The contract talks of 1971 showed to be fruitful for the members of District 1201, because in these talks the Union and the School District agreed to form a Trust Fund to provide benefits to our membership. Therefore, The Creation of the Trust Fund was developed and it would be designated and known as the ďFiremen and Oilers, Local 1201 Health and Welfare FundĒ and It would be established by the International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers, Local 1201, AFL-CIO.
The Fund was governed by five (5) Trustees, three (3) appointed by the Union and two (2) appointed by the School District of Philadelphia.
So, beginning September 1, 1972 the School District of Philadelphia would have to pay into such Fund the sum of One Hundred and Ten Dollars ($110.00) for each employee in the bargaining unit. However, benefits would not be given to the members until January 1, 1973. The first benefits to be issued at that time was the Vision Care Program with member and spouse was eligible for this benefit. A month later on February 1, 1973 the Prescription Drug Program became effective for the member and their dependents. On September 1, 1973 the contribution from the School District of Philadelphia increased to Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) per member per year. On January 1, 1974 the Dental Care Program became effective covering the member only. On September 1, 1974 the contribution from the School District of Philadelphia was increased again to Two Hundred and Ninety Dollars ($290.00) per member per year. As of June 1, 1975 the memberís spouse was added to the Dental Care Program. Then on February 16, 1976 dependent children were added to the Dental Care Program. On January 1, 1977 dependent children were added to the Vision Care Program. The next major change came on January 1, 1981 when your dental maximum increased to $1200.00 per family with a $750.00 orthodontic benefit. Another important change took place on January 1, 1981 and that was that all benefits described in our Plan would now be available to our dependent children up to the age of twenty-three (23), if, a full-time student attending an accredited university, college, or institution of higher education.
Our benefit plan did not stop there, because in January 1983 a new Administration moved into the office and shortly thereafter made another change. That change being to increase the Dental Program to $1500.00 per family per year, with a $1000.00 Orthodontic Benefit. Also increasing the age for dependent children from 23 to 25. A major part of the change was to increase the Fundís allowance to the dentist on all procedures while lowering the members out of pocket expenses. And the increases did not stop there. Changes were made to the Vision Program as well; increasing the Fundís allowances to the Vision Doctors also while lowering the members out of pocket expenses.
In 1986 the Trustees saw yet another chance to increase, not only the dollar amounts paid to the doctor, but to add new benefits as well. So effective January 1, 1986 three (3) new benefits were added: Podiatry, $15.00 per visit for 7 visits per year for member and spouse, Hearing Aid, $400.00 for the appliance every four (4) years, and a Death Benefit, $5000.00 plus a Dismemberment policy. The Trustees also increased the Dental Program from $1500.00 per year to $2500.00 per year, adding double coverage in the Dental Program, by which if you and your spouse were members of Local 1201 your Dental Benefit would increase to $5000.00 per year per family. There was also an increase in the Orthodontic Benefit from $1000.00 to $1200.00.
1989 brought some more increases to our Benefit Plan. The first increase was to lower your out of pocket expenses to the doctors in the Dental Plan as well as in the Vision Plan. The second increase was to allow more money to the Podiatrist, from $15.00 per visit to $40.00 per visit.
The contract talks of 1999 were very important to District 1201 Health and Welfare Fund because without a large increase in the contribution rate the plan was in financial trouble for the first time in itís history. The Union was very successful in those talks. The Health and Welfare Fund saw the largest dollar increase in its history. One major change that took place was the equal amount of Trustees on the Unions side as well as the School District side. The contribution rate was increased by $700.00 the first year of the contract that in the year 2000 the Dental Plan was increased again. This time the Orthodontic Benefit was increased from $1200.00 per year for any unmarried child under the age of 19, to $1750.00 per year. Also included in the year 2000 increases were higher payments to the Dentist for certain procedures.
A REMINDER TO THE MEMBERS!
The District 1201 Health and Welfare Fund will be here for you and your family. We are committed to giving you the best possible benefit plan that we can with the money we have. Should you have any question or need more information about your benefits please contact the Health and Welfare Fund at 215-627-9220.