Local No. 8, I.B.E.W.’s Employee Retention Program (ERP) provides a supplemental unemployment benefit to protect JIW and apprentices in the event of sustained unemployment. Credits are earned based upon hours worked per month, and are "spent" to receive benefits.
Each JIW and Inside Apprentice has an account to track credits, and eligibility for the program is based upon the members’ status on the Local 8 referral book.
Benefits are paid on a weekly basis at an amount equal to 18% of the base wage* at 40 hours per week. Once you run out of credits, you are ineligible to receive the benefit until you have obtained at least 1 credit.
*The "base wage" is the JIW rate, or the applicable percentage based on apprentice classification.
The ERP compensates eligible members who work covered employment as an Inside Journeyman or Apprentice and who contribute to the plan. Class 26 employees, Residential and Teledata employees, Retirees, and Dependents are NOT eligible for ERP benefits.
Before a new member can qualify for ERP benefits, he/she must first establish eligibility by earning a minimum 12 credits. Members who were participants in the Health Plan on the effective date of the ERP (May 1, 2006) were grandfathered into the plan with the 12-credit minimum.
Once a member satisfies minimum service once, the member is never required to establish eligibility again, except in the case of a break in service.
Breaks in Service
If you don't accrue a new credit for 24 consecutive months, you are considered to have a break in service. Any and all credits are forfeit, and you have to reestablish initial eligibility.
The following exceptions are not considered breaks in service:
- Service in any branch of the United States Armed Forces
- Unemployment due to accident, disease, injury, or illness
- Employment outside the geographic area by an employer subject to IBEW-NECA national reciprocity agreement
Upon retirement, all credits are forfeited and eligibility must also be reestablished, if a retiree returns to work.
If either of these cases apply, a member must reestablish eligibility by earning 12 credits before they may draw a benefit.
To be eligible for ERP benefits, you must be:
- Involuntarily terminated for reasons other than cause, and
- Not working in another jurisdiction, and
- Be on the Local 8 available-to-work list at least one day during the week for which you are applying, and
- Be receiving state unemployment benefits or show conclusive evidence of eligibility
- Established initial eligibility and have a positive credit balance
If you have rolled the book, you are not eligible for ERP benefits unless you were working out of the Local 8 jurisdiction for an employer who is subject to reciprocity.
If you are not employed out of Local 8's jurisdiction when you roll, you are not eligible for ERP benefits, and will not be eligible until you accept a work referral and are laid off from that referral through no fault of your own.
To be eligible for benefits after having rolled the Local 8 book, but before you have accepted a new referral, you must meet the following 3 requirements:
- You were employed out of the jurisdiction when you rolled the Local 8 book
- You can provide proof (such as pay stubs) that you were employed by a qualifying employer in another geographic area out of the jurisdiction when you rolled, and
- You are currently on the Local 8 available-to-work book.
You are not eligible for ERP benefits if:
- You were terminated for cause
- You are currently working in the electrical industry outside of the jurisdiction
- You are working for a non-signatory contractor
- You have retired or received a termination-of-employment pension distribution (This does not apply to the Six (6) month termination distribution)
- You are receiving disability benefits
Credits are earned monthly based on hours worked that month:
- More than 1 hour but less than 24 hours worked per month = 1 credit earned
- More than 24 hours worked per month = 2 credits earned
Weeks of unemployment benefit are paid in exchange for credits, where one credit pays one week of benefit. Each member has an account to track credits accrued and spent.
Members can accrue a maximum of 52 credits in their account.
While in theory a member can also accrue credits by sending reciprocity payments while working outside of Local 8's jurisdiction, in practice the "health and welfare" dollars are divided in this manner:
- Paying for Health Insurance
- Satisfying the VEBA/SFBF
- Earning credits for the ERP
There are very few locals nationwide whose contribution is sufficient to cover past item #2.
However, if the member is receiving payment sufficient to satisfy #1 and #2, contributions above the amount needed for H&W and VEBA are converted to credits using a formula:
$ amount above H&W and VEBA contribution per hour
× # of reciprocity hours
÷ $1.20/hour ERP contribution
= Hours worked
$.20 over H&W and VEBA contribution per hour
× 160 reciprocity hours
÷ $1.20/hour ERP contribution
= 26 hours worked, equaling 2 credits for the month
ERP Basic Application Information
You must submit a completed ERP application for every week you think you may be eligible, as applications will not be held until you are eligible. You can collect for a week of benefit as long as you have worked no more than one day in a work week (Monday – Sunday). If you get laid off in the middle of a work week, you do not need to fill anything out to "get your benefit started".
Applications are accepted Wednesday thru Monday. No application will be accepted on Tuesday UNLESS the Funds office is closed on Monday. You will only be able to submit for the previous work week on that day. See below Calendar for example of date submission information.
Calls go to Book II – This is a suspended week of benefit with the exception: Only Apprentice and Travelers are Eligible
Member can turn in two applications on the same week, ONLY IF 1 application is for a waiting week. Suspended week cannot be used as a waiting week.
Applications must be received by Monday end of business day (5 pm) for previous work week. We will not retroactive payment for late applications.
Benefit payment is by direct deposit only. Deposits will show up in your banks on Friday for previous week of benefit. Example: For week ending September 10th, deposit for that week of benefit will be on Friday, September 15th.
You can mail, fax, submit on-line or walk in ERP Applications.
If submitting on-line, fill in your username and password at the left. After logging into your account, click on Supplemental Unemployment Application / ERP Application. Once you have filled out the on-line application click submit and you should receive a confirmation number. Please print your confirmation number as this will be your proof of submission if a problem arises. If you do not receive a confirmation number, then your application did not process. It is your responsibility to make sure your application is in the office by the required date regardless of computer or any other issue.
If you do not have a username and password, please contact the Benefits' Office at 419-666-4450.
The week ending date is on Sunday.
Please click here to download a copy of the ERP application to fill out and submit to the Funds’ Office.