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by more rational
Monday, Dec. 15, 2003 at 6:55 PM
I found that link on Ken and John's site about the actual benefits that the supermarkets are balking about, and ran some numbers.
The most glaring fact of the offered bennies is the 2 tier benefits. The current workers will get one level of benefit, and the new hires will get 1/3 the amount. it amounts to a huge pay cut.
The current benefit offered was 4.04 per hour worked. This is toward a health plan administered by the union, btw. That seemed like a lot, so I compared it to plans on ehealthinsurance.com.
On the "free market" health plans for a family of 4 with two young kids and one smoker ran from 363 (pacificare) to 777 (blue cross) for an HMO. Ouch! (I added a smoker because they have all these exceptions to preexisting conditions, and laborers are more likely to have those.)
The current benefit offered was 4.04, or, 363 for a 20 hr/wk worker, up to 727 for a 40 hr/wk worker. So the current level of benefits matches some kind of reality.
The proposed benefit for new workers is only 1.35. A 40 hr/wk worker would only get 243 in bennies, which is not adequate to pay for any HMO care at all.
I'm assuming HMO care because all the PPOs, while cheaper by the month, have large deductibles, and pay only around 50 to 75 percent of the visit. In other words, the PPO is really feasible only for those who make a lot more money than basic employee.
I think this new contract would alter the supermarket labor force, turning it from a family-oriented job into something that a mcjob. But what do I know? I'm just a regular guy with a calculator.
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