There is nothing new to report on the Anchorage Safeway contract as we have been unable to successfully coordinate dates with the Employer to resume negotiations. We are hoping to secure dates in September. The Union and Safeway signed an agreement extending your current agreement until we can reach terms on a new one. So those of you under the Anchorage agreement can rest assured your wages and benefits are protected moving forward. In other areas, the Market Basket/Thrifty Liquor employees in Fairbanks ratified a three year agreement August 13th. We negotiated in Petersburg and reached a tentative agreement that will be voted on in September. Congratulations to those members. We will be in Ketchikan negotiating with Tatsudas IGA on August 24th and 25th.
The Alaska UFCW Health and Welfare Trust Fund invites you and your eligible dependents to participate in the Alaska Coalition 2015 Health Fair. You MUST pre-register for the following fairs. Pre-register for lab tests and flu shots open on August 19th at www.coalitionhealthfair.org or call 907-264-1313 or 844-569-1313 (toll free). Pre-registration closes Wednesday before the fair. All times for the fairs are 8 AM to 12 noon:
Ketchikan: September 20th at the Ted Ferry Civic Center, 888 Venetian Avenue.
Fairbanks: September 26th & 27th at Carlson Center, 2010 Second Avenue.
Anchorage: October 3rd & 4th at East High School, 4025 E. Northern Lights Blvd.
Juneau: October 24th at Centennial Hall, 101 Egan Drive.
Anchorage: October 31st & November 1st at Alaska Regional Hospital, 2801 DeBarr Rd.
Pre-Registration is encouraged for the following fairs:
Mat-Su Valley: September 26th at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, 2500 S. Woodsworth Loop-Palmer.
Soldotna: October 24th at Central Peninsula Hospital, 250 Hospital Place.
The following lab tests are available to adults over age 18. Test results will be sent to you directly.
Chemistry/Hematology Profile: No cost to you - 100% paid by your health plan
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: No cost to you - 100% paid by your health plan
You may want to do this test if you have a family history of thyroid problems, if you are female over the age of 45, or if you are experiencing unexplained weight loss or gain, depression, memory loss or have a swollen thyroid.
Prostate Disease Screen: No cost to you - 100% paid by your health plan
Men should have this test annually starting at age 50. Americans of African descent and men with a family history of prostate cancer should start screening at age 40.
Vitamin D test: No cost to you - 100% paid by your health plan
This test if for those who are on a Vitamin D regimen or who are considering Vitamin D supplements.
Flu shots will be offered to eligible participants age 9 and over at no cost to you - 100% paid by the Alaska Coalition - 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.
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.
The Annual Fairbanks Labor Day parade and picnic is on September 7th. The parade starts at 12:00 noon at the Noel Wien Library and ends at the Pioneer Park. The picnic is being held there starting at 1:00 pm. The admission is $5 per person or $10 per family. Those who walk in the parade will be admitted to the picnic for free. Any questions or need additional information, just give our Fairbanks Office a call at 456-6571.
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.
At the UFCW, we believe that if you do the work, you deserve to be compensated.
Unfortunately, not everyone has a voice on the job, and every day, millions of Americans work more than 40 hours per week with no pay. That’s because the salary threshold for overtime pay has been raised only once since 1975.
The current salary threshold is $23,660, which is lower than the federal poverty level for a family of four. This outdated system has given corporations a free pass to schedule low-level supervisors and managers for more than 40 hours per week without providing them with any overtime pay.
But that’s about to change because the U.S. Department of Labor is raising the bar on employers by setting a higher salary threshold for overtime protection so that more salaried workers will be eligible to earn overtime when they work more than 40 hours in one week. The proposed regulation will increase the overtime salary threshold to $50,440 per year by 2016, and extend overtime protection to almost 5 million additional workers, including those in the food and non-food retail sector.
The new overtime regulation will benefit workers everywhere and make it harder for employers to misclassify workers as supervisors. It is the most significant step the Obama Administration can take on its own to address our country’s low-wage, part-time economy, and will improve the standard of living for millions of Americans.
All workers deserve to be compensated for their hard work—so please take a few minutes to show your support by visiting: www.ufcwaction.org/overtime.
Yes, it is true that the state of Alaska has legalized the use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. However, this has no effect on employment laws. The new law explicitly states that it is not intended to require employers to permit the consumption, possession, transfer, growth or sale of marijuana at the place of employment, nor is it intended to affect employer policies restricting marijuana use. In other words, you cannot bring this substance to work, use at work, or come to work impaired with marijuana in your system. Just like alcohol, which is also legal, if you are impaired or get hurt because you are impaired and test positive, your employer may discipline you with a suspension and/or termination. Most companies have a zero tolerance for any use of marijuana on or off the job. If you have any questions, please check your company policy.
Does Local 1496 have your current information? Have you moved, or changed phone numbers? Many members do not receive their refunds when dues sometimes get over-paid or important news may not be received because we can’t contact you. Please make sure our information for you is up to date, give us a call so we can more effectively serve you. Also, don’t forget to give your current information to Labor Trust Services.
The Los Angeles City Council gave initial approval to raising minimum pay in the nation’s second largest city to $15 and hour by 2020, a key step as wages in America have stagnated. If enacted, Los Angeles would join Seattle and San Francisco as some of the largest cities in the nation with phased-in minimum wage laws. The Council voted 14-1 after residents made impassioned statements for and against the plan that would progressively bump up the wage from the current $9 and hour, also the minimum for California. The 9 million jobs lost during the recession have played a role in keeping wages down around the nation and even the recovery has had limited impact. Yet pressure to raise the minimum wage has been building around the country and in Los Angeles, which has some of the highest housing costs in the nation. The labor unions have also been active in calling for increases and in organizing low-paid workers such as hotel cleaners, fast-food clerks and chain-store employees. The Los Angeles ordinance would raise the minimum wage from $9 to $10.50 in July 2016, followed by annual increases until 2020. Nonprofits and businesses with 25 or fewer employees would have an additional year to reach the $15 plateau. “The impact of cities of increasing the minimum wage is debatable,” said Chris Tilly, director of the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. His institute concluded that hiking pay could result in some businesses cutting jobs but that would be offset because workers with more cash will spend it, increasing business demand. Minimum wages in San Francisco and Oakland recently jumped to $12.25 an hour. A voter-approved measure will raise the wage in San Francisco to $15 in 2018. In April, Seattle began phasing in its new $15 minimum wage law which will take final effect in 2017.