SEPTEMBER 2018
THE INSIDE STORY
You Never Expect Something Like This to Happen to You...
Every employer’s worst nightmare is a serious workplace accident that affects the health and well-being of any of their employees. In December of 2017, C. Duncan Construction lived through our worst nightmare when one of our operators was killed in a workplace accident.
 
Many employees never really appreciate the advantages of having a good benefit plan behind them until they have to use it. In most cases, getting your kids’ teeth fixed or a prescription is the extent of the use. However, we found out from first-hand experience that the REAL benefit of the MERIT plan is that it’s there when you need it most.
 
Naturally, a workplace fatality initiates a ton of things to be done. For us, our first responsibility was to look after our employee’s family, and the first step in that process was to contact our benefit provider. During some very difficult circumstances, we found the people at Mercon to be caring and extremely helpful. We were relieved that we could provide as much support as possible and were able to take some of the paperwork load off our employee’s family while they were dealing with more urgent matters.
 
Again because we had never used this aspect of the plan, we were elated to be able to tell our employee’s family about the many benefits that they would be eligible for, including
  • Life insurance of $100,000 PLUS Accidental Life Insurance of $100,000
  • Day care benefits to help with child care costs
  • Funds for training for his wife and children in post-secondary school
  • Grief counselling
  • Continuation of benefit coverage for the family for two years after the accident
 
In addition, we were able to offer our other employees, who were also drastically impacted by the event, full counselling support.
 
As an employer, we wanted to provide as much support to the family as we could, and MERIT helped us do that.
THE BUZZ ON YOUR BENEFITS
As a member of the Merit Contractors Association Hour Bank Plan, you are eligible for Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits provided you are in benefit, and actively at work for a Merit employer. The benefit for field employees is $2,500 per month for the first 24 months, then $3,000 per month thereafter.
 
What you may not know is just how much this LTD coverage protects you as a tradesperson. During the first two years you’re disabled, you will qualify for LTD benefits if you are unable to perform the essential duties of your OWN occupation. So, if you’re a plumber and your disability prevents you from plumbing, then you could potentially qualify for LTD benefits.
 
Why is this unique?  Many group benefit plans provide LTD coverage based on ANY occupation, not OWN occupation. That means if you’re a plumber and become unable to plumb because of a disability but are still capable of doing another job, you wouldn’t qualify for LTD coverage. With ANY occupation coverage, employees are often forced back to work in lesser-paying jobs outside of their profession just to have an income. 
 
The purpose of the coverage offered by the Merit Hour Bank plan is to provide income support to allow you the time to recover from your injury and resume your job in the field.


** As with any insurance policy, there are many conditions, definitions, and stipulations. The summary above is not intended to be a final definition, but a general overview for information purposes. If you have more questions about the Merit LTD benefit or your own situation, we encourage you to reach out to our plan administrators, Mercon Benefit Services at 1-877-263-7266.
OPEN SHOP ADVOCACY
MERIT represents the interests of all open shop contractors in Saskatchewan.
We work to ensure open bidding and a fair and level playing field for
ALL contractors in the province.

What does that mean to you?

This means that when there are new buildings, new infrastructure or any construction work required - ALL contractors and construction companies can bid on the work, not just unionized companies! It keeps the work coming for all workers. It's a constant and complicated negotiation between politicians, company owners, unions and citizens. MERIT is there, every step of the way, ensuring the open shop perspective is heard.

You have a voice with MERIT!

Did you know….

  • There are about 13,000 contractors in Saskatchewan employing over 50,000 workers
  • Approximately 85% of these contractors operate as open shops

That means about 11,000 employers and 43,000 employees benefit from the advocacy work that Merit does to ensure the construction environment is fair for all contractors.


Do you have an advocacy comment or issue you’d like to share? EMAIL us today.
ENSURE YOUR INFORMATION IS CURRENT
Don't Risk Missing Out on Benefits!

Has it been a while since you filled out your initial benefits form ? Think back, who did you list as your beneficiary? How many children did you have at the time? Was your spouse covered on your plan?

Beneficiary - It is very important that you have a beneficiary assigned. Naming a beneficiary takes minutes, costs nothing, and doesn't require help from a lawyer. In order to confirm your beneficiary for the MERIT plans, you will need to print out a designation form, sign it and either mail, email,or fax it to Mercon.


Family Changes - Have you recently had a new baby in the family? Married? Have you added your dependents to your benefit plan? Make sure that all of your dependents are covered with your plan.

Many of your updates can be done online . If you haven't already set up your online account, click HERE to find out how to do it from your desktop computer.
TRAINING NEWS

Field Supervisor Training in a “Fit for Duty” Workplace

This  half day  training session is designed for supervisors who are often the first to suspect workers may be impaired.
 
This program will outline the role and responsibility of supervisors in the application of a  Fit for Duty Policy  and how to handle situations in which a supervisor suspects an employee may be impaired.
 
Participants will receive an Impairment Checklist and will also learn how to respond to employees who may challenge them based on cannabis legalization and prescriptions.
 
 
Cost - $99
Winter 2019 Programs

We support your growth by building your skills!

Our training is catered to the construction industry with its content, scheduling, and instructors. We offer Gold Seal accreditation, relevant material, accessible classes and Certificate Programs.

Check out our training programs for the 2019 season HERE
APPRENTICESHIP AWARD WINNERS
Each year MERIT awards two $1000 bursaries to apprentices that have achieved excellence in their apprenticeship training. With over 350 tuition refunds provided annually to member apprentices, it is indeed an accomplishment to be at the top of the list.

Join us in congratulating this year's recipeinets. They will receive their awards and recognition at the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship Commission's awards event November 2 in Regina.
REAGAN LOW is a second year plumbing apprentice, employed with Precision Plumbing and Heating in Prince Albert. After completing Sask PolyTechnic’s Mechanical Engineering Technology diploma, Reagan decided he wanted to learn more about the mechanical trade. Clearly his educational background was an asset to him as he passed his first level with an outstanding average of 90%, putting him at the top of the MERIT Saskatchewan Education Bursary recipients for 2017/2018.
Derrick Chelle is employed by Banff Constructors and recently completed his level 4 Carpentry. Spurred on by his love of 'building stuff' Derrick enrolled in the Carpentry program where he was able to take advantage of the woodworking aspect of this very broad field. In his down time Derrick enjoys lake life, board sports and spending time with family and friends and has a very special spot for his K9 bud Hank. Even with his busy lifestyle Derrick was able to excel in the program and finished with an impressive 94%.
REFER A MEMBER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN
We invite you to send us the names of any open shop construction companies you feel would benefit from being a member of MERIT.  We accept all referrals as long as the company has at least 3 field employees and is directly involved in the construction industry.

What’s in it for you?  If your referral ends up becoming a MERIT member, then we will give you a $250 VISA gift card  PLUS  you’ll get an entry for a fly-in fishing trip for 2 in beautiful Northern Saskatchewan. The draw will be made at the end of 2018 for travel in 2019.

EMAIL  us today with your referral and next summer you could be fly-in fishing!
MEET OUR TEAM

Doug Price and Brittany Kugler are the MERIT Member Services team. They work tirelessly to provide world-class service to each MERIT member. They are also entrusted with responsibility of acquiring new members and introducing them to the many benefits enjoyed by MERIT members.
Member Services Coordinator
Doug Price joined MERIT Saskatchewan on December 1, 2012. Located in Regina, he works in the southern region promoting MERITto the industry and connecting with our existing members.

Doug's history in sales is vast and the knowledge he brought with him has benefited MERIT tremendously. Over his career he has been a banker, an insurance company executive, a crown corporation president, and a senior investment advisor.

Doug has always been active in sports, from football and rugby in his earlier years, to cross country skiing, curling and golfing now. He sets a great example for everyone on the MERIT team by religiously heading to the gym every morning before work.

Doug is an inspiration to all in his dedication to our members and their employees. As he says, "it's my passion for my work that keeps me young"!
Member Services Representative
Brittany Kugler joined MERIT on July 31, 2017 as our Office Manager.

Just a few short months later, Brittany transitioned to the role of Member Services Rep for the northern region.
 
Brittany was born and raised in Prince Albert but has been living in Saskatoon for 10 years. Her previous position was as a Physician Recruiter for the province, which gave her a great set of selling skills.

Brittany’s number one priority is her daughter, Lily. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, travelling, reading endless amounts of books, and camping.
 
While Brittany admittedly is not great with tools, she comes from a family of contractors and knows how important the open-shop movement is in the construction industry.  She’s been a great asset to MERIT as we look for ways to better serve our members.
#SPOTMERIT PHOTO CONTEST
Here's your chance to win a bundle of MERIT swag.

It's fun and easy! To celebrate our 30 years we are rolling out our #spotmerit contest. Take a stroll around town. If you see this sign on a fence you know that a MERIT member is proudly working.

Here's how the contest works:

  • Follow @meritsask on twitter or Merit Contractors Association Saskatchewan on Facebook
  • Find a MERIT sign and take a selfie - there is NO limit! You can selfie at each and every sign you spot!
  • Upload your photo using the hashtag #spotmerit
  • You will automatically be entered into our draw to win the swag
  • Feel like cheating? Tell your employer to request a sign to display at one of your sites - create your own location to #spotmerit

Contest starts today, August 31st, and end October 31st, 2018! We look forward to all of the creative entries.
JOIN OUR SOCIAL FOLLOWING
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