- Leading the Way In Y2K
National Negotiations 2000
Not GE's Wealth
publications have left no doubt that the Company is after yet another round of
medical insurance cost shifting onto the backs of GE workers in the upcoming
national negotiations. This is despite the fact that our out-of-pocket medical
expenses have skyrocketed in recent years while the companys aggregate
costs have substantially declined.
The average GE worker with dependents in Health Care
Preferred (HCP) is now paying about $700 a year in contributions alone!
This amount includes 9.5 cents in "diverted" COLA that never made it
into our paychecks, but of course does not count the various and sundry
co-pays that were also stuck with.
For those in the traditional Comprehensive Medical Benefits
(CMB) the story is even worse. The average workers CMB contributions now
exceed $900 a year for family coverage. Add in deductibles and
the total is over $1,300 annually. If our insurance were a patient, it
would definitely be on the critical list.
As for the Company, their insurance bill has
sharply declined since peaking
in 1992. This has been accomplished primarily by extracting more profits from
fewer workers; from relentless cost shifting to employees; and by enticing or
otherwise driving nearly 80% of the workforce into HCP which costs less, and
which to this day is not even fully negotiated by the Union.