After an 11-week strike, 1,360 UAW members have voted by nearly 90% to ratify a new 3.7 year contract at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network. The agreement will run to May 1, 2027.

The deal secures historic gains for workers including a major reduction of seniority needed to reach the top pay rate reduced from 22 years to five years, significant wage increases, ratification bonuses, inflation protection bonuses, and improved job security language. All workers will receive a minimum 10% wage increase in the first six months of the agreement.

“I’m extremely proud of our members for standing strong for 88 days,” said UAW Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock, who also serves as the Director of the Union’s Technical, Office and Professional Departments. “Because of their courage and determination, we were able to win a record contract. This is a huge step in the right direction for our members, and one that we will build on moving forward.”

Workers walked out on strike on September 13 after company negotiators refused to take their demands seriously. The primary issues members wanted addressed during negotiations were ending the multi-tiered wage scale that required workers to acquire twenty-two years of seniority to reach the top pay rate and the company outsourcing jobs to outside contractors.

The UAW was able to make significant improvements on both fronts. The wage scale was shortened to just five years under the new agreement. Union negotiators were also able to secure contractual language that will strengthen the union’s hand in safeguarding worker jobs.

The contract covers UAW members from four local unions: Locals 2500 and 1781 out of Detroit, Region 1, Director LaShawn English, and Locals 2145 (Grand Rapids) and 2256 (Lansing) Region 1D, Director Steve Dawes.

Around 1,400 UAW members at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are demanding economic justice as contract negotiations kicked off on July 11, 2023, at the VisTaTech Center on the campus of Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan.

Workers are fighting back against stagnant wages, a prolonged wage progression, outsourcing, lack of job security, and insufficient training.

The UAW represents four bargaining units at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan: Local Union 1781 (Region 1), Local Union 2500 (Region 1), Local Union 2145 (Region 1D) and Local Union 2256 (Region 1D).

The UAW represents two bargaining units at Blue Care Network of Michigan, Local Union 1781 (Region 1) and Local Union 2145 (Region 1D).

Workers at BCBSM and BCN are employed in various fields such as Customer Services, Membership and Billing, Claims and Enrollment, Pricing, Analyst, and Maintenance.

UAW Secretary-Treasurer, Margaret Mock, who is the union’s Director of the Technical, Office and Professional (TOP) Department, stated: “As we embark on this historic first-time multi-employer bargaining, our mission is to achieve, significant wages increase, depletion of wage progression, preserve health care, and to bring jobs back to the bargaining unit that have been outsourced and insourced.”

While workers at BCBSM and BCN struggle to make ends meet, BCBSM CEO Daniel Loepp has been paid nearly $45 million in just the last three years alone.