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I am writing in response to recent letters about contract negotiations at CUNA Mutual Group. Since 1935, CUNA Mutual has enjoyed success and has been one of Madison, Wisconsin’s best employers. We have provided valuable insurance and financial services products to credit unions and their members and have been important in keeping the credit union movement alive and thriving. But, like most companies, the environment in which CUNA Mutual has operated for almost 70 years is rapidly changing. The number of credit unions is decreasing, and both CUNA Mutual and credit unions themselves are facing increased competition. It is clear that, like most companies, CUNA Mutual needs to reassess and change both internal and external practices in order to respond to the changing marketplace. For many companies, internal changes mean mass layoffs and the reduction or elimination of benefits. For CUNA Mutual, it means that we must align wages and benefits with those of the market and our competitors. It also means that we must be available when our customers need us. To me, that is what the proposed contract accomplishes – the changes to wages, benefits, and work hours still position CUNA Mutual Group as one of Madison’s best employers, and one that will be around for years to come. Laura Roethe Project Services Practice Leader CUNA Mutual Group Madison, Wis.

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