Oct 272012
 

AT&T retirees have been surprised, or even shocked, recently when the company sent information related to open enrollment for the retiree medical benefits.  Retirees under the age of 65, who are not eligible for Medicare, saw premium increases of hundreds of dollars a month for coverage under the standard PPO plan.  

Retiree health benefits are a permissive* subject of bargaining, and for the past two rounds of bargaining, the company has refused to negotiate with the union over the terms of the retiree health benefit package.

The reason for the cost shift is a result of the employer contribution cap kicking in. 

  • The fixed cap has the effect of limiting the employer’s contribution and any health cost increases above that level are shifted to retirees.
  • Retirees are required to pick up the amount of costs that exceed the cap.
  • In 2012 average per retiree costs exceeded the cap by 1.3%.
  • Costs grew by over 14% between 2012 and 2013, exceeding the cap by 14.4%. 

There is an alternative plan which does not have a premium, but it does have a higher deductible and higher out of pocket requirements than the PPO plan. 

The company refused to bargain with the union over the impact of the cost increases on retirees.  Nevertheless, the union was able to persuade the company to make some adjustments to the plan it had originally planned to impose on retirees.  As a result of union input, the company reduced premiums for retiree only coverage by about $37 per month; reduced deductibles in the alternative plan from $1000 individual/$2000 family to $500 individual/$1000 family; reduced the prescription drug deductible  in the alternative plan and the plan for Medicare retirees by $135. 

While the union was able to get the company to make some adjustments to the massive cost shifting it had planned, we all agreed it was not what we would have negotiated. 

Some in the company have told retirees that the reason for the extraordinary increases is the Affordable Care Act.  Nothing could be further than the truth.  In fact, there are only two provisions of the Affordable Care Act that would impact AT&T’s retiree health plan.  

  • First, improvements to Medicare, including full coverage of preventive care and recapturing overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans. 
  • Second, the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, which set aside funds for employers who offer retiree health benefits, rebated $213.8 million to AT&T between 2011 and 2012 to offset the cost of claims from early retirees. 

Both these provisions will have the effect of easing the company’s cost burden.  The company has chosen not to share that cost relief with retirees

CWA believes the company should have done more for retirees.  That after a banner year, with healthy profits, and significant dividends for shareholders, the corporation could have done much more to assure that the former employees who built the company would have a quality, affordable health plan. 

We encourage retirees to express their views on the status of their health plans directly to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson at the address below: 

Randall L. Stephenson
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
AT&T Corporation
208 South Akard Street
Dallas, Texas 75202-4206

The link below gives you some indication of the kinds of changes the Affordable Care Act might allow, and how it could be spun by the employer.  When pressed, however, HR admits that it is, of course, a business decision. 

http://www.aasbcr.org/bluebulletins/Vol6-No8.pdf

 *A “permissive” subject of bargaining means the union or the company may agree to discuss the matter, engage in full bargaining and reach agreement on the issue, or decline to talk about it at all. If either party declines to talk about the subject (in this case, retiree healthcare), that permissive subject then would be a dead issue. Either party may choose to keep it on the table, but they cannot force such an issue to impasse. Also, a strike over a permissive subject would be an unprotected activity, and if the company chose to fire those strikers, we could not get their jobs back. — Editor

 

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  111 Responses to “Why Are AT&T Retiree Medical Costs So High?”

  1. 14%??? Well that would be fine, however our monthly premium increased by an unbelievable (and barely manageable) 1241%, that’s twelve hundred forty one percent. NOT A TYPO. We are required to pay more PER MONTH in 2013 than our entire annual premium in 2012. Please explain that away.

  2. Very convenient that my comment would not post to facebook. You wouldn’t want the world to know how badly you are screwing your employees,

  3. Same here Karla, I thought they were billing me for a year at once!

  4. I had faith in the company to take care of their employees especially retirees like us. We dedicated our life as employees, loyal, worked hard and was proud to be a part of such rich and prestigious company. For many years I was grateful for having all the good benefits especially having a reliable health insurance. Now it seems like we, the retirees are being kicked on the face, being forgotten, it’s just because we are not with the company anymore, but I feel like we are being dumped in the gutter just because we are now retirees, we have to take the punishment for paying more premium every month. Most of us don’t even have enough pension to live by, what’s more when we have to pay so much for our health insurance. I feel very discouraged because I can not afford the premium of $81.92 a month. With this premium, I will not be able to put food on the table…..

  5. $81.92 per month? Mine went from $17 per month in 2012 to $272 per month in 2013. I can’t afford that. I went with the free (almost nothing covered) plan and if I get sick and have massive bills, which they would be if I had to go in the hospital, I will have to file bankrutpcty on them. Nothing else I can do.

  6. $81.92 per month? Mine went from $17 to $240.00 per month in 2013. that really took a big chunk out of my small retirement budget. I didn’t want to take a chance taking the free having bigger co-pays. i retired after 31 years with the company never in a million years after having our insurance paid all those years I worked that I would be faced to have to pay such a large amount for insurance on a smaller once a month income than when we payed nothing when working getting paid by weekly with overtime hours, What a slap in the face . That let you know how much they valued us as employees for all the hard work and labor we put in to help build this company, that is why you better put your trust in God and not in Man because he will forsake you.

  7. Premium about $29.00 to $290.00. Worked 36yrs for a great company and then they do this to us SHAME ON YOU!!! Then we also paid our union dues and walked the picket lines with CWA. What has CWA done for us? They want us to leave a comment SHAME ON YOU!!!

  8. since when had the union begged ????, is all BS from CWA, remember we do not pay dues any longer, do they care for us, of course not, no one does, we r better off joining a medicare advantage plan and advise all newer employees to resign from the union and tell them the truth, “you will be abandoned as soon as you retire and stop paying $$$$$, save the union dues $$$ now for retirement, you will need it.

    • Ray,

      How true your statements. My husband and I went from $17.05 in 2012 UP to $221 in 2013. In 2014 we went UP to $355. We cannot afford this.
      Rather than stick with Aon Retiree insurance we are going with BCBS Blue Medicare (Advantage Plan) for $18.90 each person monthly and it INCLUDES A DRUG PLAN. Never will allow AT&T to hurt us again!

      • if you decide to go with bcbs in 2015 and it does not fit your needs, than in 2016 can you select aon retiree insurance again. Or are you LOCKED out.

  9. think its AT&T or do you think the increases could be related to that highly touted gem “Obama care?”

    • Just for the record a letter I posted on FB Randall admits it has nothing to do with the ACA–it was a AT&T business decision and the article also informs how hard CWA tried to get them to bargain for retirees as they always had and AT&T refused

      • BS! It has everything to do with the unaffordable care act. If Randall admitted that he’d be hounded by the IRS. That’s how Obama works.

        • It has nothing to with the affordable care act, it has to do with Randall Stephenson’s greed. A.T.&T. is doing this because they can and nothing we can do about it because Retiree healthcare was a “permissable” bargaining item (the companies choice) during the last contract negotiations which means the company chose not to discuss it…

    • Agreed! Didn’t have this problem til this clown.

  10. Everyone write to the CEO and blast him for how they are treating us. I started when Zane Barnes was CEO and he must be rolling in his grave on how we are being treated

  11. cwa was about the most worthless union going.

  12. Just got my new statement,,,how about 355 a month, this is outrageous and such an insult to those of us who sacrificed our bodies for this god forsaken company. I am so ashamed of ATT , I would never touch any product that they are involved with, how’s that for company loyalty after 30 years. ATT, CWA you both suck and should be ashamed…REALLYY!!!!

    • I have boycotted ATT services and products since retirement in 1998, and have convinced many friends and family to do the same. I encourage all retirees to do so also, in hopes that this worthless corporation which treats its retirees like dirt goes the way of the Pony Express.

      • I pay $368 a month. After taxes I’m left with slightly over $600 a month for 30 years with ATT. I’m 61 and my wife is 59. Does anyone have any alternate way of getting decent coverage at a lower cost? Thank you!

  13. As if an 1200+% increase in 2013 was not bad enough, they are adding another $150 a month for 2014. Our 14 year old son’s entire college fund plus clothes and food budget is now going to have to be used to pay for our health insurance. $434.95 per month compared to $23 per month is devastating :( It may not be illegal for ATT to treat retirees this way, but it is immoral and unethical and bordering on elder abuse. All states have laws concerning the abuse, neglect or EXPLOITATION of older people… Moreover, some states have laws giving victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation a civil cause of action. How many retirees are there in Michigan? I wonder what would happen if all the retirees made official complaints to both the BBB and to the Michigan Attorney General.

    • You’re retired and young enough to have a 14 year old? Sounds to me like you should thank AT&T for that benefit. Lol. You’re paying more because you’re using more medical services. That’s kinda how it works. :/

      • Oh yes, a 14 year old who has had 1 doctor visit this entire year and is on no medications is really using more medical services than a normal retiree. Retiree is 64 so what do you suggest? That we should have aborted him just because he was a surprise? It is people like him that are going to make a difference in this world, A+ honor roll and a leader in his church youth group and an amazing human being. Your comment was uncalled for and uninformed

        • Yeah, that’s a tough one. Mine was an insensitive comment, I admit. And I apologize. But my point is that as a union member myself (another one obviously), I’d kill for the benefits that you’ve received from AT&T. Just seems like you all seem a bit entitled. People work a lot harder for a lot less.

  14. As a retiree, I can’t help but wonder if we should start a campaign to cut the AT&T services we have, such as less channels for U-verse, or drop a land line, or switch to cheaper internet or cell service, Maybe AT&T would get the hint that we have to make up the difference by lowering our costs that we can control. It might hit them where it hurts the most (their profits). There are a lot of retired AT&T people, this would be a sustantial hit to their pockets!!

    • I suggested the same thing. We used this in the 83 strike. It was called the electronic picket line.

    • I live in Illinois and we also are being encouraged to take the Aon suggested plans.They say they can’t ask for our health condition, however by asking for all the prescription medications we take they can easily see what health conditions we have.We were told that our premium will be anywhere from 100.00 to approx 300.00 a month depending on our age and needs.I was told that an 85 year old would most likely need more healthcare then a 65 year old so that is why the difference in premium.I don’t think that statement is true,because after reading some of these post, it seems that some retirees that are 65 are paying very high premiums, not just older retirees.
      Aon has said that we will recover some of the cost that we pay in premiums and out of pocket expenses through the Health Reimbursement Account. We will not know until July 2014 how much they will put into that account.
      I noticed that not one person has left a comment on the Reimbursement Account.Can anyone tell me if they have an HRA and how much AT&T has put into that account?
      I for one cannot make a decision on any of these plans until I know what AT&T is going to put into my HRA.In the meantime I have been shopping around for other options.I went to AARP and received a quote of 113.00 a month for a supplemental Plan F .They said the premium can range from 113.00 to 159.00.
      When the time comes ,I know I will have to make some changes to my household budget to pay for healthcare,through Aon or through AARP ect. First ,Cancel my U-verse order -Drop my Land-Line-.Cancel buying shares of AT&T.
      My thoughts on AT&T-Shame-Shame-Shame on You!
      MY! MY! MY! Verizon is starting to look good to me.

  15. From $67/mo in 2012, to $223 for 2013, then it will be $357 in 2014
    !!!

  16. Same as Tina $67 in 2012 to $223, now $357 in 2014. That is shame that you give 33 yrs of dedicated service and retire with your benefits than you end up having to pay for insurance That really sucks not saying much for AT&T.

  17. The union is dead. The company has taken us for a health care ride

  18. I read a couple years back in the paper that big companies had some tax break or credits taken away for giving employees healthcare. The article said that it was going to cost AT&T 1 BILLION dollars. It went on to say how companies were going to start deciding on whether to continue giving healthcare or pay the fine per employee….something like 2,000. per person. Once again….it had the AT&T symbol in the background.

  19. I saw on TV recently Obama talking to a group while campaigning. He was saying how he wants universal healthcare. I’ve heard him say that several times. He also went on to say that the people wouldn’t go for it immediately and it could take 10, 15 or 20 years before companies would stop offering healthcare.

    • Back in 1962 Ronald reagen gave a speech to which he stated, the easiest way for socialism to enter America was thru health care.welcome to Obama care and the transformation of America. You are now paying for people who don’t or won’t work.

  20. Mine went from $20 a month to $160, 800%! My loyalty to A.T.&T. products and services will end, if they don’t have any loyalty to me with 33yrs service, why should I show them any loyalty. That won’t mitigate the lost pension money, but at least my money won’t be going into their bloated coffers. BOYCOTT A.T.&T.

  21. I do not beleive one freaking word the Union has to say. They wanted us to Dem. and we now have gotten screwed. it was and is the Obamacare. that changed things. VOTE REP. TO GET CONTROL OF BOTH HOUSES. it’s to late for us but we might could help the younger ones.

  22. Are you out of your mind? Voting republican is like giving your vote to the tea party extremists. They have nearly destroyed this country. Do you believe the company and their string of lies, what a sucker!!!\

    • And voting demonrat is like supporting socialism,communism,and divisiveness..kill them babies big boy!

    • I did not know paying lower taxes, making government accountable and senators making laws to abide by them was extreme Garret. I guess you can blame it on Bush.

  23. “The company refused to bargain with the union over the impact of the cost increases on retirees.” Does the union only bargain for benefits the company allows them to?

    Terry said, “The union is dead. The company has taken us for a health care ride”

    +1

    • I hope you have read most of these posts and you will see that the Supreme Court said that Companies do not have to bargain for retiree benefits–they always have–but the last 2 contracts that have refused and the union could do nothing

  24. Its NOT up to the company to REFUSE to negotiate.. It’s up to the union to fight for us!. Obamacare has done Nothing to address the costs of healthcare, NOTHING!. No tort reform, no increased competition by allowing companies to sell everywhere. This UNION used to be good. But today they are NOTHING but another wing of the democratic party like the education system and the media. They are USELESS and just take our money to support the Radical lefts agenda, and this Obama care let’s face it is socialism.. We are doing what Mr. Obama wants us to do, Share the wealth!.. so here we are. Thanks Union you worthless organization. There was a time when the union would Strike or use the Electronic Picket Line… Not now tho… So us who worked and sacrificed family time for over 30 years not to mention supporting the Leaches of the Union, bend over and grab the ankles and enjoy it.

    • This huge cost increase has nothing to do with “Obama Care”! It has to do with corporate greed, corporations that are propped by reactionary Republican legislators and judges, who in turn are bought and paid for by corporations and blood suckers like the Koch brothers and their running dogs the tea party and supported by the right wing demagoguery of groups like Fox News and moronic individuals like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann and their gullible followers.

      • It has EVERYTHING to do With Obamacare! Why should men be forced to buy maternity insurance, or childless people be force to buy dental care for those under 6?. It is called ‘sharing the wealth”.. The Koch bothers? are you kidding?. What do they have to do with this mess. Keep voting for the RADICAL LEFT and we will all end up like Detroit! Bankrupt!., Or San Bernardino, etc… Palin’s Alaska does not need a buyout and they are in the Black. Palin was a mayor and a Governor … Obama is a communist organizer!. Boy we sure could have used Palin..Fox news Rocks.. I suppose you watch MSLSD all day with their HATRED! Garrett… Quite drinking the cool aid..

      • So you like getting only one view on your news.. Msld your fave eh?drink more coolaid and enjoy thrill up his leg Mathews. How’s that hopeless change working for ya pal?

  25. Reply to Todd: I don’t know about the place you worked at, but I can assure you that AT&T makes billions of dollars of more profit annually. Our benefits came as a direct result of our workers and our unions and the sacrifices we endured (especially the strikes) when all we wanted was just a small piece of the magnificent pie that greedy upper management devoured for themselves. Think!

    • Thanks Union for constantly supporting the RADICAL LEFTISTS with our dues… YOU and the Dems have screwed the pooch! YOU and the Dems BONED US!

      • I’m not going to get into a debate with someone who thinks Fox News is great or that it’s even news for that matter. If you want to trust that A.T.&T. as looking out for your welfare, go right ahead…

        • You need to quit watching MSLSD. It’s clear YOU HATE corporations. Then why do you work for one?

          • I don’t, I retired in1999 with 34 years service, with a pension that I foolishly thought A.T.&T. would honor, but I didn’t take into account their insatiable greed.

          • What happened to the pensions?

          • I can tell you what has happened to our pension. I was paying less than 40.00 dollars a month out of my pension for insurance now paying addition $300 or more a month out of my pension.

          • I HATE big corporations. I am retired and half my pension goes into health insurance. I started AT&T in 1971. It was a different company then. I stayed with them for the benefits I received for my family. I had a stroke in May 2012. I can’t work because my memory is poor and a couple of my fingers are numb. There’s more but I won’t bore you with the details. I was always considered management personnel until 1990. I was a Data Processing Specialist working with main frame computers. Pay was great. Most years I made about the same pay as a second level manager. Then we were forced to join the union. I HATE UNIONS TOO! Since jobs were scarce I had to lower myself to a telephone operator. I did this because I only had a few years left to get my 30 years in.Before my stroke I worked for several outstanding non union organizations and the pay was great!

    • And or C E O makes an obscene amount of money… And for what?

  26. Read all the previous comments, during the last contract negotiations, the company would not discuss retiree health care costs. This item is a “permissive” item which means the company doesn’t have to discuss items so designated, and they decided that since there was nothing we could do about it, they would go ahead and stick it to us…

    • Sorry Mr. Garrett but I used to be a Democrat. Before they became anti family, anti God, Pro Abortion, High Taxers, Liars, Thieves who don’t pay their taxes, anti 2nd amendment, anti Death Penalty ,anti military and such a divisive group who name calls, divides voters into this voting block this and that voting block instead of treating all as Americans. I can see the mess they put Detroit and and California in. Tax the hell out of people and they are still in massive debt. They are Pro Illegal to create another voting block. I don’t know what you have against Fox news but it is the ONLY news network that does not name call, or divide people. They are Accurate and Fair. Just watched NBC And CBS today about the Duck Dynasty Guys comments. They called it HATE SPEECH. Excuse me, he was quoting the Bible. So they are calling the Bible HATE SPEECH?… You know where they can go. If liberalism were so great just look at the Katrina victims. Desperately waiting for Government Help. Then Look at the Heartland where Tornadoes devastated the towns. The people there were NOT waiting for the Government and got to doing what needed to be done. Liberalism? No thanks..

  27. It’s all about money and survivability. The company and the union both put these first and foremost!

    Thank God that He hears our prayers and answers them! Prayer works!

  28. r. Garrett; ….You probably shouldn’t let yourself be trolled by Danny Bolduc; It is more than apparent that he prefers to engage others in a Political Agenda…And make points to that end…
    Not really sure if he has ever worked for AT&T or Ma Bell..??
    Doesn’t really matter, don’t think he read the whole Article or is capable of understanding it anyway.
    Engaging, the political side views and opinions, expresses, his lack of intelligence.

    As explained above, this issue or part of the Bargaining was considered a “Permissive issue” or part of Bargaining/Contract, etc….
    Meaning that either side (Company or Union) could discuss or choose to discuss and act/not act upon.
    The Company AT&T chose not to discuss or act upon, the issue.
    This displays a Fact of Corporate greed and the Union (CWA and et al) hands were tied..

    After many of us working 30+ years for AT&T-Bell Systems…We are being turned out into the cold, compared to some of the promises that were expressed or expected…

    As a retiree and wife, we faced a 350% increase in cost to us for insurance through AT&T’s provider.
    Couple that with Medicare being paid by a couple about 70 years old…
    And our insurance bill per year is roughly about $4700.00
    It is not what we expected in our later years
    Terry….Yes Garrett, it may be who you think it is..?

    • Ps….It does seem that AT&T, the Company is getting a “kick back” from the Government, but alas is making a Corporate decision, to not adjust the Health insurance cost for Retirees, Workers or both whichever the case may be..??
      ie; Early Retirees Reinsurance Program (ERRP) rebated to the Tune of $214 Million in 2011-2012.
      Thanks AT&T..

    • Terry lc. I really don’t appreciate you calling me names. I have more service than you do. I was a member of cwa for 34 years,. The idea of the electronic picket line was my idea. So much for you calling me having lack of intelligence. It shows how much you don’t know. Now, my comment has to do with the unions total lack of bargaining. The cwa failed to even use the electronic picket line. The contract before this last one was a joke when it came to our 2 day strike. So next time you make uninformed comments and making yourself look totally inpept, you may want to do some questioning or research before writing.

      • Danny Boy….I mentioned your shortcomings, because you do not seem to understand simple English….Who cares if you worked at AT&T for 34 years; “NOT PART” of the discussion, as you seem to deflect from, what the Article is TRULY ABOUT.

        YOUR WORDS…”in quotes”
        “voting demonrat is like voting for Socialism, Communism and devisiveness…kill those babies big boy.”…WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU ??

        ” It’s NOT up to the Company to negotiate, it’s up to the Union to fight for us…”
        DID YOU, really read the Article? It’s a “permissive issue” in the Contractual language or Bargaining process….The Company DID refuse, and the Union can do NOTHING about it.

        “It has EVERYTHING to do with Obamacare”
        Once again showing your lack of comprehension skills, DON’T BELIEVE this was ever mentioned in the Article….And I’m supposing YOU MEAN the AHC Act….??

        “Thanks UNION for constantly supporting the RADICAL LEFTISTS with our dues.”
        Are you on any Medications or temporarily out ?? See your Doctor immediately..

        I’m not even going to go into, your “Democrat Rant” not worth my time.
        Don’t believe my “comments are uninformed” I read the piece, apparently YOU DIDN’T.
        Also believe “my research is solid.”
        I figure you are a “bitter old man” or a 20 year old kid living in his Mom’s basement.
        The 34 years you “may have worked”, that’s a surprise, how did you ever pass the test??
        As far as the name calling, sorry but NOW, I believe you are a total MORON…
        Good luck trolling, because like maybe others, I really have nothing left to say to you.

        • Apparently you say I am a troll.. Then you say to “ignore the troll”. Well, maybe you should take your own advice. Do you always answer what you think are Trolls and then tell others to ignore them?. Obama care is a dismal failure. As far as the Union goes they ALWAYS SUPPORT DEMOCRATS… Always. You live in California?. Keep drinking the cool-aid Pal. You claimed, “not really sure if he works for At&T.” So again, you made a claim that you had no knowledge of. Who cares if you worked over 34 years?… well, I do since my pension is more than yours. What I am saying is the Union is a bunch of Political democrap phoneys who take our money, don’t do anything for us and go to Hawaii for their meeting on our dime. Stop drinking the KOOL AID…… and get back on your meds sport.

        • You mentioned service not me. If the company says the have no intentions for retiree bargaining.,then what do we need a union for?. They have no intentions to bargain for wages or working conditions either. So what is the union for? If you want to believe your savior Obama has nothing to do with it you go ahead. No point arguing with a Libby anyway, as they are brain dead.

    • Mind your own business busy body!

  29. I see no point in continuing this discussion, it has degenerated into the usual partisan crap, and I wont argue with fanatic ideologues…

    • I agree 100%, guess I should have mentioned I retired in ’99 with over 30 years of service.
      I didn’t have 34 like the other guy and you, but it was enough to get out of the rat race…
      Fortunate enough to retire and never look back…
      But I have heard and somewhat believe, that AT&T today…Is not exactly like AT&T and the Bell System operating Companies I grew up and had a career with.
      And a failure by the Company to discuss or want to discuss Retiree Healthcare is somewhat proof of that. IMO.

      • There once was a time when the Union had Clout. They would fight for us as an entity and fight for us individually. Those days are gone.

        • The last time our Local 3603 CWA had clout was probably late 1960′s to early 1970′s. After that time period they seemed to “be in bed with management”.

  30. This is a quote from the Friday Bulletin generated by the Alliance for retired Americans:

    Tell AT&T Corporation to Respect Retirees
    AT&T retirees were surprised when the company recently sent information related to open enrollment for the retiree medical benefits. Retirees under the age of 65, who are not eligible for Medicare, saw premium increases of hundreds of dollars a month for coverage under the standard PPO plan. Retirees on Medicare saw a jump in premiums of about 500% for supplemental insurance. CWA and the Alliance believe that the company should have done more for retirees, as AT&T enjoys healthy profits and significant dividends for shareholders. “Corporate executives should do more to assure that former employees who built the company have quality, affordable health care, and don’t flounder in unilateral, drastic and unprecedented increases,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance.

    Some in the company told retirees that the reason for the extraordinary increases is the Affordable Care Act. Nothing could be further than the truth. In fact, there are two provisions of the Affordable Care Act that would impact AT&T’s retiree health plan. First, it improves Medicare by including full coverage of preventive care and recapturing overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans. Second, the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program set aside funds for employers who offer retiree health benefits, rebating $213.8 million to AT&T between 2011 and 2012 to offset the cost of claims from early retirees. Both these provisions eased the company’s cost burden, but AT&T has chosen not to share that cost relief with retirees.

    In 2012, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson earned $22.23 million, 642 times the average worker’s pay ($34,645). Please take action and tell him that passing down increases to the tune of 500% in monthly premiums for supplemental health care is uncalled for. Send him an email by using this link: [http://bit.ly/1cKhZ3m] or send him a letter: Randall L. Stephenson / Chairman, Chief Executive Officer / AT&T Corporation / 208 South Akard Street / Dallas, Texas 75202-4206.

  31. I have to pay dearly so I have to get my money’s worth. A couple of years ago I fell down the stairs and had a stroke. Still alive but can’t work because of memory problems. Saw my insurance increase again. Once again I fell down the stairs. This time I broke my left knee and fractured my wrist. But this time I covered my head so I didn’t get a broken blood vessel. Like I said earlier…AT&T is sticking it to me so I WILL get my money’s worth. I am just waiting for this fine organization to cut off my psychiatric bills.

  32. Hmmmm, Three(3) months later we still have some trolling going on, talking or blasting the President and the AHCA; Blaming all their problems on that or the CWA Union Locals or National Organization…

    Seems strange they would not lay blame at the feet of the problem makers, if they understood who they were,?? But alas, doubt that is going to happen…?
    As we will probably be able to identify the “unknowing” as they may respond to this….
    Must be an election year..?? And operatives will probably abound until December..
    Unfortunately we will have to endure their wrath, as they can find no other place to spew it.

    • Hey cwa. Next contract tell the
      Members the Company refused to negotiate wages, and working conditions, senority, vacations, premium shifts and holiday pay. After all, according to YOU CWA, they can refuse to negotiate anything. I think you are one corrupt organization. Stole our money for years. You then tell us how very very hard you negotiated for us . CWA, you are full of crap. My advice to all currant members is to drop your ass. If I could sue you for non performance to get all my dues back I would. CWA will smile in your face and shake your hand to get your money, and hold a knife in the other to stab you on the back.

      • YOU are the union, if you don’t like things the way they are, get involved and change things. The “union” isn’t some self appointed organization, it’s YOU and your fellow workers, If you don’t like something, get involved, go to meetings, volunteer. Don’t just sit on the sidelines and take potshots and don’t SCAB, that’s just what the company wants: division among workers. The union is only as good as YOU make it…

        • They did not call a strike, The best way to fight is with something the company understands. They understand MONEY! The stinking cwa did not even call for the electronic picket line. This is to have all change their services from ATT. Cell, TV, Internet. You get friends and family along with other unions like the teamsters to drop Att til the company comes to our demand. No one loses money by going out on strike. However the company loses millions and millions . The longer it goes the more money the company loses. This equates instead of members losing money by striking, or by settling for a shitty contract, the company loses money. I guarantee our contracts would come out much better. But instead, the cwa let the company crap all over us. We gave you the tools. You did not use them. So don’t blame the membership! You said you worked extremely hard… Really? Cwa is a bunch of LIARS.. They did nothing. They sat on their fat lazy asses for over a year. Screw the cwa.

        • The cwa did nothing. We all should have had friends and family and other unions drop Att. We struck for these issues! I think Rondahl could do with 17 million less and give back to the retirees, cwa? No way!

    • At least we put the blame where it belongs!!lol meanwhile you’re still blaming Bush!!! You’re too much!

  33. Nonya….
    The problem we/you are relating to was “a permissive issue” point in the Contract apparently..?
    I’m guessing, (and only guessing)…Because I was not involved in the Bargaining or voting/improving the last several Contracts…Been retired for sometime.

    I think the Company and the Union might have made some trade-offs for other benefits, and put the wording in the Contract for such items, to be “permissive issues” for opening or discussion, and bargaining points….And then the Union members approved the Contract, by vote.

    Permissive issues, can be denied further discussion, by either side or maybe both…
    Therefore the healthcare cost or contribution discussion came up and “the Company” opted out of any discussion what so ever…And increased the rates on premiums and co-pays..
    The Union and members, along with retirees hands were tied.

    This may be able to be reversed, so as to be a discussion point in upcoming Contracts or negotiations..
    I hope so…It probably should be a major bargaining point.
    But we all will have to wait, for the next Contract expiration and Bargaining process…
    It is a Company, Union and Employee/Retiree issue, and little to do with anything else, accept the Insurance companies cost for Healthcare and what the Company is willing to pay..

  34. Canada is now the number one country with a middle class. We went downhill starting in 1990. The professor mentioned 3 reasons we are no longer number one. Canada’s educational system is superb compared to the United States. Secondly, it’s not in their culture for CEO’s to get obscene pay and bonuses. AND they do the right thing and pay higher wages for jobs keeping people in the middle class. The professor said the 3rd thing Canada does is take care of the poor people and their citizens get involved with volunteer work. There is too much greed in this country regarding pay. The politicians in this country need to keep the middle class growing because we are the backbone of this country.

  35. You scabby bitchers and whiners need to understand that YOU STILL HAVE HEALTH CARE. By chance, I ran into a retired AT&T manager (Commercial Marketing) who now has NO HEALTH CARE, because of AT&T. YOU still HAVE health care….look what they did to the management retirees, and that’s what AT&T wants to do to YOU. The ONLY thing standing between what they’ve done to management retirees and you is CWA. Why not take your bitching and whining and go to work for a cell provider? Then you can be happy making half as much with NO benefits and be told how fortunate you are!

    As an aside, I detect anti-union “post gangsters” at work on this site. The “Right-To-Work (for LESS) Committee” is at it again, eh?

    • All true, my old boss really took it in the shorts. I suspect you are right about the scab “post gangsters” are at work here…

      • So since the managers really took in the shorts, that is suppose to make us feel better!. WE STRUCK for the benefits and fought tooth and nail. Don’t sit here and say well go work for the cell company or my ex boss this or that. WE EARNED our health care.. The CWA sold us OUT!!! Not only that but the CWA refused to file a grievance regarding a contractual issue for myself … I lost thousands of dollars because of This Corrupt organization. The CWA wanted a bypass on Obamacare after supporting him so strongly.. WHY???

        • Just like I said before, it has nothing to do with the Affordable Care act. It is because A.T&T. chose not bargain on retiree healthcare because it was chosen by them as a “permissible” item. The CWA had no choice in the matter, it was a result of a SCOTUS decision. So back off on the anti-union rhetoric and listen to the facts…

          • you can say that all you want. If you believe it’s true then you believe it’s true.. The UNION is suppose to make sure the contract is followed Garret. What happened to operators who went from Pacific Telephone to ATT who lost their wages?.. The UNION DID NOTHING!!! The contract says and i quote.. “IN NO CASE Shall an employee lose wage experience credit”… But the union sat on their fat asses and did nothing!!! The Company and union both signed the Contract.. WTH was the Union???? F the Union.

          • Garrett….I know you want to….But, don’t bother.
            It’s an election year; And this is pretty easy to figure out by now.

  36. Terry, What are YOU doing in this exchange? MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!! We need less busy bodies… Stay out of where you are not invited…

    • Dando, why don’t you and your personal problems with the union take a hike. You are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem…

  37. Ok… my fault.. itsl my problem the union did not represent the employees on contractual issues. It is MY Fault I believed they would represent the membership. It is my fault they took our union dues and went to Hawaii. It is my fault I lost tens of thousands of dollars because they would not follow the contract. It is my fault the Union supported an Admitted socialist who screwed us and the rest of America by saying our health care premiums would go down 2500.. It is my fault ….What are you garrett a union president or something? Don’t tell me to take a hike ok pal….

    • I was never a union official, only a steward. But I was never naive enough to believe that the company was watching out for my interests, “Ma Bell” died. The reason you have Healthcare at all is because of the union, not the company! Your continual spouting of the right-wing dogma is simplistic and childish and I made the mistake of engaging you in discussion, I won’t make that mistake again, take your reactionary
      diatribes somewhere else…

      • This is “The reason health care costs are so high” .. So I do have the RIGHT to vent or say what I think.. You don’t have the right to call names or whatever you lefties do.. If I want to have a say as to what happens to our members as a lack of union representation, thats my right to say it.. You don’t have to agree…

      • Garrett; Sorry in the fact, that attempting to have a conversation with you that a Troll has to come in and be disruptive; And then have the audacity to call others “busy bodies”…
        I find that quite amusing….Like I mentioned, don’t engage the Troll, it’s an election year.

        Some or many of the previous comments, were never directed to what the Article is about;
        Maybe they have problems or other issues that won’t allow an individual to comprehend what the subject matter is, along with a mental block; That only allows them to deflect to another situation, that seems to be part of their Agendas.

        By reading the article and statements; There are details explaining the problems that the Union was faced with in a “non-bargaining permissive issue” whereas the Company (AT&T)
        threw up a roadblock, that could or would be legally accepted for bargaining or a “re-opening” of the Contract, for bargaining purposes…

        Although many or most of us are very unhappy about increases in our insurance rates and/or deductibles; And yes it does appear that AT&T has bent us over a barrel and are the ones that are driving…
        Strangely, I have had conversations with some or a couple retirees, that are satisfied with the care they get and feel the cost although somewhat excessive, are very glad to have Health coverage from the Company that the Union bargained for many years in the past.

        I am “not one” that feels the cost increases are justifiable… And am pissed about it…
        The others I have talked to, have several or severe health situations and make use of all healthcare available to them.
        We in our family are lucky enough to have better health, and do not “doctor as often” nor been hospitalized in recent times.
        One Major illness or lengthy stay in a Hospital (even 4-7 days) would financial wipe out any savings or retirement monies that most of my fellow employees had..
        I am thankful for the care and insurance we had in the past so, this is a comment in favor of our coverage’s that were provided to us in the past.

        Garrett, want to thank you for your Steward duties with the past employment in Bell/AT&T.
        Many have no idea, what that entails; Unless they walk the walk, they really can’t talk the talk.
        I served many positions over the years in Bell and AT&T…
        Along with service in the CWA, as steward, C-steward, VP, and EVP, but never as a President of a Local..
        And served AT&T in some interesting capacities…Plus Management at Bell.
        But more then happy that I retired after 30 plus years as a CWA member.
        Probably have better insurance today because of it..??

        We have and there are Avenues for Retirees, to petition or protest to the CWA in a civil manner….Either to your past Local, or a Regional Local and up to the International or National level…And write or state legitimate complaints or concerns about our healthcare or other issues.
        I implore those that feel we are getting the shaft from the Company, to do just that..
        These comments and give and take, hopefully should help that cause…
        In-fighting and bitterness, along with entering Politics into the fray; Accomplishes ABSOLUTELY nothing…The Company loves that deflection and will use it, against us all.

        • A previous post I made on Jan 10 was a copy of an article written by The Alliance for Retired Americans. It clearly stated what is going on. If someone chose not to read the article and go off some un-related rant, it is indeed an attempt at deflection from the issue. Divide and conquer, that’s the mantra. Reminds me of the film “Blue Collar”, made several years ago. I will not respond to further spurious comments from that Troll…

          • I thought you were not going to respond to ‘trolls’.. Trolls who have lost 10s of thousands due to this union. Trolls who are pissed because the union and the company are in bed together. Example, what would call a strike letting the company know we will go out on a Friday and be back on Tuesday.. Contract before last. A Union who constantly takes our dues to support Radical Extremist lefties. Who say they are for the working poor and raise our taxes. A Union who at one time would have struck for a good contract but now does NOTHING! Then we have to listen to “Health Care Relativity”.. “MY Boss took it in the Shorts, I know of a couple who are happy”… Typical lefty relativism. I don’t give a hoot about what some one else does or gets. GET THAT UNION!! I care about What WE GET!! Not Walmart, or a boss or a couple …. We are talking about US!!.If lyou want to kneel to the alter of Morton Barr and all his followers you go ahead. Im really not interested in your divisive tactics… Or your “little catch phrases”.. Ie.. “the union worked very very hard… Or, It is what it is… Or, ‘it is their company they can do what they want, etc.. “.. Terry, if you knew what happened to myself with this worthless union you would have at least come to see why I am as bitter as I am.. I supported this worthless organization for 35 years… At this point in time I feel the Union Brass can go straight to hell.. because that’s where they left us…NO Contract for well over a year, NO strike, no electronic picket line, and they have the balls to say they “Worked VERY Very Hard?”…They did NOTHING!

          • “The Alliance for Retired Americans” is Clearly a Liberal Organization that supports Socialism… So much for your source…

  38. BTW… MY personal problems are also the memberships problems… Wonder why union memberships are at an all time low??? Take a look at “MY PROBLEMS WITH ThE UNION” … seems others have had the same treatment… and your treatment is typical union officer attitude…

    • dando….I will make this short and sweet, and hopefully probably my last reply on the issue at hand.

      No, you are correct about myself not knowing your misfortunate issues with the Union(CWA) or I assume grievances and other processes…?
      There were some that many of us suffered through, and I’m sure you were not alone.

      I never really totally lost a grievance that I filed, sit in on, or followed through as an advisor or on a board….The majority of them came out in good favor to the employee, some had to be compromises.
      The worst were when an employee(s) had been stealing from the Company or had assaulted; Gotten into a fight with a supervisor …Those were the toughest…
      I managed to “always” keep their jobs, but usually also settled for “temporary suspensions” of a couple weeks to a month…Usually re-statement with all previous rights with temporary conditions, probation of sorts…Those are pretty good settlements under most situations. And very hard to win.

      To rehash any other past problems at this time are somewhat futile, and only open up old wounds.
      I filed or had grievances filed on my behalf also and most worked out fairly well, but not all were slam dunks or hunky dory…Hence the reason for getting more involved in the CWA, and leaving Management programs for the time….I was not a “fence walker” and most knew that.

      I gained respect from management, even to higher levels; Plus had a excellent rapport with most members I ever crossed paths with, along with serving in higher offices…
      And working on special Projects or programs with Bell, AT&T and CWA…Over the years.
      We did an excellent job on retiring or buyouts for workers, and gave them the ability to retire with dignity….After 30+ plus years, I hung it all up and never really looked back.
      And I still have respect for the Career I had with AT&T and CWA, and them also..

      I am not happy with the current problems in healthcare and what the “Company” is doing…
      So I encourage you and others to start a letter writing campaign, e-mail or otherwise…?
      And display your grievances and or suggestions in a civil manner…The “Union” will respond much better to questions and suggestions, then to diatribes, rants or venting…So Good Luck to all and you.
      And have a nice Holiday weekend, with friends and family..
      Remembering what this weekend is about.

      • Thanks for all you have done. I was at one time ask to run for union president. I just did not have the time as I am sure you are well aware of. I have even walked picket lines after I retired for the CWA. Yes, I am like the dog with an old bone who refuses to let it go.. Wish I could. I know I would be much happier. The best I can do is to be thankful for the pension I have and all the good the job brought to me. Believe me, I do miss working and the guys I have worked with. Thanks for the words…You have a GREAT weekend as well.

  39. First a static slide show, then a phone in, with callers wasting time complimenting AON. Now trying to confirm telephone appointment on website . Easy action item not there. In my zip code I can choose Humana Humana Humana Humans or Humana.
    Looks like AT$T gets the last laugh
    Buzz Paff buzzpaff@gmail.com

  40. It only gets worse Been trying for 2 days to confirm Phone appointment. Sent email, wasted 2 hours with different Arabic named females on chat to no avail. Called 800# and was told AON been working on that trouble for days.. Asked to speak to supervisor so somebody could inform the chat people. None available, will call back. Now i see why no area to leave a comment on AON’

  41. So, AT&T dropped us! They are pawing us off on aon

    Hewitt. We are on medicare so aon better be under medicare supplemental. If not we all drop AON and hit them in the pocketbook!

  42. Now CWA wants to steal money from walmart employees. Too many Att folks caught on to their game and dropped their lazy useless corrupt asses! Now the want to unionize walmart. I will tell every walmart person to ignore them, they are useless!

  43. I still haven’t figured out if retirees have a HRA for 2014. Anyone know? I retired in 2003. My spouse is on Medicare. Our monthly payments have gone through the roof!

  44. Please boycott ATT products and services, until it resumes providing reasonable benefits for its retirees.
    The worthless overpaid executives who choose to stab loyal employees in the back with their immoral “business decisions” should not be rewarded for their perfidy!

  45. Having read all the above comments about A T and T AND CWA, I will add my 10 cents worth. Being an employee for over 30 years and a union member most of that time, (remember, the first 6 months we were not allowed to join the union) I will say this. I have been an employee who worked when to sick to stand up, listened to union reps lie through their teeth to employees, watched union and company guys play golf and decide who won grievances and who lost, saw local presidents flown to hawaii for “meetings” and then saw the same with “company” officials (pictures) at golf courses, bars, and with women who were not their wives. I have seen higher up company leadership smile and laugh and NOT work with unions to make sure the employees who busted their butts for a company to make it one of the richest in the world, and yet give theme selves humongous raises and do nothing for their employees. I watched our union dollars support things that I had sever personal differences against, many many times. And at retirement, all I got from the local union, was a plastic union card showing my 30 years 6 months service to the union. I saw my life insurance jump from 19.95 per month to 225.00 per month just because I retired. I watched it go up in cost every year until I could no longer afford it. I watched my health insurance( which was promised for life for myself and my wife) jump from nothing but co pays to 355..00 per month. I am seeing and hearing that it will again go up starting January 1, 2015, to as yet undisclosed cost. Compare that to a good friend who went to work for the local power company the same time I did, gets a retirement from the power co AND IBEW. NO insurance costs per month,a retirement check that is almost triple mine before anything taken out, who can live a life worth talking about. Where has the union and the company been since I and many others retired? GOOD QUESTION. It is a proven fact, AHC act, obama care, what ever you want to call it is nothing but a failure. A T and T (randals ) paycheck is making sure him and the idiots at the top are getting theirs. With 213 million one year refunded to them, WHY was this money not spent on the retirees? Huge bonuses for the elite comes to mind. Plane trips to where ever they want to go comes to mind. Health care they do not have to worry about comes to mind. sounding like our government side by side comes to mind. Boils down to nothing but greed. I do hope and pray I get to see all these liars and thieves get theirs before I die, if not, I would like a short view of them getting what they really deserve after wards. Folks, we cannot undo what was slipped under our noses years ago now. We can only do as well as we can. BCBS is for a fact offering medical plans cheaper with almost what we had as employees. Yes, I am back to work because my retirement does not do for me what I was promised. Where I work I see daily people whose insurance problems are as bad if not worse than ours. I see bell employees paying through their noses for basic medical needs, and those who were lied to (again) by at and t actually refused things because they were told to go to “this great plan” and it provides nothing. Our union AND company could have and should have done better for us retirees. Union locals should really pay attention that “membership” is falling off at an alarming rate. At and t should note that many people are dropping them like hot dead flies because of no service and no one caring . In a town near me, the local electric company provides fiber to the house, with phones, internet, tv and power at a rate cheaper and many many times faster than anyone around. At and t is losing business daily there. At the going rate, there will not be a bell phone line in existence there. POWER companies nation wide are now copying their plans and are making monies hand over fist. Their employees are loving what they get, and the retirees I run into cannot stop praising how much they get. A t and t AND CWA, you guys had your chance, lost it. SHAME on both of you. When your belly up, who will give you your huge bonuses and free golf games. you will have nothing left to draw from. Just like our country.

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