Retirees Have to Pay Deductible Again

Even though current retirees have satisfied this years deductible for their health plans, with the implementation of the “new” healthcare plan, negotiated between UPS and the Teamsters, current retirees will be subject to the deductible portion of the plan on June 1st when the “new” plan is put into place.  Aetna has been given the opportunity to re-collect the deductible and gouge retirees for up to an additional $400.

During negotiations we were led to believe that our retiree health plans were going to remain the same. Guess we should have known that we were being misled just like the active rank and file. Pretty tough to make these changes on a retirees income. Sure would have been nice to at least get some advance notice, and maybe some say in the negotiation process. Not so for todays Teamster Retiree!

UPS Black Friday Surprise

May 21, 2014: UPS announced it will implement full ground and air service on the Friday after Thanksgiving even though Black Friday is a holiday under the contract.

UPS has always suspended ground deliveries on Black Friday, with Teamsters getting premium pay to do air pickups and deliveries. But this year, UPS plans to have full ground service too, according to a memo that is being read by UPS management at morning meetings called PCMs.

“We were totally, blindsided,” said Kathy Duffy, a driver from Local 384 in Willow Grove, Pa. “We’ve been fighting for more time with our families. This is the only quality family holiday that a lot of UPSers get because we’re all so exhausted at Christmas.”

UPS management says they’re implementing the change to “help clear the UPS system and prepare us for the first wave” of holiday season peak volume. 

“This is a total over-reaction to what happened last year. All UPS has to do is hire more people. Instead, it’s like we’re losing a holiday,” Duffy said.

Under nearly every supplement and rider, UPS can force employees to work on a holiday if there are not enough volunteers (with the Local 804 Supplement is a notable exception).

Pay for Teamsters who work the holiday is governed by your supplement or rider. In some supplements, Teamsters who work the holiday get double-time with an eight-hour minimum, plus eight hours of holiday pay. In other supplements, it is time-and-a-half plus the holiday pay.

Ken Hall and the IBT just issued a press release bragging UPS will have to cut down excessive overtime and deal with “embarrassing staffing shortages during the last holiday season” by hiring more drivers.

Apparently UPS management has other ideas.

Another Contract Loophole Exposed

UPS made $4.5 billion in profits last year. So why will some package car drivers make less than new hires under the new contract?

Starting pay under the new contract was raised for package drivers to $18.75 an hour. But incredibly, Hall is allowing UPS to continue to pay a lower rate to more senior drivers who were making less under the old contract.

Depending on where they fall in the progression, package car drivers will make 30¢ an hour less than drivers hired a year or more after them thanks to this pro-company loophole in the new contract.

New Package Drivers get screwed under the contract too. It now takes four years to get to top pay, instead of three.

Before the contract, Hall vowed, “We’re not going to be talking about concessions, we’re going to be talking about improvements.” But actions and results speak louder than words.

The pay rate for Package Drivers who were in the progression as of last August 1 is spelled out in this chart from the IBT.

UPS Teamsters: Cash in With $50 Retro Check Discount

Retro checks are on the way May 27. Put that extra cash to work for you.

Register to attend your first TDU Convention and get a $50 discount. This limited-time offer expires on June 15. The discount is available to first-time TDU Convention attendees only.

The TDU Convention will be held November 7-9 in Cleveland.

The discounted registration rate of $175 covers most meals and all Convention workshops and materials. Hotel rooms at the Cleveland Airport Sheraton are also discounted: just $89/night for a single and $45/night for a shared room.

Click here to register and save $50 today.

Download the Docket for the UPS National Grievance Panel

The next UPS National Grievance Panel will be held June 2-5, 2014 in Boston. TDU is making the complete list of the cases to be heard at the panel available to concerned Teamsters.

Click here to download the cases before the National Grievance Committee.

Click here to download the cases before the Joint National Air Committee.



What a thoughtful company


ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) –

Crews cleared the scene of a fiery crash along Interstate 85 northbound after an 18-wheeler wrecked into an overpass at mile marker 30 on Thursday night.

Anderson County fire officials said a UPS truck hit the bridge that crosses over Cherokee Road and caught fire.

The driver and a passenger from Illinois were pulled from the truck and taken by EMS to Greenville Hospital, officials said. Their condition is unknown at this time.

Lance Cpl. Gary Miller said a tire malfunction caused the tractor trailer to run off the side of the road.

UPS released the following statement about the accident on Friday:

At UPS, our concern is for the health and recovery of our two drivers. UPS continues to cooperate with the investigating authorities. We are also in the process of assessing the extent of the damage to packages on the tractor trailer. UPS is contacting customers whose packages were damaged or destroyed and we will make them whole.

New Summary Plan Descriptions Mailed to Retirees

After being reassured that the Retirees Health plan remained unchanged, all of the retirees are being sent a new summary plan description which drastically alters coverages and costs to retirees.
Just an example of those changes is the prescription coverages. Where many of our prescriptions were covered at 100%, now we will pay 20% of the cost. Additionally, where many of us were on a 90%-10% plan, we are now being reduced to an 80%-20% plan. Another huge increase in costs.
The biggest, most devastating cost though is the inclusion of a $200 per person, $400 family deductible. Many of the current plans did not include a deductible.
These are the most glaring changes in the Summary Plan Description. The worst part is that most of the retirees I know, that retired before the contract negotiations, were led to believe that our healthcare package would remain unchanged.
The consistent story in these negotiations seems to be the Internationals secrecy in negotiating on our behalf.
Here’s another example!

His Passport Took a Two-Year Vacation (Without Him)


It’s been a little over two years since the Haggler’s passport vanished. Longtime readers may recall the particulars: While visiting Stanford University, the Haggler had his passport shipped from Manhattan overnight via United Parcel Service, for a quick and unscheduled trip to Canada. Days passed, and no passport arrived. Calls were made. Facilities were searched. More calls were made. More facilities were searched.

The document was never seen again. Poof. It had vanished

“Wait just a minute,” the Haggler can hear readers exclaim incredulously. “What about the law of conservation of mass, as stated by the 18th-century French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, which holds that mass can neither be created nor destroyed?”

Well played, readers! Here’s the thing: That law was discovered long before U.P.S. was founded. Seriously, if U.P.S. had been around in the age of Lavoisier, the guy would never have called it “the law of conservation of mass.” It would be more like “a suggestion” or “a guiding principle with a glaring exception.” Because U.P.S. has the ability to make mass evaporate.

Or so it seemed. A few weeks ago, a woman at Stanford called with some remarkable news.

“Your passport just arrived here,” she said.

Well, well. The Haggler speculated about what this document had been up to, lo these many months. Perhaps it had been flying around the world, getting stamped in exotic countries. But the truth was mundane.

“We traced it to a pickup point of a U.P.S. letter drop box by an office building in Westbury on Long Island,” wrote Susan Rosenberg, a U.P.S. spokeswoman.

That’s right: The package was placed in a U.P.S. drop box on Long Island. And apparently it looked precisely the way it did when it was initially mailed. Nothing out of the ordinary, except for its two-year absence from the U.P.S. system.

So what happened here? How did this package wind up in Westbury, and where had it been languishing? U.P.S. could offer only theories.

The first, Ms. Rosenberg said, was that a U.P.S. driver had somehow mixed up that package with shipping supplies that were then dropped off at some company on Long Island.

“Our drivers deliver a lot of supplies,” she explained in a phone interview, “and the conjecture is that somehow, your express envelope got put together with supplies and delivered to another building, in a bundle of supplies. Somebody who works in Westbury must have eventually looked at the envelope and realized, ‘Oh, this has a label on it.’ ”

And into the drop box it went, then off to Stanford.

Ms. Rosenberg emphasized that this was just a theory. It appeared to be the best that a U.P.S. brain trust of wayward-package theorizers could conceive.

But one wonders: Wouldn’t a package that had been out of the U.P.S. system for more than two years raise a red flag as it re-entered the system? Wouldn’t a scanning device bleep and deliver a “Huh?” kind of noise?

Not necessarily, Ms. Rosenberg said. The package was lost so long that it had effectively aged out of the system. Which apparently means that it was treated like a brand new package.

Continue reading the main story

Continue reading the main story

As the Haggler was trying to fathom all this, “Planet Money” — the consistently outstanding NPR podcast about all things economic — did a show called “The Future of Work Looks Like a U.P.S. Truck.” It was about the almost alarming number of ways that U.P.S. tracks its drivers and their trucks. The vehicles are studded with sensors so that the company can keep track of just about everything — when a driver opens and closes the truck’s door, starts the truck, turns off the truck, puts on a seatbelt. The company even keeps tabs on when a driver puts a truck in reverse, and for how long.

All of this data is sent to Paramus, N.J., where it is sifted by engineers on an endless quest to shave seconds off of delivery and pickup times.

This focus on time has yielded results. A driver told “Planet Money” that years ago he could handle 90 deliveries a day. Now he can handle 120.

The Haggler listened in a state of bemused stupefaction. This company can tell how much time a truck spent, each day, going backward, but it can lose a package? And when that package reappears, it can offer only educated guesses about its journey?

When the Haggler emailed these sentiments to Ms. Rosenberg, she thanked the Haggler for his kind words about U.P.S.’s technological achievements, which are truly impressive. Then she said the company had a new theory about that lost-and-found passport.

“We now believe that it didn’t go beyond its initial pickup,” she wrote, “possibly being mishandled by the driver before he or she ever made it back to the delivery center to move through other scanning and transit.”

Hmm. Then how did it get to Long Island? As the Haggler pondered that one, he realized that the “Planet Money” podcast was all about streamlining the routes of drivers. Maybe when the company is done with that effort, it can fail-safe the system of package-tracking, so that passports don’t disappear.

That work may not save the company millions of dollars a year, and it probably won’t reduce the amount of time that U.P.S. trucks spend in reverse. But it would be progress.

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