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News


07/05/2018
 
Posted By: Council 93

For Active Employees and Non-Medicare Retirees

Summary

  • Effective July 1, 2018, Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI) will manage the pharmacy benefits for GIC active and non-Medicare retirees.
  • The significant cost savings achieved through a smarter use of the GIC's purchasing power largely contributed to our ability to achieve a zero aggregate premium increase in FY19.
  • By contracting with one pharmacy benefits manager, the GIC has standardized its prescription drug access for the very first time, ensuring all members have access to the same drugs, at the same prices.
  • Several Convenient Benefit Options
    • GIC members can continue to use nearly 60,000 retail pharmacies nationwide, including major drugstores like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid for a 30-day supply.
    • GIC members can also obtain a 90-day supply through mail order through ESI mail order or at retail at a CVS pharmacy.

Supporting Member Transition

  • ESI Member Outreach
    • In June, GIC members will receive a "Welcome Kit" with member ID card(s) that members will be required to use when filling their prescriptions.
    • As is the case each year with pharmacy benefits managers, there will be some changes to certain member pharmacy benefits. Members who may experience a change as part of the transition to ESI will receive personalized communications letting them know which of their medications are impacted and what their options are.
  • Prescription Drug Tier Changes
    • Some members will see their current medication change tiers, leading to a change in their copay.
    • Any member whose prescription drug will have moved to a higher cost tier will have covered alternatives on either the same copay tier that they were paying before or a lower cost tier.
  • ESI will offer a six -month grace period (until Dec. 31) for members who may be affected by the transition as follows:
    • Members who will need to obtain a Prior Authorization (PA) for a drug that they are currently on. Members who already have a PA for a particular drug will not need to obtain a new one until their current PA expires.
    • Members who are currently on a brand-name drug that has a generic equivalent. Members who choose to remain on the brand-name drug will pay the difference between the generic copay and the full cost of the drug plus the generic copay. A medical necessity appeals process will be available.
    • Members currently utilizing a prescription that will be excluded from the ESI. Members will have either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 covered alternative to their current therapy.
    • A personalized mailing will be sent to each member in these categories informing them of available alternatives. We strongly encourage members to have a discussion with their prescribers well in advance of the end of the six-month transition period.
FOR MEDICARE RETIREES ONLY

  • Effective July 1 Silverscript (owned by CVS Health) will manage pharmacy benefits for all Medicare retirees. For most members, this does not represent a change.
  • Members in the Tufts Medicare Preferred Plan or in the Fallon Senior Plan will be moving to the GIC's SilverScript EGWP (Employer Group Waiver Plan) prescription drug product for 7/1/18.
    • Members should not opt-out of the SilverScript Part D program. If they do, they will lose their GIC health, behavioral health, and prescription drug benefits and will not be able to re-enroll until next spring.
    • These members will join the rest of the GIC's Medicare members, who are already in this EGWP product.
    • Members will receive a welcome kit in mid-June which will include a copy of the formulary and ID cards.
  • Some members will see a CMS income related surcharge for Medicare Part D. This only affects members who earned more than $85,000, or filing jointly earned more than $170,000 in 2018. This surcharge ranges from $13.00 per month to $74.80 per month, depending on income.





07/03/2018
 
Posted By: John Killoy
Olde Scotland LinksWest Bridgewater, MA- The forecast for most of the weekend had called for rain and thunderstorms, but when tee time came on the morning of June 25th for the 12th Annual AFSCME Council 93 Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament clear skies greeted the 144 golfers gathered at Olde Scotland Links in West Bridgewater. A full field of golfers- both of the avid and decidedly less so varieties- were on hand to raise money for the scholarship fund to benefit Council 93 members, their children, spouses, grandchildren, and dependents. By the end of the day just under $48,000 was raised through sponsorships, entry fees, and raffle ticket sales.

The field of golfers was made up of AFSCME Council 93 leaders, rank-and-file members, friends, supporters, and allies. All four Northern New England states were well represented, with several groups from Maine and Vermont using the tournament as an excuse to make a long weekend in Massachusetts.

The group of Council 93 President Charlie Owen, Special Assistant to the Executive Director Mark Bernard, Metro Coordinator Mike Coogan, and Larry Rice of Membership Benefits were the tournament winners with a score of 16-under par. However, no matter what the score the day was a great success for all involved.

Major sponsors included Council 93, Regan Associates, and the City of Boston Credit Union- who provided the lunch buffet for the awards ceremony and raffle drawings. A number of locals, friends, and supporters also generously donated to sponsor holes, raffle prizes, and time to make the tournament a success.

Executive Director Frank Moroney, took time to thank "the tournament coordinator Mark Bernard, the sponsors and volunteers really make this tournament such a great success. Without the help of so many wonderful people over the years we wouldn't have been able to grow this tournament into what it is today."

Golfers, volunteers, and supporters were more than happy to support a great cause, leading to brisk ticket sales for the 50/50 raffle and traditional raffle throughout the day. Through the raffles and on-course challenge contests, more than $8,000 was raised for the scholarship fund. Contributing to the strong ticket sales were the opportunities to win Red Sox tickets, 5-Star Hotel stays, flat-screen TVs, a variety of golf clubs, and various electronics.


Council 93 Executive Board Member and Scholarship Committee Chairperson, Chris "Tiger" Stockbridge, said of the turnout "it is because of all the people gathered here today that our scholarship fund is able to help three deserving students continue their education every year."

Each year, the AFSCME Council 93 Memorial Scholarship Fund provides three individual one-thousand dollar ($1,000) scholarships to students enrolled in a two-year or four-year accredited college. Awarded in memory of all of our departed members, the scholarship is renewed for each year of attendance. Over the past two decades, more than $43,000 in funding has been awarded to deserving AFSCME families. Council 93 members and their spouses, children, stepchildren, grandchildren, or legal dependent. (Proof of AFSCME membership required) Applicants must be accepted or already attending an accredited college or university, community college or recognized technical or trade school at the time of the award. Graduate students are not eligible.


06/27/2018
 
Posted By: Council 93

Boston, MA—AFSCME Council 93 Executive Director Frank Moroney issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31.

"AFSCME members provide the vital services that America depends on every day. They work quietly behind the scenes, - often with little fanfare or recognition. They serve as direct care workers in human services facilities, and in vital roles in our public works departments. They work as corrections officers in our jails and prisons, and front line staff in our juvenile justice system. They are the backbone of our public higher education system in Massachusetts, and much, much more.

"Through our union we've won good middle-class jobs and brighter futures for millions of families. We have power in numbers, and we won't let any court case stop us from advocating for excellent public services, fairness at work, and prosperity and opportunity for all working families."

###

AFSCME Council 93 is a union of 40,000 public and private sector employees in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. It is one of the largest labor unions in Northern New England.




06/06/2018
 
Posted By: John Killoy
In this issue we highlight recent AFSCME Council 93 news and events:

  • Members Rally for Respect in Manchester
  • Privatization Win for Local 30
  • Members Lobbying at the MA and VT State Houses
  • 8,000 Members to Receive Raises
  • Rangers Help to Save Life of Fellow Member
  • SUMMUP Leadership Conference
  • Summer Savings for Members
  • Some exciting upcoming events
Click HERE to read it!


06/01/2018
 
Posted By: John Killoy
On May 22nd, the Massachusetts State Legislature gave final approval to the Supplemental Budget that included funding for the Unit 2 State Contract. Both chambers passed the spending bill and within hours of being transmitted to his desk, Governor Charlie Baker signed the bill into law. The bill became law immediately, because of an emergency preamble attached to the spending package.

Over 8,000 Council 93 members across the Commonwealth will benefit from increased wages, forced overtime protections, expanded personal leave policies, better working conditions, and long-sought job protection language.

The new contract calls for up to 6% increase in wages. Starting with a 1% wage increase retroactive to July 2017. The first full pay period of July 2018 brings another 1% wage and 1% wage increases every six months until January 2020. There is guard optimism that an additional 1% wage increase, effective retroactive to the first pay period of 2017, will be realized if state tax revenues reach certain benchmarks.

The contract also includes a number of non-monetary benefits that will greatly improve members' quality of life and afford more opportunities for career advancement and growth. Under the new agreement, members gain greater flexibility in the use of personal leave time, a cap on man­dated overtime that prohibits forcing members to work more than 16 consecutive hours, and stronger protections against transfers and reassignments. In addition, they gain opportunities for career advancement through a dedicated Training and Career Ladder Development Fund.

After more than 40 years of fighting for recognition of their designation as emergency personnel, effective January 1, 2018 all such designated employees will be credited with one day of compensatory time every January to be taken within the calendar year, whether or not a state of emergen­cy is declared. This provision recognizes AFSCME mem­bers for their dedication to making it into work under any and all conditions to provide the citizens of Massachusetts with outstanding public services.

The three-year agreement was ratified in February by an 85% to 15% margin.



05/18/2018
 
Posted By: Council 93

AFSCME Council 93 Memorial Scholarship
Click Here to Download Application

Each year, the AFSCME Council 93 Memorial Scholarship Fund provides three individual one-thousand dollar ($1,000) scholarships to students enrolled in a two-year or four-year accredited college. Awarded in memory of all of our departed members, the scholarship is renewed for each year of attendance. Over the past two decades, more than $43,000 in funding has been awarded to deserving AFSCME families.

Who is eligible?

Council 93 members and their spouses, children, stepchildren, grandchildren, or legal dependent. (Proof of AFSCME membership required) Applicants must be accepted or already attending an accredited college or university, community college or recognized technical or trade school at the time of the award. Graduate students are not eligible.

How do I apply?

Applicants must complete an application and submit a 500-750 word essay on "Why Unions Have Been Important to my Family." The essay should be typed and double spaced. The Scholarship Committee suggests that students contact their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors or friends to learn what labor union membership and participation may have meant to them. Union members are encouraged to discuss the essay with their children, grandchildren, and others, to relate their own experiences as possible topics for the essays.

The Scholarship Committee will determine the award based upon the essay and completed application form. Upon receipt of each scholarship application, the applicant's name and local number will be separately indexed. Once completed, this information will then be obscured to assure complete impartiality by the Scholarship Committee. The decision of the Committee is final.

Application Deadline

Applications and essays must be received for consideration by July 1, to be considered for the award.

Please send to completed applications and essays in one envelope to:

AFSCME Council 93 Scholarship Committee
8 Beacon Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02108

The winner will be notified sometime in mid-summer and the award will be presented at the AFSCME Council 93 Convention in the fall. Complete criteria can be viewed in PDF form here.


05/11/2018
 
Posted By: Council 93
The AFSCME Women's Leadership Academy Online is a wonderful opportunity for all AFSCME women to gain a deeper understanding of the issues that affect working women, strengthen leadership skills and activism, and be inspired to become strong leaders/activists in their workplace. As a participant, you will receive knowledge from experts on various topics pertaining to leadership development and women's issues. You will be supported by an amazing group of women leaders and activists in the AFSCME Women's Leadership Academy Facebook Group. And, you will be able to set and reach goals that help to strengthen your local.

The Academy will include:
• Five 60-minute webinar sessions that will be conducted once per month from May - October 2018
• Completion of a short quiz/evaluation after each session
• Completion of an AFSCME Strong action such as engaging in one-on-one conversations with co-workers to increase membership, signing up new PEOPLE contributors in your local, or even getting involved in an organizing/political campaign through your local or council/affiliate just to name a few.

To be a part of the Academy, please complete the one-page registration form by May 31st. We will send you a schedule of sessions upon completion.

If you have any questions, please call Tsika Pasipanodya 202-429-1214.

REGISTER HERE!


05/10/2018
 
Posted By: John Killoy
Steward's Training

Saturday June 9th, 2018
Training runs from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

AFSCME Council 93 South Shore Office (2nd floor)
46 Foster St. New Bedford, MA.


AFSCME Council 93 will be conducting a Union Steward's Training for any AFSCME member that is interested in attending. All members and current or newly elected Union Officers and Stewards are urged to attend.

The training will cover such topics as:

  • Rights of Union Members and the Local Union Steward, such as "Weingarten Rights", Duty of Fair Representation, Information Requests, etc.
  • Source of the "Union's" Strength and Power
  • What constitutes a Grievance? Past Practice?
  • Grievance administration, writing, investigating and presentation
Lunch will be provided. You will only need to bring a copy of your contract.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Cathy Chapman at 774-202-8065 or via e-mail at cchapman@afscme93.org no later than June 1, 2018.

*We must receive your name, phone number, mailing address and/or e-mail address and your Local #.



05/07/2018
 
Posted By: Council 93
If you're one of the thousands of men and women who provide homecare and respite services, AFSCME Council 93 wants you to know more about a new contract between our union and the State of Vermont that provides you with certain rights, benefits and new wage increases. Want to learn more? Call the AFSCME office in Rutland at (802) 775-9577

As homecare and respite workers, you provide individuals and families with quality, compassionate care that allows seniors, adults and children to live with dignity and independence – all within the comfort and security of their home and community. That's why AFSCME fought so hard to secure the recognition you deserve in this new contract.

If you're a homecare or respite worker and receive your paycheck through Aris, call the AFSCME office in Rutland at (802) 775-9577 for more information


05/07/2018
 
Posted By: Council 93

Member Benefits20180328102438



Being an AFSCME Council 93 member doesn't only get you an advantage at the bargaining table – it also gets you access to discounts and benefits you can use to go shopping, take your family on a trip, save on insurance, and many more.

Teleflora

Union Members save 25% on all Teleflora flowers and GiftTree gift baskets — your discount will be automatically applied at checkout. Promotion code: BAAUP25
Access: https://www.unionplus.org/benefits/travel-fun/gifts-flowers

Canobie Lake Park Member Perk!

Day Passes- $32.00 Save 15%

Access: https://tickets.canobie.com/affiliate.asp…
Password: AFSCME93


Six Flags New England Member Perk!

  • Day Passes- $42.00 Save 39%
  • Season Passes- $58.99 Save 23%
  • Picnic in the Park (Pass, Parking, and meal)- $48.24

Access: www.sixflags.com/partnerlogin
Sign In: AFSCME93
Password: sixflags2

Be sure to check back soon for more Council 93 Membership Benefits!




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AFSCME Council 93 represents more than 45,000 state, county and municipal employees in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

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