Yes, go to the health-care meetings

Guild leaders are being asked whether members should go to the health-care meetings the Company has scheduled.

The answer is: Yes. We believe our members should be well-informed about the Company’s proposed switch to an MVP plan. The union has made clear its position that the change cannot be made without a vote of the membership and that a switch in health care should be part of an overall contract settlement.

The Company appears to be preparing to switch everyone without consent, arguing that the contract says the Company must offer the current health plan or a “comparable”  one. Times Union officials are claiming the MVP plan is comparable; Guild leaders say it’s high deductible makes it a very different kind of plan, more akin to a catastrophic-care plan.

Guild leaders are also concerned that while the Company says it will cover all but $750 of the deductible in the first year, it opens the door to that amount being raised in future years.

The Guild’s Executive Board will meet at 7 p.m. this Thursday at the union’s office at the Albany Labor Temple, 890 Third St., Albany. (It’s behind the OTB Teletheater.) Board members will discuss contract negotiations and the health-care issue, and we will likely schedule a membership meeting for you to voice your thoughts. (The Executive Board meeting, as always, is also open to all members to attend.)

The board will also need to have a membership meeting to fill an opening on the Executive Board. Renee Bernard, who did a wonderful job as a board member for several years, had to step down due to a serious illness in her family. (We passed a resolution honoring Renee for her service.)

We are looking to fill the remaining year on Renee’s term as third second vice president. (Oops, John DeMania is third vice president. Sorry about that, John.) We’ll explain the process if you’re interested in that position in an upcoming flier once we set a membership meeting date.

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