The Electrical Worker online
January 2024

From the Officers
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A Foundation of Security

Happy New Year, sisters and brothers.

We're blessed in the IBEW to enter 2024 with remarkable opportunities in front of us and the security of the greatest union in the world behind us.

It's that security I want to talk to you about today: financial security for you and your families.

The foundation of that security for our U.S. members is our four benefit plans: the National Electric Benefit Fund and National Electric Annuity Plan pensions; the nonprofit Family Medical Care Plan; and the low-cost, member-focused National Electric 401(k) Plan.

The most important part of my job is making sure all four are strong enough to support you on the job and in retirement. Collectively, it's a working person's fortune that we earned together, pooled together, and use to earn benefits that usually only the most privileged can take advantage of.

These plans are there to give you the peace of mind and stability that everyone needs to chart your future and make loving and responsible choices for your family.

It's a big responsibility, but one I'm so proud to have been entrusted with by you and by International President Kenny Cooper. And thanks to Kenny's choices — not least in helping to oversee the most successful legislative wins in our history, which created decades of work for our members — all four are in great shape.

And they could grow even stronger. Negotiations are ongoing with NECA to increase NEBF pension benefits, and we are optimistic that there will be good news on that this year.

These four programs are so well run, such a comfort and so efficient that they are even bringing in employers, particularly the FMCP health plan. I encourage every local to join the plan. It's an organizing tool for potential members, but it can be even more effective to recruit employers. If you master the numbers and can explain the details to company owners, the FMCP will sell itself and free up critical bargaining leverage to focus on things like wages and other benefits.

The more members we have, the stronger our funds are. And the stronger those are, the stronger that foundation is for your families and the next generation of electrical workers.

It's why we'll be working even harder this year to double down on our successes, grow this union to new heights, and ensure that the people making important decisions about our jobs and benefits do so with working men and women top of mind.

Thank you for all you'll do this year to help us grow the power of the IBEW and protect what we've earned for the generations that follow.


Also: Cooper: New Year's Resolution Read Cooper's Column

Paul A. Noble

Paul A. Noble
International Secretary-Treasurer