Health & Welfare Trust
The Laborers AGC Trust of Montana was created on June 2, 1961. It was created through the process of collective bargaining between the Montana Contractors Association, Inc. and the District Council of Laborers for the State of Montana.
The Fund was founded for the purpose of providing and maintaining policies issued by duly licensed insurance carriers or health care agencies. Insurance that covers accident, illness insurance, hospitalization, and medical and surgical benefits for eligible employees and their families would be required. Later on, coverage was extended to include additional benefits such as loss of time, dental and vision care and prescription drugs.
Signatory employers are required to contribute funds to the Trust based on hours worked by the Laborers covered under the bargaining agreements. The Trust Fund is administered by a Board of Trustees, which consist of Three (3) Trustees representing the employers, and Three (3) Trustees representing the employees.
In recent years, the Fund has provided Two (2) Separate Health & Welfare plans, one for Construction and another plan for Service & Industrial employees. The Health & Welfare Plan is under constant review by the Board of Trustees to provide the best possible benefits obtainable, within the funds that are available to the covered employees.
Pension Trust History
The Laborers AGC Pension Trust of Montana began on June 16, 1965. It was created through the process of collective bargaining between the Montana Contractors Association, Inc. and the District Council of Laborers for the State of Montana.
The Employers, by becoming parties to the Trust, agreed to make contributions to the Trust Fund. Contributions are to be used for the purpose of establishing and maintaining pension benefits for the benefit of the employees of the contributing employers. The provisions are determined by the Trustees of this Fund. In essence, this Fund is a Trust Fund that shall be used exclusively for the purpose of providing pension benefits, as decided by the Trustees. The Trust also finances the expenses of the operation and administration of the Fund.
The Trust Fund is administered by a Board of Trustees, which consist of Three (3) Trustees representing the employers, and Three (3) Trustees representing the employees. The Board decided that the very first retirements would be effective April 1, 1967 and that the early retirement age would be at the age of 60. The first pension applications were received and approved by the Board on November 17, 1967.
All available funds coming into the fund, through contributions, investment earnings, interest gains on sales, etc. are invested in stocks, bonds, mortgages, real estate, and other diversified investments. The Board of Trustees oversees the investing by hiring high performance money managers that are licensed and bonded to handle all transactions in accordance with the ERISA requirements. After some forty (40) years of Fund operation, more than 75% of the funds present assets have been derived from interest, investment growth, and investment income.
The Laborers AGC Training Trust of Montana was established on May 1, 1969, through the process of a collective bargaining agreement between the District Council of Laborers for the State of Montana and the Montana Contractors Association, Inc.. The Trust was created for the purpose of providing instruction, training, and retraining of employees or persons who wish to become employees that will be performing work in the construction industry, when the work falls within the areas and classifications within the jurisdiction on the Union as set forth in the collective bargaining agreement. The agreement requires the signatory employers to contribute funds to the Trust based on hours worked by the laborers covered under the agreement.
A Board of Trustees was appointed, with (3) Three persons representing the Union (employees) and (3) Three persons representing the Montana Contractors’ Association (employers). The Trust acquired a 20 acre tract of land adjacent to the Lewis & Clark Fairgrounds for the use as a training facility. On August 7, 1970 the Board of Trustees entered into a contract with the Vo-Tech schools to begin the training. The Board of Trustees hired the first Director of Training on November 6, 1970. In early 1973 the instruction classes began at the training facility under the direction of the Director of Training. Over the years the classes have included instruction and refresher courses that cover nearly all of the Laborers classifications of work in the construction industry. It is important to note that that one of the first orders of business enacted by the Board of Trustees was to adapt a resolution stating ”as a matter of business policy , the need for equal opportunity is recognized and will be observed in all training operations”.
In August of 1970, the Board of Trustees approved participation with the National Program of Training, and the Trust has continued that involvement ever since. In the year 1972, the Trust paid off the balance due on the acquired land and then began an extensive building and improvement project on the site. A significant program of upkeep and improvements of the entire facility has been continuous.
On June 10, 2004, the Board of Trustees amended the name of the Trust to be: “Laborers AGC Apprenticeship, Training and Work Preparedness Trust of Montana”.