Steel Mills

USW Unhappy With Insurance Proposal by US Steel

Written by Sandy Williams

Contract negotiations are continuing between US Steel and the United Steel Workers. The USW negotiation team was less than thrilled with the proposal received from management last week.

A USW update to members stated, “The USW negotiating team explained that the union would be flexible and willing to solve problems, but that the USW was not interested in large employee health care premiums or the dramatic deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums laid out in the company’s proposed Consumer Driven Health Care Plan (CDHP).”

US Steel is looking for cost savings in health and benefits that include increasing premiums, deductibles and out-of pocket expenses.

Medicare covered retirees would receive a credit of $1,150 to buy supplemental coverage, a proposal that the USW is “deeply skeptical of.”

The negotiating team submitted a counterproposal that includes:

• 3-month health insurance continuation for junior employees on layoff;
• Health care continuation for dependents of employees killed in workplace accidents;
• SUB benefit duration recharge for each subsequent layoff;
• SPT contribution for employees working 32 layoff minimization schedules; and
• Pension improvements.

The update from the USW said, “We also reminded the company that a good benefit package allows it to recruit and retain the kind of highly skilled and committed work force necessary to innovate and compete in the global marketplace.”

The current contract expiration date is September 1.

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