History of Joint Benefit Trust
Joint Benefit Trust is a multiemployer or “Taft-Hartley” trust fund established in 1972 as a result of a collective bargaining agreement between what is now the Producers Alliance of California and the Teamsters Cannery Council of California, including Teamsters Local 856 in (San Bruno/Stockton/Yuba City), Local 948 (Modesto/Visalia) and Local 890 (Salinas). As healthcare costs increased rapidly during the latter 20th Century, the Trust was created to help control the costs specifically associated with providing medical, drug, dental, vision and other health benefits to union members working in the canning and food processing industry. In 1998, the Trust merged with the Medical Examination Trust which allowed the Trust to provide onsite health examinations. Today, the Joint Benefit Trust continues to provide benefits for over 6,000 full-time and seasonal workers in California.
What is a Taft-Hartley Trust Fund?
A Taft-Hartley trust fund is a multiemployer benefit trust that uses employer contributions and employee co-contributions set forth by the provisions of collective bargaining agreements to provide benefit plans to employees covered by such agreements. In the case of the Joint Benefit Trust (JBT), these plans are generally limited to group health and welfare insurance. JBT is jointly administered by a board of trustees consisting of an equal number of union and employer representatives. The JBT Board of Trustees currently consists of four union trustees appointed by the Teamsters Cannery Council of California, and four employer trustees appointed by the Producers Alliance of California.
The JBT Board engages plan professionals to help them to manage the fund and provide them with information necessary to make prudent decisions. These plan professionals include:
|Third-Party Administrator||Manages the fund’s assets, ensures that employers submit their contributions timely, and claims are paid in accordance with the law and plan rules. The rules concerning how benefits are paid can be found in the Summary Plan Description.|
|Auditor||Performs payroll audits to confirm whether covered employers are adhering to the provisions set forth by the collective bargaining agreement and audits the fund to ensure the third-party administrator uses fund’s assets and administers benefits appropriately. The Auditor is also responsible for filing applicable tax documents with the IRS.|
|Consultant||Negotiates contracts with service providers, such as Kaiser or Blue Cross, to help control costs. In addition, the consultant provides expense projections and proposed contribution rates to the Board of Trustees to help them make decisions regarding benefits.|
|Legal Counsel||Provides guidance regarding all legal matters and ensures the Trust remains compliant with the ever-changing healthcare laws.|
Board of Trustees, Joint Benefit Trust
As of January 1, 2023
|Union Trustees||Employer Trustees|
|Ashley Alvarado, Chair
Teamsters Local 856 Director of the Food Processing Division
Teamsters Local 890 President & Principal Officer
Teamsters Local 948 Secretary-Treasurer
Teamsters Local 856 Secretary-Treasurer/Principal Officer
|Stacey Cue, Co-Chair
Industrial Employers & Distributors Association (IEDA) President & Secretary-Treasurer
Pacific Coast Producers Director, Employee & Labor Relations
Conagra Brands Manager of Labor Relations
Stanislaus Food Products Director of Human Resources