From 32BJ SEIU President Héctor Figueroa:
I write with important news about the health care that protects you and your family.
The health and well-being of you and your family is of the utmost importance, and making sure that your job includes top-quality health insurance is a top priority. As 32BJ members, we stood united and won contract after contract requiring employers – including yours – to pay for the comprehensive health care that 32BJ families count on.
This is an accomplishment everyone in 32BJ should be proud of, especially now when so many workers do not have access to the health care that should, in fact, be everyone’s right.
Given the realities of the health care industry, though, it’s a constant struggle to protect the care we value as 32BJ members.
For employers, your health care boils down to money. In recent years, we have had to work harder to defend health care and win pay raises during contract negotiations, but we have succeeded by being smart and united. And after looking carefully at the rising costs of health care, we have concluded that the time has come for another round of changes. We need to act now before we start bargaining our residential contract in New York City, and in preparation for the unionwide commercial contract expiration in 2015.
Using our numbers to protect quality health care
The 32BJ Health Fund administers health insurance for 95,000 members of 32BJ and your families. This gives us the clout to negotiate lower fees from the best doctors and hospitals that bring costs down. We have used the power of our numbers in just this constructive way.
You will receive detailed information from the 32BJ Health Fund within a few days announcing changes to your health plan that will take effect on December 1. You’ll still have the top-quality insurance you count on but now it’ll be better protected from rising costs. (You may receive a separate mailing from your employer regarding the Affordable Care Act. Please note that the 32BJ Health Fund mailing is not related to this.)
We’ll continue to stay abreast of new models of proactive, preventive health care in order to ensure the health and well-being of all 32BJ members. When we can use the power of our numbers to maintain quality and keep costs under control, we will do so again. That’s what it takes to protect health care for working families today.
That’s also what it takes to make gains during contract negotiations. By keeping health care costs under control without compromising the quality of care, we are being responsible stewards of this important benefit and we will have greater room at the bargaining table to insist that employers put more money to pay increases for you.
If you have any questions about the changes, please give us a call at 212-388-3800.