IBEW LOCAL UNION #23
On July 30th 1965 HR6675, an amendment to the Social Security Act of 1935, was signed into law by then President Lyndon Baines Johnson, at the home of past President Harry S. Truman. This law changed the lives of millions of Americans for the better, then, now, and into the future.
This amendment created Medicare and Medicaid, which today provides medical coverage for 49 million social security recipients and 70 million children, poor, disabled, and elderly Americans. Additionally, another 6 million children are receiving coverage under a program known as CHIP.
Many politicians across party lines have helped to enhance and expand these programs over the years.
In the 1970's president Richard M. Nixon signed legislation which expanded Medicare to provide coverage for Americans under age 65 with long term disabilities and with end stage renal failure.
In 1982 hospice coverage was made available for the terminally ill and in 1988 under the Medicare catastrophic coverage act out of pocket were capped for coverage under parts A and B of Medicare. ALS coverage was added later. Also, in the 80's President Ronald Regan created a social security commission which recommended a small increase in the employee and employer contribution to social security which was implemented and lead to social security being solvent well into the 21st century. However, these and many other positive changes the Social Security Act only partially fulfilled the dreams of Americans then and now. National Healthcare was intended by President Roosevelt to be part of the Social Security Act in 1935, but was not included due to fear that it might have caused the whole bill to fail in the House/Senate. Since 1935 presidents, politicians, unions, and citizens have been fighting for national health. National health care would save individuals hundreds and thousands of dollars annually and the U.S. government billions over the long term and provide all Americans with medical, hospital, dental, and mental health coverage.
Americans have much to be proud of because we have fought hard to create, retain, and expand social security for all of our benefit. Today the fight goes on. The fight against those who would, for their own greed destroy social security. Today as we speak 44 million of our fellow Americans have no medical insurance and an additional 38 million are under insured. Thousands fall into bankruptcy and lose everything for lack of coverage or being under covered. Please join the fight.
ELECTION RESULTS FROM JUNE 15, 2017 FOR OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE BOARD ARE AS FOLLOWS:
PRESIDENT: MICHAEL H. HOPPE
VICE PRESIDENT: DANIEL J. KALDUN
RECORDING SECRETARY: JOHN A. MARZITELLI
FINANCIAL SECRETARY/BUSINESS MANAGER: DUANE A. PETERS
TREASURER: THOMAS L. DOUVIER
JONATHON W. JACOBSON
JACOB R. ESPESETH
RANDY B. MURRAY
Effective January 1, 2018 the GATT rate has changed to 2.80%. This interest rate is used to calculate lump sum benefits for those members in the Traditional Plan and for those who choose the annuity option in the PEP Plan.
The Delegates of the 39th IBEW International Convention, which was conducted in St. Louis, Missouri, during the week of September 19 through 23, 2016, approved several amendments to Article IX of the IBEW Constitution. Accordingly, effective January 1, 2017, there will be an increase of two dollars ($2.00) for the IBEW Pension Benefit Fund (PBF) contribution, which applies to "A" members only. There will be no change in the per capita that is paid to the General Fund, and therefore, the rate for all "BA" members shall remain the same. The following rates will apply to the international office portion of all monthly dues payments for January 2017:
"A" Members "BA" Members "FP" - fee payers
Per Capita $18.00 $18.00 $18.00
Pension Fund $18.00 Not Applicable Not Applicable
Total: $36.00 $18.00 $18.00
In accordance with Article IX of the IBEW Constitution, $18.00 per month form each member will be deposited in the General Fund, and the additional amount paid by "A" members ($18.00 per month) will be deposited into the IBEW Pension Benefit Fund.
For your reference and information, all of the rate changes that were approved at the 39th International Convention are summarized below:
Effective Date: 1/1/2017 1/1/2018 1/1/2019 1/1/2020
Per Capita: $18.00 $19.00 $19.00 $20.00
Pension Fund: $18.00 $18.00 $19.00 $19.00
Total: $36.00 $37.00 $38.00 $39.00
SOCIAL SECURITY HISTORY
The assault on social security by the republican leadership in government in Washington is currently under way as you read this article. One misleading argument, among many, we hear is that when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the 1935 law on social security he knew that the life expectancy of both men and women was less than age 65 and therefore few if any would ever receive the pension benefits that the law provided. Thus it was another play by government to somehow steal citizens money. Of course this argument is misleading and not accurate. A more accurate measure would be the life expectancy after one reaches adulthood. The majority of Americans who attained adulthood would live to age 65. For man who reached age 65 they could expect to live an additional 13 years. The numbers for women are even higher. In 1935 there were approximately 7.8 million Americans 65 or older.
When the committee on economic security designed the program they had access to all of the latest actuarial estimates and they projected that there would be 8.3 million Americans 65 or older in 1940 when the first pension benefits would be distributed. Social security was not designed in such a way that only a few people would collect benefits.
In 1940 a female who reached age 65 could expect to live an additional 14.7 years. in 1990 that same female could expect to live an additional 19.6 years in 1990. The number of Americans who were 65 or older was 31.9 million.
What's the end game? Defined benefit pension plans are going to the way of dinosaurs, replaced, if at all, with 401k's whereby the employer can pass on the fiduciary and investment responsibilities to the employee which in turn leaves many, if not most, employees in the hands of investment experts to "help" you make the right financial decision.
The real game is to eliminate social security so the employer can pocket the contributions they are obliged to make under the system and thus further their control over the employees.
An ever increasing number of citizens live on their social security pensions only and this number is increasing. We must not lose our fight against greedy corporatists.
Sources for this article:
Social Security Work: N.J. Altman and E.R. Kinson
Social Security History: U.S. Gov.Com
DEBUNKING MYTHS AND MISINFORMATION ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY
Myths and misinformation of fact are frequently circulated on the internet in e-mails, on websites and by word of mouth concerning Social Security which in turn are repeated in endless loops of such misinformation.
One such piece of misinformation is that the federal government is misusing trust fund monies. These myths are not true, they are just myths.
Under the 1935 Social Security Act and all amendments to it thereafter the monies collected from employees and employers to provide for retirement and disability benefits are placed into two separate funds. The question of what to do with any excess monies in the funds, monies not needed immediately to pay retirement and disability benefits was answered in 1938 when the first Advisory Council on Social Security advised that the excess monies should be used to purchase the safest possible investment. That being treasury securities from the federal government. These securities paid a decent interest rate and the interest money would be rolled back into the funds alone with the principle amount. This recommendation is now law. The monies received by the federal government was than used to pay for expenditures rather than to borrow from the private sector at higher interest rates, to do so. This method is advantageous to all taxpayers, how and what the government chooses to spend on money is a seperate issue determined by the House, Senate and the President. No general fund money is taken from the government to support the trust funds. Trust fund money is placed in the trust funds by employees and employers. Nobody is stealing your money.
Sources for this Article:
Social Security History Social Security.Gov
Understanding the Social Security Trust Funds
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
by Paul N. VanDewater
OFFICIAL SOCIAL SECURITY WEBSITE: SOCIALSECURITY.GOV
DEBUNKING MYTHS AND MISINFORMATION ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY
Myth/misinformation 1. When Franklin Roosevelt introduced the Social Security (FICA) program, he promised that participation in the program would be voluntary.
FACT: Persons working in employment covered by social security are subject to FICA payroll tax. Like all taxes this has never been voluntary. From the first days of the program to the present, anyone working on a job covered by social security has been obligated to pay their payroll tax.
In the early years of the program, however, only half the jobs in the economy were covered by social security. Thus one could work in non-covered employment and not have to pay FICA taxes and of course one would not be eligible to collect a future social security benefit. In that indirect sense, participation in social security was voluntary. However, if a job was covered or became covered by subsequent law than if a person worked at that job participation in social security was mandatory.
There have only been a handful of exceptions to this rule, generally involving persons working for state/local governments. Under certain conditions employees of state/local governments have been able to voluntarily choose to have their employment covered or not covered.
On August 14, 1935, then President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. This law provided retirement benefits to workers. These benefits were scheduled to become payable starting on January of 1942. Before any benefits were paid, the act was amended and signed into law by President Roosevelt on August 11, 1939.
The 1939 amendments added two additional categories of benefits: payments to the spouse and minor children of the retired worker and survivors benefits paid to the family on the event of the premature death of a covered worker.
The 1939 amendments transformed Social Security from a worker only benefits program into a family based economic security program.
The original 1935 act and all subsequent amendments over time have been based on the idea of a system of social insurance paid for by workers and employers which provides regular monthly payments for the aged, disabled, widows, orphans, the blind and the unemployed. It was born out of a time of great cultural change and upheaval.
It was a time of transition from a rural farming economy to that of an urban industrial economy.
As more and more people left the farm for a new life in the city, those left behind, mostly the elderly had to make due in difficult times. A great number found themselves in poverty.
Only a few states found it more responsible to provide direct cash grants rather than placing people in poor houses. At the time of the stock market crash in 1929, most grants were around $.70 to $1.00 per month.
Moreover, before 1875 there were no private pension.
In 1875 the American Express Company established the first private pension plan in the United States. By 1929, about 397 private sector plans existed in the U.S. and Canada. Many never paid out much as workers were let go before they were eligible for benefits. These plans covered about 15% of the work force. The stock market crash of 1929 wiped out millions and crippled the states and employers ability to pay only grants/pensions. Unemployment reached 37% of the workforce. Only a few states had any kind of unemployment benefits.
Only a handful of rich and powerful individuals retired during these turbulent times while those who worked long and hard to build a great nation were left, with very little or nothing.
People demanded change. Change that would provide economic security for themselves and their families. Led in part by Labor Unions who defeated organized opposition from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of manufactures, the social security act was born. Security protection as a matter of right not as a handout from government or employer. Over time, it is our intent to dissent the act to understand it and to identify myths about it.
Sources: Arthur J. Altmeyer: Mr. Social Security by Wilbur J. Cohen
The American Philosophy of Social Insurance by J. Douglas Brown
Thomas H. Eliot – speech SSA Headquarters February 3, 1961
Rich Entrepreneur: The Wealthy Aren't Job Creators, Middle-Class Workers Are:
On Thursday, entrepreneur and self-described one percenter Nick Hanauer warned Congress that rich people like him aren’t the engines of the economy. In a testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, he explained why, in fact, middle-class workers are the economy’s real job creators:
In the same way that it’s a fact that the sun, not earth is the center of the solar system, it’s also a fact that the middle class, not rich business people like me are the center of America’s economy. […] As an entrepreneur and investor, I have started or helped start, dozens of businesses and initially hired lots of people. But if no one could have afforded to buy what we had to sell, my businesses would all would have failed and all those jobs would have evaporated.
He described what he calls a “virtuous cycle” in which middle class consumers have money to buy goods, which increases demand and therefore hiring. The rich, on the other hand, don’t fuel the economy with their consumption in the same way. “I earn 1,000 times the median wage, but I do not buy 1,000 times as much stuff,” he noted.
But the country’s policies pretend otherwise. He included facts that display how skewed America’s policy priorities really are:
Corporate profits and unemployment are simultaneously at 50-year highs.
- The share of income for the richest 1 percent has tripled since 1980 while their taxes have only risen by 50 percent.
- The rich enjoy a 15-20 percent tax rate on capital gains, dividends, and carried interest while the top marginal rate on middle class Americans is 39 percent.
Facts back up his proposal that taxing the rest and investing the revenues can spur economic growth. The years following the Bush tax cuts were the worst for job creation since record keeping began. Meanwhile, job growth in the post-war period has been stronger when the top income tax rate is higher.
Yet wages just fell to an all-time low. Corporate profits, on the other hand, have outpaced wages by 20 percent since 2008.
- TEN WAYS TO KILL A UNION
- Don't come to the meetings.
- But if you do come, come late.
- If the weather doesn't suite you, don't come.
- If you do attend a meeting, find fault with the work of the officers and other members.
- Never accept an office. It's easier to criticize than to do things.
- Nevertheless, get sore if you are not appointed on a committee. But if you are appointed, do not attend the committee meetings.
- If asked by the President to give your opinion on an imporatnt matter, tell him you have nothing to say. After the meeting tell everyone how things should be done.
- Do nothing more than is absolutely necessary, but when other members roll up their sleeves, willingly and unselfishly using their ability to help matters along, howl that the Union is being run by a clique.
- If your local is struggling from a financial standpoint to maintain offices on your behalf, be sure and muster all the help you can to vote against a dues raise.
- Don't bother about new members. Let the other fellow do it.
- COULD THIS BE ME?
SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS NLRB RULING
In a 5 - 4 decision a deeply divided Supreme Court overturned a ruling reached by the NLRB that had shrunk to only two members...a result of President Bush's failure to nominate new members to the board as their terms expired. Because of his inaction, the size of the NLRB was reduced to only two, one republican and one democrat for 28 months. However, these two men were able to agree on nearly 600 cases that had come before the Board.
New Process Steel had lost a case before the Board that was favorable to its employees and sued to overturn the ruling on a technicality, that the Board did not have a quorum. Justices Anthony Kennedy wrote the dissenting opinion assering that "the text of the statute does not support the holding of the Court." He acknowledged that the long operation of the two-member board "was not ideal" but said that the court's result "is removed even farther from ideal and from congressional intent."
Once again a large corporation has used unlimited financial power to continue litigation to deny workers rights. This puts all the cases ruled on by the two member board in doubt. It is unclear at this time whether the other corporations will also litigate. Now that President Obama has appointed
two board members there is virtually no chance that the cases in question would be reversed. But who knows what course these corporations will take to delay justice to their workers.
It should be clear to all of us that the conservative majority on the court is dedicated to corporate interests and not those of the American worker.
Once again a reminder that your vote counts...USE IT!
Local Union 23's executive board and stewards would like to thank you for your past safety efforts and to remind members that we have always partnered with the employer on safety ...our continued efforts will not only benefit you but your family as well. So let us take the time to create a safe work environment for ourselves as well as our co-workers.
"There is no job we do or service we perform so urgent that we cannot take the time and use the necessary equipment to do it safely."
Mike Hoppe, Business Manager
LOCAL UNION #23
Chartered May 29th, 1940
445 Etna Street, Suite 61| Saint Paul, Minnesota | 55106
Telephone 651-774-6011 • Fax 651-776-8907 • e-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours 8AM-4PM, Monday - Friday
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