The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


June 15, 2016billrossInquirer

In a meeting with Publisher Terry Egger and company executives yesterday, the company made clear that it is unable to make a commitment at this time to adequately fund our health care when our present contract expires in July 2017. This will instead be the elephant in the room when bargaining starts, most likely in early 2017 but possibly later this year.


Without any financial assurances, we can’t advocate a move into the Teamster Vicinity Fund, which would provide better coverage at a lower cost, and is presently the Fund of this company’s drivers and mailers.


This means we will stay with our present Aetna policy and Guild Trustees on the Health & Welfare Fund will recommend that rates to Guild members ($20 and $50) stay the same through the remainder of the contract.


What this means is that next July there will be a massive funding problem for our health care, which next July will cost approximately $6.5 million. At that point, the company’s funding commitment will drop to approximately $2.5 million. If overall membership contribution stays level ($20 and $50) totaling approximately $900,000 per year, the Fund will face a shortfall of approximately $3 million. This would mean an estimated increase in health care costs for members of $90/week for singles ($110/week total) and $250/week for couples/parents with children/families ($300/week total).


We urge all members to please recognize the seriousness of this issue, how such increases would be devastating to both your lives AND the company, and urge you to start thinking about saving for your health care increases and a comfortable pair of walking shoes.


In solidarity,


Howard Gensler

Diane Mastrull

Bill Ross