Your union met with Kroger on October 27th to continue negotiations. And despite Kroger’s misleading information and unfair labor practices, we are determined to create a path forward that secures affordable healthcare for you and your families. We also remain committed to negotiating better raises, secure hours, and guaranteed paid time off. We will not settle for a contract that is less than what you have earned and deserve.
It is wrong for Kroger to force you into a costlier, company-controlled plan by threatening that unless you agree to their plan, you won’t have healthcare. That is simply wrong. It is especially wrong for Kroger to do this in the middle of a pandemic when they have seen record profits because of your hard work and continue to contribute to other local union’s affordable, employee-controlled healthcare.
Three Things You Should Know About Negotiations and Your Healthcare
- Negotiations have not concluded. Nothing is final when it comes to your contract or your healthcare. Until you vote, the status quo should remain, and your healthcare should be the same.
- Your South Central Trust Fund is open and operational. UFCW members in Dallas, Houston, Louisiana, and Arkansas are enrolling in South Central and money is still going into your fund.
- Do not throw out any enrollment information. You deserve to have all the information you need to make a decision that works for you. Keep all papers on all plans.
The hard work that you have put in so that Kroger could make over $1 BILLION in profits during the pandemic alone, does not deserve to be “rewarded” by Kroger threatening the future of your care and trying to mislead you into a plan
that will make it more expensive for you.
How much more expensive is Kroger’s “K-Plan”?
The first comparison in our Impact Series looks at the key failings of Kroger’s company-controlled healthcare plan versus your current employee-controlled plan.
Impact Series: Key Failings of Kroger’s Company-Controlled “K-Plan” for Employees Hired Before 1/1/2021
#1: Out-Of-Pocket Maximums
Under your current employee-controlled plan: your maximum is guaranteed under contract to be set at $4,000 – $8,000 for Plans A and B and $4,500 – $9,000 for Plan C. Under Kroger’s company-controlled plan: your out-of-pocket maximum is $7,900 to $15,000 for in-network and $15,800 to $31,600 for out-of-network.
Under our proposed employee-controlled plan: your prescriptions will be guaranteed under contract to range from $5 for generic to $50 + 20% of cost for specialty and $5 to $125 for mail order prescriptions. Under Kroger’s company-controlled plan: your prescriptions will cost anywhere from $10 to $40 for generic and up to $400 for specialty. You will not be able to order specialty prescriptions by mail.
#3 Emergency Room Visits
Under your current employee-controlled plan: it is guaranteed under contract that an emergency room visit co-pay is $100 + co-insurance for hospital stays or special visits. Under Kroger’s company-controlled plan: a trip to the emergency room will cost you $300 + co-insurance for hospital stays or special visits.
Kroger’s plan is designed to make it more expensive for you to use your healthcare.
Seeing your doctor, refilling a prescription, or taking a trip to the emergency room will cost you more in out-of-pocket expenses under a company-controlled plan.
Every other major Kroger division with UFCW representation in the country has employee controlled union healthcare.
You control your healthcare because you are in a union. Your vote on your union contract guarantees your healthcare rates, coverage, and costs. Nothing is final until you vote. Your voice and your vote is part of the value of being in a union and that must be protected.
There is no reason for a company as profitable as Kroger to threaten to stop contributing to your healthcare and force you onto a more expensive company-controlled plan.
While you’ve been putting your health and safety on the line this year, Kroger’s profit lines have risen dramatically and now the company is trying to make it harder for you to qualify and afford healthcare by taking away
your control over your costs.
There is also no reason why Kroger blocked South Central enrollment on Kroger Computers when Open Enrollment began on October 15th.
Kroger has since reversed that decision and you can now access South Central enrollment at www.bams.bz on Kroger computers using the Quick Links Menu, but why didn’t they make employees aware of this reversal? It is wrong for Kroger to deny access to critical enrollment resources, while threatening to stop contributing to your current fund and telling you to throw out important healthcare enrollment information.
The Solution Is Simple: Protect Your Voice and Your Employee-Controlled Healthcare.
Your union has proposed set rates that you can count on and afford, that you will always maintain your voice when it comes to your healthcare, and that the company you have helped make profitable will contribute to the cost of keeping you healthy in your stores.
What You Can Do?
Sign Up For Your South Central Healthcare.
It is the single most important way you can protect
affordable, employee-controlled healthcare.
Sign Up For Blast Text Negotiation Updates.
We will continue to send you cost comparisons for your
healthcare options as part of an impact series on what’s at
stake for your healthcare, wages, and other benefits like
paid time off and full-time status.
Download Our App
A members-only tool helping you stay connected with your Union all in the palm of your hand.