An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
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I see the complaints about the health care cost to employees. I retired in 2009 and my retirement health care was almost $200.00 per month no dental or vision. In 2010 they raised it to almost 500.00 per month. Jim are you telling me this is still a good deal? It is way more then any of my friends who are retired pay.
7:23pm - The cost of healthcare is getting to a point that companies, especially companies like Gannett will no longer offer it. Even those who do offer insurance will have premiums, co-pays, and deductables so high, the average worker can not afford it. There will have to be some type of national healthcare.
I believe with the 2014 national affordable health care initiative, it will be quite cost effective for Gannett to dump health care and pay whatever fine is levied.At that time, I expect the employees will bear the burden of the fine, call it a non-insured surcharge.
It is very straigtforward .... if Gannett and many other companies decide to drop healthcare coverage for employees in 2014, it would be for an economical reason ..... an annual penalty from the Federal Government of $2000 per employee per year is a much better deal than the amount that Gannett now "contributes" to employee insurance. Just an estimate ... Gannett is self insured but "contributes" on average $500 per employee per month ($500 x 12 months = $6000). Dump employee insurance and add even more to the corporate bonus program.
If Gannett plans on dropping healthcare coverage in 2014, I suggest Martore get to work. She will need many more corporate tricks like parking spaces and "make a difference" photo opps to keep morale from crashing.
I too think most major companies will drop health insurance in two years. They have to given the national initiative. I rue the day but whatever. I did sign up this morning for health care. Relatively simple. I did have the surcharge or whatever, and when I called was given information on the situation. I can still get a physical or do the health care assessment, and all will be adjusted in 2012. I knew there was a September deadline but I am generally a procrastinator. In any event, I'm sign up. All is well.
Morale has been dead for years!Any more word on upcoming December layoffs ?
Why wouldn't every company in America opt out of providing Medical insurance if the governent I'd going to provide it. Medical coverage costs a company millions and millions of dollars every year. If you are a CEO and you DON'T opt out you should be fired. It's a business folks. The politicians screwed up. The penalty is actually attractive.
Not to get off-topic, but checking today's election results online has me curious as to what the prediction is out there for the survival of Patch. Lots of ex-Gannett people jumped there, and I hear all kinds of conflicting stuff about the place: it's losing $15 million a month; it's doing fine; it's like working for a sweatshop, etc. What's everyone's take on the future of Patch?
Employer provided healthcare is a relic of WW2. Companies needed to hire people to ramp up production for the war but wage controls made it hard for them to offer prospective employees attractive and competitive packages. Employers threw healthcare into the mix and voila! The healthcare system as we know it was born. Fast forward 60 years and it's the opposite scenario. Employers no longer care about attracting new employees and healthcare, for a lot of reasons, has gotten extraordinarily expensive. Now employers want to get out of the healthcare business.But employees are still screwed. It's so expensive we can't afford it on our own. The only solution that will work is for government to step in. A single payer system like the UK or a private, well regulated system, like Germany are about the only things that will salvage this mess. The President's healthcare reform was a start but it didn't go nearly far enough. (And before the right wingers start talking about socialism and the number of Brits that have come to the US to escape their NHS, let me say that for every British expat I meet who says they came here to get away from socialized medicine, I meet two who think US healthcare is an abomination and don't understand how we can put up with it.) I don't doubt that G and other large employers will stop providing health insurance in the next couple of years. But first they'll make it so expensive and intrusive we want out. It started with smoking surcharges. Fine, you don't smoke no problem, let the smokers pay. Then it was the health assessment. Don't let them know what your health status is and you're hit with a surcharge. Next, I suspect, employees will be hit with surcharges if they're either overweight or drink. After all, if smokers can be penalized for their behavior why shouldn't the obese be penalized for theirs? Who knows, people in other "high risk" categories could be hit with surcharges if they engage in risky behavior. Before you know it, just about everyone will face some kind of a surcharge. Risky behavior could be anything from having to divulge sexual practices to mountain biking or extreme sports.Get used to it folks. It's the corporate world we live in.
Anyone complaining about the surcharge has only themselves to blame. We received several notices on this, going back to early in the year. You had plenty of time to take care of this. You should get a yearly physical, but even if u don't, that survey was easy to fill out. The day I received the first email I took 5 minutes and filled it out and was done with. Too many people just love to bitch about shit they could avoid with a fraction of initiative and a bit of common sense.
Great post, 10:32. People here don't want to do anything. Just look at the number of people begging Jim to get details for them.
10:32, I'm offended by your scolding and condescension. We do not have only ourselves to blame if we followed the directions to avoid the surcharge and were hit with it anyway. We have the system to blame, and it failed. One of the purposes of this blog is to inform people about the problems they encounter at their site. Why put people down for doing just that? What purpose does it serve? This Healthy Actions thing was a big blunder, and if word doesn't get out about it, a lot of people will end up paying almost $500 a year for no reason. Some people may assume that since they did everything right, they won't get charged, and they may not even bother checking their accounts. People are already getting nickel-and-dimed at every turn, from cable bills to phone bills to online purchases. Why not help each other avoid one more?
Well who had better election coverage, Gannett or Patch?
re.Patch: Interviewed on the phone, but the pay scale was pretty low. Like equivalent of what you made at a 50,000 circulation newspaper with just a couple year's experience. That may have changed, but I suspect not. Yes, it's hard work but supposed to be fun. At least my former colleagues seem to like it. I can't speak to any company financials.
@12:48 p.m. - Where I am, in NJ, neither. I checked the Star Ledger for results.
Don't be surprised if this surcharge fiasco is something Gannett allowed to happen so higher-ups could talk layoffs and furloughs without anyone paying any attention. Then it can get announced when they're off on extended holidays.
What is PATCH?
3:01 -- Patch is a group of crappy community weekly-like online sites brought to you by AOL. They have taken a $160 million-dollar bath on the project this year alone. Needless to say, they have a VERY short life expectancy. Here in Michigan, they can barely give away ad space.
Hey, 2:41, I wouldn't be surprised if that were true. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised by anything this company cooks up these days. There is no such thing as stooping too low when it comes to Gannett.
For those of you on COBRA, you might have not noticed that it's open enrollment, since Gannett didn't bother to notify us. I just checked in on my account and found out they were switching our providers. Gee thanks. If I'm lucky, I'll just have to deal with it for Jan, then over to my newe company's plan.
4:18 While I agree with you, I try to keep partisan politics out of this blog.
Re: Patch employees. Yes, Patch is struggling like every other media, probably more so. Back in Sept. this article appeared in Business Insider: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-09-23/tech/30193030_1_patch-copy-editor-marketing-events Makes working for Gannett look positively wonderful.
Gannett is the Walmart of journalism, so don't be surprised by the diminution and/or elimination of employee healthcare coverage. Making employees pay more for coverage is yet another way for Gannett to chase off older employees with greater healthcare needs. It's another win-win for Gannett!
At Gannett (and all of their truly crappy papers) employees are totally disposable and nothing more than a nuisance. If every employee dropped over dead tomorrow, none of the arrogant, overpaid and useless suits at Gannett would care one bit! On the other hand, these suits would rejoice because they'd meet their staff reduction objectives while doing even less work, if that is possible. Detect hatred on my part? You bet!!!!!!
there will be a national healthplan in the works that will be a great benefit to all of us as far as health insureance goes!
@ 7:14 - do you REALLY believe that?
Find it odd that all of our OC committee are taking their vacation days before the end of November. Wonder if what MY BOSS said is true about announcing layoffs in early December. These people would need to be present if this is the case.
@4:31 -- I know for a fact that entire article was total bullshit.
7:26....Maybe it's because it's right after Thanksgiving and they have numerous weeks left of vacation to use or lose because of all the furlough time they had to take.
@ 5:25 re Gannett is the Walmart of journalismOne huge difference: Walmart shares their profits with all of their employees through a yearly bonus. Gannett does not.
The dread and panic over Q4 revenue amongst management is deeper than I've ever experienced. Seems very abnormal, even for this company.
Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."
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