Managed health care dominant at big firmsThis may be the...


January 08, 1993|By Kim Clark

Managed health care dominant at big firms

This may be the beginning of the end for conventional health insurance.

A survey of large employers by the consulting firm KPMG Peat Marwick found that 1992 marked the first time that a majority of workers was covered by health maintenance organizations and other managed care programs instead of traditional health insurance.

Only 11 percent of all workers were covered by managed care programs in 1988. Peat Marwick predicts that at this rate, HMOs and their cousins will cover three-fourths of all U.S. workers by 1995.

One reason for the shift: More employers are offering only managed care options. Nearly four out of 10 workers weren't even offered conventional health insurance plans, the survey found.

Getting that doctorate may not be worth it

Thinking about quitting your job, going back to school for your doctorate and becoming a professor?

Think again.

A new report by the Economic Policy Institute says the return on your investment in tuition and other school costs will be only 80 cents on the dollar.

NLRB judge rules against Klein's chain

The Klein's supermarket chain in Harford County illegally retaliated against a worker who supported a union organizing campaign, an administrative law judge has found.

Judge Robert A. Giannasi recently found that the family that owns the four-supermarket chain violated federal labor laws in fighting an organizing drive by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 27 in 1991.

In recommendations that await final action by the National Labor Relations Board later this year, Judge Giannasi found that the Klein family was, perhaps, too passionate in its successful battle against the union.

Judge Giannasi described one incident in which Andrew Klein, one of three sons running the stores set up by their father, confronted union organizers who were standing outside one of the family's stores.

"After a heated exchange with the organizers, [Andrew Klein] collapsed, due apparently to the excitement of the moment and a pre-existing medical condition," Judge Giannasi wrote in his 24-page decision.

"At this point, Andrew's father, Ralph, also arrived on the scene, and confronted the organizers. . . . He threatened to use a gun against the organizers because of what had happened to Andrew, which he blamed on them."

Judge Giannasi added that "Andrew's condition was not serious, and he recovered."

NB Prior to the organizing drive, the judge found, the Kleins had

allowed charities and civic groups to raise money in front of the supermarkets. But once the drive began, they banned all solicitations, to prevent the union from talking to workers.

The Kleins also unfairly reprimanded worker Yvonne Bennett, who had supported the union, the judge said. The judge found the Kleins went through Ms. Bennett's meat case on her days off, looking for out-of-date items so they could blame her for them -- even though someone else was responsible for the meat when Ms. Bennett wasn't there.

Judge Giannasi said the Klein family should remove the reprimands and poor evaluations from Ms. Bennett's personnel file. And it ought to rescind the no-solicitation policy.

In addition, the family should post a notice in all its stores notifying employees of their right to join a union and of their protections under federal law.

The attorney for the Kleins, Neil Serotte, said the family will fight the charges. He said the union had filed the charges because the family had organizers arrested for trespass. Those charges are still pending, he said.

Joel A. Smith, attorney for the union, plans to appeal the unfair labor practice charges he lost, including those involving retaliation against another worker.

Ms. Bennett, who has quit her job at Klein's, said the union probably would have lost its drive even without the Kleins' behavior. While satisfied with her preliminary vindication, she said the NLRB was slow to act and didn't prevent continuing harassment on the job.

"People don't realize how little protection there is," she said.

Hiring prospects brighten in sales

Sell yourself into your next job.

A survey of employers has found that hiring prospects are improving for salespeople and their managers in Maryland.

Nearly half of the Maryland companies surveyed by Management Recruiters International Inc., a Cleveland-based headhunting firm, said they planned to add sales staff in the first half of 1992.

Only one out of 18 companies planned to reduce its sales work force.

That means Marylanders were more optimistic than the national average. Just about a third of employers surveyed across the country planned to hire in the first six months of 1991.

Problems at work likely to affect home

Problems at work are more likely to create problems at home than the other way around, a survey of 28,000 workers by the St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. found.

The survey found that workers often took home anxiety from problems at work, but appeared to try to keep their personal problems from hurting their professional lives.

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