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VZLife/EAP Changes

Anthem to Provide Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Services in 2011

Beginning January 1,2011, Anthem will replace Value Options as Verizon's provider of EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and work/life services.  Anthem's Web site and phone number will also replace VZ-LIFE as the point of contact for Verizon's associates to access these benefits. More information concerning Anthem's complete offerings will be sent to you in the first quarter.

Please make a note of the new EAP and work/life services contact information. Contact Anthem at 888.441.8674 or visit www. anthem.com/eap/verizon for free confidential assistance 24/7 from the
team of qualified EAP experts. Anthem can help you cope with many work/life and EAP needs including:

- Ways to manage challenges in both your personal and work life
- Interactive search tools to locate child and elder care in your area
- Health database powered bye Web MD
- Financial calculators to help plan for major purchases or life events
- Practical tips on topics such safety, traveling and pets
- Eligibility for up to five free counseling sessions with a licensed therapist
- Discounted financial and legal advise

If you have already received a referral for counseling sessions from VZ-LIFE in 2010, you may complete these session with your current counselor. As of January 1st authorizations for EAP counseling will be managed by Anthem.

ISP Payout

For members who retired with more than 30 years and left the property under the ISP in October, there was an error in the payout due to those members.  As we understand, everyone who did retire with more than 30 years was only paid the $1100 per year up to 30 years.  The Company realizes this error and all members with more than 30 years will be receiving a letter to acknowledge this error and it will state that another check will be mailed to them on November 12, 2010 to correct the payout.  If you retired in October and do not receive the letter or the corrected check, please contact the Union Hall.

US Savings Bonds

If you have payroll deduction for U.S. Savings Bonds, the following correspondence will be sent to you shortly:

Our records indicate that you purchase U.S. Savings Bonds through a payroll deduction. Effective Dec. 31, the U.S. Dept. of Treasury will no longer offer traditional paper U.S. Savings Bonds through employer payroll deductions.

As a result, your final savings bond deduction through payroll deductions will be in your Oct. 28 or Oct. 29 paycheck. You will be notified in the upcoming weeks on how remaining balances will be reimbursed through payroll.

While paper savings bonds will no longer be available through payroll deductions, the U.S. Department of Treasury offers a program to automatically save and redeem electronic savings bonds through Direct Deposit using TreasuryDirect. This free online service allows you to purchase, manage, and redeem electronic (paperless) savings bonds 24/7. You can also purchase Treasury marketable securities (bills, notes, bonds, and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) to expand your savings portfolio.
In addition, you can convert the paper savings bonds you already own to electronic versions using a feature called SmartExchange. This government program is an excellent example of the Network Effect in action.

To enroll in TreasuryDirect go to the TreasuryDirect website (www.treasurydirect.gov) to create an account. You will be e-mailed your TreasuryDirect account number. Within two weeks you will receive an “access” card from TreasuryDirect. You will then have everything you need to set up future electronic savings bond purchases.

Benefits Renewal Enrollment

The annual enrollment window for active associates is open from November 1 through November 12, 2010.
 
Associates will retain their current elections unless they make a change through the Benefits Center or Your Benefits Resource website. There are no benefit changes other than those which were bargained to be effective January 1, 2011 or July 1, 2011, and those changes required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
 
Here is a summary of how PPACA Group Market Reforms will be implemented effective January 1, 2011.  Active Associates will be notified of these Group Market reforms, both in their Annual Enrollment communications, and a separate legally-required notice to be sent to their homes.

The following market reforms under the PPACA are required for active employees.
·        Medical coverage (including vision) will be extended to adult children up to age 26 regardless of student status, provided they are not eligible for coverage through their employer or their spouse’s employer, including COBRA.
·        The market reforms do not apply to dental coverage and therefore age 26 dependents are not eligible and student status rules still apply.
·        Lifetime and annual dollar maximums for essential health benefits will be eliminated. 
·        Over the counter medications (except insulin) without a prescription are not eligible for reimbursement under the Health Care Spending Account.

Union Plus Scholarship Program

The Union Plus Scholarship Program deadline is January 31, 2011.  The Union Plus Scholarship application can now be accessed online at http://www.unionplus.org/college-education-financing/union-plus-scholarship

Please note that the application is six pages long.
 
Unlike the IBEW Founders’ Scholarship Program, the Union Plus Scholarship Program is also available to the child dependents of IBEW members and other AFL-CIO affiliated unions.

Life Insurance Vendor Change

This is to inform you that all Verizon Life and AD&D insurance coverage will be underwritten by Prudential effective January 1, 2011 and Verizon will terminate its current life insurance contract with MetLife effective December 31, 2010.  Prudential has agreed to accept all existing policyholders and coverage amounts with no statement of health.  All beneficiary information will remain on file and employees will continue to have access to their beneficiary data via the Verizon Benefits Center.

Surplus 9-23-2010

Below is a link to view all classifications deemed surplus. There is NO involuntary surplus for any classification.

Union Dental Info

Are you interested in the Union Dental Program?

We are currently wanting to re-establish the Union Dental Plan and would like to know how many members would be interested in participating.  You can view information about the plan at www.ibew824.org and under the Member Resources tab, click the Union Dental link.

If you are interested in participating in the plan, please e-mail dalfonso [at] ibew824 [dot] org, with your name and the city and county you are in, and also include how many dependents would be using the service, so we can research providers in your area.

Safety and Health Compliance

The Company notified the Union that they were going to "implement" a new Safety Compliance Plan, effective today, Monday, June 14th, 2010.  This new policy dictates levels of discipline for various degrees of safety violations.  This information is suppossed to be covered with ALL employees in the near future.  IBEW, Local 824 DID NOT AGREE to this new Safety Compliance Plan and will file a grievance from the Hall this week.

We will be checking with the Chief Stewards over the next month to verify employees are aware of the changes.

Verizon Shareholder Meeting Report

The Verizon Shareholder meeting has just concluded in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The 3 Management Proposals were voted in by the proxies and all 7 Shareholder Proposals were defeated.

Several items of interest during the meeting:

  • Verizon has approximately 220,000 employees world-wide
  • CEO Ivan Seidenberg, when asked about potential future sales of wire-line businesses in other states, responded that there are NO plans to sell off any other properties.  Verizon will have a major presence in the 12 states where they will remain.

Hopefully, the last statement will ease the minds of many of our members in Florida about the possibility of Frontier (or some other company for that matter) to purchase the Florda Region.

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