In an effort to avoid the communication failure that was also a cause for the rejection of the Fiat Chrysler worker agreement, GM’s UAW unit has now used a primer to detail the new health care co-op.
UAW President Dennis Williams decided among its key needed moves to help the Detroit Three carmakers control or even lower the costs of health care. The issue at large is the traditional medical coverage for veteran UAW members is so well established, if no modifications are implemented it could end up being a subject to President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and have a new tax imposed in 2018. In the initial agreement between the union and FCA both agreed to set up a co-op to handle health care that would seek to improve treatment at the lowest possible pricing. But the majority of FCA workers that were members of the union decided to reject the deal and many said they feared the new co-op would increase costs by having to pay for what so far has been 100 percent covered.
Now as the complexity of health care insurance and the confusion at FCA became apparent, GM’s Union vice president, Cindy Estrada and her team started working on ways to clarify the questions about the co-op before engaging in a ratification process of a proposed deal. “The co-op is a forum to share information, data, knowledge and expertise in an effort to improve delivery and value of health benefits,” comments the document distributed to UAW locals at some GM factories. The explanations also cover details on how the co-op works, the fact that it’s different from the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, or VEBA, covering around 750,000 UAW retirees or the fact that it would not modify benefits.