Central Pension Fund
At its most recent meeting, the Board of Trustees amended the Plan of Benefits to increase the 'Benefit Accrual Rate' for Credited Future Service. The Benefit Accrual Rate is applied to contributions made on behalf of participants to determine the amount of monthly benefit that will be payable at retirement. This increase will become effective April 1, 2015. No other changes to the Plan of Benefits have been made.
This action was taken to permit a modest but meaningful increase in future benefit accruals, that will not impede the Fund’s continued recovery from the global economic crisis of 2008-2009.
The mission of the staff at Local 49's Training Center in Hinckley, MN, is to empower our members through training and education—with the knowledge and technical expertise to perform as leaders in their given craft.
During the course of the training season approximately 4,000-5,000 members pass through our doors. The construction training season, which peaks from December through May, is now underway. [see pictures] During this time the emphasis is on classes geared to equipment operators, but "Day Training" and sessions geared to public sector employees happens all year 'round.
Statement on Administrative Law Judge report on Sandpiper Pipeline Project:
Local 49 commends Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman's exhaustive review of the Sandpiper Pipeline Project. Judge Lipman ran a a fair and efficient public process where everyone had a chance to put their views on the record.
Hundreds of our members were proud to share their invaluable experiences as builders of our nations pipelines during the public comment period.
Quote from Jason George - Local 49 Special Projects Director on the need for Sandpiper:
"Northern Minnesota needs the thousands of family sustaining construction jobs; local governments need the tax revenue; local businesses need the economic boost; and we all need to get more oil off of our rail system and safely into pipelines - Minnesota needs to build the Sandpiper Pipeline."
"Right-to-work" is wrong for workers
Right to work’s true purpose is to hurt the ability of unions to advocate for all workers and serve as a check on corporate greed - to restore the way our economy runs so the profits are shared fairly, not showered on Wall Street and mega-corporations.
Local 49 urges Operators and all other working Americans to learn more about so-called 'right to work' and get involved at www.wrongforeveryone.org.
The 2015 construction season has started.
The construction season in Local 49’s jurisdiction this year has, for the most part, continued throughout the winter. The interesting thing is that every sector of our industry will continue to be busy. In 2014 Local 49 had a record year for hours worked and the outlook for 2015 looks promising as well. The call for trained workers in our industry was met by your local union last year with a few exceptions later in the season.
I want to thank every member of this Union for doing their part in making this happen, sharing their knowledge and helping your brothers and sister members to be the best they can be. Over the last several years we have had over 5000 members annually take advantage of the classes at your Training Center and offsite locations. This is a testament to maintaining our high industry standards as Operating Engineers. While we are still waiting for approval of some major projects in our local areas, there are many projects that have or will start this year.
North Dakota oil drilling has slowed this winter, but the related work has not. The fertilizer and power generation along with refinery work is still going strong. The building work has not slowed at all and continues to look promising. Bridges, roads, and pipeline work are going to start soon. South Dakota has its share of work as Big Stone and pipeline work will start there as well.
The public sectors have had upticks in their projects and that will continue as the need to rebuild our local infrastructure becomes a priority. As our communities grow so does the responsibility of our operators as training is becoming a necessity to stay current with the changing technology in our industries.
Stadiums, hotels, hospitals, schools and retail development continue to pop up all over the 3 states. The rivers and Great lakes regions have major lock and dam, dredging, harbor and bank work as well. Every day new projects are bid and the work-load continues to grow. The political stance on transportation is firm with one issue: that we need to fund it. How that happens and how they are going to fund it is up in the air. The federal proposal is $478 Billion for the long-term program. What we don’t need is another short-term small funding bill. All three states have to do the same, fund the system for the long term. Minnesota has both political parties on board for a long-term package.
As you can see this year looks good and if all the other proposed projects go as well 2015 looks like a banner year for Local 49. The Central Pension Fund just announced at its most recent meeting, the Board of Trustees amended the Plan of Benefits to increase the Benefit Accrual Rate for Credited Future Service. The Benefit Accrual Rate is applied to contributions made on behalf of participants to determine the amount of monthly benefit that will be payable at retirement. This increase will become effective April 1, 2015. No other changes to the Plan of Benefits have been made.
The IncreaseThe current Benefit Accrual Rate is 1% of contributions for hours worked on and after April 1, 2009. Effective April 1, 2015 that rate will be increased to 1.25%. The increased rate will apply only to contributions for hours worked on and after April 1, 2015.
All Prior Benefits Fully PreservedThis increase does not in any way affect the benefits currently being paid to pensioners and beneficiaries, nor does it affect in any way the benefit amounts accrued by active participants prior to April 1, 2015.
We just finished the health and welfare fund educational meetings in all three states. Your health fund is in excellent shape and will continue to be one of the best union health funds in the country. Remember you have programs to assist you with your families health concerns so, call for more information. We will also be rolling out a new web site for the Health fund in the near future. You will be able to access information regarding all the health plan programs as well as forms and recent updates to the plan.
Summer Picnics are June 21st for the metro and August 2nd for the Iron Range. Flyers are enclosed in the newsletter that will be mailed out in early March.
Work safe, watch out for your brothers and sisters and be the best you can be. You’re a 49er!
International Union of Operating Engineers