RX/TX Bargaining Report #3
UPTE bargaining regarding limited physician access and extreme premium increases were the focus of last weeks’ bargaining session with the University. UPTE has submitted numerous Requests for Information (RFIs) from the University in order to fully examine the process by which the increased costs were unexpectedly passed down to members, forced many to change health plans as well as primary care physicians and specialists.
Due to the exorbitant cost of 2011 Health Net HMO (over 200% increase for those making less than $47,000/yr.), prior members of this plan felt forced to change health care plans and their regular physicians. For most, the premiums for Health Net HMO and Blue Cross Anthem doubled. According to preliminary statistics, 50% of staff that chose Health Net in 2010 have been siphoned off to plans with lower premiums but less access. UPTE members have come forth and described the Health Net Blue & Gold Plan as unworkable for themselves and their families. We are looking for more members to contact us regarding financial or health hardships caused by the outrageous premium costs of remaining with Health Net HMO or by having to switch to some other health care provider.
UPTE still awaits responses from the University for many of its requested information. UC is refusing to respond to the majority of our questions stating the information is irrelevant to bargaining. This includes information on Blue Cross and any other health plan available to our members. UPTE has submitted its proposal to address the health care premium increases. The current monetary outlay for health care premiums is inequitable, unfair, and appears to be yet another (negative) message as to the University’s consideration of UPTE members.
Instead of bargaining fairly, UC is insulting our members. The University has stated it has no intention of offering a fair and reasonable counter offer.
The next bargaining session will be Wednesday, February 23rd. In the morning we will focus on health care issues. We are planning to have written statements presented and members coming to make statements in person – so let me know if you can participate. UC needs to hear how you have been affected adversely by an over 200% premium increase and other hardships faced by the lack of services with the Blue and Gold options. In the afternoon we will be bargaining the 0.5% pension increase UC now wants. Again, we welcome your participation!
Bargaining Team Members:
Wendi Felson, Chief Negotiator
Anthony Fernandez, Radiation Safety Technician, LBNL
Karen Galbreath, Animal Health Technician, UCD
Bryan Pettengill, Computer Resource Specialist, UCSD