Local union leaders representing UPS Teamsters who currently receive TeamCare health care benefits and those moving into the TeamCare plan met in Chicago today to learn about improvements made since the UPS National Master Agreement was ratified in June.
"When we started our contract negotiations with UPS last year, the company made it abundantly clear that they wanted out of the health insurance business," said Ken Hall, General Secretary-Treasurer and Co-Chair of the UPS National Negotiating Committee. "They were intent on replacing the company plan with one that cut benefits, slashed retiree health care and required UPS members to contribute thousands of dollars every year in premiums, deductibles and co-pays."
TeamCare today unveiled changes the trustees have made to the plan, which were made possible by the influx of new participants into TeamCare. The improvements apply to all UPS Teamsters covered by TeamCare, existing participants and new participants.
"We know that many of these supplements and riders went down because of our members concerns over switching from the company plan to TeamCare," said Jim Hoffa, General President and Chairman of the UPS National Negotiating Committee. "And even though the change from the company plan to TeamCare was in the National Master agreement, Ken and I knew we had to improve the plan before we went back to vote the supplements and riders. We heard our members' concerns and we went to work to address them."
"Since TeamCare will have an influx of hundreds of thousands of Teamster participants and their families, their bargaining power in the industry has increased," added Hall. "We went to TeamCare to find out what improvements would be possible with this increased power. This allowed the trustees of the plan to make some improvements to the initial plan that are important to our members."
The improvements were well received by local union leaders.
"I'm impressed with the improvements that were made to the plan," said Greg Lowran, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 243 and Michigan UPS State Chairman. "We've seen what UPS is doing to the health care of their nonunion employees. This plan ensures our members have the best health care available for the full term of the national contract."