In 2012, District 6 integrated our Strike Assistance Fund and our Strike Benefit Fund, so for the same 0.1%, our participating locals are covered by both funds. As a result, in a lockout or strike, our members and their families are eligible for not only increased strike pay but for health-care benefits.
Learn more about eligibility, payments and other details in the information booklet.DOWNLOAD
Message from USW District 6 Director Myles Sullivan
Steelworkers members of District 6,
Collective bargaining is one of the most important services that our union and bargaining committees provide for our members. Our members deserve the very best collective agreements that can be negotiated. To do that, we need real power at the bargaining table and that is what the District 6 Strike Assistance and Benefit Funds help us achieve.
These funds support our members who go on strike to insist on their priorities being met. These funds allow us to fight back against unreasonable employer demands.
In both good and challenging economic times, our solidarity helps us win. That’s why we came together in District 6 to start the Strike Assistance and Benefit Funds, to further support our members on strike or lockout.
The District 6 Strike Assistance and Benefit Funds were announced in 2004, and in 2005, the fund began supplementing the strike pay for members of participating locals, when forced to walk the picket line. Our union has a reputation of taking on the hard fights. Employers know that we don’t back down, that we stick together, and that we last one day longer.
These funds are a success story. They were established to build our union’s power – so employers would know that the USW has the resources to support our members on strike or lockout.
Since the District 6 Strike Assistance and Benefit Funds were set up, 80% of USW locals have signed on. As the funds have grown, so has the amount paid out. And any new locals welcomed into USW District 6 are automatically signed up.
Like many of you, I have walked the line and I know what a long strike does to our communities and families. We should all take pride in coming together collectively to build another level of support for striking or locked-out Steelworkers and their families. It’s one more way we all ensure that we leave no one behind!
Please join with the thousands of other Steelworkers who are part of this program and together we will continue to last One Day Longer!
Director, USW District 6
District 6 Strike Assistance Fund
In 2012 we integrated our Strike Assistance Fund and our Strike Benefit Fund, so for the same 0.1%, our participating locals are covered by both funds. As a result, in a lockout or strike, our members and their families are eligible for not only increased strike pay but for health-care benefits as outlined below.
The funds are overseen by a board made up of USW staff and members from participating locals.
To join the funds, a local must get approval from its membership for increasing dues by 0.1%, and to ensure
fairness amongst funds members, serve a three-year waiting period.
Eligible members will receive District 6 strike assistance after completion of the 14th day of a legal strike or lockout.
Strike assistance will be payable to those members engaged in assigned strike-related activity.
Strike assistance payments
Payments have increased as our strike assistance funds balance has grown:
- When the funds balance reached over $2.5 million, eligible members received $25 per week;
- When the funds reached over $5 million, payments rose to $50;
- When the funds reached over $7.5 million, payments rose to $75;
- Now that the funds balance is over $10 million, payments are $125.
- Strike pay increases by $25, to $150, for local unions on a longer strike, starting the first day of the seventh month.
Interest arbitration assistance
Some of our bargaining units do not have the legal right to strike but have access to interest arbitration. For bargaining units that participate in our District 6 funds, the International Union will pay the local’s costs for an interest arbitrator and the union’s nominee to the Board of Arbitration (if applicable). The union also will provide a staff researcher to present our case at arbitration.
District 6 Strike Benefit Fund
The following benefits are available to striking or locked out members and their families.
A. Member Life Insurance ($20,000)
For those members covered by the funds, we provide $20,000 in life insurance for the member from day one of the strike or lockout until it ends. The benefit will be paid to the beneficiary named by you. You may change your beneficiary whenever you like (subject to any legal restrictions) by giving written notice to the plan administrators.
B. Prescription drug coverage (member and dependents)
Benefits begin for eligible members and their dependents on the 15th day of a legal strike or lockout. You will receive 100% coverage to a family maximum of $1,000.
- all drugs which by law or convention require a physician’s or dentist’s prescription
- insulin supplies (i.e., needles, syringes and diagnostic tests), but excludes swabs and rubbing alcohol
- all injectables including serums, vaccines and injectable vitamins
- extemporaneous compounds prepared by a pharmacist
Exclusions (members and dependents)
Any drug or medication which may be purchased without a prescription. This further excludes over-the-counter (OTC) products whether prescribed or not.
C. Emergency dental coverage (member and dependents)
Benefits begin for eligible members and their dependents on the 15th day of a legal strike or lockout.
Coverage includes dentistry for emergency care for the temporary relief of pain as outlined in the Provincial Dental Association Fee Guide in the province of your residence.
All dental coverage under our plan will be provided by one of the four terrific dental offices our union has built. If you live over 75 km away from the closest Steelworkers Dental Office you may attend the dentist of your choice for the emergency dental coverage provided by our plan.
To be eligible for benefits:
- All other benefits must be exhausted
- Your bargaining unit must be on a legal strike or lockout
- You must be a member of the local union
- You must participate in strike duties
- The plan must have received your enrolment card.
Your eligible dependents include your:
a. Spouse, or alternatively a common-law spouse, including same-sex partner.
b. Any unmarried child under 19 years of age who is not employed and is living with an eligible parent.
c. Any unmarried child under 21 years of age if he or she is a full-time student at a university or similar institution.
Health-care benefits will continue beyond the date an unmarried child attains the limiting age for insurance (21), provided proof is submitted to the plan that such child is incapable of self-sustaining employment by reason of mental or physical disability.
It is essential that you complete and submit your Enrolment Card, otherwise no claims can be paid, nor can you visit the Steelworkers Dental Office. The card also names the beneficiary to whom your life insurance would be paid. Enrolment Cards can be obtained from your local or from your USW Regional Office.
The Enrolment Card must be submitted to:
District 6 Strike Benefit Fund
c/o W.A. Health
149 Main Street East, Hamilton ON L8N 1G4
Termination of coverage
Your coverage under the Strike Benefit Fund will stop the earlier of the end of the legal strike or lockout for which this coverage is provided or at the one-year anniversary of the strike.
How to file claims
All claims are to be sent to the plan and should clearly indicate the following:
a. The plan’s name: District 6 Strike Benefit Fund
b. Your name, address and social insurance number
c. If your claim is for a dependent, the dependent’s first name, age and relationship to you.
If you and your family have your dentistry performed at the Steelworkers Dental Office there are no claim forms to submit.Steelworkers Dental Offices
“Your union is here for you and your family. Should you have the need, our District 6 Strike Assistance and Benefit Funds will help to reduce your family’s financial burden while on a strike or locked out.”
District 6 Director