I went to work for the then "New York Telephone Company" in 1967. I accepted a pay cut from $145.00 per week to a starting salary of $87.50 per week. Why? Because I was given assurances of health Insurance, pension benefits and a secure job with a good retirement plan.
For thirty years I worked for the company, through the AT&T split-up and the merger with New England that formed NYNEX, and through all the transformations that took place. The company still offered health Insurance benefits a pension upon retirement and assurances that I and my family would be taken care of after retirement.
I was involved in the company at the time that was true. I was assigned Retirees to contact on a regular basis and make sure they were being taken care of. That was all ended packages were offered at different times to instigate retirements. Management was forced to start paying for their benefits under Flex-Plus, the guise of it being more flexible to our individual needs. One retirement package even stated "retire before a set date and retain all your benefits for life."
So in 1998 I read and accepted an early retirement package labeled 5 and 5. It read as a good package and the mood of the company at the time was to lower Management Personnel in preparation for their Merger with Bell Atlantic.
Since my retirement I have seen a constant reduction in my benefits, Medical Insurance that was available last year is no longer available this year. Life insurance that was to be available was dropped, Pension Cost of living adjustments were not even considered. All in all we were losing benefits constantly while the upper management was receiving added perks each year. The company's stock was floundering, the company was declaring losses and the officers were getting multimillion dollar bonuses.
We were powerless to fight this until the BellTel Retirees Inc. was formed and merged our collective voices into one voice that had to be listened to. Since their inception the Organization has fought endlessly to protect our pensions, our Health benefits, and most important our sense of Dignity! We invested years in this company, on many occasions gave up time with our families to get a job done. I and many others were awarded Technical Excellence Awards, The President’s Award, and even gained U.S. Patents for the Company yet now we fight for every benefit we were promised years ago. Thank God for The Bell System Retirees Association
Review from Guidestar
I am a retireed Verizon emplyee who went to work 30+ years ago with the "Agreement" with the telephone company that if I "invested" my talent and time to the organization they would in turn "provide for life" health care and pension benefits. This social contract came under "severe demolition efforts" by the big guns of lobbyests employed by Verizon-which has evolved into a draconian organization focused on enriching the senior management team at the expense of those that made the organization it is today!
The BellTel Retirees is the only organization dedicated to "breaking up the Senior Management cabal" and fighting for all of us retireed employees.
As we watch the social safety net being undermined by the Republican Party the BellTel Retirees organization is truely fighting the good fight for our long term well being and safety.
AMAZING and EFFECTIVE organization of truely committed volunteers
Review from Guidestar