The World of Multiemployer Benefit Funds Podcast

The World of Multiemployer Benefit Funds Podcast

Perhaps you've heard about pension reform on the news? Multiemployer benefit funds provide retirement, paid sick leave, vacation, and other paid benefits to millions of middle and working-class Americans and retirees, but these funds are complex. Join Traci Dority-Shanklin, the client and union advocate with over 20 years of managing Taft-Hartley funds, as she navigates the complex world of Taft-Hartley and speaks with the experts who help guide these plans. Guests will share the latest developments, their personal stories, and their perspectives as they help unlock the mysteries of these funds.

Episodes

May 26, 2022 25 min

White-collar organizing sweeps the Tech and Game Industry! Learn how the Communication Workers of America (CWA) is converting non-traditional industries like college campuses, newspapers, and the Tech and Game Industry into union shops. CWA District 3 organizing coordinator and grassroots activist, Cassie Watters, gives us the skinny on what motivates these white-collar workers to organize and how the CWA supports these digital emp...

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White-collar workers are organizing labor unions at Tech & Game, nonprofits, college campuses, and now comic book workers. CWA District 3 organizing coordinator and grassroots activist, Cassie Watters, explains why these workers are turning to the Communications Workers of America to help them organize and how the CWA is supporting them.

Some highlights from CWA Organizing: Tech and Game Workers: 

04:10 – Campus Workers Strike Ba...

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Low pay, no opportunity for advancement, and feeling disrespected topped the list of reasons why millions of workers quit their jobs in 2021. With union organizing in Big Tech, Starbucks, and Amazon and labor unions enjoying high popularity with workers across the country, could this be the beginning of a new labor movement? Arelia Valdivia and Francisco Diez from the Center for Popular Democracy are here to share some insight into...

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Lockdowns and the coronavirus pandemic laid bare our inept and patchwork unemployment system. Iceland supported its citizens with 30 months of unemployment benefits while US workers barely received six months of benefits. Arelia Valdivia and Francisco Diez are here from the Center for Popular Democracy to explain why our current UI system desperately needs reform and how all workers, both employed and unemployed, can help fix it.

So...

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Traditional defined benefit plans provide retirees with a guaranteed lifetime pension. However, workers participating in these DB plans have fallen from 38% to 20% between 1980 and 2008. Steve McCourt, the co-CEO and Managing Principal at Meketa Investment Group, shares some insight into the Great Resignation and the shifting demographics in the workforce.

Some highlights from Defined Benefit Plans and the Case of the Disappearing D...

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Two years ago, Steve McCourt, the Managing Partner and co-CEO of Meketa Investment Group shared his thoughts on the pandemic’s impact on pension funds. However, it was too early in the pandemic, so there were too many unknowns. Steve returns with an update on how the market, trustees, pension funds, and technology have all responded to the disruption.

Some highlights from The Pandemic’s Impact on Pension Funds Revisited:

01:36 – In O...

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UNICEF reported that 1 in 7 children have been negatively impacted by the pandemic lockdowns. And more than 1.6 billion children have suffered from some loss of education. The co-founders of Virtual Milestones Academy, Megan Cawlfield, a pediatric speech-language pathologist, and Emily Roberts, an occupational therapist, expose the cracks in our disjointed healthcare system and support parents with finding holistic, family-centered...

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January 13, 2022 28 min

Host, Traci Dority-Shanklin, recaps her 2021 discussions about pension reform and hybrid retirement solutions for failing multiemployer plans. With the help of several guests from previous podcasts, Traci highlights potential solutions and recounts events that drove these plans to the breaking point. Past guests include AFL-CIO president, Liz Shuler; UFCW Local 21 president, Faye Guenther; Executive Director of NIRS, Dan Doonan; Ex...

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December 16, 2021 22 min

Imagine taking office as president of the nation’s largest UFCW local at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Suddenly, healthcare and grocery store workers are declared essential frontline workers, but essential workers should have enough money to buy food, have a roof over their heads, and lead lives that are essential. UFCW Local 21 president, Faye Guenther, talks about how coronavirus upended the playing field and contrac...

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The UFCW Local 21 set an ambitious goal of identifying, recruiting, and training 4500 of the next generation of labor leaders over the next two years. How is that effort going? Luckily, Faye Guenther, the president of UFCW Local 21, is here to give an update and share how laughter helped bring her diverse team together.

Some highlights from the 4500: Identifying and Recruiting the Next Generation of Labor Leaders include:

01:17 – Ret...

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If your union or employer’s defined benefit plan was in critical and declining condition and facing insolvency, would you consider a hybrid retirement solution to fix it? That’s exactly how the UFCW Local 21 turned their red-zone plan back to green. UFCW Local 21 president, Faye Guenther, shares the bold steps taken by her UFCW family when they switched from their legacy plan to a variable annuity pension plan (VAPP).

Some highlight...

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October 21, 2021 32 min

A hybrid retirement plan combines parts of a defined benefit plan with parts of a defined contribution plan. Dan Doonan, the Executive Director of the National Institute on Retirement Security, and Elizabeth Wiley, a consulting actuary at Cheiron, wrote the book on hybrid plans – literally! Dan and Elizabeth penned The Hybrid Handbook, a white paper on hybrid retirement plans in the public sector. Listen as they share their insight...

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Hybrid retirement plans are becoming a viable option to the traditional defined benefit and defined contribution plans, but what are they? And who are they right for? Dan Doonan, the Executive Director of the National Institute on Retirement Security, and Elizabeth Wiley, a Cheiron consulting actuary, co-authored The Hybrid Handbook, where they outline various public hybrid retirement plan structures. Dan and Elizabeth demystify th...

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Uniontrack’s Engage app combines union dues payment software, union membership communication software, and grievance tracking software into a web-based system. Uniontrack created the union-friendly app, and their CEO, Ken Green, explains how the Engage app solves workflow issues for unions and empowers the next generation of union members through technology.

Some highlights from Uniontrack’s Engage: The Union-Friendly App include:

03...

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The union brotherhood and sisterhood are committed to more than its own membership. When 9/11 happened, the Teamsters mobilized truckloads of cell phones and radios to rescue workers. Elizabeth Murray-Belcaster, the CEO of EMB Consultants who consults on training to placement programs with the Department of Defense and trade unions, rejoins the podcast. Elizabeth shares how the brotherhood and the sisterhood have impacted diversity...

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Labor unions provide workers with better wages and safer workplaces, but did you also know that they train transitioning military veterans in career pathways for civilian life? Our next guest develops and implements veteran training to placement programs with the Department of Defense and labor unions. The CEO of EMB Consultants, Elizabeth Murray-Belcaster, shares her experiences with the DOD’s SkillBridge program and why more orga...

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You may know that union workers make more money than non-union workers, but did you know that 92% of union workers have a guaranteed pension compared to only 68% of non-union workers? Liz Shuler, the secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, joins Traci on the podcast to discuss the future of defined benefit plans, the union brand, and busting her favorite myths about organized labor.

Some highlights from The Value of Union Membership wit...

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Did you know that the labor movement is the largest organization of working women in the nation? On December 11, 1961, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr told the AFL-CIO, “The two most dynamic and cohesive liberal forces in the country are the labor movement and the Negro Freedom movement. Together, we can be architects of democracy.” Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, joins Traci on the podcast to talk about how the labor mov...

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Companies like Amazon, Uber, Doordash, and Lyft have big advantages against organized labor. Larry Williams Jr, the founder of Unionbase and a former co-founder of the Progressive Workers Union, returns to the podcast. He explains what elements are needed to run a successful union election campaign and the need for gig workers to have a voice at the bargaining table.

Some highlights from Amazon and the Future of the Gig Economy with...

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Support for unions is at an all-time high across the country with 65% in favor! Three-quarters of new union memberships belong to Millennials and Gen Z. Larry Williams Jr., the founder of Unionbase, the nation’s first social media platform designed for labor, is Traci’s guest, and he’s here to tell us all about Unionbase and the role it plays for the next generation of labor organizers.

Some highlights from UnionBase and Organizing ...

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