IUE-CWA LOCAL 201 GE CONTRACT 2011 REPORTS

 


GE CONTRACT 2011 - REPORT # 27

GE has been handing out in the shop and mailing to member's homes a 16 page "Focus" GE "summary" of the contract agreement lauding over how good it is. It hides and disguises and the serious long term devastating impact of the agreement on all our members.

JOB and INCOME Security

GE titles page 7 "Job & Income Security -Protection for the future" and then details the "SERO Window" and "VRIP" programs. These are NOT Job Security Programs! They are simply early retirement programs designed to get our current legacy employees ( with pension and benefits)) out of the plant quicker. There is NO REPLACEMENT feature attached to these programs. It will mean more jobs lost for locals.

Then on page 8, GE announces that "SERO and SERO 30 are renewed". This is really misleading. The main form of job security we had was the high seniority member volunteering for SERO to protect the young seniority member from going to the street. This contract strips the SERO volunteer for being eligible for pension supplements, post 65 medical insurance, retiree life insurance and makes them pay 100% of plan cost to retain pre-65 medical insurance and dental insurance. Who is going to take a SERO now with no benefits? The impact of this is serious- managers now can farm out work and issue layoffs without having to worry about the cost of a SERO. The deterrent to layoffs is gone! So, the young worker now will get reduced in rate or "hit the street" on layoff. SERO 30 rarely ever happens due to the tough qualifiers and even if it does in a rare occasion- no one will take it as the same benefits that have been stripped form SERO are stripped from SERO 30.The Focus should have stated "SERO and SERO 30 GONE for ALL practical purposes!" This is really a serious problem with major negative ramifications.

NEW HIRES AND THE REST OF OUR Future

The GE Focus newsletter buries what happens to New Hires in a box at the bottom of page 14. The box tells members what new hires will now get and in only one line says they "will not be eligible to participate in the GE Pension Plan and Company-provided life insurance ends" (at retirement). They do NOT list ALL the things the NEW HIRE shall lose.

 We will list them.The New Hire loses:

1. Their Defined Benefit Pension Plan

2. Their Personal Pension Plan (PPA)

3. Their Voluntary Pension Plan (VPA)

4. Their Pension Supplements ( Regular & Special)

5. Their Post-65 Medical Insuranc

6. Their retiree Life Insurance

7. Their pre-65 medical and Dental Insurance (unless they pay 50% of the plan costs)

Within 8 years, the New Hires will be the majority of GE employees. Will they care about negotiating improvements in any of these above plans they do not have ???? (but many of us are still in either as a working member, pre-65 retiree or post-65 retiree) Will they really care about us or will they blame us for giving away their pension and benefits?  The future is in real danger if this Contract is ratified! This is a truly a "legacy"  Contract for our next generation and a "legacy" contract we should not want to be have any part of !!!!

MEDICAL BENEFITS

Focus then has over 4 pages (10-13, & 16)  dedicated to their New Health Choice Plan. The amount of detail can be confusing.  Let's simplify it.

Let's use an average member with spouse with 2 person insurance in the $50,000-74,999 wage bracket. Under our current HCP, that members contributes $28.65 per week. That member will now pay $39.43 under Option #1 (the safest option) under the new proposed Health Care Choice Plan in 2012. That amounts to $2,050 annually for just the premium.That is almost a 38% contribution increase! And then in 2014, there is another approximate 19 % increase in contribution rates for this couple bringing their premium to $47.12. Similar such increases happen for anyone taking the "safest" Option #1 plan.

And what does this couple get for paying these large increases that they do not have now under HCP? GE gives them a $900 annual HRA Credit. (sounds good). Oops- GE also gives the couple a $1600 annual deductible that they do not have now in HCP. But that means they can use their HRA to pay off $900 of the $1600 deductible, so they will only be out $700 of their own money plus their premium payments, when they have paid off their deductible. Now, they finally can get their medical insurance to pay for something. But almost all procedures and services are subject to the couple paying 20% of each service unlike under HCP. So a couple of hospital stays or expensive procedures and the couple has to pay up to their co-insurance max (in this case $1,875). This is the medical benefit package the couple is paying an a 38% contribution increase for????

This package is slightly better than the terrible package GE salaried was forced to take recover. It will be only a matter of time (next contract) that the hourly package is identical with the hated Salaried package.

This contract package is covered with glitter but hiding some real serious structural huge setbacks that we may never be able to recover from It. It need rejected or the future does not look good.