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CUNA Mutual Seeks Union Breakthrough

MADISON, Wis.-CUNA Mutual Group presented a new contract offer to its employees' union last week in an effort to break a three-month stand-off on contract negotiations.

In its latest proposal to the Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 39, CMG proposed adjustments to work hours; longer lead time on requests to change schedules; options on a bonus plan; and a cap on health insurance.

The company asked union negotiators to take the new proposal to the rank and file members for a vote.

"We are very pleased and encouraged that CUNA Mutual will resume negotiations," a union spokesman said. "We are eager to get back to the table to bring these negotiations to an agreement membership can accept."

Prepaid VISA Card Program Offered CUs

WASHINGTON-CUNA said it is partnering with Travelex to provide prepaid VISA stored value cards for travel expenses to credit unions.

The cards will be offered in four formats: VISA Cash Transport, a prepaid stored value card used to obtain local currency at ATMs; VISA Gift Cards, a prepaid point-of-sale card; VISA Travel/Money Card, which combines the currency and POS features; and VISA Money Transfer Cards, allowing card-to-card transfers of cash over the Internet.

Credit unions will pay a $100 upfront fee for the program.

Navy Retries 'Electronic Purse'

WASHINGTON-The Navy Supply Systems Command and the Treasury's Financial Management Service are introducing a new commercial debit card, the latest in a string of initiatives aimed at eliminating cash from sailors at sea.

The system, called Navy/Marine Cash, combines both stored-value chip and magnetic-strip technology and will allow both sailors and marines to conduct personal banking and purchase electronically while deployed.

The program, rolled out as a pilot in 2001, has been installed in 16 ships this year. The Navy has been trying for several years to implement a cashless debit program, including the ill-fated @ease card program piloted by the Armed Forces Financial Network.

CU To Finance Housing Complex

ANCHORAGE, Alaska-Alaska USA FCU has obtained approval form the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. to provide $1.6 million in long-term financing for the purchase of a 30-unit apartment complex in Anchorage.

The loan was financed under the AHFC's Multifamily Loan Purchase Program which provides financing assistance for affordable housing projects across the state. The program has helped finance 587 loans in mortgage projects.

High School To Get CU Branch

WAUSAU, Wis.-Tower CU said it plans to open a branch in Wausau West High School this fall to serve the school's students and faculty.

The branch will be run by students and managed by credit union employees. The branch is an outgrowth of the school's long-standing relationship with the credit union, which has helped train students under a banking finance apprenticeship program for the past eight years.

New HQ Planned For SFCCU

SOMERSWORTH, N.H.-Salmon Falls Community Falls CU said it plans to begin construction later this summer on a new two-story headquarters that will provide 10,000 square-feet of space and up to 4,000 feet of room to expand.

The facility is being designed by Design Partnership Architects Inc., of Haverhill, Mass., and American Bank Design will be the general contractor. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2005. The 49-year-old credit union has $10 million in assets.

Deposit Documentation System Designed For CUs

ST. CLOUD, Minn.-Bankers Systems Inc. said it has introduced a new system, called ARTA Deposit, a deposit documentation system developed for credit unions.

The system will give credit unions the ability to pen deposit and savings accounts, CDs, and IRAs, through one documentation system that helps credit unions be in compliance in all 51 U.S. jurisdictions.

The system can be integrated with Bankers Systems' PATRIOT Act Connection solution. Bankers Systems is a unit of WoltersKluwer.

Anti-Spam Service Signs CUs

SAN DIEGO-North Island CU and CU of Southern California said they have implemented Commtouch's anti-spam service, Recurrent Pattern Detection technology.

The service helps the credit unions detect and block spam delivered via e-mail, without requiring additional IT infrastructure investment.

Commtouch is based in Israel and has a subsidiary in Mountain View, Calif.

Citrix Sells Desktop Management System To CUs

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-Citrix Online, a unit of Citrix Systems Inc., said it has signed USA FCU, Troy, Mich., and Suffolk FCU, Medford, N.Y., to deploy its GoToMyPC Corporate system.

The system manages real-time desktop access to key staff, analysts and investment managers, while incorporating high levels of efficiency and strict security measures.

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