Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ron Heintzman speaks to the contract!

Ron Heintzman speaking at rally when he was international president

Before anybody gets excited it needs to be stated that I DID NOT VOTE FOR RON in the last election.
I have no connection with Mr Heinztman  whatsoever other than receiving his statement of opinion on the Trimet contract proposal.

In the interest of FULL INFORMATION TO MEMBERS we MUST hear what he has to say.
The current union leadership should have no problem in allowing Mr Heintzman to have his say.
Mr Heinztman is no  'rookie' to these sorts of negotiations, he has extensive experience to say the least.

I want to thank  Ron for allowing us to 'hear' what he has to say.....

Active and Retirees under 65 who were hired before ratification
of this contract
The current contact requires TriMet to pay 100% of the medical,
dental and vision premiums for all employees

(The reason employees have been paying part of the premium
since January 2013 is because state law allows the employer to
pass on any annual insurance increases until a new agreement
has been reached. The Gaba decision did not change TriMet’s
requirement to pay 100%, it only changed the plan to a 90/10)
The TA provides for cafeteria style benefits.

To maintain the current Regence 90/10 plan, employees will see
their cost go from $105.00 (the premium employees are now
paying because of the state law) to $238.35 for the family.
Anticipating these rates to be in affect through December 2015,
when the new insurance year begins January 2016, TriMet will
only pay the premium cost of what their cost for an 80/20 plan

Using the 2014/2015 increase difference, you would see your
premium for the 90/10 plan to reach or exceed $375 after the
first year and to easily exceed $550.00 per month by the second
year using TriMet’s own numbers. And they are not telling you
what the deductibles for this plan will be. BAD DEAL FOR

Then as part of the cafeteria plan, TriMet is offering a Regence
80/20 plan which would cost about what you are currently
paying for the Regence 90/10 plan. This plan, though, only
covers 80% of all services received. Have one significant
incident in one year with a family member, and you will easily
be paying more than it would have cost you to stay on the
Regence 90/10 plan. MORE OF A BAD DEAL FOR

And then there is the High Deductible HAS plan in which
TriMet will pay $408.65 a month. The only advice here is don’t
ever get sick. If you do, you will spend whatever you have
accumulated in your HAS account ant them have to sell your
home and/or other assists to pay the bills. THE WORST
TriMet has tried to get the Union leadership to agree to a
cafeteria style plan for the last 40 years and has never succeeded
until now.
Current Retirees over 65 and future retires hired before
ratification of this contract
For the past 40+ years, every leader of this local union has
vowed to and has protected retired member benefits from any
takeaways until now!

Current retired members over 65 get their medical, dental and
vision for them, their spouse and eligible dependents, paid 100%
by TriMet. No co-insurance, no deductibles, no premium costs.

Under the Hansen TA, all retirees will begin paying 5% of the
premiums for the plans they currently have paid at 100%. The
TA says for the same as current, but it doesn’t say what the
current is. Is there a deductible? If so, how much?

Then to entice retirees to drop their insurance, TriMet is offering
to contribute a monthly stipend into a retired person HRA VEBA
account. And once a retiree chooses to drop their insurance,
they can never get it back.

What a ridiculous proposal to even bring back to members. A
lot of our retirees become fragile in the later years, and to make
decisions about their insurance coverage. To be leered into
dropping their insurance for a small monthly stipend is elder
. The over 900+ 65 and older and 200 pre-65 retirees of
this union have trusted and relied on the leader of this union to
protect them and their families. A lot of these retirees will tell
you that if it had not have been for the union protecting their
benefits over the years. They would have lost everything they
owned as a result of medical bills. Now the current leader
Hansen is endorsing the reduction and elimination of retired
member benefits.

Unfortunately, this is being done to them and retired members
have no say or vote on the contract. Win or lose, retirees need to
remember who for the first time in the history between TriMet
and the union, advocated for their loss of benefits. That is where
the retiree vote will count. 

Another point to make. I hear the scare is you would lose in arbitration. Tell members to go on TriMet' website and look at their arbitration proposal. Then tell them to look at what they get in the TA. Ask them to tell you the difference. There is none or very little difference. So then, why would you not arbitrate. They are getting what they want either way. Arbitration offers a chance they get nothing!


HRSRampantLion said...

Did you edit this commentary for spelling, grammar, and highlighting, or in any other way? I just want to clarify this.

Al M said...

I highlighted.