California law allows unions and employers to provide an alternate workers’ compensation program that replaces, through collective bargaining, much of the overburdened and litigious state administered workers’ compensation system.
The Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, the Northern California District Council of Laborers, and the Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3 have joined together to negotiate an alternate workers’ compensation program with the Associated General Contractors of California, Inc. (“AGC”), the United Contractors (“UCON”), and the Construction Employers Association (“CEA”)..
This program is administered by a joint labor-management trust called the Basic Crafts Workers’ Compensation Benefits Trust Fund. It applies to any member whose employer chooses to sign on to the Basic Crafts Program.
The Basic Crafts Program is designed to provide the following:
1) A better method to resolve disputes, and thus a reduction in the number and severity of disputes between employees and employers regarding work-related injury claims,
2) improved access to quality medical treatment and prompt compensation to those employees claiming work-related injuries,
3) Workers’ compensation insurance coverage that improves labor management relationships, job security and organizational effectiveness, and
4) Long-term achievement of these goals.
With the provision of prompt access to quality medical care and immediate access to an Ombudsman, injured union members will have immediate access to a workers’ compensation professional that will provide aid and counsel free of charge. Claims in the traditional system often tend to drag on, while the member is waiting to receive the medical treatment necessary to recover and return to work. These circumstances frequently lead to unnecessary antagonism between the parties and otherwise avoidable litigation.
The Ombudsman provides a mechanism whereby this frequent delay in the provision of treatment and benefits, and the resulting lost work time, is significantly minimized. Treatment and benefits are delivered promptly and are carefully monitored by the Basic Crafts professional staff. The Ombudsman will intervene before things escalate. Less lost time means not only fewer lost wages for the injured worker, but it also means a reduction in the losses applied to the employer’s account and thus a reduction in its loss-ratio, experience modification, and thus a reduction in premium amounts over the following years.
265 Hegenberger Road
Oakland, CA 94621
Phone: (510) 568-5920
Fax: (510) 568-5279
Practicing under the Basic Crafts's ADR
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