Originally Posted by MechanicallyInclined
Your numbers assume a 1,920 hours worked, which is essentially a full year (48 weeks at 40 hours each).
Here are some real numbers for an average member in a given local:
Average number of hours worked per member in 2006, same local: 1,202 (48 weeks at 25 hours each)
Average number of hours worked per member in 2011, in that local: 830 (48 weeks at 17.3 hours each)
Both are significantly less than your assumption, and may not qualify for a full pension credit or provide enough hours to cover quarterly health insurance requirements in that local.
Using the actual total wage package dollars per hour (inluding benefits/fringe), this means that the average working member earned $64,835 in 2006 and that same member earned $54,589 in 2011.
If the bennies are subtracted, this leaves $43,884 for 2006 W-2 wages and $34,598 for 2011 W-2 wages (average for both years).
Fringe benefits were $20,951 in 2006 ($17.43 per hour x 1,202 hours) and $20,023 in 2011 ($24.11 per hour x 830 hours). Yes, the health and pension costs have gone up a bit. This is the part of union wages that employers see. The increase in per hour benefits helps to cover the reduction in hours worked, keeping the funds solvent. Some of these benefit amounts may be reported and taxed as income under "ObamaCare".
In comparison, the average of reported Local Officer gross salary disbursement (W-2 wages) in 2006 was $106,382 and in 2011 it was $109,518. Officer bennies paid to the International have also increased dramatically.
Officer wages and bennies are paid out of the dues and fees collected, substantially paid by rank and file members, but rank and file members cannot easily (if at all) reduce the number of union officers or bennies. Union dues are easily increased though.
On the other hand, as the union wage package increases, employers may lose out on bids and the number of hours worked goes down. Employers may go out of business.
Union dues and fees paid in 2005 by the average member: $958.00 (about 2.4% of W-2 wages)
Union dues and fees paid in 2011 by the average member: $1585.00 (about 4.6% of W-2 wages)
The average number of hours worked is determined by taking the total number of reported man hours and dividing it by the total number of reported members on 12/31/(year). While this may not be 100% accurate, the pattern closely mimics the total number of hours needed to qualify for a 1 year pension credit in this particular local.
This information can be extracted from union LM2 forms and annual wage sheets.
Just like a 401(k) plan, union retirement benefits are good only if the union or fund is solvent when it is time for you to collect. A basic search for union pension plan funding will tell you that rank and file member plans are typically underfunded or dangerously underfunded while union officer pension plans are fully funded. Hmmm.