The Newsletter for 1199 Members at Crouse
If Our Benefits Were A Ship, We'd Be Sinking Fast!
Night shift: Wear purple Tues. PM into Wed. AM
Crouse has made it clear that year's bargaining is all about giving back our benefits. Management has attacked our hard-won benefits and wages on all fronts. They have proposed: 1. Reduction of our Pension benefit and/or conversion to a 401k. 2. A one-year freeze in the steps (that means you would not receive your step increase for one full year) 3. Increase in medical insurance costs 4. Increase in Pharmacy costs 5. Increase in parking costs The bargaining team has requested information on all of these proposals. We have asked, specifically, for management to show us exactly how much money will be saved by each of these gouges to our benefits. We have all said that we know the economy is difficult, and we know the pension fund is in a difficult situation, but we are not willing to shoulder this burden alone. It is neither our fault as workers, nor management's fault, that the economy has been hit so hard by banking fraud and greedy investment firms, but we all have to share the burden. We will not accept being asked to do ALL the heavy lifting!
Step Freeze: The Gift That Keeps On Giving (to Management) Many of our most senior members and co-workers will remember there was a step-freeze in the past. A step freeze means you do not receive a step increase for one (or more) years. So let's say you are at step 3 and you are frozen in step for one year. You would have normally gone to step 4, but because of the freeze you are at step 3. When the freeze is lifted, you go to step 4, but really, you should be at step 5. The fact is, you never make up that lost step. “A step freeze means you are behind for your entire career. You never make up that money,” says RN Chair, Bethan Jones.
Search: 1199SEIU Crouse Bargaining
Pension vs. 401K Although we have discussed it in membership meetings and in this newsletter, it is worth a reminder: A pension is a GUARANTEED monthly income in your retirement. It is called a “defined benefit” because the amount you receive is defined and guaranteed. It cannot be taken away. A 401k is a not a guaranteed income in your retirement. It is called a “defined contribution” because the amount you and/or your employer put in is defined; the amount you get out is neither defined nor guaranteed. A 401K is subject to the whims of the stock market. If there is a major downturn in the stock market, you will lose money from your fund. You may or may not makeup the lost money, depending upon the market. Many employers match the amount their employees put in their 401k. That means if you put in $500.00 over 3 months, your employer will also put in $500.00. Some employers also put a certain percentage of your yearly wage into your 401k, and others will deposit a certain percentage of their yearly profit. A pension is your only guaranteed income in retirement. A 401k is subject to the ups and downs of the stock market and therefore can never be a guaranteed amount of money.