The company replied to the Guild’s health care proposal late Wednesday, essentially offering the same deal mechanical unions accepted.
For Guild members, that would mean an increase in costs from $37.76 a week to $47, an increase of $9.24 a week or 24 percent. This figures represents both the increase in the insurance premium and a portion of the reimbursement the company has previously always paid. It also would enable the company next year to double that amount.
The company offered no language on what would happen if its estimated reimbursement figure turned out to be too high. The Guild proposed that the overcharge be paid back to members by January 15 of the next year.
The company also offered no language on what would happen if its estimate of the reimbursement proved too low. Rather than have that money added to the employees’ bill for 2014, the Guild had proposed the company pay the difference.
The union also had proposed a signing bonus of $1,000 in recognition that the company would be altering the definition of total costs permanently, which would have an impact every year. (It also would be an acknowledgement that Guild members, unlike other unions that have agreed to this proposal, have not had raises in five years due to the company’s insistence on stripping workers of bargaining rights over layoffs and outsourcing.)
The company agreed to a Guild proposal that future health care discussions begin by October 1 so we avoid the kind of last-minute rush we face this year.
The union also reminded the company Thursday that it has failed to respond to an information request the Guild filed last week. Among the data we requested is a breakdown of how much of the deductible has been paid in recent years to non-Guild members and what Rowlands and Barranca does for the money the company wants us to pay.
That information is necessary for the Guild to continue to review the company’s proposal and formulate responses.
Members should not worry about having health care come January 1. The company is required to provide comparable insurance next year. The provider will remain unchanged. The parties’ discussions are centering around the costs and how they should be properly divided.
We will continue to post updates as we have them.