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Pace University

Labor and Employment Law

2016

Retirees

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After Tackett: Incomplete Contracts For Post-Employment Healthcare, Maria O'Brien Hylton Apr 2016

After Tackett: Incomplete Contracts For Post-Employment Healthcare, Maria O'Brien Hylton

Pace Law Review

This is a story about a union and a private sector employer who repeatedly negotiated collective bargaining agreements which referenced side contracts which provided retirees with post-employment healthcare benefits. In the early decades of their relationship neither the union nor the employer appear to have given any thought to whether or not these retiree health benefits in fact vested—i.e. were promised to retirees at no cost for the remainder of their lives. By the 1980s and certainly the 1990s however, as health care costs soared and life expectancy expanded, both parties continued to regularly re-negotiate agreements that were silent as …