Central States - Not Working at all

Discussion in 'The Archives' started by ok2bclever, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. ok2bclever

    ok2bclever Guest

    My schedule keeps me a bit too busy to get to this site regularly, but I came to it to see what others were saying about the announcement by the Central States Pension fund that they had changed the working restrictions from individual consideration to just plain no working allowed at all if you wish to receive a pension check from them and I was suprised this apparently hasn't even been addressed here yet.

    This is quite a bit worse in practical terms than even the eleven year freeze. It effectively would eliminate 25 and 30 and out at any age for most people.

    A letter writing campaign protesting this change and demanding the restriction be lifted is being started at my center.

    Hotheads are screaming lawsuits and worse of course, but as usual those types never really actually do anything.

    What's the general feelings on this board about the change?
     
  2. esuorc

    esuorc Guest

    After 30 years of paying dues and company contibutions, its none of their business what I do. Does the union think they OWN me. Changes must be made. This is not the case in other areas of the country. I've asked local guys about this and all they will say is that is the trustees decisions.
     
  3. ja7618

    ja7618 Guest

    ok2bclever- are you saying that if you retire you can't work another job? My husband has 8 yrs left to get his 30, but will only 55 and wants to work to keep busy if for no other reason. How can they do this, he and the rest of you have put in their time and paid their dues? Once again maybe another reason UPS should handle the pension fund?
     
  4. wkmac

    wkmac Guest

    I think our actions of 1997' are coming back to haunt us. The work restrictions alone back in 97' was enough IMO to give serious consideration to a company run plan because retirees under the current company plan have no restrictions as far as working beyond retirement. I felt that way then and still do today!

    IMO these new rules are nothing more than CS trying to discourage as many potential retirees right now as they can. For all these years the trustees have allowed the pension fund to be used as a slush fund by crooked union officials and now that market dynamics are not what they need to be, the pension fund is just not enough. Add in the fact that CF just folded and this just compounds the issue.

    There are 2 potential avenues here with one being a letter writting campaign but first the membership at large must be educated about the fund, the history of the fund and how it could work going forward. On a large scale this is currently not the case and our lack of knowledge makes us to damn easy to be manipulated by all sides so IMO the first thing needed is giving honest hard info to the members at large.

    Secondly, I disagree about the lawsuit part but in order to be a plantiff, you must have suffered an injury or damage. I'm working so how have I been injuried? I haven't but a retiree previous to this rule may have been damaged because he or she signed an agreement, contract if you will, with the understanding that they enjoyed limited work ability but now that was done away with. The contractual rules may allow this but this gets back to my point of being educated to the rules.

    The other possible lawsuit has to do with forced involvement with the various pension funds including CS. This one gets kind of tricky because you volunteer for employment with UPS knowing and accepting the Fudciary agent of CS for the purposes of controlling your retirement therefore you stipulate to their rulemaking in this matter.

    In the end, educating the membership at large and placing pressure on Hoffa, the leadership and the Trustees will in the end be the best bet. My best advice is to save and invest yourself. Max your 401k every year, use IRA's, use whatever tools available to save so that on that day you can walk away and if you want to work you can choose a situation based on total enjoyment and not for economic needs. JMO.
     
  5. robonono

    robonono Guest

    mac,

    I agree with you that the lawsuit approach is the wrong track to take. I'm sure that the IBT is fully within its right as trustees of the CS Fund to change the rules. If this is true, then a lawsuit to force change will prove fruitless.

    Again, as in our previous discussion on another thread, it will require a grass roots effort to educate those affected by the rules change, and then a grass roots effort to apply pressure to the trustees to demand a change back to the old rules, or other new rules that the majority of workers/retirees approve,

    Good luck to all in this area.

    IMO, UPS would be a better trustee of your pension than the IBT. But that is just MHO, and is not on the horizon at least for the duration of the current contract - 6 years.
     
  6. ok2bclever

    ok2bclever Guest

    A lawsuit by current retirees will not happen as this pertains only to future retirees. The letter from the fund stated the cut off date was June 1st. Contradictorily a fellow worker who officially retired August 30th received a letter with his first pension check saying it would not apply to him either.

    ja7618,

    That is exactly what is being stated. You cannot work once retired. In June I received the annual pamphlet from CS and it had a pompous statement of the fund was never meant to be used as supplemental income" .

    Now, directly after the contract has been signed for six years and they have received a sizeable increase in weekly contributions from UPS per UPS employee they have come out with a much more strident NO RE-EMPLOYMENT ,period.

    I see this as either a design to deter people from retiring or living long enough to collect from the fund or as an overstrike in an ultimate goal of backing off to severe restrictions or income limitations.

    Either way as I could retire on a 30 and out at any age, yeah right, just short of my 50th birthday I am not at all happy about this development.

    For those who are in areas with stewards and business agents that are not up to speed or won't back protesting this situation here is where and who you should write to:

    Central States Health, Welfare and Pension Fund
    9377 West Higgins Rd
    Rosemont, Illinois 60018
    (800)323-5000 (probably hard to get through to them via phones right now [​IMG].

    Union Trustees
    Ray Cash (since 7/92)
    Charles Whobrey (since 4/02)
    Jerry Younger (since 4/95)
    George J Westley (since 1/97)
    Phillip E Young (since 6/98)

    Company Trustees
    Howard McDougall (Cartage, since 10/76)
    Arthur H Bunte Jr (Motor Carriers, since 12/82)
    Tom J Ventura (Motor Carriers, since 2/98)
    Daniel J Brutto (UPS, since 6/98)
    Gary F Caldwell (Southern Motor Carriers, since 7/00)

    I suggest those not pleased with this turn of events should write the fund and express your extreme dissatisfaction with the new rules regarding re-employment in your own words. Educate your fellow members about this and urge them to do likewise. A petition signed by as many as you can get is an alternative (or I would personally prefer) an additional direction to go on this.

    The union trustees are elected to five year terms and I believe can be re-elected indefinately. There is a 13 member Central Trustee Selection Board that puts four of them in this position. There is a 9 member Southern Trustee Selection Board that decides the fifth position.

    One of the five positions is up for election or re-election every year. The CTSB and STSB are elected by the principal executive officers of the individual locals on a state by state basis. I don't know their terms of office.

    Get involved, do a little work now or you won't be able to later.

    (Message edited by ok2bclever on September 13, 2002)
     
  7. esuorc

    esuorc Guest

    Why is this provision in Central States, and not other parts of the country. From what I understand, retirees in the western plan have no re-employment restrictions at all.?
     
  8. dammor

    dammor Guest

    My understanding is that a person who is retired cannot work for a company that has a Teamsters
    Union and still collect thier pension. You can work elsewhere. Am I correct? I'm not sure...
     
  9. thedrooler

    thedrooler Guest

    It must be comforting to know that the IBT will look out for you until the day you die.

    Drooler
     
  10. wkmac

    wkmac Guest

    robo,
    Thanks for the kind and encouraging words and I don't disagree at all with the last statement about UPS making a better trustee. I've never understood the reluctance of many to set up a pension fund that is not only generous to all of us but is self sustaining and requires little if any further maintenance through added contributions. IMO this is a win/win for both sides. As for what happens beyond 6 years from now, I doubt much but I will say the recent actions by CS has a lot of people upset.

    dammor,
    It wasn't that clear cut but you have the general idea right. The problem now is, based on info posted here, these work rules have changed to where all employment beyond retirement is prohibited. ok2bclever posted the folks we need to contact (Big Thanks to ok2...!) so I would suggest we write letters asking for detailed information about the new rules and with that state by objecting but also educating our fellow co-workers. IMO the least we should do is segregate UPS funds away from the rest of the other Teamster companies and form our own retirement fund. This is one option I do think needs serious consideration, study and discussion but again this is JMO.
     
  11. ok2bclever

    ok2bclever Guest

    Wkmac

    After all these years with UPS I really would not want to trust them with my money either. I would prefer the self managed system you have mentioned, but cannot see either money grubbing side (union or company) willing to let go of this control.

    The seperate UPS pension would definately yield superior benefits, but has just about as much chance happening as your other suggestion for the same reason.

    I think the best we could get out of this would be a seperate pension level (aka; we are in the current top level 18) If master freight or the rest are not contributing to the same level after their negotiations then we should have our own seperate pension level. That would be only fair, but again not likely.

    So I would settle for them just going back to the old re-employment rules as a practical objective for the near future.

    Drooler,

    I bet someone could kill you with a heart attack simply by saying "Teamster" over and over again in your presence. [​IMG] Don't you ever have anything positive to say?

    Half the trustees are company men.
     
  12. proups

    proups Guest

    I am inclined to agree with wkmac that the 1997 strike issue - UPS taking over the union pension - has come back to haunt us.

    Personally, I do feel that UPS would do a better job at managing the pension.
     
  13. wkmac

    wkmac Guest

    ok2bclever,
    Believe me, I've not changed one bit in my belief that the best solution is to allow each employee to provide for his/her needs as it relates to pension/health welfare. I just feel that the best of 2 evils (more a figure of speech so you management types fold in the claws) is a company plan and mainly because of no work restricitions.

    Sadly, I don't see any change for the future but I've been maxing. my 401k for years and suggest that all do likewise because I just don't see this thing lasting me all my days.
    Also consider starting your own business with your wife being the big dog in charge. That way you can do "volunteer work" and there ain't a damn thing the union can do if you don't draw a paycheck![​IMG]
     
  14. ok2bclever

    ok2bclever Guest

    wkmac,

    I campaigned for a 401k back when they were just a 101k. (That's a joke for many of the rest of you. . .) I had to explain what they were to my center manager and it was many years before we got one. I have maxed it out since. (not that that has been much fun of late) I went SMA as soon as possible. (not that that helped me dodge the bursting bubble I suspected was coming. ). I did IRA's while they were deductable and self invested elseways. I have preached this to the congregation all along, mostly to deaf ears. That puts me in a small minority of UPS employees and most will depend heavily on the pension, but will need to supplement it.

    I have always viewed the pension the same as Social Security, as bonuses if they actually come through.

    I appreciate the wife advise, but that has been the case since I started my side business in 1987 with my wife as sole proprietor. I tend to think a bit ahead on these things.

    This situation will not affect me in the least. It just pisses me off in principal and I will do what I can personally (probably not much ) to correct this situation. This will cause many workers to continue their employment much longer than they want to and will devastate those who physically do not have a choice.

    This is the letter I sent to the trustees:

    Dear Sirs, September 16, 2002

    I am writing to express my disappointment and outrage at your decision to change the re-employment policy of the fund. Great strides have been made in the pension benefits thanks to the negotiated contributions in the last two contracts.

    In one policy change you have virtually wiped out all those hard won improvements. Due to the physical nature of the job here at UPS many will need, as well as want, to take advantage of the thirty and out at any age benefit.

    <u>Unfortunately, while the Central States Pension is a decent benefit it is not enough to support a family on. </u>

    I fully understand the necessity of restricting employment to non-competitive jobs, but the only purpose for prohibiting all re-employment is to keep employees from collecting their earned pension benefits. We have earned every week of negotiated contributions that UPS has made on our behalf to our fund that you temporarily oversee.

    Please do the right thing and reinstate the former rules of re-employment immediately and retroactively.


    Anyone that wants to use this or paraphrase it feel free. Take the time to write something to the trustees today. Tomorrow will never come.
     
  15. ok2bclever

    ok2bclever Guest

    Still on the soapbox.

    On top of the personal letter (blow a 37 cent stamp) to the trustees that everyone should write I recommend you should circulate a petition at your worksite as many are just too lazy to write, although they will definately bitch. [​IMG]

    The following is the one I am using at my local center with printed name, signed name and union local underneath this.

    Again, use this as a guideline or make your own. Do it now.

    To the Trustees of the Central States Pension Fund,

    The rights to a decent pension with options of thirty and twenty five and out at any age were won through hard fought negotiations and a strike in 1997. Further raises over the next six years in the weekly contributions from each UPS employee were won in the recent 2002 negotiations.

    The decision to eliminate the ability to supplement this income with non competitive re-employment is reprehensible and unacceptable.

    As the employees involved in both the contributions to the fund and the recipients of the benefits we suggest in the strongest of terms that you rescind these new re-employment rules and return to the more reasonable restrictions previously established for the fund.
     
  16. wkmac

    wkmac Guest

    ok2bclever,
    Enjoyed the last 2 posts. Good ideas. I'm gonna start some local heat myself. Keep up the good work!

    mac
     
  17. ok2bclever

    ok2bclever Guest

    This job issue, the failure to secure any improvements in the pension benefits and the increase in medical premiums to retirees are directly linked to this push to get the Central States Pension fund fully funded.

    hall (who works for Hoffa and was in charge of representing the Teamsters) co-signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the company stating that it would a mutually beneficial goal to have the fund be fully funded. (I strongly disagree that being fully funded is in the best interest of the members).

    I would say this means it will be an uphill battle to get the trustees to do what is right here without future legal action.

    Sigh.

    Never-the-less I continue to recommend those who disagree with the new rules should send personal letters and organize petitions to be sent to the trustees and perhaps copies of the same to the ultimately controlling force here, Hoffa.

    In our building 58% of the membership has signed the petition as of today which is a considerably higher percentage (42.88%) than actually voted in the last contract.

    (Message edited by ok2bclever on September 20, 2002)
     
  18. proups

    proups Guest

    ok2bclever: I agree with everything you say except your comments regarding fully funding our pension plan. UPS asked the Teamsters to have their pension plan fully funded so that it would not continue to be a slush fund for the corruption that goes on in within the union.

    From my perspective, that was the only way UPS could insure that retired union UPSers not face the possibility that the pension fund go bankrupt due to the fact that it supports retirees from many companies that are out of business today.

    I'm still of the opinion that 1997 is coming back to haunt us.

    As for the letter writing campaign, brilliant idea!
     
  19. ok2bclever

    ok2bclever Guest

    believe the argument for fully funding a pension fund is over simplified to the point of being just flat out inaccurate.

    As I understand the concept they use actuarial equations similiar to what insurance companies would factoring in benefits, amount of members, life expectancies and investment projections.

    These are hopefully done historically conservatively, but what if the market sucks beyond historical parameters. Once the companies are allowed to legally withdraw it would take negotiated contractual power (not a given and definately at the expense of other needs) to get them to re-enlist on contributing towards the funds if the fund turns out to not be actually fully funded in the future because of unbelievable lousy investing senarios in the future. (not all that unimaginable currently)

    Irregardless of that possibility, the chance of increases to the benefits of the plan go down to zero unless the plan runs into huge maintainable profits over and above those same forecasts.

    This means a guaranteed continuing downward spiral of the real world value of the pension benefit as the cost of living continues to erode the dollar value.

    Then there is the more immediate results from a selfish standpoint of no current increases in the pension as I near retirement and significant increases in the cost of retiring in the form of medical premiums rising.

    I see absolutely NO benefit to fully funding a pension that a pension maintained in the ninety percent range guaranteeing the continuing participation of company contributions does not blow away.