The push to raise the minimum wage could make headway in the conservative heartland in the November elections. Voters in the Republican-controlled states of Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota will consider ballot initiatives in November that would raise the minimum wage above the national rate of $7.25/hr. Since last year, some 13 states and 6 cities, have raised their own minimum wages. Voters haven’t rejected a minimum wage hike at the ballot since 1996 and have approved 13 raises since then. In Seattle, the minimum wage will gradually rise to $15 an hour by 2021, the nation’s highest. San Diego just approved an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by January 2017. In Alaska, the proposal would raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.75 by 2016 and adjust it for inflation after that. Be sure to register and vote on November 4th to pass this initiative.
DATE DAY PLACE TIME
10/28/14 Tues Anchorage/Eagle River @ UFCW Office (501 W. Northern Lights Blvd) 9:00 AM & 5:00 PM
10/29/14 Wed Palmer/Wasilla @ A T & T Center-Palmer 6:00 PM
10/30/14 Thurs Eagle River @ Parks & Rec ( 12001 Business Blvd) 5:00 PM
11/5/14 Wed Fairbanks @ UFCW Office 2120 S. Cushman Suite 201 9:00 AM & 5:00 PM
11/5/14 Wed North Pole @ North Pole Plaza (next to Ben Franklin) 3:00 PM
11/10/14 Mon Ketchikan @ IBEW 7:00 PM
11/11/14 Tues Ketchikan @ Best Western Landing 9:00 AM
11/12/14 Wed Petersburg @ Scandia House 7:00 PM
11/13/14 Thurs Petersburg @ Scandia House 9:00 AM
11/13/14 Thurs Juneau @ Travel Lodge Glacier Hwy 6:00 PM
11/17/14 Mon Homer @ Bidarka Inn (Downstairs Conference Room) 6:00 PM
11/18/14 Tues Kenai/Soldotna @ Aspen Hotel (Kenai) 4:00 PM
11/19/14 Wed Kenai/Soldotna @ Aspen Hotel (Kenai) 9:00 AM
11/19/14 Wed Seward @ Holiday Inn Express (Conference Room) 6:00 PM
Come to the meetings and stay informed! SOLIDARITY WORKS!
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE UFCW HEALTH AND WELFARE PLAN:
Attention: All UFCW Members currently eligible and enrolled with dependents in the Alaska UFCW Health and Welfare Plan.
The Alaska United Food and Commercial Workers Health and Welfare Trust has asked the independent firm HMS Employer Solutions to verify that all dependents enrolled in the Health Plan meet the eligibility guidelines set forth in the Alaska UFCW Health and Welfare Summary Plan Document. All participants with enrolled dependents should have received a letter/dependent verification form in the mail from HMS. In order for dependents to continue receiving benefits the participant must submit proof of dependent eligibility no later than October 10, 2014. The document explains how to respond.
If you have not received the letter/form in the mail or misplaced it you can get a copy online:
Effective September 1, 2014, Aetna will replace the BeechStreet Network as the preferred Provider Organization (PPO) for the Alaska United Food and Commercial Workers Health and Welfare Trust. Under this Shared Administration arrangement, WPAS/LTS will continue to process your health claims. Both Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage and Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in the Valley will continue to serve as the Plan’s preferred provider hospital and care facility. For other physicians and hospitals in Alaska, you can refer to Aetna’s online preferred provider directory (www.Aetna.com/docfind) to verify that your doctor and care facility are part of the Aetna PPO network. Aetna contracted providers have agreed to provide services and/or supplies at a discounted fee to you and your eligible dependents covered by the Plan. This helps the Trust control costs and reduces your out-of-pocket expenses. You may select any provider or hospital, but non-PPO services will result in a lesser payment by the Plan, and you will be responsible for a greater share of the cost of the claim. Watch for your new cards identifying you as an Aetna network member and also a new Prescription Drug identification card from Avia Partners. This new card is used only at the pharmacy or for the mail order program—it no longer contains medical plan information. For pre-certification on hospitalization and outpatient services, contact Aetna at (888) 632-3862. This contact number will also be shown on the reverse side of your new Medical Plan identification card. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the Administration Office at (800) 478-8329. In the near future, you should be receiving additional information regarding Aetna and your new cards.
The Alaska UFCW Health & Welfare Trust invites you and your eligible dependents to participate in The Alaska Coalition Health Fairs from 8am-12 noon at the following locations:
Mat Su Valley: September 27th—Mat-Su Regional Hospital—2500 S. Woodworth Loop-Palmer.
Anchorage: October 4th & 5th & November 8th & 9th—Alaska Regional Hospital—2801 DeBarr Road.
Soldotna: October 18—Central Peninsula Hospital—250 Hospital Place.
Juneau: October 18th—Centennial Hall—101 Egan Drive.
Fairbanks: October 25th & 26th—Carlson Center—2010 Second Avenue.
Testing is available to adults over age 18. Test results will be sent to you directly. To save time, you may pre-register for lab tests at www.coalitionhealthfair.org. Pre-registration closes Wednesday before the fair.
These tests are paid 100% by your health plan.
Chemistry/Hematology: This is a comprehensive blood test that screens kidney function, liver enzymes, electrolyte (salt) imbalance, diabetes, tissue disease or damage, coronary heart disease and more. In order to obtain valid results, it is recommended that you fast for 12 hours before testing. Fasting means no food or drink except water. (Diabetics should NOT fast. In all cases, prescription medication should be taken).
Thyroid screen: You may want to do this test if you have a family history of thyroid problems, if you are a female over age 45, or if you are experiencing unexplained weight loss or gain, depression, memory loss, or have a swollen thyroid.
Prostate disease screen: Men should have this test annually starting at age 50. Americans of African descent and men with a family history of prostrate cancer should start screening at age 40.
Vitamin D Test: This test is for those who are on a Vitamin D regimen and who are considering Vitamin D supplements.
Flu Shots: Flu shots will be offered to eligible participants age 9 and over (age 13 for Juneau) at no cost to you-pending availability of flu vaccine.
Be good to yourself and your family! Regular health screenings can help you learn about your health and detect potential problems early.
The Trust if offering another option for surgical care. The BridgeHealth Surgery Benefit Management Program provides access to surgical Centers of Excellence in the lower 48 states at significantly lower costs. Some of the procedures covered in this plan are knees, hips and shoulders, heart bypass and valve replacement, spin fusion, discectomy and many general surgeries. If you’re planning a major medical procedure, give them a call at 1-888-387-3909 (www.bridgehealthmedical.com) and you will be set up with a BridgeHealth care coordinator who will help you choose the best available option for you. When you call, be sure to mention that your company code is UFCWA and that you are from the ALASKA UFCW Health and Welfare Trust.
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
If you have any questions about the contents of the web site information, please feel free to contact Jeremey Rivas at the Administration Office at (206) 441-7574 or toll free at (800)478-8329, extension 3314. **Reminder-it is a good idea to make sure we have your current address as the open enrollment for next year is about to be mailed soon. You can call us at 907-258-1496, toll free at 1-800-478-1496 or Fairbanks, 907-456-6571. You can also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is with kind regards that we wish Frank Mutchie a very heartfelt goodbye. Frank is relocating to Hawaii at the end of June. He started his relationship with the UFCW as a bagger for Albertsons in Sacramento, California in 1984. He moved to Alaska in 1993 and was hired by Carrs. He became a PIC then moved into the grocery department as an assistant manager, then manager. He came to the Union as a Representative in 2007. We cannot say enough about Frank to describe what a pleasure it has been to work with him over the years. He has been an outstanding colleague, and an asset to Local 1496 on many levels. Frank has always kept the best interest of the membership in mind while performing his duties as Union Representative and Secretary Treasurer of our Union. He has consistently gone above and beyond. With that, all we can say is, “Aloha Mr. Mutchie, you will be missed!”
On May 22, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board conducted a secret ballot election on behalf of the Meat & Seafood employees at the Fred Meyer Debarr Road/Muldoon location. These employees exercised their legal right to join a Union and by electing the UFCW Local 1496 as their sole representative for the purpose of collective bargaining with respect to wages, benefits and all other terms and conditions of employment. There is a mandatory seven (7) day waiting period in which either side can file objections to the election. After that, we will request formal negotiations with the Employer. Please join us in saying, ”Welcome aboard, Fred Meyer Muldoon Meat and Seafood!”.
Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, released the following in response to Safeway’s announced sale to Cerberus Capital Management: “Safeway announced that it has reached an agreement to be purchased by Cerberus Capital Management which currently operates supermarkets across the country under the Albertson’s, Acme, Jewel-Osco and Shaw’s banners, among other stores. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union represents tens of thousands of workers within these two companies. Through ups and downs, the UFCW has maintained good relationships with both Safeway and Cerberus. The UFCW will work closely with Safeway and Cerberus through the acquisition process and beyond so that these major supermarket companies can maintain strong market share and that our members can continue to serve customers and their communities.” The Southern California locals are in negotiations for a new contract with the corporate parents of Vons and Albertsons and the announcement won’t change that. Local 770, which represents Los Angeles County workers, issued a statement after the news that Cerberus, the private equity firm that has owned Albertsons for more than a year, has reached a preliminary deal to buy Vons’ owner Safeway. It does not seem like that will have much affect, if any, on contract negotiations, which are ongoing between Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs and the UFCW. For one thing, there are still many details relating to the buyout still to be worked out. It could take a year before it closes. Also, Cerberus already has a relationship with the UFCW and it has “been assured that the company will continue to work with the Unions.”