One of the top reasons to join the union is the lucrative financial benefits. Great wages mean you can start to set up a secure financial future for you and your family.
More specifically, the great wages may start at $37.98 per hour, but there are numerous other financial benefits to take advantage of as an HVAC union member in one of New Jersey’s four Locals.
When all the financial benefits are added up, the total package ends up being valued at $60.39 per hour. All the financial benefits are offered by all contractors that employ union workers. This means there is no negotiation for salary and you will always be paid an industry-leading wage and complete benefits package that is better than the private sector.
The first is a long-term benefit for your retirement—we know, you haven’t even joined yet and we are talking about leaving! The unions offer dual retirement plans. This means you will have two sources of income upon your retirement, which leads to a more secure financial future.
The first eye-opener is a pension. The union pension, which specifies the amount you will have at retirement, is 102 percent funded and a union member is 100 percent vested in their pension after five years working as a member of the union. If you join the union as a first-year apprentice, for example, you will be fully vested in the retirement program by the time you are done with the five-year training program. The union pension is a lifetime benefit that will pay as long as you or a designated beneficiary is alive, depending upon what benefit you elect. Members put in $4 per hour into the pension plan.
The second is a defined contribution plan or an annuity. An annuity is a tax-free financial product that you contribute to that supplements your pension. The contractors put in $4.60 per hour for each employee or about $10,000 per year.
A health and welfare package is offered to all apprentices and journeymen and their families. The health coverage is robust, including full medical, dental and vision plans for themselves, their spouses and dependents. Coverage includes prescription, chiropractic and orthodontia.
The coverage costs the member $12.76 for everything.
There is also no preexisting condition clause in the health benefits.
One thing the members really appreciate is the stability of the provider, which is subject to change but has remained stable for several years.
Upon retirement, the member pays a small fee for their benefits, which is way less than the private sector.
Members also receive life insurance and death and dismemberment policies worth $50,000 each as part of the package.
All of these benefits are included on top of the free, comprehensive, industry-leading education the union offers. Members receive up to five years of training in commercial HVAC and refrigeration at no cost to them, while earning a salary at their contractor employer.
Find the Local nearest you to learn more about the financial benefits of joining the union.