May 2013 Newsletter

NEW LOCAL 532 ORGANIZER  We would like to welcome Nick Allen to the staff of Local 532 as the Membership Development Coordinator/Organizer.  Nick turned out from the MEJATC in the year 2010.  He is very enthusiastic about starting his new position and we wish him well. 


BURGERS & “BEVERAGES”…  We will serve barbecued hamburgers and pop/water before the May through September regular union meetings at 5200 Midland Road (weather permitting.)  Come on down and have dinner with us and then after the meeting concludes we will open the coolers to enjoy a beverage of your choice.

FAMILY FUN & BASEBALL…The Local has contracted for the 329 Club at Dehler Park this year on August 25th.  The game starts at 2:05pm and gates usually open about an hour before the game.  The 329 Club deck has umbrella covered patio tables, and includes food (previous years selections included items like a slider bar, nacho bar, veggies & peanuts), pop and water which will be served a little later than last year’s pre-game barbecue, but stays out until after the game begins.  Come down to the ballpark this summer and enjoy an afternoon of fun and baseball with your brothers and sisters.  This year each member can have up to 4 tickets for the event.  Please RSVP the Local before August 16, 2013 so that we can get an accurate head count.

Billings Inside Agreement

A Special Meeting was held after the April 10, 2013 Regular meeting to determine where to use the June 1, 2013 $.65 increase.  It was decided that the increase will be split as follows:  $.25 to the Personal Care Account and $.40 on the check.  More information can be found on the Personal Care Account in the Summary Plan Description of the 8th District Electrical Benefit Fund.

 Bozeman Inside Agreement

On April 23rd, 2013 the Bozeman Unit met for a special ratification meeting.  The Agreement passed with the package split as follows:  $.25 to Personal Care Account, $.15 on the check.



Larry Langley, Bus. Mgr. Local 768 and 8th District Pension Trustee is tentatively scheduled to attend the June 12th meeting in Billings to give a report on 8th District Pension and the decoupled money.  He was not able to appear at the May meeting due to other commitments.


The Montana State Electrical Board has proposed to increase the cost of 2014 license renewals. 

Journeyman Wireman/Master:  $200

Contractor:  $300

 Anyone applying by reciprocity or endorsement will no longer be able to acquire a temporary permit.  The temporary permit will only be used for those applying through examination.  (The reason for this is the time it takes to get a temporary permit is about the same as getting a license by reciprocity or endorsement.)

 The Building Codes has just adopted the 2011 NEC as of January of 2013.  The 2008 Code will still be used for testing until the 2014 Code comes out.  The State will change their test at that time.


(From  Bus. Mgr. Mike Byrd, L.U. 111)

Update from LINECO Trustees meeting held on March 21 and 22, 2013

We heard 20 Appeal cases:   

  • 6 were concerning Work Related: Remember LINECO will not pay benefits for work related incidents.
  • 5 were concerning “was the Procedure Medically Necessary”: if you are not sure if LINECO will cover the cost of a procedure, please call the fund office and get preapproved.
  • 3 were because of Subrogation: Remember if you are hurt at home, by someone else or at someone else’s property LINECO will have you go through the other insurance first.

 As of January 1, 2013 there are 33,046 eligible employees with LINECO.  There were 58,880,000 man hours worked in 2012, an average of 172 hours per month per employee. This is up by 12.3% over 2011.

 In 2012 the income was $39.9 million over expenses. We had 19.4 months of operating surplus at the end of 2012.

 San Miguel Power Association, an REA in Colorado was approved to join LINECO under the Utility Agreement, along with 6 other new Utilities approved at the meeting totaling another 500 employees. At the end of 2012 there were 1014 employees under the Utility Agreement up 157 employees from 2011.

 Year in Review in 2012 at the Fund Office:

  • There are 71 full time employees
  • Average number of calls per day is 752 up from 706 in 2011
  • Average waiting period was 53 seconds for the next available representative
  • There were 879,714 claims paid in 2012 up 13% from 2011
  • 73% of the claims were handled electronically up 13% from 2011
  • There is a 3 day turn around when claims are filed electronically vs. 15 days if processed by paper
  • There were 2412 claims over $50,000.00 in 2012
  • Overtime was up 59% in 2012 which is about 5 hours per employee per week
  • The Dental Expert reviewed 960 claims down 3%
  • The Doctor/Medical Expert reviewed 2240 claims up 18%
  • There were 93 cases appealed to the Trustees down 40%
  • The average Employer contribution per month for 2012 was $24.6 million

 There will be a new Summary Plan Description being sent out in June 2013. Look for it in the mail. We have $634,412 million in Market Value invested at this time. The Fund made 9% on our investments in 2012. Since January 2004 the Fund has made 4.3% off investments.

Until then take care and work safe.


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