April 1, 2017 marked the day that the new Joint Health Science Benefits Trust took over stewardship of members’ health and welfare benefits, including Long Term Disability. The move from an employer-controlled fund to a jointly trusteed fund with equal representation from unions and employers was negotiated in 2014 Health Science Professionals contract bargaining.
While the change was seamless, members may notice a change to employer-issued paystubs. Prior to April 1, 2017 paystubs showed the contribution payment as “LTD.” Starting the first pay period after April 1, paystubs showed the contribution payment as “JBT Benefit Cont.” or “JBT Benefit Contribution.”
The sample paystub below shows the LTD line as no deductions taken in this pay period, but a year-to-date total of $202.03, and the JBT Benefit Cont. deduction of $35.03 in this pay period, with a year-to-date total of $35.03. The deduction is not a new deduction, simply a change in name.
Since 2006, members covered by the Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) contract have paid 30% of the LTD benefit premium, with the employer paying 70%. The LTD premium amount paid fluctuates slightly based on usage and cost of the plan.
With the transition to the Joint Health Science Benefits Trust (JHSBT), members' and employers' interests will be represented by an equal number of HSPBA and HEABC trustees. Once the JHSBT is fully operational, trustees will be looking for opportunities to further enhance and improve health benefits for members.