About the Trust - PSBT
For over 20 years, the Power Sector Benefit Trust has been serving up a tailored Benefit Plan to meet the needs of its Members. Only members of the Plan serve as Trustees and oversee the operations of the Trust. This mandate gives us the unique ability and determination to create a Benefit Plan that’s in the best interest of all of our Members–and only our Members. Moreover, we survey Members each year to assess ways to improve the Plan.
The Power Sector Benefit Trust (PSBT) is designed to respond to the needs of the Members and their families. The primary focus is Members first. The Trust provides benefits that align with the needs of the Members, and we update and adjust those whenever we, as Members, choose.
PSBT is a unique plan in the industry in that it only has union trustees that oversee the operation of the Trust, as compared to other Plans that have joint labour and management oversight boards. The flexibility of managing our Trust gives us the ability to respond to our needs today and to set in place policies that continues to grow and serve our Members in the future. We can modify our Plan to provide whatever level of benefit that we, as a group, decide that we want to deliver. There are no restrictions on what we can provide. Members determine the cost of payment by the level of benefits we want to purchase.
PSBT is a multi-employer Benefit Trust. Participating unions that have multiple Collective Agreements with numerous employers can contribute. Affiliated organizations that may or may not be working under a Collective Agreement are also able to participate.
How do the Trustees Determine Plan Changes?
Each year, the Trustees survey all Members of the PSBT. This survey is your opportunity to add input to our Plan. After the data is collected, the Trustees review the feedback based on the expressed needs and interests of those who have participated. Next, they determine whether or not any changes need to be made to the coverage available through the Benefits Plan. Trustees consider the overall costs of implementing any proposed changes—and whether or not an increase to the premium would need to be submitted to Members. Based on the collected data and careful consideration, the Trustees decide in the best interests of Members of the Plan. The benefit coverage is negotiated annually, and Members carefully manage the PSBT Plan. This has proven to be a very successful approach. We work together to ensure that we can provide the best possible Benefit Plan for our Members and their families.
Role of Trustees
The Trustees of the PowerSector Benefit Trust (PSBT) are Members of the Plan, as chosen by their peers (other Plan Members) to represent the interests of all the Members. The Trustees are the voice of Members, which ensures the Plan responds to the needs of all participants.
While there are many people and organizations involved in the day-to-day management of the Trust, there is only one stakeholder—the Member of the Plan. The Trustees make decisions through this lens. They, too, are Members of the Plan and make decisions in the best interests of the PowerSector Benefit Trust Members and their families.
The Trustees are responsible for managing Member contributions as outlined in the wage schedules of the various Collective Agreements. The Trust receives contributions from employers on behalf of Members. These contributions are paid into the operative Group Plan for tax purposes. They also issue tax documentation to the Canada Revenue Agency.
The Trustees have financial responsibility and liability for the operation of the Trust outlined in the Trust Document. Some of the critical duties of the Trustees are:
- Administration and day-to-day operations
- Plan management and Member benefits
- Local, national, global economics, regulations, and trends
- Finance and operations
- Computer programming
- Advise, negotiate and administer agreements
- Oversee claims management
There are five people on the board of Trustees. Three of the Trustees are selected by the National Executive Board of the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers. A fourth Trustee is a person appointed by the elected CUSW National Executive Board based on the person’s election to a union office specified by the Executive Board. The Power Workers’ Union appoints the fifth Trustee. Trustees serve for three years. The Trustees may, at their discretion, appoint a Trust Administrator to manage the day-to-day operations. This person may or may not be one of the Trustees. The Trust Administrator may assume responsibilities of the Trustees for accounting for contributions, as well as other duties and responsibilities delegated to him or her by the Trustees.
The current PSBT Trustees are (2022-2025):
- Melissa Baron
- Bob Hamilton
- Don Levesque
- Jason Baptista
- Steve Allen
- Gary Fiege
- Craig Batty, Trust Administrator