BCBS Michigan reaches tentative deal with workers after 11-week strike

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has reached a tentative agreement with over 1,000 employees on strike. 

BCBS Michigan employees represented by United Auto Workers, which include those in customer service, billing, claims and other divisions, began striking Sept. 13. 

According to a Nov. 28 news release from BCBS Michigan, a tentative agreement between the insurer and the union was reached after several conversations between BCBS Michigan CEO Daniel Loepp and UAW president Shawn Fain. 

"On Wednesday, our bargaining teams will meet to formalize our agreement — bringing our employees one step closer to returning to work. I congratulate and thank President Fain for reaching out and working directly with me to get us to the starting line of the ratification process," Mr. Loepp said in a news release. 

UAW members at Blue Care Network, Blue Cross Blue Shield's HMO, were covered by a different agreement with the company and not on strike but are included in the tentative agreement. 

According to a news release from the UAW, the tentative deal includes significant general wage increases, a $6,500 ratification bonus for BCBS employees and $5,000 ratification bonus for Blue Care Network workers. The deal also shortens the wage progression scale for employees to reach top pay from 22 years to five. 

"Wage progression and job security were concerns that we knew we had to fix during this round of bargaining," UAW Secretary-Treasurer Margaret Mock said in the news release. "Twenty-two years to reach top pay is unacceptable. Because of our members' solidarity on the picket lines and our negotiators' hard work at the bargaining table, we were able to address many of our demands."

UAW members will continue striking until the deal is finalized, according to the union's release. 

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