Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The MCFUHER speaks to his troops
In a small number of cases, we expect that employees may read the list of requirements and realize someone is listed on their plan who shouldn’t be. During this “amnesty phase”—which lasts through May 18—anyone in that situation can just check the “NOT ELIGIBLE” box to remove the person, return the form to Mercer and there will be no penalty. (The “ineligible dependent” will lose coverage as of 5/31/12). Then in the summer the audit phase will start, and all of us will be required to submit documents that prove the dependents’ eligibility. Even I will be required to participate and will need to get my hands on a copy of my marriage certificate, even though I know I gave it to TriMet when I started working here 21 years ago. You’ll get another letter this summer from Mercer with instructions. If the audit turns up any “ineligible dependents,” they will of course be removed from TriMet’s plan—and the employee involved will need to repay the premiums (easily thousands of dollars) TriMet paid to cover the person in 2012.
Participation in the audit is mandatory for all employees, unless you have “single coverage.” This is so important that the penalties include termination from your job. Please carefully read the letters and instructions from Mercer and take the appropriate action. If you have questions, please contact Mercer. They are ready to assist you.
While it might be a little bit of hassle, it’s the right thing to do. You know the tight budget we’re working under so we want to make sure that TriMet’s valuable benefits are covering the people who qualify for them.
Perhaps you’ve spotted them in the past 3 weeks: grad students in red t-shirts working the crowd wherever TriMet employees can be found. They’re part of the Washington State University (WSU) research team that’s conducting a Workplace Safety Climate Study. We’re partnering with WSU on this study—and inviting every single one of you to participate–because we need good, empirical data about employee perceptions, attitudes and behaviors related to safety here at TriMet. As we work toward a culture of safety – I need your help.
To date, the research team has collected surveys from more than 10 percent of the workforce since the study launched last month. That’s a good start, and I thank each employee who has the time to fill out the survey. I know it’s long—but at least there’s only one question that’s not multiple choice! But we need to hear from more of you.
The information we collect will be used to make some important decisions—so it needs to be as complete as possible. “I don’t work with heavy equipment” is no reason not to take the survey. Neither is “I think everything is fine” or “I don’t believe things will ever change.” We really need everybody’s voice at the table.
Pick up a survey in your break room or use this link to take the survey and help build our culture of safety.
Thank you for speaking up for safety!