|The "Patients' Bill of
Rights" Act offers protection and a sense of security to people through enforceable
consumer protections. The bill provides important protections for patients, including
access to specialists and emergency rooms; the right to appeal plan decisions to deny care
to an independent, external entity; provision of information about plans so patients know
their rights; bans on gag clauses and improper financial incentive agreements; and legal
accountability for plans when their decisions lead to injury.
We need to make sure that patients have greater choice and more faith that their health plan makes decisions in their best interest and not in the interest of the bottom line. While I supported the Kassebaum-Kennedy health insurance law and I have cosponsored managed care reform, I fear that until we get back on track to making comprehensive reforms to our health system, we will simply be putting our finger in a faltering dike.
I hope that in the future we can agree on additional health care reforms that will address the skyrocketing cost of health care. Simply requiring access to health insurance coverage will never completely solve this looming problem.
Finally, I applaud the efforts of the Association of belltel Retirees for taking an active interest in the health and financial well being of their members, as well as that of other retirees throughout the country.
The Association would like to thank United States Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont for his article submission and concerns for the needs of all retirees.
Association Evaluates Retiree Benefits Class Action Lawsuit Against Bell Atlantic
The Association of belltel Retirees Inc. has retained a prominent Washington D.C. law firm to evaluate our chances for success in a benefits class action lawsuit on behalf of retirees. For several years members and other retirees have been petitioning us to look into the merits of such a potential case. Lawyers have been given the task of investigating several of the legal issues being considered, but their preliminary reports tell us that our case has much merit. Details about the case will be provided when our lawyers indicate that it is ready to be presented to our retirees.
Time-and-time-again retirees from U.S. West have sued their former employer and have won in a variety of cases claiming the company caused retirees, individually and as a group, financial harm. We have decided that it is now time for our retirees to explore all of the legal remedies available to them, especially since changing economic times may tempt the company to try to cut back benefits promised to retirees. To file a class action suit in the names of retirees will not oblige them to individually pay large legal fees. Instead, your Association hopes to establish a legal action fund to pay for the cost of research and pressing the case forward on behalf of all Affected retirees. Bear in mind that most courts are prepared to compel the company to pay the retirees' attorney's fees and legal costs if the retirees win their lawsuit. Updated information can be received after the New Year on our web site or through our Toll Free Hotline.
PRESIDENT' S MESSAGE
by C. William Jones
At the September 30th meeting of the Association Board of Directors, a number of important issues were discussed and decisions were made which we hope will position us to be more effective in representing the retirees of Bell Atlantic. I will touch on a few of our agenda items.
New Director From Virginia:
First, the Board is very pleased to announce the election of James E. Casey, Jr. to the Association Board of Directors. Jim retired in 1991 from Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone and lives in Annandale, Virginia. He will represent us in Virginia, positioning us with Board representation from all of the "new" Bell Atlantic companies except Bell of Pennsylvania. Jim will also help us to make our web site more dynamic and useful to our members. He has already made his mark by introducing two new exciting web site features, that will give us immediate communication capability with those on the internet.(see internet story)
Toll Free Member Hotline:
On the subject of communication with members, the Board approved the establishment of a toll-free telephone hotline so members, who do not have access to the internet, can be kept up to date on news and announcements. The toll free number is (800)261-9222 and we expect this line to be connected by the time this newsletter reaches you.
The Board approved the filing of Proxy Proposals again this year which will be voted upon at the Bell Atlantic Annual Shareowner's Meeting in May. You will be hearing more about how you can help us to win these proposals in the next newsletter.
We hear from members who are concerned about the proposed merger with GTE (see merger story). We are also concerned and have asked for a meeting with Vice Chairman Seidenberg to discuss this important issue. As of this date, we have not been able to schedule a meeting. The Association Board will continue to press for this important meeting so that we can intelligently evaluate our position - that of supporting or actively opposing such a merger. We will communicate that position as soon as it has been determined.
Association To Press Class Action Lawsuit:
Many of our members have asked us over the past few years if it is possible to bring the company to court over a number of issues that we have been trying to resolve with the company, particularly the benefits issues. Of course the answer is yes, but such a suit is incredibly expensive. Unless we have a very good chance of success on a given issue, it would not be prudent. The Association has retained a prominent Washington, DC law firm to investigate a number of the benefits issues for possible legal action. Joe Ristuccia, Bob McMahon and I recently met in Washington with our attorneys to discuss this legal evaluation. It appears that we do have some very good potential but more investigation is required and more information must be collected before we can give you a definite answer. The specifics of any such suit cannot be divulged but I can assure you that we are working hard to move ahead on this front.
Discussion of legal action always raises the subject of funds. While many of our members have been very generous in supporting our cause over the past three years, a very large group has chosen to ignore our appeals for contributions. A recent reminder letter, sent to those who had not made a contribution this year,
|was successful in prompting many retirees who had forgotten us, to send a much appreciated check. We hope that the appeal I am now making will prompt even more people to help support our cause. However, if we are to file suit against our multi-billion dollar former employer, we will need much broader support from everyone. Once a decision to proceed is made, we will establish a legal action fund and solicit contributions. In the meantime please make sure you have made your 1998 contribution and encourage your fellow retirees to do the same. Your Board members volunteer huge amounts of their time and talent to this cause but cannot serve you effectively without your financial support of our ongoing activities. (Note: Your Board Members do not receive a salary or compensation for this work or any of their volunteer efforts.)|
Bell Atlantic-GTE Merger
On July 28th 1998, Bell Atlantic and GTE agreed to merge, creating a telecommunications mammoth with combined 1997 revenues of $53 billion, and a market capitalization of approximately $125 billion. Under terms of the agreement the company will be headquartered in New York with GTE's Chuck Lee serving as Chairman & Co-CEO and Ivan Seidenberg will be President and Co-CEO. It is expected the merger can take anywhere from 10-18 months to complete.
While the deal certainly raised eyebrows on Wall Street, as Bell Atlantic was still working on the completion of its merger with NYNEX, it may also run afoul of regulators. After the Bell Atlantic/GTE deal was announced, the FCC issued a statement indicating that once the MCI/WorldCom merger goes through, the long-distance telephone industry "will once again be poised just a merger away for undue concentration," and future mergers may be out of the question. What effect does this have on the Bell Atlantic-GTE merger?
On one side of the fence among so-called "experts" debating the issue is Fritz Messere, a member of the National Experts Panel on Telecom for the Rural Policy Research Institute and a professor at the State University of New York. He notes, " The Telecom Act was meant to bring competition, but now we have a government sanctioned oligarchy." On the pro-merger side is Stephen R. Ross, attorney and former chief of the FCC's cable TV branch. On the topic he says, "The FCC's statement is unfortunate and perhaps one that upon further reflection, the Chairman will want to revisit." Stay tuned to this debate in the coming months, its bound to heat up as regulators take a closer look.
What Does it All Mean To Retirees?
While the companies have stated that they are committed to working closely with relevant unions for a smooth transition, and to minimize any adverse impact on its workers, they have said nothing about retirees. At this time the Association has yet to take a position to support or oppose the merger. We will only do so after a through examination of issues effecting retirees.
This Association and all retirees must ask questions such as: what is GTE's corporate philosophy with regard to retiree treatment, what will happen to our pensions if the merger goes forward and how well funded are the pensions at GTE? What kinds of benefits does GTE offer its retirees and what is the company's policy and track record on the issue of ad-hoc pension increases and maintaining benefits promised to retirees? Will we be treated any better or worse if a merger gets the green light?
Many of us think that we can have no impact in the world of multibillion dollar mergers and acquisitions, but that notion is incorrect. If this merger would turn out to be beneficial to retirees, we should wholeheartedly support it. Should it turn out that GTE has a record of broken promises to retirees and diminished benefits, rightfully belonging to retirees, then we should all petition the FCC, local utility commissions, the Justice Department, share owners and Congress both individually and as an Association to stop it in its tracks.
If you have any friends, relatives or acquaintances working for or retired from GTE, we would like to speak with them as we look into the issues, concerns and problems that may be faced by GTE retirees. Others who have expertise at evaluating financial statements for above pertinent information may help by reviewing recent SEC filings of Bell Atlantic or GTE and sending us your analysis.
|VOICES OF THE READERS ON
We continue to receive letters from you in which you document personal benefit problems. At the same time, these letters always talk about the wonderful friends you made while working and how important those friendships remain to this day. These are good memories, of people pulling together to accomplish difficult tasks In the end there was always the satisfaction of a job well done, and in our company and ourselves. And we believe the company cared.
BUT THAT WAS THEN. Who among us would have believed that these same companies could turn on their retirees in the way they have? The one thing all of us believed was that our benefits would be there for us in retirement. This was the "hook" which kept us there. Unfortunately, they have turned against us. Little by little, year by year, they have whittled away at our medical and dental benefits and denied cost of living pension increases. They have taken us from a comfort zone to a nightmare a nightmare that becomes reality when sickness hits _ that time when you are at your weakest and least able to fight back. Here are some of our readers' stories:
B.S. of Stamford, Connecticut - (In a merger congratulatory letter to Mr. Seidenberg) "I am a retired 45-year old woman that spent 21 years between NY Telephone and NYNEX. I had to retire with great regret eight years ago due to Multiple Sclerosis. I left without the enjoyment of a party or any package because of being ill. At the time .they were making offers to everyone, I unfortunately missed out. In these eight years the quality of my life has suffered greatly. I have not had an increase in my pension in eight years. I have benefits that I can't use due to not being able to pay co-payments up front. I need glasses desperately after being blinded by the disease in my left eye. We have no vision plan and I get only $566.00 a month and that goes very fast. Now I read how this organization is making billion of dollars and what is in this for me (and other retirees) ..I loved my job and miss it. My telephone friends are my family.
R.J. from Harrells, North Carolina - "I retired in 1987 after a cancer operation. I never had a problem in the beginning with any medical treatments or costs. I've had a second cancer operation while living in NC and take daily doses of Eulexin for life. I also have a serious weight problem since the last operation removed all my testosterone. (previously) I had no problem receiving weight control pills and medication. BA changed all of that and denied any renewal of weight control medication ..In 3 months I gained 48 Lbs. and blew out both of my knees. My orthopedic surgeon wants to replace both of them and blames hanging on telephone poles and ladders (combined with) the sudden extra weight gain. I never thought I'd become resentful of "old ma Bell" but she has certainly sold us out "
L.V.D. of Shohola, Pennsylvania - "The last round of health choices clobbered me. Not only did I have to pay more, especially dental, but I had to switch MD's because of Area. I m on the corner of NY, NJ and Pa. My doctor is 3 miles away in NY. I can no longer use him because I must pick (one) in Pa. Of the 5 MD's near me in Pa., 3 have already moved elsewhere!"
C.P. of Manlius, New York - "Thought you would like to see how BA is handling our dental bills. I had a molar break partially off and naturally had it repaired My dentist used the best method available and it will probably last until I go to that big dentist in the sky! BA dental advisors said I could have gotten an amalgam instead of the new style on-lay. The result is that out of a $495 bill the plan paid me $28. Boy do I feel great about how my company is tanking me for 29 years of service."
A.C. from Huntington, New York - "A 90 day supply of a prescription drug last year was $6 through Aetna Select Choice (not available in 1998). A 90 day supply (with PHS in 1998) quoted a $10 charge. But on 1/1/98 the $10 charge went to $20 .two months after we enrolled, a 100% increase!
As these stories reach you, it is again time to make your health care coverage selections. We are sure that will generate a new round of correspondence. Please keep letting us know how you, personally, are affected.
Bell Atlantic Survey Says You Love Your HMO:
According to the company newsletter, Bell Atlantic & You, which calls itself the official publication of Bell Atlantic Retirees "overall, most employees and retirees report that they are satisfied with their HMO and with the quality of care they receive from HMO providers." Yet one retiree, reading the article in the company publication asked, "where did they do this survey _ on Mars!"
The Bell Atlantic & You Survey Reads: 86% express overall satisfaction with HMO; 92% satisfaction with overall quality of medical care; 89% satisfaction with convenience/ease of use and 75% satisfaction with member service department. The company clams 100,000 retirees and employees were invited to rate their health care plan and more than 35,000 responded. Reports of the survey will be used in the health plan reports included with your enrollment kits.
Retirees Supported Strike
At midnight on August 9th, 73,000 Bell Atlantic workers from Maine to Virginia hit the picket lines to protest nonunion hiring practices and job security issues, receiving full support from the Association of belltel Retirees. Prior to the union calling upon its workers to strike, the Association asked it members not to cross picket lines or serve as temporary replacements for Bell Atlantic.
As negotiations dragged on in the weeks leading up to the strike, retirees began receiving questionnaires from the company asking if they would be willing to serve as replacement workers. The company also boasted loudly to the media that it had a deep pool of trained replacements ready should the union declare a walk-out. In the past, the company had turned to its retirees to serve as fill-ins, but did they really think retirees would come to their aid this time?
While the issues the strikers were fighting for were different from those of retirees, our struggles against the company are parallel. The Association was formed in 1996 by about a dozen former union and management retirees frustrated with the way the company had been treating them and all retirees. The group has grown rapidly to 40,000 members due to growing discontent among former workers of both NYNEX and Bell Atlantic. It is almost eight years since most retirees have received a pension increase, while at the same time the company has unmercifully slashed health and medical benefits and increased premiums and co-payments. Meanwhile, the pension fund has swelled to over $35 billion, an $8.5 billion excess over projected benefit obligations as reported by the company.
When the negotiating deadline drew closer and it looked as if a settlement could not be reached, the Board of Directors of the Association of belltel Retirees announced its support for the strikers and requested is membership, both former union and management, honor the picket lines and not serve as replacements. The Board also called upon all retirees to send the questionnaire back to Chairman Seidenberg advising him of the retirees' anger and frustration at the company for abandoning them.
"How dare Bell Atlantic, who has turned its back on its own retirees, some surviving on pensions as meager as $4,800/year, be as bold to ask those same retirees to help them?" asked C. William Jones, President of the Association's Board of Directors. "This is a recurring theme, Bell Atlantic reaches out to retirees when they need help, but continue to ignore the retirees' cries for help."
Reports of the retirees' support for unionized workers was reported nationally in publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Boston Business Journal, Dow Jones and Associated Press news services, which is carried by scores of local and regional newspapers, television and radio stations throughout the fifty states.
# # #
"Stay Connected" Not Just A Company Slogan Anymore
The ""Stay Connected"" program is the next step of our organizational development The Association is introducing ""Stay Connected"" as an interactive method and process for communicating up and down the line with the membership of the Association.
While our newsletter, toll-free announcement service and web page on the internet are important in disseminating information, "Stay Connected" provides the interactive and timely qualities needed concerning communicating the pension and benefit issues that the Association is pursuing.
"Stay Connected" is dependent on the efforts of volunteers for its organization and administration. It contemplates that each Association member will be in a Telephone Contact group of approximately ten members who generally reside in the same locality. Zip code and telephone exchange will be common denominators for its structure. A group caller would be responsible for the telephone contacts within his/her constituent group. When necessary members can be mobilized to act on important issues in a timely fashion.
The program has been launched in Nassau County, New York and will serve as a model for the rest of the Association. Depending on the number of members in an area, each will have a designated coordinator. Lud Grill is the North Nassau Coordinator and Haig Devejian is the South Nassau Coordinator. Solicitation for volunteers for Association Coordinators and group Callers is now underway in Nassau county. However, if you have not heard from Haig or Lud, please contact our 800 number or call them direct. Once Nassau goes on line, its neighboring county, Suffolk will be implemented.
The Association needs its members to be involved collectively. The biggest obstacle to overcome is to be able to react quickly when an issue emerges or when we need to muster people to attend important meetings. We also need, for example, people to be a liaison to Congressional leaders for the Association and to coordinate legal activities. If we can accomplish this, we will be able to get the attention of those who are in a position to make a positive impact.
The functions callers and coordinators will perform will require a minimal amount of time and effort. Yet, when directed at precisely the right time, the action taken by volunteers can be very effective. This will not only be satisfying personally, but will hopefully move the Company towards making good on its promises. There are all sorts of jobs for which one could volunteer. Haig and Lud, or the associate coordinators, are calling members in the Nassau area to see what retirees would be interested in being a part of ""Stay Connected"."
After "Stay Connected" is successfully introduced, we expect it expand it to areas nationally where Bell Atlantic retirees reside. Until ""Stay Connected"" becomes wide spread, call our toll-free number (800) 261-9222 for current news and announcements or keep up with our web site..
Retired CWA Official Speaks Up
I would like to congratulate Bill Jones, Mike Kucklinca, and your other Board Members for the outstanding success in organizing NYNEX and now Bell Atlantic retirees. For the past few years, Leo Dick, the President of CWA Local 1104 Retirees Club, and I have remained in contact with your organization in an effort to coordinate some of our activities. We have all been very involved in an attempt to attain some measure of fairness and justice for the people we represent.
As you are aware, the Union retiree leadership in the Bell Atlantic region has been fighting NYNEX, now Bell Atlantic, and also AT&T and Lucent Technologies for many years. There is word of some possible movement from AT&T and Lucent in January 1999, but that remains to be seen. However, Bell Atlantic steadfastly refuses to consider any pension increases for existing retirees who have not had an increase since 1991.
In the 1998 bargaining between CWA and Bell Atlantic, the company offered a minimal pension increase for existing retirees in exchange managed care proposals. The first proposal was that the union must agree that all current and future retirees must join a company-managed care plan or an H.M.O. This proposal, if agreed to, would have forced all existing retirees to leave their present medical care provider and join a managed care plan or an H.M.O. This would have affected the overwhelming majority of retirees because they are presently in the basic medical expense plan. The two other proposals would have required the union to agree to two tier medical benefits for its members. These would have required new members or newly retiring members to be forced into managed care. The Union's bargaining committee rightfully rejected all of these as blackmail attempts. The bargaining committee took the position that retirees were long overdue for an increase from their well funded pension fund without the retirees sacrificing a medical plan that they fought for over many years.
The disgraceful stance, on the part of Bell Atlantic, is a clear indication of the unbelievable greed and lack of compassion of their principal (multi-millionaire) officers Seidenberg and Smith. Chairman Seidenberg loves to brag about how he was once a craftsperson, just one of the boys made good. What a sick joke from someone who is personally responsible for the major decline in the standard of living of NYNEX retirees. Seidenberg and Smith, on the other hand have tens of millions of dollars in income and stock options and keep giving themselves big increases every year.
One of the retirees at our last monthly retiree meeting asked me: How can people like Seidenberg and Smith look at themselves in the mirror each morning?" The only response I could think of was that they probably don't have a reflection, because to have a reflection, one must have a soul.
As you are aware, you and I have differed in the past as to how best to deal with Bell Atlantic, and we will perhaps also disagree in the future. However, union retiree organizations and your organization, made up of management and union retirees, have the same short and long term objectives: 1. An immediate pension increase for all retirees. 2. Future COLA pension increases. 3. Protecting our medical plans against any future erosion attempts by the company. 4. Preventing attempts by Bell Atlantic and other greedy corporations such as AT&T and Lucent to pass legislation that would amend the ERISA law to allow them to siphon off billions of dollars from our pension funds to use for their own selfish purposes.
In closing, let me state that your organization is doing a remarkable job. Organizing over thirty five thousand retirees and conducting ongoing political and legal action against Bell Atlantic is the way to go. Let us work together and coordinate our joint efforts in the long difficult fight that lies before us.
Ed Creegan, President, CWA Local 1106 Retirees Club
Editors Note: The Association has always been open to all retirees and surviving spouses of the companies that now make up Bell Atlantic. Former union, associate and management are encouraged to join and support our mutual objectives. After all, think about it, when you are retired there is no advocate for you. The union is required to support nonmanagement people working for Bell Atlantic now. They have their hands full. And managers don't now and never had a collective voice to pursue their rights. Because top management knows this, they feel like they can divide our combined large numbers and conquer. We are not managers or craft or associates. We are all just "retirees." Let's join together and tell the multimillionaire executives that we've had enough. We want our share of the profits of this huge enterprise. We spent our working years helping them get to this top corporate position. A regular COLA to the pension and the health care we were promised, is not a lot to ask for. It is not much at all, in fact, an across the board increase of 20 % for all of us could be paid for by Ray Smith's obscenely generous retirement package.
Health Information Resources
Every year we make choices about our health insurer, but throughout the year we make choices about care, hospitals and general wellness advice. the following web site is full of useful information about the best hospitals, the best HMO's, how-to-advice on dealing with insurers or getting the best care. Www4.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/health.htm has all of this by state. If you don't have a computer, its worth a trip to your local library, school or senior center to use their computer.
The Better Business bureau can also help in making your HMO choice. First, they offer these questions as a guide in making your selection:
1. Is there a large pool of physicians and a choice of specialists in areas with which are connected?
2. Are you comfortable with the hospitals used?
3. Is it easy to get appointments or do you have to wait a specific number of days before you can see the doctor?
4. Will you see the same doctor all the time?
5. Does the plan cover pre-existing illness and medical devices such as wheelchairs? ( Ask specifically about your personal needs.)
6. If you travel frequently, what are the provisions about out-of-town emergency care?
7. What is the policy on second opinion?
To find out if an HMO has any complaints against it, contact the Better Business bureau either through their web site: www.bbb.org or by telephone listed in your local area.
The Association has introduced two new features on its web site, that will enhance the way by which its members can receive relevant information from the Association. The two new features were both designed with the objective of keeping internet users abreast of the latest information. The "List Server" will allow visitors to register their e-mail addresses into a database, and whenever there is any breaking news from the Association, all registered members will automatically receive an e-mail with the information. The "Bulletin Board" will post information about the latest news from the Board, as well as give quick insights into the industry. Keeping with the basic site structure, the new features are user friendly, and can be accessed directly from the home page. List Server sign-up icon
Bulletin icon for instant updates
|These new features are impossible to
miss when you enter the site. The icon leading into the Bulletin Board is a red oval
rotating flame with the word "Bulletin" in the center. Upon entering the
section, one will find that the information is very well labeled and organized, something
lacking in many other web sites. Another great feature is that messages can be easily
posted on the Bulletin Board, allowing for faster transfer of information. This proved to
be very useful before the Bell Atlantic strike in August as it helped notify retirees of
the Association's stance on the issue.
The new "List Server" is yet another great means set up by the Association to keep everyone aware of ongoing activities within the organization. What makes this feature so special is that now, not only to do members not have to wait for an upcoming newsletter to stay informed, but they don't even have to go to the web site to check for any news. That's because by simply logging onto the Association's web site, one will immediately notice the icon that reads "Keep Me Posted." By clicking on the icon, you will be led to a simple form to fill out, and within seconds of registering your e-mail address, you will receive a confirmation e-mail alerting you that your registration has been successfully completed. Once registered, notices will be sent directly to your e-mail address.
Both of these new features are just another testament to the Association of belltel Retirees' commitment to keeping all members informed. "While everyone may not always able to attend retiree meetings, rallies or demonstrations held by the Association, we want to make it easier for our members, scattered throughout the U.S., to have access to the latest retiree news and information," said C. William Jones, President of the Association.
Will Craft & Associate Retirees Benefit From New Union Contract?
Question: Following the settlement of the recent Bell Atlantic strike, many of us heard that the new union contract bestows an increase to previously retired employees. It would be nice, but is this true?
Answer: We have been receiving numerous calls in our office regarding the recently negotiated craft and associate union contract. Many people who retired prior to this most recent contract signing are under the incorrect impression that they will receive an increase in their pension benefit. This could not be farther from the truth. The increases in this contract only refer to those retiring after the signing of the contract. There is no retroactive feature for those who were already retired. Many of us dedicated our working lives to a company which is now one of the Bell Atlantic Companies. Many, retired as long ago as 1991, have not received a pension increase. Inflation,
|although low these last few years, totals about 20% since 1991. We have received 0% increases to offset this benefit erosion, and as far as we can tell, there will be no increases in the future without a fight on our part. Further, many retirees are already required to pay for part of their health care benefits and this amount grows each year. We expect that the company will attempt to get all retirees into managed care and we also expect the company will try to get all retirees to contribute to their health care insurance costs. However, the union succeeded in holding off that assault on their benefits for the life of this contract.|
TELCO Financial Institutions Join Retiree Team
The Association has just received a major endorsement from the CEO's on the Advisory Council of the of the eight New England Area Telephone Financial Institutions (seven Credit Unions and one Bank). An Association representative made a presentation to these Board members asking for their support of our goals and mission. We are happy to report those officers voted to support the efforts of the retirees of the Association, as we fight to compel the company to live up to its promises.
What Does This Mean For the Association?:
In their upcoming newsletters, the Financial Institutions will publish articles about the retirees, our plight and struggle. It will also contain an Association of belltel Retirees membership application. This will not only be sent out to all their members, but will be on display in standup dispensers in all of the local branch offices. The eight are located throughout the five former New England Telephone Company states, serving some 60,000 Telco employees _ 30% -35% of that membership are Bell Atlantic retirees. This should provide the Association wonderful exposure to retirees who are yet to be introduced to our efforts. While our membership is about 40,000, there are still 125,000 retirees not aware of the Association or have yet to sign up and join the fight for retiree rights. throughout the five former New England Telephone Company states, serving some 60,000 Telco employees _ 30% -35% of that membership are Bell Atlantic retirees. This should provide the Association wonderful exposure to retirees who are yet to be introduced to our efforts. While our membership is about 40,000, there are still 125,000 retirees not aware of the Association or have yet to sign up and join the fight for retiree rights.
Remember to support these institutions who are endorsing our Association. They are:
TeleCom Cooperative Bank, Southern Mass Tel. Workers Credit Union, Central Mass Tel.. Workers Credit Union, Tel. Workers Credit Union - Boston, Western Mass Tel. Workers Credit Union, Northern Mass Tel. Workers Credit Union, New Hampshire Tel. Workers Credit Union and Infinity Federal Credit Union in Maine. A tip of the hat goes out to the seven Credit Unions and the Telecom Cooperative Bank!
New England Retirees Speakers Bureau
Are you having an upcoming retiree social or gathering and would like to have a discussion group on the efforts of the Association and the problems of retirees? If so, a group of about half-a-dozen active retirees from the New England area have set up a speakers bureau.
If a group of interested retirees plan on gathering for a tea at a retiree's home, a luncheon at a local diner or for large gatherings like Pioneer Life Member meetings, a member of this bureau will be happy to take to the road and visit your community. For more information about becoming a member of the speakers bureau or to schedule a speaker on the topic of retiree pensions, benefits or the effort your Association is undertaking to fight back against Bell Atlantic, call the Association headquarters or Lou Miano in Massachusetts at (781) 444-8080.