The Newspaper Guild presented the company this week with a possible alternative for health care through an insurance fund offered to CWA members.
Begun in 1944, the United Furniture Workers Insurance Fund uses the Blue Cross/Blue Shield network. While the fund is directly connected to Blue Cross Blue Sheild of Tennessee, it provides health care throughout the country. Workers at such diverse papers as the Chicago Sun-Times, the Delaware County Times in Pennsylvania and the Amsterdam News and El Diario in New York City use the fund.
Other Guild locals in Boston and Buffalo are considering the switch.
You can check if your doctor accepts the insurance here.
“We think it’s worth exploring to see whether this insurance would be less expensive for everyone,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said. “We provided the company with the information the fund would need in order to put together a bid just like the other insurance companies did. Once that information is provided to them, we will see if that could provide a better option for all concerned.”
As long as there is a CWA union in the building, which the Guild is, the fund is willing to provide medical insurance for all employees including exempt managers and members of other unions. The Guild will continue to keep its members informed with the latest information on health care.
The Teamsters have already sent the company a letter stating that none of the options presented so far are comparable so they cannot be imposed. We agree, but we’re waiting to see what this fund can do for us before we make any final decisions on our next step.