The Importance of Paying Your Union Dues
There are 2 kinds of dues structures in Local 132, the working dues that come out of your check when you are working and the monthly dues that you are responsible for paying:
1- Working Dues: Local 132 has a dues deduction of 5% of total package (base rate and all fringes) that are deducted out of your check. Of that 1% goes to the International and 4% stays in Local 132. These dues are the bases of keeping the operations running at the Local. All unions operate with the same type of structure. These dues are deducted and held out of your pay check and get turned in on the monthly fringe report that your employer or contractor send in. Of course as our work can be weather related and some months are stronger than others, the revenue that comes in fluctuates.
2- Monthly Dues: The monthly dues at Local 132 are broken down in 3 different ranges:
- Journey Workers are at $20 per month
- Apprentices are at $15 per month
- Retirees are at $10 per month
Dues are due and payable on the 1st day of each month. Any member more than 2 months delinquent will be assessed a $10.00 Local Suspension fee. Any member more than 3 months delinquent will be assessed a $10.00 Local Suspension fee in addition to a $10.00 International Suspension fee. Any member more than 9 months delinquent will be dropped from the roles of Local 132.
Your monthly dues have a significant value to them. In elections of any position or as a delegate representing your union, your dues must have been paid up current for 12 months prior to any election.
Dues also play an important part with your status of working as a member in good standing, with any Death Benefits and Health & Welfare coverage. Additionally, with the recent changes with the Bureau of Unemployment, when you file a claim for unemployment compensation, the unemployment office is contacting your union. Their purpose is to ensure that you are a member in good standing and that you are current in your monthly dues in order for you to be eligible to collect your unemployment benefits. You do not want to put at risk your unemployment claims, please keep your dues current; the union will respond to the unemployment office whether you are in good standing or not.
*Death Benefits: There is a death benefit available only to members who have an initiation date in the International Association prior to January 1, 2005 and are in good standing at the time of death. (The member’s family must show the appropriate death certificate in order to apply for this benefit. This payment is evaluated based on years of service. A member shall be considered to be in good standing if the records show that he owes no more than 2 months of monthly dues or working dues. If you are a member that was initiated after January 1, 2005 or a member not in good standing then your beneficiary will not be entitled to the Death Benefit.
*Health and Welfare: There is a Death Benefit available here also to the beneficiaries of members who pass away. You must be current on your Health & Welfare coverage and you must be in good standing with the union to receive it. If you become a dropped member then you may not be eligible for the coverage.
*Pension: There are 4 different Pension Plans within Local 132. Some of these plans offer an early retirement with 30 years of continuous service and membership, without any deduction or reduced rate from your accrued benefit. If you fail to pay your dues and are dropped from Local 132, you then start over with a new initiation date when you re-join the union. Many members do not realize how much dropping their union membership affects them, but going in and out of the union affects your status of 30 years of continuous service because of the new initiation date. You may have to work to normal retirement age of your plan or take a reduced rate if you want to get out earlier. Some plans normal retirement age can vary from 60 years normal retirement up to 65 years normal retirement age. If you get dropped because of not paying your dues, it is no one’s fault but your own. **Contact your area union Business Representative for specific details of your benefit plans.
**Note: This is just an overview of your defined benefits; please see your Health and Welfare and Pension Fund Plans or the International Constitution and/or the Constitution for Local 132 for complete details on your benefits.