After multiple meetings and negotiations The Union and the Company have agreed on an added incentive to an IPP offer for the fourth quarter. This incentive will be similar to the offer made in 2010. This incentive will add a $40,000 supplemental bonus, will raise the cap for IPP payments from 30 years to 40 years, waive the age based reduction for early retirement and calculate the lump sum using the better interest rate between December and the first quarter 2015. . This offer will reach all job titles and locations but some titles may be an IPP B offer. This would mean acceptance would be based on a qualified volunteer. Discussions between the Union and the Company are still taking place regarding job titles and locations. Dates are tentative right now but the IPP A will be around the second week of November with an Off property date of December 21st. Any IPP B dates would be after that Dec 21st date and into 2015. This would be due to canvassing and finding replacements for IPP B volunteers. At this time we do not have the surplus numbers. These figures are being adjusted and have not been finalized. When we have the surplus numbers and the official dates for an offer we will update this tape. We will arrange financial seminars for members and their spouses. These dates and locations have not been finalized.
We understand that an offer like this seems very attractive to many of you. Please take the time to go through numbers and make an educated decision. Understand that only pension eligible members will receive healthcare when they retire. If are not pension eligible you will not receive healthcare. Also if you are not pension eligible your monetary calculation will be much lower. You will take a financial cut. A decision to retire or to accept an offer like this should not be taken lightly and should be done through education and not emotion. If you have any questions please call the office.
Open Enrollment for your benefits will take place beginning Oct 21st and continuing until midnight November 4th. Members should receive notification from the Company in the mail. Open enrollment is an opportunity to make changes to your coverage for plan year 2015. Changes such as medical and dental coverage, add or remove a dependent and changes to your healthcare spending accounts and dependent day care accounts. This open enrollment is the only time you can make changes to your benefits unless you have a qualified life event during the year. There are some minor changes to the MEP and HCN healthcare plans that are described in the company mailing. If you need to add or remove a dependent from your coverage this open enrollment is the time to do so. The company has once again waived the healthcare Assessment for 2015. This means if you have already taken the assessment to receive the $100 credit in the past two years then you do not need to take it again. You will automatically receive the credit in 2015. If all your elections are the same as 2014 then you will not need to do anything, your selections will carry over. I urge everyone to look at all their elections and verify that they are all correct. All changes and all your information can be seen at Verizon.com/benefitsconnection. Log in to the website and verify your information. If you have any questions regarding open enrollment please call the office
Midnight October 16th the System Council T9 and Cwa Local 1400 have exercised their right to strike. IBEW Locals 2320, 2326 and 2327 went on strike to defend the attack that Fairpoint has taken on the 2800 bargained for members of the Northern States. This past week Fairpoint froze the pensions of over 2000 members and last month stripped the healthcare of all retirees. In the coming weeks healthcare plans will change for active members to an inferior plan and will include hundreds of dollars in monthly premiums. Please support our brothers and sisters in the Northern States in their battle for a fair contract.
To the members here in Massachusettss and Rhode Island, please take this situation in the North as a wake up call. Corporate America cares about one thing and only one thing. The mighty dollar…Corporations as well as Republican leaders do not want UNIONS. They do not want you grouping as one to fight them. They want you one on one. Collective Bargaining is not in their vocabulary. Remember without Unions and without collective bargaining you are a sitting duck to these greedy corporations. They don’t want to pay you what you deserve, they want that money for themselves.
Our contract with Verizon expires midnight August 1st. That is 277 days from today. Verizon is paying close attention to what happens in the Northern States. Do not be caught off guard and do not be naïve. Prepare yourselves for another battle. Save to defend your future. We will be ready and we will defend our contract as we always have. There is no other option. So once again, take this as a wake up call and start to prepare yourself and your family for another battle.