Daily Update from President Utecht


March 21, 2020

Dear Member:
Ancillary Benefits Expanded and Open Enrollment Period To Begin for members in Part-Time positions

As Chairman of the Board of Trustees for our MRMC Union Health & Welfare Plan, I am proud to announce that our Ancillary Benefits Package has been expanded to include Doctor on Demand AND a renewed Open Enrollment Period for those eligible members to sign up for more coverage. It will still cost you $1 a week.

This past week, I proposed expanding the current Ancillary Benefit Package for members in part-time positions to include Doctor on Demand, which is video/virtual doctor health visits, to the Board of Trustees. This is a huge value to our members.

Your employer will offer a renewed open enrollment period for those current members who are already employed, as well as the regular open enrollment period for new hires. Check www.663benefits.com for information as it is updated by Wilson-McShane, our Health & Welfare Administrator.

The current Ancillary Benefits Package includes:

Because members who elect Ancillary Benefits Package or currently have it won’t have Blue Cross Blue Shield cards, each time they use Doctor on Demand there will be a $49 out of pocket cost. However, the MRMC Health & Welfare fund will reimburse the member if they send receipt to Wilson-McShane, the Plan’s administrator.

Union Grocers Raise Industry Standards

More Union Members Get Appreciation Pay

This week, you learned how our many of our union grocery employers stepped up to give increases in pay to all union hourly employees by $2 an hour. It all began with a UFCW Local 663 grocer in greater Minnesota, Miner’s Inc. Union grocers raised industry standards. This means more of our union members get appreciation pay.

After the initial Star Tribune story ran this week about the appreciation pay, the Pioneer Press and Kare 11 covered it. Following the Star Tribune story, Lunds & Byerlys announced full-time employees will receive an additional $500 and part-timers will get $200 on their first check in April. That includes all current workers and those temporarily away to care for themselves or family members.

Local 663 Union grocery employers led those efforts, and yesterday non-union grocery competitor Target announced a $2 pay increase for their workers. I’m proud to work on your behalf with employers to fight for what you deserve.

More Employers Offer Appreciation Pay To Members

Eastside Food Coop also joined the list of grocery employers who are giving appreciation pay to our members.

Employers who have given the appreciation pay increase include: Miner’s, Quisberg’s Cub Foods, Corporate Cub Foods, Jerry’s Foods, Jerry’s Cub Foods, Kowalski’s Markets, Lunds & Byerlys, Radermacher’s Cub Foods, Linden Hills Coop, Seward Community Coop, Oxendale’s and Eastside Food Coop.

Ongoing Resources for Workers During COVID-19 Outbreak

In our ongoing efforts to keep communication lines open and information available, here is a list of useful websites during these uncertain times that you and your family may find helpful.

Take care. Please contact me if you have comments, questions or concerns. Thank you for the hard work that you do.


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