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Settlement at McDonnell-Douglas.

Negotiators for Lodge No. 837 of the International Association of Machinists and McDonnell-Douglas Corp. averted a threatened strike at the 11 th hour when they agreed on a 3-year contract covering about 7,500 production and maintenance workers at the company 's military and space aircraft manufacturing facilities in St. Louis, Mo. The settlement came after the parties resolved their differences on reclassification of some jobs, employee contributions to health insurance premiums and pension costs, subcontracting out maintenance work, and bonuses for maintenance workers.

The pact calls for annual lump-sum payments equal to 4 percent of an employee's earnings in the preceding 12 months for all employees except maintenance workers, who would receive similax annual 2-percent payments; continuation of the cost-of-living adjustment {COLA) clause which provides quarterly payments equal to I cent an hour for each 0.075-percent increase (formerly each 0.3-point increase) in the Consumer Price Index for Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (1982-84 = 100); and the roll-in to wages of $1.41 an hour in COLA payments earned during the term of the previous agreement. At the expiration of the prior contract, the top base wage rate was $18.29 an hour for assembly inspectors, $19.18 an hour for all-around-machinists, $14.95 an hour for laborers, and $11.87 an hour for office custodians.

The parties agreed to several changes in health care provisions for active employees. They boosted employees' weekly copayments for health insurance premiums under all health care plans from $2.40 to $5 for single coverage and from $5 to $10 for family coverage effective in January 1994. Negotiators agreed to annual deductibles for in-network hospital services under the preferred provider organization of $200 for single coverage and $400 for family coverage, They set annual deductibles of $300 for single coverage and $600 for family coverage, employee copayments of 40 percent, and annual out-of-pocket expenses of $2,000 for single coverage and $4,000 for family coverage for out-of-network services for in-network participants. Bargainers increased employee copayments for a 30-day supply of prescription drugs from $5 to $7 for name brand drugs and from $2 to $3 for generic brands, introduced a 90-day supply mail order plan with employee copayments of $10 for brand name drugs and $4 for generic brands, and agreed to extend these copayments to employees who are on travel status or who live outside the network.

Other changes in health care benefits for active employees included up to 30 out-patient visits for mental health treatment, with reimbursement ranging from 90 percent for the first 10 sessions to 70 percent for the last 10 sessions; a $500 annual maximum for chiropractic services; a $400 annual maximum for hearing devices purchased from a non-network provider; a requirement for a second surgical opinion, with reimbursement ranging from 90 percent for an inarea provider to 60 percent for an out-of-area provider; and for employees under a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan, the establishment of a prescription drug plan similar to the network coverage and the imposition of a $5 employee copayment for doctors' office visits.

Negotiators made several changes in retirees' benefits. They boosted the maximum benefit for major medical expenses from $200,000 to $400,000 for retirees under age 65 and from $100,000 to $200,000 for those age 65 or older. Bargainers would require employees retiring on or after January 1994 to pay one-third of the monthly costs of health insurance premiums. They also added new benefits, such as convalescent nursing facilities services and hospice care; increased the post-retirement death benefit from $1,500 to $2,000; introduced pre-admission certification requirements and continued stay review procedures for in-hospital care for retirees not covered by medicare; and will offer an optional HMO plan effective January 1994.

Other terms increased the monthly pension rate by $4 over the term of the contract, to $33 a month for each year of credited service; boosted accidental death and dismemberment insurance coverage by $2,000, to $22,000; increased weekly disability payments by $50, to $275; continued overtime pay for work on weekends and after 8 hours a day; preserved maintenance work for bargaining unit employees; and amended contract language dealing with former bargaining unit employees' retention of seniority when they are promoted to higher level supervisory positions.
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Title Annotation:International Association of Machinists
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Oct 1, 1993
Words:714
Previous Article:Interim agreement in coal.
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