are subject to the $ 25,000.00 lifetime cap for major medical expenses under their current plan.
20. First Priority 65 is a managed care plan under which each participating retiree or covered dependent selects a primary care physician who then acts as a "gatekeeper" for all medical services. If a medical problem arises, treatment must be sought first from the primary care physician. If the patient's condition warrants, a referral is made to a specialist within the network of physicians and medical centers who have contracted to provide services to First Priority 65 participants.
21. Health care will be available to participants who require medical treatment while traveling outside the First Priority 65 coverage area. At the present time, the coverage area is limited to three counties in northeastern Pennsylvania, Lycoming, Luzerne and Lackawanna. There are plans to add Clinton County, Pennsylvania to the coverage area in the not-too-distant future.
22. All hospitals in Lycoming County are First Priority 65 participants.
23. Geisinger Medical Center, located in Danville, Pennsylvania, is not a First Priority 65 participant.
24. First Priority 65 and the current plan have different financial arrangements for participants.
25. First Priority 65 has no cap on major medical expenses. The amount of the co-payment due from the participant for prescription drugs, medical treatment and other services differs from that charged under the current plan, and is in most instances, less. Deductibles are eliminated under First Priority 65.
26. If enrolled in First Priority 65, retirees currently under the care of a physician who is not a member of the First Priority 65 network will have to either switch physicians or pay themselves the cost of medical care received from non-participating physicians.
27. Many area general practitioners, specialists and medical centers participate in First Priority 65.
28. Only two full-time primary care physicians who practice in Lycoming County are not members of the First Priority 65 network. All other such physicians have made contractual arrangements to care for patients under the First Priority 65 plan.
29. Switching to coverage under the First Priority 65 plan will result in a savings to Textron of approximately $ 150,000.00 per month, reducing the cost of providing health care benefits to retirees from approximately $ 250,000.00 per month to $ 100,000.00 per month.
30. No retiree will be denied medical care if the proposed change in plans is allowed to go forward.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW:
Based on the evidence introduced at the March 25, 1996 hearing, the court makes the conclusions of law:
1. The union is a labor organization representing employees in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning of section 2(5) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 152(5).
2. This court has jurisdiction under section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 185, to consider the request for injunctive relief filed by the union.
3. The union has standing to represent the interests of non-salaried retirees of Textron whose health insurance coverage will be affected by the proposed change in Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans.
4. The union does not have standing to represent the interests of retirees from salaried positions at Textron. The interests of those retirees are not at issue in this matter, and those individuals are not parties to this case.
5. The underlying dispute over the proposed change in health care plans is subject to mandatory arbitration under Article III, section 1 of the collective bargaining agreement.
6. Textron has frustrated the arbitral process to some degree by failing to issue in writing its denial of the union's grievance on the proposed change in health care coverage for retirees and in failing to agree to submit the issue promptly to binding arbitration.
7. The union is entitled to an order directing Textron to reduce to writing its denial of the grievance and the reasons therefor and further directing Textron to submit the dispute to binding arbitration.
8. The union has not established that it is entitled to injunctive relief barring implementation of coverage under First Priority 65 effective April 1, 1996.
9. There has been no showing that retirees affected by the transfer will suffer irreparable harm in the legal sense if the transfer in coverage goes forward.
10. The underlying dispute as to whether the proposed transfer of coverage for retirees to the First Priority 65 plan is arbitrable.
11. It would be inappropriate to consider the parties' collective bargaining dispute on the merits, in view of the plain arbitrability of that matter.
12. Denying the injunction will not preserve the status quo.
13. A balancing of the equities does not support issuance of an injunction barring the implementation coverage under First Priority 65.
14. As the case is being referred to binding arbitration, this court will no longer have jurisdiction over the underlying dispute.
* * *
An order will issue consistent with this memorandum.
James F. McClure, Jr.
United States District Judge
March 28, 1996
For the reasons stated in the accompanying memorandum, IT IS ORDERED THAT:
1. Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction barring implementation of coverage for retirees under First Priority 65 is denied.
2. Textron is hereby directed to:
a) reduce to writing within five business days from the date of this order its denial of the union grievance and state in its denial the reasons therefor; and