From conversations I have had over the last few days with members it seems that the general membership seems to be unaware of just how generous a pension the Council Reps get.
Since the Officers Pension Plan was bankrupted, the council reps are now in the “tool pension”, which is worth around $240 a month for each full year they are employed at the council. The same as the members in the field would receive if they worked 2,000 hours.
They also get a UBC pension which is based on their annual salary. The get a contribution of 21% of their salary, and the accrual rate for this pension plan is 3%.
So if a council rep is making $100,000 a year, (starting pay was around $96,000 but has gone up since it is tied to the Wall and Ceiling hourly rate) then there is a contribution of $21,000 made to the UBC Pension Plan, for which the Council Rep accrues a pension worth $630 a month for each year they work at the council.
If they are making $160,000 a year (which is not uncommon) the contribution is $33,600 which equates to a pension worth $1008 a month for every year they work at the district council.
So if a council rep earning $160,000 puts in ten years, his/her combined pensions would be worth $12,480 a month or $149,760 a year.
A journeyman who worked 2,000 hours a year for that same 10 year period would have a pension worth $2,400 a month or $28,400 a year.
And they also get the same annuity as the carpenters in the field for 2000 hours.
Not too shabby huh?
This is one of those topics that those who work at the Council does not like to talk about. It is all out there in the open but most members do not concern themselves about it until it hits them in the pocket. I appreciate you getting this information out to the membership.
The reality sets in when one reaches their retirement age and they see how in reality, how little one will receive after all the years dedicated to the union. You cannot live on the small pension and will have to supplement it some other way. Hopefully, you were able to save your annuity to help out. Most carpenters I know have had to use this resource to survive on to raise their families.
In my situation, I was receiving my disability pension of 27.5 years with 23.5 credits accumulated. I received, just like any member who reads this will, in my shoes, $2091.00, before taxes a month. After taxes and my retirement premiums ($234.00 per month), it comes to approximately $1.612.00 per month, divided weekly sums up to $403.00 a week. This is less then a New York City resident receives when on un-employment per week. I recently transferred to my regular pension which does offer a few more options on how to get a few more dollars a month and I can return to work 39.5 hours per month. This "depending on the trade" status employment will help to supplement my pension.
In September 2013, the NYCDC Benefits fund trustees decided to take away the option of a carpenter to work part time while they healed up from a disability. I believe we are the only union that doesn't offer a part time status while one gets stronger after an illness. It was permitted for many years and they decided to change it now. Surprisingly this important topic wasn't in the Glossy NYCDCC Benefits mail out I recently received.
The point is that lets not forget all the benefits that these salaried steady delegate employees enjoy for their loyalty to the NYCDCC. These "Direct Deposits" have no choice to do what the person who signs their check persuades them to do. I am advocating that the current delegate body try to pass that all delegates in the future be “on the tools” status and work in the field. Good luck trying to get that passed!! A Council salaried delegate will vote the way they are told to because they do not want to loose the comfortable 2 pensions,(some cases 3 pensions) cars, gas, holidays, steady work and personal days, etc.
Congratulations to the Members Voice Team on their recent Local 157 Delegate victory that sends a strong message that the rank and file are coming back in New York City!
good job patrick nee.the members rights have to stand up for the rank and file and our members.our only help,we get good caring delegates who will continuebattle to make things better on members work front.it is long overdue.we need our dental,optical,and lower deductables for retires and members.we also need to sure up our membership locals.everybody has to get involved.we need towin more union jobs.help the organizers,stay imformed by staying active.it could make the difference down the road when vital imformation could change a job union.more members should be on community.we as i voice with big numbers,could turn the tides with good positive news to show the community,we are a good organization that pays its taxis,does community work,votes when elections come up,and want laws passed to protect the working man and women from the nonunion contractors who are doing alot of illiegal things,such as 1099,hiring illegal alliens.it these workers were not exploated,they would get a education,get legal papers ,and join the union to make us stronger against the everyday abuses these workers face everyday.remember,strength is in numbers,we all could reach our comman objective by doing our part.good luck,hope 2014 will be a good year for all union carpenters and all the other trades,in solidarity,a good union steward.
Sometimes you just get tired of the BS, I believe all the ones crying were lined up at the 3 day to become "over paid council representatives ",were they not ? Now lets bitch about the pension, do you realize in order to draw your $2,100.00 per month ( 2100 X 12 = $ 25,200.00), you would have to have saved $ 400,000 X 6% = $ 24,000, plus-minus. That does not include your annuity, which is most likely another $ 300,000, where could you get those benefits ? We are privately funded, this is not the city or state, where taxpayers are footing the bill. These guys are relatively young men, in their fifties, that can't work anymore ( or stand ) or play the angle. Let's retire, then go and work in Jersey, or run for EST and not vote as a delegate on 2-12-14, Really ! Are there issues at 395 ? Absolutely ! I am just as pissed as the next guy with the premiums and copays. What has really happened is the apathy the RO alludes to. The average-middle of the road member who is working can not be bothered with the nonsense. You have two extremes, butting heads, with the middle who just can't
tolerate the senseless behavior. The next time you are performing your picket duty, look around and evaluate how many of these guys would you pay 3,500 a week. They will all tell you real estate prices in NYC warrant or demand that kind of wage.That is what is costs, the contractor ( many ) have figured out the game. There are no easy answers and many I am referring to have good intentions. However, read the entire book or watch the movie until the end, because many are out for themselves.
Believe me I know the enemy, from top ( international ) to bottom. My point is that some of the do-gooders are working their individual agendas as well. Have worked in this business a long time ( 37 years ) and seen the changes, not many for better. However, seen what was a "brotherhood " slide to every man for himself mentality. We lost much when we lost the vote for our representatives. The government has served a purpose; some good ,some not so. However, if you have been around long enough, our trade has really been influenced by "speciality " portions of our work. So and So is a sheet rocker, ceiling man, concrete, finish and the like. The MEP trades go on a job they are there forever, we get there is small time frames with a multitude of subs. The days of going out from footing to finish were almost gone when I started. Just to be clear, not a fan of full mobility, know for a fact many excellent men on the OWL, why can't our sons or daughters become apprentices in the manner we did, what about helping the old timer and teaching the apprentice and a shoppie being a good union man, not just having some certifications. That is what i am talking about.
i feel for you bill,all the hard years of work should have every respected good union men get rewarded with a good pension for which is yours,rightfuuly so,for which you worked very hard for.the taxis they take out and all the bureorhacrisy they put good members through is nonsence.it is everymembers money.we have endured alot of years of hard work to provide for our familys and we all deserve better pensions and benefits.the do nothing criticize men should wake up and start doing the right thing to do their jobs and protect the members and their jurisdiction.their is alot to be dune,for starters lower the deductables for retires so the older members could live and enjoy their retirements,it is a discrace the way our good members are treated.the retires made the union and carried on the tradition to pass it on to the young guys,iagree,we should be teaching and mentoring our apprentices because they are our future.teach,and learn by example,mobilize the troops to regain marketshare,educate our members about our jobs we do,teach as much as possible.by teaching,it is rewarding to help and give back.agiltate to keep members alert what is going on,be aware of their surrondings,be productive,protect union interests,help your brother or sister out,go to rallys,go to union meetings,goto pickit duty a few times a year.stay active,it is your future,you have a voice,use it wisely to speak up about the issues that affect carpenters everyday.we have to make our organization stronger,better,and start organizing nonunion,keep everyone imformed and involved.each and every one has a role to play.we need to get good politicians on our side.we also need good laws enacted to penalize the nonunion,so we could get some jobs back for respectabitly,in solidarity,a good union man