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The Benefits of a One-Benefit Plan
CMAW is the only union of our size that manages two separate benefit plans – the Carpentry Workers’ Benefit Plan and the CMAW Benefit Plan.
We have a significant opportunity to merge the two plans and move CMAW in a positive direction forward. Reduction of long-term costs and a simpler administration process will bring value to our entire union membership.
The merger will result in greater economies of scale. By having all members under one plan, the trustees will have greater buying power with underwriters. We can also invite the Shipbuilders Local 506 to join the plan, further increasing employer contributions. In time, this will result in better coverage of items such as life insurance, wage indemnity, long-term disability and extended health care.This will have a positive impact on members’ claims related to dental, prescription, vision care and other medical expenses.
Moving to a one-plan model will reduce costs associated with administration, overhead and Board of Trustee expenses. Currently, a separate service provider manages each plan.This results in duplication of benefit booklets, computer systems, claims administration and benefit agreements. Everything the union provides to members related to the plans has to be done twice. Eliminating this duplication will be a direct cost savings￼to each member.
Now is the time to follow through with the right decision to merge the plans. The CMAW Benefit Plan Trustees have already voted in favor to merge the two plans and we encourage the Carpentry Workers’ Benefit Trustees to do the same. The plans need to assign an interim board and dedicate a time in the spring of 2014 to work out the details on how to make the merger a reality. It makes sense and it is in the best interest of our members.