Friday, July 06, 2012

WTU Dental & Optical Benefits

I have been a proud member of the Washington Teachers Union since my employment in DCPS. I have also been a strong advocate of our students and teachers as a former WTU Vice President of Special Education. I have always been a keen observer and I was never afraid to write and speak my mind about policies that are unfair to our members.

But for me, writing a complaint letter is often an undesirable task as it becomes emotional at times. Making a complaint can be difficult for many of us. Teachers must overcome the natural tendency to “keep quiet” and worry about the possible adverse effects complaining might have on our profession.
From experience I have learned that if it is done well, the end result can be very rewarding. When writing our complaint letter, it is imperative to identify a definite purpose and outcome that we want to achieve, and indicate those ideas clearly in our letter.
Here's my personal complaint letter to the current President of the Washington Teachers Union:
Dear President Saunders,
I hope this email finds you well.
It was with some shock when the staff at the Dental Clinic that my family went to this afternoon told me that my United Healthcare union benefits did not cover my daughter (or any of my family members) and that it was cancelled since October 2010. As a consequence, I paid in full the dental fees of my family today.  The staff from United Healthcare told me that I should get in touch with the Washington Teachers Union to clarify the issue to have this rectified. I believe that I have been paying Union Dental & Optical Family Coverage which is being automatically deducted from my paycheck, as noted in this portion of my 06.03-16.2012 paycheck (attached).
I am writing to express my dissatisfaction to WTU Dental & Optical Benefits services and I would like to require a written response why things went wrong from the Director of Memberships & Benefits. I believe it is not Nadine Evans, as was referred to me by the lady who answered the phone (and sounded unsystematic) when I called the WTU Office at 2:00pm today. I have personally met Nadine Evans in the past and she introduced herself to me as your Deputy Chief of Staff. A person of such position would not insist and she would know that it is not safe to give my social security number just to anyone except for the person who is entrusted of the memberships & benefits. May I know her name so I can address my complaint to her too?

I perfectly understand that to receive this complaint is both stressful and upsetting on your part, but I believe that as our representatives it is your professional responsibility to listen, respond to and learn from complaints and concerns from our membership.  
I see that this could be an error; I would ask to set the policy back up right away and return the excess (from family to self) of my payments of my WTU Dental & Optical Benefits from October 2010 – present.  Thank you, I am looking forward to a speedy resolution and response from you and our benefits representative.
Maria Angala, NBCT
WTU AFTLocal 6 Member

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