Each fall, there will be an open enrollment period for health insurance. At that time, you will be required to make a positive election to continue coverage for yourself and any dependents you want covered. If you do not make this election you and your dependents will not be eligible for any plan benefits for the following year. You may also add or remove eligible dependents from your medical, dental, and vision coverage. Any changes you make will be effective on January 1, 2016. You enroll by submitting a completed enrollment form to the Administration Office by the required date. Enrollment forms will be mailed to all eligible Members. Look for them in your mailbox next month. Failure to complete and return this form will cause loss of health plan eligibility for 2016! There are issues every year of members ignoring this mailout and we are scrambling to get their insurance reinstated after the deadline. Don’t be one of them! If you have had a change in address or have not received a form by November 30th, please contact the Plan Administrator at 561-5119 or (800)325-6532 ext 4240 and the UFCW Local 1496 Office at 258-1496 or (800)478-1496.
All Union members are not to perform any work off the clock. “NO FREE TIME”! Members are prohibited from performing any work when they are not clocked in. Even when confronted with reduced hours and increased workloads, working off the clock is a violation of your Union Contract and Company Policy. Any person in violation of this can be subject to immediate dismissal. If you don’t have time to finish a job during your shift, ask management for approval for overtime to finish or someone else on the clock will have to perform the task. Working through breaks is not acceptable either. To work through a rest period is taking away time that should be paid for work performed by others in the workplace. Every Member for every shift scheduled is granted at least one paid uninterrupted rest period.
UFCW 8-Golden State members in Northern and Central California voted overwhelmingly to ratify new contracts with Safeway and Vons. The four-year agreement with Safeway, affecting approximately 9,000 workers at 130 Safeway stores, as well as retirees, includes wage increases and bonuses. Health care and pension benefits remain the same, with no additional premiums or out-of-pocket health-care costs to workers. New language in the agreement includes improved sick leave and fewer restrictions about how it can be used. The separate four-year agreement with Vons accomplishes similar protections and enhancements for approximately 500 Union employees at several Vons stores. “We are very proud of this agreement,” said Jacques Loveall, President of UFCW 8-Golden State. “These new contracts secure the highest wages, the finest benefits and the most generous pension plans in the grocery industry. Once again, our members proved Solidarity Works.” Contract negotiations continue between the union and representatives from Save Mart, Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods.
On October 21st and 22nd, the Anchorage Eagle River UFCW Local 1496 members voted overwhelmingtly to accept and ratify a fully recommended 3-year agreement. All classifications will receive a bonus as soon as possible after ratification from Safeway/Albertsons payroll. Thanks go out to our members who served on the negotiating committee and to those that took time out of their busy lives to come and vote. Congratulations on a job well done!
Dave Cook, President of the UFCW Local 655, Steven Straher, President of UFCW Local 88, and Tom Price, President of UFCW Local 2, representing 20,000 workers across Missouri, released the following statement in response to Governor Jay Nixon's veto to "Right to Work" legislation being sustained by the legislature.
"Today is a victory for hard-working men and women and their families all across Missouri. It should be noted that Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Union and non-union families stood together to stop "Right to Work" legislation. We thank legislators from both sides of the aisle for voting to preserve the rights of middle class workers. Our families spend the summer hosting phone banks and canvassing every corner of Missouri to build community support for this very moment. Governor Nixon's veto of harmful and unfair "Right to Work" legislation was sustained because Missourians saw this bill for what it really was-an attack upon every worker in our state regardless of party. Although this battle is over, we will never stop fighting for hard-working Missouri families who hope for and deserve better lives."
Erratic Scheduling, low-wage part-time jobs, trade deals that ship good jobs overseas, and skyrocketing income inequality are all themes of a national print campaign that was released Labor Day weekend by the UFCW. The ad is an open letter to hard-working families and makes clear to everyone that on one in America should have to fight for a better life alone. The following are excerpts from the letter:
"Today, millions of hard-working families struggle to survive on low-paying full-time jobs or low-wage part-time jobs."
"Erratic hours and scheduling make it impossible to control their lives."
Trade deals ship good jobs overseas while offering false promises of better jobs tomorrow."
Irresponsible corporations like Walmart treat their employees and their families as if they were dispensable."
"The question that must be asked is how long can this nation endure when so few have so much, and so many have so little? For the sake of a better America, the time has come for real change."
"Our message to retail workers, and to all hard-working men and women is a simple one-you and your family deserve better. By joining together, we can help you fight for it."
"For those retail workers who have questions, concerns, or even doubts, please reach out to us as email@example.com. We are determined to earn your trust and support. Lets prove that by becoming partners we can change your life, and the lives of million of retail workers for the better."
There is a new extension number for Labor Trust Services and Medical Eligibility. The old extension was for Irene (4236). The new extension is now 4240 for Lindsey. The phone numbers remain the same - 561-5119 for Anchorage area and 1-800-325-6532 for communities outside of Anchorage.
As most of you know, The Alaska United Food and Commercial Workers Pension and Health and Welfare Trusts have established a web site to provide you with immediate access to your plan information. The site, located at www.akufcwtrust.com includes the following Trust related material:
Health & Welfare Pension
1. Forms—Medical, Documents and Notices 1. Forms—Retirement, Documents and Notices
2. Plan Booklet and Summary Material Modifications 2. Plan Booklet
3. Links to Health Plan Provider Networks & Other Useful Sites 3. Links to Other Useful Sites
4. HIPAA Privacy Notice and Information 4. Local Unions’ Contact Information
5. Local Unions’ Contact Information
The site was recently updated to provide you with “My Personal Benefit” information, which may be viewed through a secure location requiring the entry of a personal identification number (PIN) and your SSN or WPAS ID number. A PIN will be assigned and mailed to you upon your written request. You should have received a form in the mail a couple of months ago. “My Personal Benefits” information includes the following data:
1. Personal Information—name, address, gender, birthdate, marital status, etc.
2. Health Plan Eligibility—eligibility in the current and past eleven months
3. Retirement—years of service, total hours, and benefit amount
4. Hours/Contributions—Statement showing employers reporting hours and contributions to the Trust on your behalf
5. Dependent Enrollment Information—name of enrolled dependents
6. Beneficiary Designation
7. Medical/Dental Claims Summary and Paid Claims Detail
If you have any questions about the contents of the web site or access to “My Personal Benefit” information, please feel free to contact the Administration Office Eligibility Department at (800) 478-8329, option 4.
We have ordered new black polo shirts with a Local 1496 logo on it. These were produced by UFCW union members and made in the USA. If you would like to purchase one or more of these shirts, just give us a call at 907-258-1496. or come by our office at 501 W. Northern Lights Blvd. in Anchorage. We have sizes small through 4X. Small to XL are $22 and 2X to 4X are $25. You can also have a chance to win one of these shirts by coming to the general membership meetings. See the front page for dates and times. One member wins at each meeting.