Friday, January 28, 2011

Union Members complete vote on healthcare option - overwhelmingly go with City default.

By a vote of 106 to 22, the public employee membership of Laborers', Local 261 has decided on the City's default option to finalize all outstanding matters from negotiations last year. Members who need additional information may choose to contact the Health Service System at 415-554-1750, or at
Special thanks to Sisters Foglio & Mixon for administering the process.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

While other Unions have selected option, Local 261 will start voting on Friday and stop voting at 11am January 28, 2011. More time to gain clarity.

Brothers & Sisters:
Almost all of you have received a flyer notifying of the need to decide on healthcare options as a result of our last contract. Our last contract required that all unions meet with the City to address a particular circumstance related to the prohibited costs related "medically single" employees on a particular health plan. While it is our hope that the vote yields a similar result as the other bargaining unit (the other Unions signed off on the co-pay option on January, 19, 2011, our membership shall proceec with a vote to be calculated next Friday at noon, so that we may be afforded an opportunity to " correct" the Health Service System manual, before it goes to print for open enrollment. While this is not an ideal circumstance, we do conveniently have a City Committee meeting set for Thursday January 27th at McLaren Lodge (12pm,) and we will request to have a SFDHR representative present to answer questions the members may have. We have been notified that many employees wish to vote tomorrow, therefore the polls are open at the Union Hall from 10am to 4:30pm, and again next Friday, 9:00am to 11:00am, no votes to be counted until next Friday with the Chief Stewards.

Info received from DHR TODAY:
1. One part of the concessions we reached in 2010 was some sort of healthcare cost relief in FY 11-12. We built in a "default option" of having the "medically single" enrollees in City plan pick up a portion of the premium. Specifically, employees who enrolled in the employee-only City Plan are to pay the difference between the 2nd highest cost HMO (or Blue Shield, in this case) and the cost of City Plan. In FY 11-12, that difference is anticipated to be between $400-500 a month. We built in a one year cushion (the current fiscal year, 10-11, to allow employees an opportunity to evaluate and prepare for any changes they may elect in FY 11-12.

2. The health care language also allowed for the parties (City andunion/PEC) to come up with an alternative that would achieve similar savings as the City Plan model. The alternative we came up with was to have employees how are enrolled in the Delta Dental PPO plan to pay a modest premium: $5/month for employee only, $10/month for employee +1 dependent, or $15/month for employee +2 or more dependents. These premium payments would be pre-tax.

The City has 3 dental plans: Delta Dental PPO which is the most widely used because it has the largest network and 2 other dental HMOs (Pacific Union and Deltacare). The City is not proposing a premium pickup for the 2 dental HMO plans, as the cost to the City is much lower than the Delta Dental .

3. Your members have the option of choosing the dental or the City plan option. I think in the current fiscal year, Laborers have about 29 employee-only enrollees in the City Plan. If your members choose to go with the City Plan option, your folks who continue employee-only enrollment in City plan in the upcoming fiscal year will no longer enjoy full City pickup of the premiums and will have to pay the difference between the cost of Blue Shield and City Plan.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Interim Mayor Edwin Lee?

While, Laborers' Local 261 has not asked to be and has not ever been involved in any discussion on the interim-Mayor situation, (we too like Peskin, Hennessy, Kawa,) we know very very well that Edwin Lee is nothing short of impressive. He has known our Union's membership well for many, many years, and was at the controls years ago creating union jobs for the community at SFDPW with one of the most unique Government/Community/Labor partnerships around at the time. We know first-hand, that it is on like "Donkey-Kong," but he is extremely competent, clever, ethical, and fair. The members know its up to the BOS, but at this point it is appropriate we think, to at least be sincere & straight forward about the topic.