Memorial Day is a time to honor those who lost their lives while serving in our country’s armed forces. It’s also a time to consider what kind of country our soldiers are coming home to after serving in the military. Let’s support our veterans who are on the front lines by fighting for a better working America at home.
Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate all the moms in our lives, and thank them for all they’ve done for us.
We’d like to wish all the moms in our UFCW family a happy Mother’s Day, and thank all the hardworking members who are mothers.
Don’t forget, on May 12th, UFCW Local 555 will be holding its second Legislative Lobby Day at the Oregon State Capitol for 2015.
We will be focused on encouraging State Senators and Representatives to support Protected Sick Leave, but will be working on other pieces of legislation as well.
Worker advocacy is fundamental to what we do and we all must do it not just in our workplaces or with our friends, but to elected leaders as well.
If you are interested in attending, please contact your Union Representative, or Renae Miller at 1-800-452-8329.
UFCW Local 555 negotiates contracts with the knowledge that legislative action, or a ballot measure, outside of the bargaining cycle, can take away what we negotiated into a contract. However, the pendulum swings both ways, and benefits can also be gained outside of the bargaining cycle through the same mechanisms. Earned Sick Day Laws are a great example of this. Political action effectively allows us to obtain improvements over our contractual benefits, while not at the bargaining table. Something like this doesn’t just happen though; it takes careful evaluation, and the right timing, to see something like this through to fruition. It’s in this respect that we carefully evaluate timing as we prepare for our coming retail negotiations.
It’s important to understand there are multiple moving parts in order to get the best contract possible. One of those, costing out contract proposals, takes into account many variables, some of which are pension, health care, and wages.
One dark cloud currently affecting costing forecast is an upcoming Supreme Court decision that could eliminate millions of Americans from medical insurance coverage. The Supreme Court will decide whether the federal government can step into states where there is no state exchange and operate a federal exchange, then provide federal subsidies to people who sign up for coverage under the federal exchange. The opponents argue that the law is only intended for states that operate their own exchange. Health care costs have been dramatically lowered, due in part, to the American Affordable Care Act insuring more Americans. Should the Supreme Court decide against individuals and families receiving subsidies on the federal exchange, millions could be excluded from coverage, which could spiral healthcare costs out of control.
I have been asked, and some of you may be wondering too, why the grocery contract campaign appears to be a little slow starting. Until the Supreme Court returns a decision on this issue we, along with all labor negotiators, are moving with reasonable caution on larger bargaining units and health care costing. If the Supreme Court rules against federal exchanges being allowed subsidies, we expect our health care trust will need additional funding. If the Supreme Court upholds the ACA, then our trust sits in a much better place. I learned many years ago, that you don’t rush to negotiations when you do not know the costs of your proposals. While retail bargaining may appear to be slow starting, our leadership team has been having regular conversations about how we proceed under either circumstance, as well as discussing the impact of other dynamics related to bargaining that are not addressed in my article today.
Dan and I are committed to building a stronger UFCW by incorporating the four building blocks of a union. All four of these elements work together to deliver more success for the membership. The four components are collective bargaining, grievance enforcement, political action, and organizing.
Recently, we have been focusing a lot on political action, effectively obtaining benefits outside of the contract for things like sick pay becoming available on the very first day. The grocery campaign will be starting after the ACA decision is made and we can know the actual costs of the proposals we make and receive.
Secretary-Treasurer UFCW Local 555
April 28th is a day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew the fight for safe workplaces. This year we will come together to call for jobs to keep workers safe and healthy, and pay fair wages.
Each year, 50,000 workers die from occupational diseases caused by exposure to toxins or other hazards at work. No one should have to trade their health for a paycheck. Learn how you can help prevent unnecessary workplace injuries and deaths by clicking here.
Also, check out this great info-graphic on the safety a union job provides.
The Clark County Commission’s anti-union resolutions appear to have disappeared after hundreds of union members attended county meetings. On April 7, 2015 UFCW members joined other union members in packing the County Commission chamber, and as of April 22, 2015, the commissioners have backed away from supporting the anti-union resolutions that would polarize workers in the county. Thank you to the members who took time to help by attending the hearing, and thank you Lorraine Engle for organizing the labor response.
The TPP rolls back consumer, environmental, and labor regulations that protect every worker and every family. It’s time for our elected representatives to do what’s right for working class Americans and our economy. Tell your Member of Congress to oppose the fast-tracking of the TPP by clicking the link below:
Last night, the Clark County Commission held open public testimony for county issues, including two anti-worker resolutions aimed at gutting the strength of Clark County’s public sector unions, public employee’s contracts, and making bargaining future contracts much more difficult. Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Anderson testified at the hearing, saying how disappointed he was that this was even an issue in consideration by the commission.
UFCW Local 555 was there in force to support our public sector brothers and sisters. Amanda Anderson, a member from Kaiser Permanente, said she “was here to support our Union Brothers and Sisters in the ongoing struggle for workers’ rights.” The hearing room was packed to the point of standing room only with union members from locals in all work sectors. Local 555 will continue to fight alongside other unions against all anti-workers resolutions and ballot initiatives in Clark County, and all of UFCW 555’s jurisdiction.
The 2013 collective bargaining agreement governing the UFCW Local 555 – Employers Health Trust provided for dental plan improvement in 2015, but only if the plan was in good enough financial shape to withstand the extra costs associated with the improvement. The good news is that the plan is in good enough shape that we can improve the benefits. The great news is that the improvements are significant and already in place.
Your dentist probably doesn’t know about the changes yet, so it makes sense for you to keep an eye on your next few bills. Even though the changes were approved in early March, the changes were effective January 1, 2015, so if you have had dental work in 2015 the new rates apply.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the UFCW Local 555 – Employers Health Trust at 800-654-4411.
UFCW LOCAL 555-EMPLOYERS HEALTH TRUST
INCREASE IN ALLOWANCE TO SELECT DENTAL PROCEDURES
|Procedure||Old Allowance||New Allowance|
|Initial Oral exam||$29.60||$41.00|
|bitewings 1 films||11.20||15.00|
|bitewings 2 films||18.40||25.00|
|bitewings 3 films||33.60||41.00|
|bitewings 4 films||33.60||41.00|
|amalgam – 1 surface permanent||48.80||103.00|
|amalgam – 2 surface permanent||56.00||121.00|
|amalgam – 3 surface permanent||68.00||168.00|
|amalgam – 4+ surface permanent||124.00||288.00|
|1 surface anterior comp||58.40||103.00|
|2 surface anterior comp||76.80||121.00|
|3 surface anterior comp||114.40||168.00|
|4 + surface anterior comp||128.00||288.00|
|1 surface posterior – primary||58.40||103.00|
|2 surface posterior – primary||76.80||121.00|
|1 surface posterior – permanent||58.40||103.00|
|1 surface posterior comp||58.40||103.00|
|2 surface posterior comp||76.80||121.00|
|3 surface posterior comp||114.00||168.00|
|Crown – Resin With High Noble Metal||440.00||595.00|
|Crown – Resin With Predominantly Base Metal||440.00||595.00|
|Crown – Resin With Noble Metal||440.00||595.00|
|Crown – Porcelain/Ceramic Substrate||440.00||595.00|
|PFM w/noble metal||448.00||595.00|
|Crown – Porcelain Fused To Predominantly Base Metal||448.00||595.00|
|Crown – Porcelain Fused To Noble Metal||448.00||595.00|
|Crown – 3/4 Cast High Noble Metal||448.00||595.00|
|Crown – 3/4 Porcelain/Ceramic||448.00||595.00|
|Crown – Full Cast High Noble Metal||496.80||595.00|
|Crown – Full Cast Predominantly Base Metal||440.00||595.00|
|Crown – Full Cast Noble Metal||431.20||595.00|
|Retreatment Of Previous Root Canal Therapy – Anterior||317.60||425.00|
|Retreatment Of Previous Root Canal Therapy – Bicuspid||380.00||503.00|
|Retreatment Of Previous Root Canal Therapy – Molar||460.00||582.00|
|Pontic – Cast High Noble Metal||439.20||595.00|
|Pontic – Cast Predominantly Base Metal||439.20||595.00|
|Pontic – Cast Noble Metal||439.20||595.00|
|Pontic – Porcelain Fused To High Noble Metal||439.20||595.00|
|Pontic – Porcelain Fused To Predominantly Base Metal||416.00||595.00|
|Pontic – Porcelain Fused To Noble Metal||439.20||595.00|
|Pontic – Resin With High Noble Metal||408.00||595.00|
|Pontic – Resin With Predominantly Base Metal||408.00||595.00|
|Pontic – Resin With Noble Metal||408.00||595.00|
|Crown – Resin With High Noble Metal||448.00||595.00|
|Crown – Resin With Predominantly Base Metal||420.00||595.00|
|Crown – Porcelain Fused To High Noble Metal||439.20||595.00|
|Crown – 3/4 Cast High Noble Metal||420.00||595.00|
|Crown – Full Cast High Noble Metal||424.00||595.00|
|Crown – Full Cast Predominantly Base Metal||396.00||595.00|
|Crown – Full Cast Noble Metal||396.00||595.00|
|soft tissue ext||107.20||185.00|
|Removal Of Impacted Tooth – Partially Bony||158.20||236.00|
|Removal Of Impacted Tooth – Completely Bony||213.60||291.40|
|Removal Of Impacted Tooth – Completely Bony, With Unusual Surgical Complications||238.40||316.20|
|Surgical Removal Of Residual Tooth Roots||158.40||236.20|
Washington State passed a law called “Home Rule” that gives communities the right to pass local laws on an expanded variety of subjects. Unfortunately, Clark County politicians are using this opportunity to pass laws that weaken public sector unions.
On April 7, 2015, the Clark County Commission will take up two anti-worker resolutions aimed at gutting the strength of Clark County’s public sector unions, public employee’s contracts, and making bargaining future contracts much more difficult. The meeting on April 7th at 6 pm, will be held at 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver, WA on the 6th floor.
It is important that we show solidarity with our Public Sector Union Brothers and Sisters. If you are able to attend this hearing to show solidarity, please contact your Union Representative by calling the union office at 1-800-452-8329.