With your Union contracts set to expire at midnight September 28th, we wanted to bring you urgent up to date information on the current state of negotiations with your employer.
As predicted, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is having a major impact on our negotiations with Stop & Shop and King Kullen. The legislation that was passed into law in 2013 contains over 20,000 pages of rules and regulations that must be reviewed and interpreted prior to being implemented by the Trustees of our Health and Welfare Plans. This has greatly slowed any progress we normally would expect at this stage of the negotiations with Stop & Shop and King Kullen’s officials.
The following are important points that you should be aware of regarding the ACA and its affect on these negotiations and your Union contract:
- The Local 1500 Health and Welfare Plan Trustees have been advised to expect the new regulations created by the ACA to increase the cost of providing you a Health and Welfare Plan.
- Since the ACA law was passed in 2010, Federal agencies have been announcing so many changes to ACA that it has been very difficult for your Union bargaining committee to negotiate a final solution. It is difficult to finalize a new Health and Welfare Plan when the Federal government keeps changing the rules.
- Due to the complexity of the ACA, the Union and Management Trustees for the UFCW Local 1500 Health and Welfare Plan have hired experienced healthcare consultants to advise us on the ACA. Additionally, UFCW Local 1500’s leadership has hired its own healthcare consultants. It is the Union’s number one priority to make sure we understand this new massive federal law to the best of our ability and to minimize the cost impact on your Health & Welfare Plan.
- The new rules and regulations will affect all UFCW Local 1500 healthcare participants regardless if you participate in the Full-Time, Part-Time or Special Part-Time plans.
- The ACA is not going to be repealed by Congress any time soon, if ever. It is the law of the land and the UFCW Local 1500 Health and Welfare Fund is required to implement its provisions.
Until the full economic impact of the Affordable Care Act can be clearly understood, it is difficult to make progress on other provisions of the Union’s contract proposals we know are also important, such as the Local 1500 Pension Plan, wage increases and several other issues.
Again, these negotiations are unlike any previous negotiations our Union has seen. Although the process has been impacted by the new ACA regulations, the goal of your Union Bargaining Committee has not changed; to deliver a strong contract that continues to provide our members comprehensive and affordable healthcare, a fair wage increase and a secure pension.
Please remember to stay united and stay informed. Together, UFCW Local 1500 members are One Union with One Voice!
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