CORRE Accomplishments, Events, and Activities (2010–2014)
Year 2010: Key Events and Accomplishments
- The Program Paper – 2010 was approved and distributed in February.
- Six former senior managers of Martin Marietta Energy Systems wrote to Senator Alexander urging support for CORRE.
- Operation of the ClubWizard website began in March, with Phyllis Green as Webmaster.
- CORRE prepared an extensive “Information Book” of information, data, and case studies related to Oak Ridge retirement benefits, for distribution to various representatives and advocates.
- Separation of the MEPP occurred on September 1. The pension trust was divided: 44.27% to ORNL and 57, 28/5 to Y-12. CORRE began to work with four local contractors.
- CORRE met with local candidates for election, and discussed the potential economic benefit that would be gained from a pension adjustment and level costing of the SSO. Letters were written to Governor Bredesen and our Congressional representatives, and city and county legislators.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average bottomed at 8,046 in November.
- ORNL resumes contributions to its pension trust fund.
Year 2011: Key Events and Accomplishments
- CORRE is informed that DOE used the $300M that had been set aside for Oak Ridge retirees, for other purposes. Senator Alexander attempted to include $1M for retirees in the new START treaty. which would primarily benefit Y-12 retirees. Alexander’s key staff person for CORRE was reassigned. The Senator’s position changed to one of preserving retirement benefits.
- CORRE distributes a video to members entitled “How to Communicate with Your Representatives.”
- DOE/ORO was reorganized such that the single manager was replaced with six local managers who report directly to Washington.
- CORRE’s representative on ORNL’s Benefits Advisory Committee was included in discussions regarding potential changes in the Supplemental Health Insurance benefit at ORNL.
- URS/CH2M Oak Ridge LLC replaced Bechtel Jacobs as managing contractor for Environmental Cleanup in Oak Ridge.
- Wackenhut’s pension trust fund was restored to the 100% funding level. Wackenhut conferred that it supported CORRE’s requests, but could not initiate any action in that regard.
- The CORRE Board decides to pursue, as highest priority, correction of the inequity in costing the Surviving Spouse Option. This change in priority was the result of the national economic recession and the resulting under-funding of the several pension trust funds. The Board believed that the SSO issue was a reasonable request under the prevailing economic conditions.
Year 2012: Key Events and Accomplishments
- ORNL Benefits Office staff and representatives of EXTEND met with CORRE representatives to preview ORNL’s new Supplemental Health Plan. It was a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) plan. ORNL would share the cost with retirees on a 50:50 basis. Prescription drugs would continue to be provided under the existing MEDCO plan. Coverage was to begin July 1, 2012.
- Near the end of the enrollment period, CORRE helped locate some 87 retirees who had not been located prior to the pending enrollment date.
- The WSI management contract was extended for six months. It provided security services for facilities in Oak Ridge and Pantex.
- Because of the confusion among retirees about the new plan, CORRE conducted a survey of ORNL retirees to assess the true costs of and experience with the new plans, and published it. The survey indicated that the plan inherently cost more than the previous plan for older retirees, that most people chose a “cadillac” plan which cost more but provided better benefits, and that the 50:50 cost split with ORNL is crucial to the future well being of the retirees. CORRE representatives reviewed the survey with ORNL Benefits staff. We stressed the importance of maintaining the cost sharing agreement at 50:50.
- A serious security breach occurred at Y-12 in the Fall of 2012, resulting in major organizational changes at B&W Y-12 and at WSI.
- NNSA cancelled the WSI management contract and Y-12 assumed responsibility for security services in Oak Ridge.
Year 2013: Key Events and Accomplishments
- On January 8, NNSA announced that Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC (CNS) had been selected to be the new management and operating contractor for Y-12 and the Pantex plant.
- Officers of CORRE met with officers of the Savannah River Retiree Association (SRRA) to discuss common issues. We noted that SRRA has muc better access to its legislators than CORRE, but has not made more progress than CORRE.
- Security services for DOE/ORO, ORNL, and the reservation were contracted with National Strategic Protective Services (NSPS), and Y-12 retained responsibility for its security services. Retiree benefits for WSI were split appropriately between CNS and NSPS.
- CORRE conducted a second health insurance survey of ORNL retirees to assess experience after one full year under the HRA plan. Response was less than that of 2012 but the general response was that “it is working…so far.”
- As a cost-saving move, CORRE began to develop a new website using Word Press, to replace the one driven by ClubWizard.
Year 2014: Key Events and Accomplishments
- Dave Mason succeeded Dub Shults as CORRE President.
- A new website was rolled out in March with Ross Toedte as webmaster.
- CORRE put much effort into developing relationships with the three new contracting organizations.
- CORRE officers met with Congressman Fleischmann and his Oak Ridge staff to discuss details of our Surviving Spouse Option request.
- CORRE provided handout materials for Congressman Fleischmann for use in meeting with ranking officials at DOE headquarters in Washington. Similar material was provided for his meetings with local contractors.
- We continued to notify the membership of current affairs via email and the website, in response to various requests by the local contractors.
- CNS implemented a new supplemental health insurance plan for post-65 retirees. It is similar to the HRA plan at ORNL except that the Y-12 plan includes both medical and prescription drug coverage. Introduction of this plan without forewarning resulted in considerable reaction among Y-12 retirees, including demonstrations, various communications with legislators, and a petition. CORRE met with the protest leaders and CNS officials in an attempt to resolve issues by working with both parties.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an all-time high of !8,074 on December 27, 2014.