This article presents procedures for calculating the value of non-wage compensation for members of private sector labor unions in the construction industry and cites examples using various collective bargaining agreements. Four major fringe benefit categories are analyzed: welfare, annuity, vacation, and pension funds. When calculating the loss to a private sector union worker it is necessary to obtain not only the relevant collective bargaining agreements but also information regarding both actual earnings and the number of hours worked. If both cannot be obtained, problems in valuing retirement and other fringe benefit funds arise. In some cases, the union member may work for several different employers during any given year, thus receiving many W-2s, but all hours worked would be recorded through the union. To value employer contributions to annuity and vacation funds a determination needs to be made if the contributions take into account premium pay union workers may receive. To value lost medical insurance, the replacement cost of a comparable medical insurance policy should be used. For lost pension benefits, it is important to establish the typical number of hours per annum that would most likely have been worked but for the injury. In addition, if the history of that union's pension benefit reveals increases over time, then that pattern may need to be considered as a basis for determining the future value of the pension benefit. Valuation of each private sector union benefit, therefore, is not simply a matter of referring to the value of the hourly contribution by the employer but requires its own method appropriate to the nature of the benefit as specified in the union's collective bargaining agreement.

You do not currently have access to this content.