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This morning both Unions met and prepared our counter proposals on Pension and Health and also developed a general wage proposal.

We provided our counter proposals and wage proposal to the Company at our joint session today. The Company was displeased with all of our proposals and stated “we are pretty far apart and we’re not sure how we can come together with how far apart we are.” 
The Unions stated that they did not expect to improve the Defined Contribution Pension plan to the level of Plan 2 in one contract. The Company clearly stated that they had no intention to go back to where we were (i.e. DC plan equal to Plan 2.) We told the Company that their current pension proposal would cause a negative impact on recruitment and retention. The Company stated that this is not a problem at MG&E.
Again the Company stated our health plan is way above market and that controlling cost is a smarter way to go than sharing cost. Even with their proposal to increase employees contribution to health care premium to 15%, they stated it wouldn’t help control cost.   Again they talked about changing deductibles, co-pays and prescription drug co-pays.
As far as our Wage proposal, the Company said they expected to see 3.5%, 3% and 3.5%  -- the same as 2006 but stated “we don’t agree to that already.” 
During our April 2nd bargain, the Company stated that they were very interested in getting this contract resolved by the end of the month. In an effort to do this, we made proposals for the three big areas (health, pension & wages) earlier than normal in the bargaining process. Given their reaction, early resolution will make this difficult at best.
They have made it clear that they would like to get the non-economic items off the table so we can move on. We will continue to address the non-economic issues in our sessions going forward.
We expect to receive a counter proposal on pension, health and wages but are unsure when the Company will present that.
The Company told us they did not want to meet jointly with both bargaining groups anymore. In an effort to have productive and efficient negotiations, your OPEIU bargaining team will continue to work closely with our Brothers and Sisters of IBEW 2304 whether or not we are in the same room. 
The Union's proposals are available for viewing by clicking the "read more" link below.
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