by Rank and File to cover cost. This cost is the bigger amount of the two and is calculated like this.
(Total number of wages + Benefit Package)
( one Percent)
(Total Hours worked)
It is my feeling that since we are taking a big hit in the medical cost in, a lot of this money should go back in the Memberships hands. Maybe some assessments can be eliminated or reduced to help us in taking care of our families. If we get a hit in our medical, the District Council should be willing to help us by lowering or eliminating their fat. We are the ones who bring the money here and the bleeding has to be spread out.
Dr. Rath's Call to the people of Germany and Europe, Berlin 03-13-2012
It still does not make it ok that the retirrees have to pay deductibles ect. Fact is we had a retirement contract with our union and they screwed us at the first chance
i am against retirees paying for medical coverage, but their was no contract guaranteeing any such agreement.. if you knew anything about contracts they are only good for the time agreed upon...there is no lifetime contract....welfare benefits including pension can change during the course of such funds..pensioneers losing medical or having their pensions reduced after retirement is not a new thing..look at the airline unions for example of this..it seems the only pensions that don't cut benefits for retireees are government ones and we the taxpayers are carrying a heavy burden for that and will for a long time.....welfare benefits are not covered by contracts only the amount of contribution is...the union is solely responsible where the funds go and what the payouts are... our pension amount is not guaranteed, its pretty safe right now...a healthy pension has 3 workers to 1 retiree and right now we have under 15,000 active workers to 7,000 retirees and close to 5000 of active members are unemployed or under employed... if ,we keep losing market share and membership it will get worse... i hope not... we must be active in all our union affairs.,,,,LONG LIVE THE NYDC ~~~~~~~~~~~~
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