Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

Labor Relations

SMACNA’s Labor Relations department works to ensure contractors have the best and most up-to-date information regarding issues affecting their unionized work force.

Labor Relations inquiries can be emailed to Joye BlanscettJason Watson or Deborah Wyandt.

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RECOMMENDED

Have you...

...sent us your current CBA? Help build our contracts database by sending us your current collective bargaining agreement in electronic format. Email your current CBA to jsquirewell@smacna.org.
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2017 LJAB Training

This ½-day training session will take place immediately following the Council of Chapter Representatives Meeting (December 5, 2017) and is recommended for ALL SMACNA Chapter Executives and contractors serving on LJABs.
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A Guide to SMACNA National Labor Relations Services, Practices & Objectives

This document is intended to provide an overview of the objectives of SMACNA National’s Labor Relations Policy and a guide to the programs and services that are available to assist our chapters and members in achieving peaceful and productive labor-management relations.
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SPECIAL NOTICE: Crew Cost Method of Wage Equalization – UPDATE

SMACNA and SMART have come to an agreement in principle regarding the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding for Local Areas that Adopt the Crew Cost Method of Wage Equalization. The MOU defines the crew cost methodology for wage equalization and provides implementation and administrative direction.
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The Latest

  • Resource Have you...

    ...sent us your current CBA? Help build our contracts database by sending us your current collective bargaining agreement in electronic format. Email your current CBA to jsquirewell@smacna.org.

    More

  • News Partners in Progress Conference: Blue Angel pilot keynote speaker

    “High performance teams are made up of individuals who don’t accept ownership, they take ownership,” says John Foley

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  • Resource 2018 Collective Bargaining Orientation

    The 2018 Collective Bargaining Orientation will be held March 13, 2018 at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott North, Irving, TX.

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  • Resource 2018 Partners in Progress Conference

    With a streamlined format and a new slate of expert speakers, the 2018 Partners in Progress Conference will be the best yet. It takes place at the recently renovated Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace and will focus on communication, commitment, and deliverables.

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  • Resource 2017 LJAB Training

    This ½-day training session will take place immediately following the Council of Chapter Representatives Meeting (December 5, 2017) and is recommended for ALL SMACNA Chapter Executives and contractors serving on LJABs.

    More

  • Resource A Guide to SMACNA National Labor Relations Services, Practices & Objectives

    This document is intended to provide an overview of the objectives of SMACNA National’s Labor Relations Policy and a guide to the programs and services that are available to assist our chapters and members in achieving peaceful and productive labor-management relations.

    More

  • News New apprenticeship order: Will it affect building trades?

    President Trump’s executive order, "Apprenticeship and Workforce of Tomorrow," signed June 15, will make it easier for businesses—union and non-union—to run apprenticeship programs. But, without a construction industry exception, it could undermine the integrity of union construction apprenticeship programs.

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  • News SPECIAL NOTICE: Crew Cost Method of Wage Equalization – UPDATE

    SMACNA and SMART have come to an agreement in principle regarding the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding for Local Areas that Adopt the Crew Cost Method of Wage Equalization. The MOU defines the crew cost methodology for wage equalization and provides implementation and administrative direction.

    More

  • News Reminder: Federal contractors required to provide paid sick leave 

    Federal contractors need to be prepared to comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule “Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors.” The rule, established by the Department’s Wage and Hour Division, went into effect for most federal contracts entered into on or after Jan. 1, 2017. 

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  • News Labor supply study: Shortage of apprentices is increasing

    The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) recently issued its “2017 Union Craft Labor Supply Study,” which looked at union-specific labor supply for the construction industry, including sheet metal workers. 

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  • News Prevailing Wage Assistance Available

    Prevailing wage activity, including attacks on prevailing wage requirements and completion of prevailing wage surveys, ranks high amongst the issues SMACNA and its chapters are monitoring and working on at the state level. It is also one of the issues where our desired outcomes align with SMART.

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  • Specialty Trades Drive February Construction Job Growth

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its February jobs report, posting another month of growth in construction employment. Of the 235,000 jobs created in February, 25% were in the construction industry.

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  • Collective Bargaining/Negotiations Labor Bulletin 13-01: Treatment of Benefit Fund Contributions for Apprentices

    As previously discussed in prior Labor Bulletins, grievances may arise due to the effect of a new benefit fund contribution or increases to an existing benefit fund, on classifications that receive compensation based on a percentage of the journeyman wage and fringe package, if this is not specifically addressed in negotiations.

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  • News ACA requires large employers file additional 2015 returns

    For the first time, when Applicable Large Employers (ALE) file their tax returns for 2015, they will need to file additional information returns required under the Affordable Care Act.

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  • News SMART webinars open to SMACNA contractors

    The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) has invited SMACNA contractors to take part in a series of Skype presentations they are hosting on health care and retirement benefits.

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  • Resource SMART to Launch Phone App to Police Wage Equalization Compliance

    SMART has announced that it has developed a SMART-Union App that will have a component allowing union members to scan union labels and transmit information to local unions to provide them with information to aid in the enforcement of wage equalization requirements in industry collective bargaining agreements (CBAs). The “Label It, Scan It, Report It” program is set to launch mid-September.

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  • News What the Supreme Court’s Marriage Ruling Means for SMACNA Contractors and Trustees

    On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states cannot refuse to license same-sex marriages or refuse to recognize those performed in other states. The case, Obergefell v. Hodges, a composite of four lower-court cases involving four states—Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky— has ramifications for employers and trust funds.

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  • News New paper available on federal contractors’ employment obligations

    Over the past year, a multitude of rules, regulations, and executive orders have come out that impact federal contractors/subcontractors’ employment obligations. The new obligations are wide ranging, from accommodating disabled veterans to general FAR contracting requirements concerning small, minority, and women-owned businesses.

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  • News 2015 sheet metal contract settlements

    To date, the average first-year 2015 sheet metal contract increase is 3.2 percent ($1.87). The average second-year sheet metal increase is 3.0 percent ($1.78), and the average third-year sheet metal increase is 3.0 percent ($1.90).

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  • News Supreme Court religious discrimination decision: What it means for contractors

    The Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding a young woman who was denied a job at Abercrombie & Fitch after she came to a job interview wearing a headscarf provides some important lessons for contractors, especially those with dress code policies.

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  • News Victory for the ACA at Supreme Court

    For a second time, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA” sometimes referred to as “Obama Care”) has survived a challenge at the United States Supreme Court. In its most recent decision issued on June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court upheld ACA subsidies for insurance purchased on Federally-facilitated Exchanges.

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  • News Free Look Permitted by NPF

    The Sheet Metal Workers’ National Pension Fund (NPF) recently amended its trust document to permit new 2015 eligible employers to participate in the plan without incurring withdrawal liability for up to four years.

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  • News NPF Hires New Administrator

    After conducting an extensive nationwide search, the Trustees of the Sheet Metal Workers’ National Pension Fund (NPF) have announced the appointment of Lori Wood as Executive Director of the NPF. Ms. Woods replaces Marc LeBlanc who will retire on June 30, 2015.

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  • News SMART Implements Reciprocity for JATCs

    Joseph Sellers, general president of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART), has announced the establishment of a 4th addendum, covering training funds, to the Sheet Metal Workers Master Reciprocal Agreement (Reciprocal Agreement). Mr. Sellers notified all U.S. Business Managers of the new addendum on June 15, 2015 and strongly recommended every area [local training fund] sign the new addendum to the Reciprocal Agreement. Mr. Sellers explained that to best facilitate the continuity of the traveling members' fringe benefits, a national benefit reciprocity program was started in the 1980s. The Reciprocal Agreement was designed to ...

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  • News Off-site Fabrication for NMA Jobs Not Subject to NMA Grievance Procedure

    The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) recently advised its local unions that off-site fabrication for National Maintenance Agreement (NMA) jobs are not subject to the NMA grievance procedures. SMACNA agrees with SMART’s analysis of this issue.

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  • Trustee Advisor Is Your Trust Fund Ready or Not?

    A trust fund is like any other business and best practices dictate it should have an emergency preparedness and business continuity plan in place. Trust funds provide vital services. A missed check to a retiree can be the difference between buying groceries, or not. Needed medical care can be contingent on a provider being able to verify coverage with the health fund. More than a few days of downtime may seriously affect your participants’ lives.

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  • Resource 2015 Collective Bargaining Orientation

    Documents concerning the 2015 Collective Bargaining Orientation.

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  • Trustee Advisor New Guidance on Apprentice Skills Competitions

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance to the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) enforcement personnel on how to use plan assets from apprenticeship and training funds for skills competitions. Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2014-02 expands the guidance provided in FAB 2012-01 that addressed expenditures on graduation ceremonies and advertising but left many unanswered questions on skills competition.

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  • News New executive order protects new worker class

    On July 21, President Obama signed an executive order amending the executive order signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson that prohibited federal contractors from discriminating against protected categories of workers.

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  • News SMACNA / SMART Joint Executives meeting update

    SMACNA officers and the leadership of its labor partner SMART recently held their second meeting in 2014. The meeting was friendly, business-like, and productive.

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  • News Nigro, Sellers elected at SMART’s first General Convention

    Delegates to the first Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transportation Association (SMART) convention, held in Las Vegas from Aug. 11 to 15, unanimously elected Joseph J. Nigro general president and Joseph Sellers Jr. general secretary-treasurer.

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  • News Construction contract data released

    According to the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC), wage and fringe settlements reported so far this year have resulted in an average first-year increase of 2.2 percent ($1.10) up from 2.2 percent ($1.00) in 2013.

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  • Form Article X, Section 4 Grievance Request for NJAB Hearing

    Interactive PDF Application for services of the National Joint Adjustment Board for the Sheet Metal Industry under Article X, Section 4

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  • Form Article X, Section 3 Grievance Request for Panel Hearing

    Interactive PDF application for services of a panel and hearing under Article X, Section 3, of the Standard Form of Uinon Agreement

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  • Form LJAB Grievance Form

    Interactive PDF Sheet Metal Industry Grievance Form Article (X) Section 1 Compliance (TO BE SUBMITTED WITH EACH FORMAL REQUEST FOR A LOCAL JOINT ADJUSTMENT BOARD HEARING.)

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  • Form NJAB Article X, Section 8 Submittal Forms

    Interactive PDF collective bargaining reporting form/notice of unresolved dispute - Procedural Rules of the National Joint Adjustment Board

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  • Report Labor Report - March 2014

    In it's annual health plan cost trend survey, Segal Company has projected a decline for health care cost increases for 2014. In it's report, 2014 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey, the actuarial firm forecasts the following health and dental problems

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  • Resource 2014 Collective Bargaining Orientation

    Documents concerning the 2014 Collective Bargaining Orientation

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  • Report 2013 SMACNA Annual Labor Report

    Annually, SMACNA conducts the State of the Industry Survey which serves to enhance our understanding of labor relations in local areas and throughout the country.  In 2013, after consultation with a committee of chapter executives, SMACNA conducted a revised survey that was significantly shortened.

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  • Report Labor Report – December 2013

    The NPF announced that it is possible, but not certain, that NPF’s funded status could improve from Critical Status (Red Zone) to Endangered Status (Yellow Zone) in 2014. The NPF has been in Critical Status under federal law since 2008. Based on most recent investment performance through September 2013, and assuming that contribution dollars do not significantly decline, the NPF projects that its status could improve to endangered status by the end of March 2014.

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  • Report Labor Report – August 2013

    For the first time since August 21, 2003, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has a full complement of five Senate confirmed members. Four new members, all nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed last month by the Senate have been sworn into office. NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce was also confirmed last month to an additional five year term on the board.

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  • Report Labor Report – June 2013

    The findings of a new report issued by the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) indicate that average wage and fringe increases for all construction crafts were 2.4 percent in 2012 down from 2.5 percent in 2011. The Report indicated that the already negotiated increases in effect for 2012 and 2013 are 2.6 percent and 2.5 percent respectively.

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  • Trustee Advisor A Different Take on Asset Management

    After some tough years relying on investment returns in a down economy, many trustees are reevaluating whether their current investment policy makes sense or whether it’s time to make some changes.

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  • Report Labor Report – March 2013

    SMACNA President, Howard Stine, several members of SMACNA's Board of Directors', representatives of SMACNA's Labor Committee and invited contractors attended a December 2012 meeting of the SMWIA's Spiral Pipe and Fitting Equalization in St. Louis, MO. This was the second of two 2012 meetings that the SMWIA invited SMACNA representatives to attend.

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  • Trustee Advisor Health-Care Plan Mergers – Not an Easy Process

    As previously announced by SMACNA, the SMWIA/SMART has been actively encouraging its local unions to consider whether merging local health care plans into larger regional plans will result in cost savings to the health care funds. No Easy Answer. There are no easy answers to whether a merger is appropriate for your health fund. Plan mergers are extremely complex and you will need professional advice that is independent and reliable.

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  • Report 2012 SMACNA Annual Labor Report

    This 2012 Annual Labor Report summarizes data submitted by thirty‐five chapters from 21 states who responded to the 2012 SMACNA State of the Industry survey.   

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  • Report Labor Report – December 2012

    The Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) held it’s first Business Agents’ Conference August 20 – 23, 2012 in San Diego since the merger of SMWIA and the United Transportation Union (UTU). Six UTU (now SMART) officers were added to the ranks of the SMWIA’s General Executive Committee that presides over the conference.

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  • Report Labor Report – September 2012

    SMACNA knows how very important it is for local areas to manage costs associated with their health and welfare funds. To this end, local area trustees have been implementing various measures aimed at cost containment over the last few years. In order to capture best practices on cost containment, SMACNA surveyed SMACNA chapter leadership and local trustees on actions they have taken or are considering taking. Below is an overview of the innovations implemented at the local level.

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  • Trustee Advisor Best Practices: Health Care Cost Containment at the Local Level

    SMACNA knows how very important it is for local areas to manage costs associated with their health and welfare funds. To this end, local area trustees have been implementing various measures aimed at cost containment over the last few years. In order to capture best practices on cost containment, SMACNA surveyed SMACNA chapter leadership and local trustees on actions they have taken or are considering taking. Below is an overview of the innovations implemented at the local level:

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  • Report Labor Report – June 2012

    Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 20 and the Northern Indiana Sheet Metal Contractors Association ratified a five-year contract increasing the total package by $0.70 in the first year, $0.90 in the second year, $0.90 in the third year, $1.20 in the fourth year and $1.30 in the final year of the agreement. The increases represent total package adjustments of 1.2 percent in the first year, 1.2 percent in the second year, 1.5 percent in the third year, 1.9 in the fourth year and 2.0 percent in the final year of the agreement. 

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  • Webinars CLRC Employment Share Study: What the Numbers Really Mean

    Carey L. Peters, Ph.D., the executive director of the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) will present a 90-minute webinar detailing how employment share is calculated for SMACNA’s 2011 Employment Share study.

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  • Trustee Advisor What Trustees Need to Understand About Withdrawal Liability - Part 2 of 2

    Withdrawal liability may be viewed by many contractors as highway robbery, but for underfunded pensions plans it’s a necessary “evil” that they are charged with enforcing. Trustees need to understand when withdrawal liability occurs so that they can ensure that the proper procedures are in place to timely capture a withdrawal and begin the collection process. This blog post addresses what constitutes a withdrawal.

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  • Report Labor Report – March 2012

    The 2012 Partners in Progress Conference was a great success. Held in Las Vegas, from March 8 through the 10th, the conference had record attendance. 774 contractors, chapter executives, business managers and agents, JATC instructors and apprentices came together for 2.5 days to work on our industry. This conference focuses not only on the substantive issues our industry needs to address but also how best to engage in effective communication at home.

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  • Trustee Advisor What Trustees Need to Understand about Withdrawal Liability - Part 1 of 2

    Once upon a time--actually not so long ago--most multiemployer pension fund trustees didn’t have to understand how and why withdrawal liability worked. In those idyllic days, the majority of multiemployer pension plans were fully funded. In fact, the trustees’ biggest challenge was not overfunding the plan in violation of Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). After several years of declining contribution hours, and diminished investment returns, the big bad wolf aka withdrawal liability reared its ugly head as a real issue to be faced.

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  • Trustee Advisor Partners in Progress Conference Fund Trustees: Learn how to keep funds healthy—it’s important for our industry

    Keeping our employee benefit funds financially healthy while providing quality benefits is one of the most important things we can do for the unionized sheet metal industry. In keeping with SMACNA and the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association’s (SMWIA) goal to provide education to trustees that best enables them to do both these things, the 2012 Partners in Progress Conference, March 8-10 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, has included a trustee education track in this year’s conference.

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  • Report 2011 SMACNA Annual Labor Report

    Thirty-seven chapters from 23 states responded to the 2011 SMACNA State of the Industry survey. Although sheet metal work continued to decline, the possible good news is that the decline seems to be slowing.

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  • Report Labor Report - December 2011

    In September, Sheet Metal Workers' International Association (SMWIA) General President Joseph Nigro spoke at SMACNA's annual Convention Labor Forum. Mr. Nigro addressed a number of topics and fielded a variety of questions ranging from the National Pension Fund, the Code of Excellence, health-care costs, the classified worker, the two-man rule, ITI training programs, organizing and more. "Technology is taking over and we must embrace it," Mr. Nigro said. "If you want to get into the service business, we'll help you."

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  • Trustee Advisor Moving Toward a Value-Based Health-Care Plan Design

    If you saw the recent article in the Washington Post about Maryland’s efforts to introduce value-based health care, it probably wasn’t the first time you heard of the idea. Our guest blogger, Peter M. Rosene, a partner with the firm Felhaber, Larson, Fenlon & Vogt, SMACNA’s outside legal counsel, shares his thoughts on why the idea of value-based health care is taking hold:

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  • Trustee Advisor DOL Takes Aim at Apprenticeship Fund Trustees

    The Department of Labor (DOL) is in the process of issuing guidance to multiemployer plans, and in particular, it is providing guidance to trustees of multiemployer apprenticeship plans aimed at allowing plans to police themselves.

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  • Trustee Advisor Trust, but Verify. Auditing Contributing Employers

    When it comes to collecting contributions from employers, whom can you trust? The nature of multiemployer plans is such that trustees must trust all contributing employers to self-report covered employees and their man-hours. However, like trusting the fox to guard the hen-house, that kind of trust only goes so far.

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  • Trustee Advisor Hunting Down the Deadbeats

    Calling every delinquent employer a deadbeat might be a bit harsh especially in these challenging economic times. But we all know deadbeats – those with no intention of ever paying their contributions in full and on-time – exist and trustees usually want to hunt them into the ground to collect what’s owed the fund. That is until the trustee starts looking at the costs of collection weighed against the possibility of recouping any money.

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  • Report Labor Report - September 2011

    The Wisconsin Fox Valley Sheet Metal Contractors Association and Local 18 ratified a three-year agreement that included a rollover of the current wage and benefit package in the first year, an increase of $0.50 (1.1 percent) in the second year and an increase of $0.60 (1.1 percent) in the final year of the agreement.

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  • Trustee Advisor Bagels – Morale Booster or Prohibited Transactions?

    Can providing bagels and coffee to your trust fund employees at a morning staff meeting really be a prohibited transaction? It seems that some Department of Labor investigators think so.

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  • Trustee Advisor Roomies – How Do You Split the Bills?

    A group of sheet metal trust funds, pension, health & welfare, training etc. for a bargaining area are self-administered with much of the trust funds’ administrative operations combined for efficiency including collection of delinquent contributions.

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  • Webinars Everything You Need to Know Before an NJAB Appearance

    Nobody wants to appear before the NJAB. However, if you do have to appear, how you prepare and present your case can make a real difference to its outcome.

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  • Trustee Advisor Prohibited Transactions – A Trap for the Unwary

    We’ve all heard about “prohibited transactions” but do you really understand what that means for you and your trust fund? Have you thought about what this rule means when making decisions about collecting delinquent contributions and whether you can write-off a delinquency?

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  • Trustee Advisor Some Free Advice from your Fellow Trustees

    Thanks to everyone who responded to our June 16th post asking for feedback on your fellow trustees’ questions. We’ve looked over the responses and have some interesting things to report.

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  • Report Labor Report - July 2011

    Union market share fell from 62% in 1984 to 37% in 2007. Further, although 59% of Americans say they approve of labor unions, more than 30% do not. So how do signatory contractors get back on top, especially in an economy where everyone is poring over the bottom line? Contractors, chapters, locals, and training centers across North America are brainstorming answers to this question by participating in partnership meetings. Smaller local conferences are paving the way to the national Partners in Progress Conference in Las Vegas, scheduled for spring 2012.

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  • Trustee Advisor Changes Coming to Fiduciary Rules?

    As many of you know the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has a rule change in the works which would expand the definition of who is a fiduciary to include those financial investment advisors who provide investment advice to trustees and individuals. Assistant Secretary of the EBSA, Phyllis C. Borzi, has been busy getting the word out about why the EBSA believes this rule change is necessary. Here’s what she had to say in an Op-Ed piece printed in Pension & Investments, April 18, 2011.

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  • Trustee Advisor Latest News Brief - 7/6/11

    More from the EBSA — Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Seminars The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has recently updated its schedule for its health benefits laws compliance assistance seminars. Information and registration are available at the respective links provided below:

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  • Trustee Advisor Your Fellow Trustees Need Your Help

    One of the purposes of this blog is to allow trustees to share information with each other. This is why we encourage you to comment on the posts and give feedback on what you are reading. In that vein, some of your fellow trustees have questions that they could use your input on:

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  • Trustee Advisor Don’t Be Painfully Shy: Be a Pain, Instead

    New trustees shouldn’t be hesitant to scrutinize documents carefully and question fund operations. One new trustee did just that and what he found probably saved the fund from BIG trouble with the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during their next audit.

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  • Webinars Specialty Addendums and Market Recovery Under SFUA Article X, Section 10

    Carefully crafted and targeted specialty addendums can go a long way in allowing sheet metal contractors to retain and even regain market share. However reaching an agreement with your union counterpart on what should be included in a specialty addendum can be challenging.

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  • Trustee Advisor In Need of a Larger Binder?…

    Whether you’re a new trustee or have been serving for decades, it takes a lot of work to make well-informed decisions. Having the fund’s key documents readily available can be essential. Following are some of the documents every trustee should have and refer to often.

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  • Trustee Advisor Quick Tips for a Better Board of Trustee Meeting

    Chances are your plan administrator talks to at least one trustee about what’s going to be discussed at your board of trustee meeting in advance of that meeting. If that trustee isn’t you, consider asking your plan administrator to prepare and distribute an agenda to the trustees ahead of the meeting.

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  • Trustee Advisor Latest News Brief - 5/5/11

    EBSA Taking Comments on Fund Electronic Mailings If your fund has an interest in communicating more with participants and beneficiaries via electronic means, then you may consider providing comment to the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) in response to its request for information.

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  • Report Labor Report - April 2011

    SMACNA Colorado and SMWIA Local 9 recently agreed to a one-year rollover of their current collective bargaining agreement, which was scheduled to expire June 30, 2011. Both sides intentionally failed to provide notice to reopen their agreement.  Resolution 78 and Market Recovery Fund relief granted to contractors during the original contract term will continue into the next year.

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  • Trustee Advisor Delinquencies and Cutting-Off Health Benefits to Affected Employees

    Delinquencies in a down economy are a struggle for every trust fund to try to manage. During the recent quarterly trustee call, there was a discussion of utilizing plan rules to cut off health benefits to the employees of a delinquent contractor unless the employee paid for coverage himself. In this way, some Trusts hoped to put pressure on the delinquent employer to become current and avoid large delinquencies from amassing over time.

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  • Trustee Advisor Know Your Co-Fiduciaries

    Now that you know how to hire and monitor the trustee’s support-team of experts, known as service providers, there is still one more thing you need to do. You need to determine which of those service providers is your co-fiduciary and to what extent. You can be jointly liable for the action of the trust’s co-fiduciaries, so you need to know who they are and when they are acting as a fiduciary.

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  • Webinars Health Care Reform – What Bargainers and Trustees Need to Know Before Negotiating a New CBA

    The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (collectively “Health Care Reform”) has serious implications for our local health and welfare plans.

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  • Trustee Advisor Hiring Your Trust Experts

    From time to time a trustee's support-team of experts, known as service providers, will need to be replaced. Service providers, ranging from investment managers, accountants, administrators, consultants, attorneys, to actuaries, are critical to the success of a trust fund. Hiring a new attorney, accountant, or investment manager can be a daunting task. Most contractors serving as trustees are skilled in construction not law, finance, or investment banking. Interviewing someone whose expertise is foreign to your own field of experience need not be intimidating. Following are some helpful guidelines.

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  • Trustee Advisor Overview of Fiduciaries’ Duties: Monitoring a Service Provider

    Thankfully, trustees aren’t expected to know everything involved in operating a trust fund. What they are expected to do is seek out help from knowledgeable and qualified resources. A cadre of outstanding service providers truly is a trustee’s best friend. This Monitoring a Service Provider post is Part One of our three-part series. Part Two: Hiring a Service Provider and Part Three: Service Providers as Fiduciaries, are coming soon.

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  • Webinars Collective Bargaining in Hard Times

    In these hard economic times it’s challenging to maintain a good working relationship with the union and negotiate a competitive contract renewal. If you are to have a chance, you must utilize strategic business thinking, creativity and effective communication across the table.

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  • Trustee Advisor Doing Your Fiduciary Duty

    Over and over during your time as a trustee you will hear about needing to act in accordance with your “fiduciary duty.” Instinctively, you probably understand that this duty obligates you to act with good intentions and not in your own self interest. However, more than good intentions are required of trustees in order for them to meet their basic fiduciary duty. Most of the trust funds in our industry are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, (“ERISA”). Those not can still be well guided by the fiduciary responsibilities set forth in ERISA. These responsibilities include:

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  • Trustee Advisor Latest News Brief - 3/11/11

    Extension of Amortization Periods for Multiemployer Plans EBSA Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda for 2011 FAQ Released on Affordable Care Act and Mental Health Parity Fee Disclosure Rules for Defined Contribution Plans ACA's Small Business Tax Credit Available to Employers Contributing to Certain Multiemployer Plans

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  • Trustee Advisor Welcome to the Trustee Advisor Blog

    Why would anyone want to be a trustee? Perhaps you were roped in to it. Maybe no one else stepped up to the plate. Or, perhaps you’re doing a favor for your chapter exec. That’s a question we won’t be tackling in the Trustee Advisor, SMACNA’s new quarterly newsletter for trustees...

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  • Report Labor Report - February 2011

    Chapters responding to the 2010 State of the Industry Survey reported that manhours were down in 88 percent of participating chapters. Five percent of chapters reported steady manhours while 7 percent reported increasing manhours during the year. Looking ahead to 2011, half of the chapters expect further declines with most of the remainder projecting no change compared to 2010 manhours. Unemployment rates of 30 percent or more were common in 2010.

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  • Report Labor Report - January 2011

    On October 29, 2008, the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration issued regulations for apprenticeship programs providing for labor standards registration and an amendment of the regulations.

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  • Report 2010 SMACNA Annual Labor Report

    Findings this year are mostly a continuation of the poor market conditions reported a year earlier. There have been widespread declines in sheet metal manhours. While the outlook for 2011 remains negative, there are indications that the bottom of the market has been or will be reached. The declining market is placing added strains on relations with labor in many areas.

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  • Report Labor Report - October 2010

    The Stabilization Agreement of the Sheet Metal Industry (SASMI) recently enacted major changes to its severance benefits available to participants under the fund. Effective Dec. 31, 2009, the fund's severance benefit is frozen -- replaced by a new vacation benefit. This change relates only to the severance benefit. All other benefits and rules of SASMI remain the same.

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  • Report Labor Report - August 2010

    The construction industry is facing very serious economic challenges. In this economic environment, shorter term collective bargaining agreements, or, agreements with some type of "reopener" provision have become far more commonplace. Contractors and unions alike have been more reluctant to negotiate multi-year, fixed term collective bargaining agreements, because of great uncertainty over future market conditions.

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  • Report Labor Report - July 2010

    Beginning June 19, 2010, federal contractors and subcontractors are required to inform employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), pursuant to Executive Order 13496 signed by President Obama earlier this year. The notice, prescribed in the Department of Labor's regulations which were made final on May 20, 2010, informs employees of their rights under the NLRA to organize and bargain collectively with their employers and to engage in other protected concerted activity. Federal Government contracting departments and agencies must include provisions requiring contractors to post the prescribed notice in most government contracts. Covered government contractors must also include provisions requiring posting of the prescribed notice in all subcontracts.

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  • Report Labor Report - May 2010

    Record-breaking attendance got the sixth biannual Partners in Progress Conference off to a strong start March 18-20 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Attendance topped 700 with labor and management almost evenly represented. The opening night festivities featured the International Training Institute (ITI) Apprenticeship Contest Awards reception and dinner, attended by more than 1,500 people. At the awards ceremony, Passing Zone, an American comedy-juggling duo whose act promotes teamwork and the power of partnership, preformed for the capacity audience.

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  • Report Labor Report - February 2010

    Chapters responding to the 2009 State of the Industry Survey reported that manhours were down in 95 percent of participating chapters. Zero percent of chapters reported steady manhours while 5 percent reported increasing manhours during the year. The largest manhour gains were in the Midwest.

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  • Report Labor Report - January 2010

    In October, SMWIA General President Michael Sullivan spoke at SMACNA’s Annual Convention Labor Forum and provided an update on the National Pension Fund, the SMWIA Code of Excellence, Pension Reform, and Health Care issues. Mr. Sullivan explained that the International values its strong working relationship with SMACNA and announced that the International will be appointing a full-time person specifically devoted to focusing on green and energy related issues. Finally, he reported that the International is pushing for Project Labor Agreements to be implemented on all federal government projects.

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  • Report 2009 SMACNA Annual Labor Report

    During the past year there have been widespread declines in sheet metal manhours. The outlook for 2010 remains negative with general concern as to the continued viability of the union sheet metal industry voice in numerous areas. Good relations with labor continued, often with frustration, with the union's pace of recognizing the need for change.

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  • Report Labor Report - October 2009

    SMACNA’s Labor Relations Department is holding a one-day Collective Bargaining Orientation on February 9, 2010 in Dallas, TX. The workshop will provide bargainers with advice on preparing for bargaining and a comprehensive discussion on the legal framework for bargaining. A portion of the program will be dedicated to the impact of the Pension Protection Act on local and national plans.

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  • Report Labor Report - August 2009

    Sheet Metal Workers' Local 27 and the Sheet Metal Contractors Association of Central & Southern New Jersey ratified a three-year contract increasing the total package by $1.30 in the first year, $1.50 in the second year and $1.50 in the final year of the agreement. The increases represent total package adjustments of 1.9 percent in the first year, 2.1 percent in the second year and 2.1 percent in the final year of the contract.

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  • Report Labor Report - June 2009

    SMWIA Local 441 and the Gulf States Chapter ratified a fourteen month agreement increasing the wage and fringe package by $0.51 or 1.6 percent for the duration of the agreement.

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  • Webinars SMACNA Webinar to Address Member Inquiries on Multi-Employer Pension Plans, including the NPF

    Recent announcements regarding changes to the National Pension Fund (NPF) Alternative Schedule have stimulated discussion and generated numerous questions from SMACNA members regarding the NPF and local multi-employer pension funds.

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  • Report Labor Report - April 2009

    The Sheet Metal Workers' National Pension Fund (NPF) provided additional information on its funding status and the recent changes to the alternative schedule in a recent webinar on April 14, 2009. The webinar was attended by SMWIA business agents, NPF trustees, NPF Plan Administrators and SMACNA staff. Marc LeBlanc, Plan Administrator for the NPF, was the presenter. The webinar was recorded and NPF reports that it will make it availabe on its Web site at www.smwnpf.org/.

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  • Webinars Collective Bargaining During Tough Economic Times

    Bargaining a labor agreement in the current economic climate will be challenging. Bargaining will require more strategic business thinking, creativity and effective communication across the table than ever before.

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  • Report Labor Report - February 2009

    Chapter responses to the 2008 State of the Industry Survey reported a psoitive year with manhours up in 56 percent of participating chapters. Sixteen percent of chapters reported steady manhours while 28 percent reported declining manhours during the year. the most reports of increasing manhours were in the West, but largest manhour gains were in the East. When compared with five years earlier, current manhours were 53 percent higher, while 9 percent of respondents expected manhour increases in 2009

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  • Webinars The SMWIA's New Code of Excellence: What ALL Contractors Need to Know

    The Sheet Metal Workers' International Association has announced that it will begin to promote its newly enacted Code of Excellence program to SMWIA Local Unions in January of 2009.

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  • Report Labor Report - January 2009

    A federal judge in Seattle ruled that an apprentice ship program was the joint employer of a plumbing apprentice for purposes of coverage by the family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). (Frees v UA Local 32 Plumbers & Steamfitters, W.D. Wash., No. C07-1469, 11/21/08). FMLA requires covered employers to provide eligible employees with up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave for the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee; for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care; to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition; or when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition. an employer is covered by FMLA if they employ 50 or more employees. Under Department of Labor (DOL) regulations, two or more entities may be treated as a single employer for purposes of counting employees if they have a joint-employment relationship.

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