Alaska Trustees Training

In October, at the request of LIUNA Local 341 Business Manager Mike Gallagher, LHSFNA Health Promotion Division Director Mary Jane MacArthur conducted a half-day training with trustees from many of the union health and welfare funds associated with the Health Care Cost Management Corporation of Alaska (see Health Care Coalitions Offer Means to Fight Higher Costs).

MacArthur facilitated a process of sharing in which the trustees examined the services needed to run their funds – money managers, administrators, attorneys, consultants, auditors and accountants; identified the respective roles/interests of these professionals and, then, discussed how their funds can secure quality services at the most reasonable cost.

“The cross-fertilization was amazing,” says MacArthur. “Once we established the difference between professionals and vendors, the trustees overflowed with constructive ideas to improve service and save money. We’d like to foster more of these exchanges elsewhere around the country.”

“Mary Jane did an excellent job,” says Gallagher, who went on to explain one action his fund is planning after the discussion. “We know that a professional’s history with and knowledge of our fund is a value, but we want to be sure we’re paying a fair price for that experience. We haven’t had a way to know. Now, our thinking is to issue a RFP for one or two services each year, as a matter of course. No headhunting – just a price comparison to be sure that we’re still paying a fair price. That means each service will be reviewed every four or five years, and we’ll have confidence that our money is well spent.”

For information about a trustees’ workshop in your area, contact the Health Promotion Division.

So much of what the LHSFNA does is specific to a particular situation, problem, company or jobsite and doesn’t warrant coverage in the “big news.” Yet, these support activities make a huge difference for the people and organizations involved. Moreover, as examples, they indicate the range of services and support available from the Fund for LIUNA business managers, signatory safety officers and health and welfare fund trustees and administrators.

To encourage you to think of us and to call when you have a problem, this feature will list some of the direct services provided by LHSFNA staff during the previous publication period.

  • Followed-up and offered CISD services on a Youngstown, OH LU#125 fatality.
  • Provided information on smoking cessation to administrator of the Southern California H&W Fund.
  • Prepared Louisiana H&W Fund wellness newsletter.
  • Prepared statement on behalf of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) opposing Initiative 841 (the repeal of the Washington state ergonomics standard).
  • Provided information on the longevity of construction workers to LIUNA LU#254 Business Manager per his request.
  • Sent ergonomics studies and materials to Tom Kerns, Health and Safety Director for Bovis Lend Lease per his request.
  • Conducted merger feasibility studies for three funds in Louisanna.
  • Sent ergonomics information to Richard Wyatt, Aon Insurance Company per his request.
  • Sent work zone fatality statistics to Wilma Maygar of Wilbur Smith and Associates – Safety Consultants per her request.
  • Spoke to the Alabama District Council on safety and health in organizing.
  • Planned additional safety officer training for the South Florida Structural Concrete Contractors Association with OV&SS Region LECET Director.
  • Per request of Alabama District Council Business Manager, contacted two signatory contractors to arrange consultation to improve overall safety performance.
  • Researched injuries/deaths from buckets coming off heavy equipment for LU#125 in Ohio.
  • Drafted a Respirator Program for signatory employer Industrial Insulation in California.
  • Performed site visit for ARC Construction in Vienna, VA.
  • Conducted noise sampling at Industrial Insulation in California.
  • Consulted on site-specific safety plan for Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington, DC.
  • Performed safety evaluation of the workforce at Coast Masonry per request of safety director.
  • Performed ergonomic assessment of workstations for the Workers Rights Council in Washington, DC.
  • Researched anodyne therapy for the Railroad Maintenance and Industrial H&W Fund per request of administrator.
  • Arranged RNs for member event at LU#860 in Cleveland, OH.
  • Conducted steward refresher training on drug-free workplaces and skin cancer for the West Virginia Training Center in Mineral Wells, WV.
  • Assisted in widow’s request for resources and assistance following a Laborer’s death on the job for LU#1216 in Mansfield, OH.
  • Located substance abuse treatment resources for signatory employer Caretti.
  • Conducted inspections at projects of McCullough Construction in northern California per request of contractor.
  • Reported on site visit and safety hazards at the Uranium Enrichment Facility demolition in Oak Ridge, TN per request of contractor.

[Steve Clark]