Why has the health insurance changed so much over the last 7 years, less benefits and become more expensive?

Health care has gone up 10% or better every year within the last 20 years. This far exceeds the pace of inflation and makes saving some benefits like Dental and Optical impossible. The Local has recently gone to a high deductible plan and then took the money we saved on insurance premiums and returned them to the member in the form of an HRA (Health Reimbursement Account.) The HRA can be used for Optical, Dental, RX or any cost associated from health related issues.

Why does the vacation deposit not hit our accounts in its entirety?

The Constitution outlines minimum dues required to be paid. The vacation deposit is divided by a separate obligation such as Working Dues Assessment, Organizing, MI ST Building Trades per capita fund and PAL (Political Action League) which is a voluntary contribution for the members of Local 292.

When is the Pension Fund going to be in better shape, and when can we improve or increase benefits?

The Local 292 Pension plan gets it’s income from two sources (1) contributions that are from hours worked; (2) from interest generated from Investments. We all know that hours have been down from our old average for 10 years and that the Stock Market has been volatile for the same 10 years. We need hours to increase and strong return from investments for several years to recover or repair the Local 292 Pension Plan to its best funding level.

Why do we sometimes have to work for reduced rates, as with the “Light Industrial Agreement?”

Mechanisms to gain work that our Contractor’s would not stand a chance at getting are instrumental in keeping Local 292 members working. Competition in our market has increased substantially in recent years, thus allowing our contractors to be competitive is paramount in any hope for a future.

Why can’t the members have a referral system that allows members who have been out of work the longest an opportunity to work before members who were just laid off?

Our current system has been voted on at special called meetings more than once. Democracy is the voice of the majority. Taking away the incentive to work hard and gain additional skills tends to contribute to our remaining contractors uncompetiveness , as well as creating other problems like allowing non-dues paying members or even non-union workers the ability to maintain a spot on the out of work list.

What is the procedure for the members to receive their SUB?

The member has to be a current dues paying member and on the out of work list and eligible for work. They then need to show proof of payment for the week endings they are claiming for Unemployment and send that to the SUB Fund office for payment of SUB.