Recent Press

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As West Virginians enjoy spending time with family and friends this Labor Day weekend, the West Virginia AFL-CIO invites residents to attend one of the many parades and events honoring the achievements of America’s working people.

“This Labor Day weekend, as we celebrate the working families of our country, especially here in West Virginia, we are also thankful that unions continue to enjoy the support of the public,” WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said.

CHARLESTON – To honor West Virginia workers who died on the job - 18 were lost in 2022 -  the West Virginia AFL-CIO, the United Mine Workers of America, and the Kanawha Valley Labor Council will hold an in-person event at noon, Friday, April 28, at the state Capitol commemorating the 35th annual Workers Memorial Day.

“As we do each year, we will read the names of West Virginia who lost their lives due to workplace injury and illness, take a moment to pay tribute to them, and vow to keep fighting for the promise of safe jobs for all workers,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “In 2022, 18 West Virginians lost their lives while on the job. They were first responders, coal miners, timber industry workers, those in the construction field, so many dedicated employees, and they should have returned home safely to their loved ones.”

Teamsters Local 175 members at Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated (CCBCC) in Charleston and Logan unanimously authorized a strike this afternoon to protest the Company’s failure to negotiate a fair contract. The contract which covers approximately 100 employees expires at midnight on Tuesday. The parties met for nine days of negotiations but unfortunately a substantial amount of that time was spent trying to reach an agreement that the company would actually abide by written settlement agreements reached with the union. That discussion resulted from the fact that the union has had to process numerous grievances to a grievance committee made up of a neutral group of employers and unions who have no direct relationship with the parties contract. Although the company did agree to include in the contract language wherein the company would abide by any settlements, they immediately reneged on anotheragreement regarding retiree health insurance for their employees.

SB 268 is a comprehensive bill that affects 230,000 plan participants of PEIA in many different ways.

  • SB 268 will result in a 26% premium increase for all active PEIA participants beginning July 1, 2023.
  • Short-term and long-term effects to retiree and non-state coverage is unknown.
  • SB 268 places a "marriage penalty" on active participants whose spouse has access to health insurance through an employer, regardless of the level or cost of that option. PEIA has reported the penalty will be $147 per month. SB268 will result in over $500 million in "savings" to the state by 2027. "Savings to the state" actually means that over $500 million in additional premiums and other out-of-pocket costs will now fall on the backs of plan participants annually.
  • Legislative leaders are trying to make PEIA solvent by reducing benefits and kicking participants off the plan instead of creating a dedicated revenue stream for long-term stability.

  • Under SB 268, according to PEIA officials, an employee making $45,000 with family coverage who also has to pay the "marriage penalty" will have to pay an additional $2,672 next year for PEIA coverage. An employee making $30,000 in the same situation would pay an additional $2,494 next year.

  • Since 2017, premiums have remained roughly the same. However, both deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums have increased exponentially over the same period. For families, the deductible has increased $450 annually and the out-of-pocket maximum has increased at least $2,400, and in some cases over $3,000, annually. It's disingenuous to focus only on premiums when talking about participant costs associated with PEIA.
  • SB 268 mandates plan participants that utilize out-of-state providers will pay at least 30% of the costs. This will result in a 10% out-of-pocket increase or more for their care. Printed in house for educational purposes only.

CHARLESTON – Unions representing public employees will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Friday, March 3, in front of the House of Delegates chamber entrance to discuss legislation that would make sweeping changes to insurance coverage for 230,000 PEIA plan participants.

Senate Bill 268 will trigger a 26 percent increase in employee premiums for state participants; penalize public employees that are married; potentially lead to the exclusion of local police, firefighters and emergency services employees from PEIA; and create even more uncertainty regarding the status of retirees participating in PEIA. The legislation passed the Senate and is currently being considered by the House of Delegates with a little more than a week left in the regular 2023 legislative session. 

WHAT:  Press conference discussing impact of PEIA legislation
WHEN:  10 a.m., Friday, March 2, 2023
WHERE:  Front of House of Delegates chamber entrance, East side of the Capitol