Due to significant reduction in employment in the main company’s in recent times, there has been a corresponding decrease in membership numbers. This has impacted on the Union’s income, necessitating an extensive review of the CWU’s finances. While the overall financial position remains positive, the National Executive Council (“NEC”) has decided it is necessary to make some changes to benefits which are detailed below.
Social Benefit Fund – Sickness Scheme
This is a benefit that is available to CWU members paying 1% of basic pay and offers financial assistance during periods of long-term sick leave. The Social Benefit Fund is financed through an allocation of 20% of subs from each member paying 1% of basic pay. Due to the declining number of members in this category, combined with an increase in members claiming from the Fund, the Sickness Scheme has been running at a deficit. This is unsustainable and contrary to the rules of the Union. To address this issue, the NEC examined a number of possible options and, to avoid a situation where the Scheme must be closed, has agreed a change to the operation of the Sickness Scheme as follows:This payment may be paid for a maximum of 12 months in any period of 4 years in accordance with the following scale:
1 – 4 months Up to 70% of basic pay
5 – 8 months Up to 65% of basic pay
9 – 12 months Up to 60% of basic pay
The above change will be implemented from the 1st January 2019. The existing claimants already in benefit will continue to be comprehended by the old criteria.
Personal Accident Cover
This is an insurance scheme offered through Halligan Insurances, which is financed from the central funds of the Union. This has, unfortunately, become cost prohibitive for the Union. To that end, the NEC has agreed that this benefit can no longer be offered as part of your Union membership. The Union encourages members to purchase the Personal Accident Cover policy with Halligan Insurances, as it is very good value for money.
Additionally, there is another group scheme available through Halligan Insurances which you may wish to join – CWU Group Life Scheme. The rates for both of these schemes are offered at discounted prices as part of your CWU membership and I would urge members to give consideration to joining one or both.
Contact Halligan Insurances directly if you wish to join these group schemes (01) 879 7100.
While it is regrettable that we have found ourselves in a position where we have to reduce some of our benefits, these decisions have not been taken lightly and the impact on our members has been to the fore at every stage of the evaluation. To ensure the longevity of the CWU in the years to come, these changes form part of an overall cost-saving exercise that will hopefully see the Union in more secure financial standing and allow us to continue to work for the betterment of the lives of our members, both within the workplace and in society as a whole.
The NEC will closely monitor the Union’s financial position over the coming 12 months with a view to hopefully restoring benefits, which, of course, will be contingent on increased membership numbers.