Women in the Trades often weigh the decision to start a family with a stable career. But the NECA/IBEW Powering America Team in the Pacific Northwest has created an incredible new program that addresses this issue for their families to take care of them during pregnancy, and after delivery.
Women in the Trades come from all walks of life, each with unique professional and personal goals. And while there aren’t many women in the trades, it’s vital to provide not just adequate coverage, but superb coverage for expecting mothers.
The Maternity Benefit Plan is put together by the IBEW, Local 48, The Oregon-Columbia Chapter of NECA, and the Harrison Trust. It includes six months of paid maternity leave, spaced out with 13 weeks of PTO before the expected due date, and 13 weeks after. In addition to paid leave, Female NECA/IBEW Members receive $800 a week in addition to FMLA benefits. The trust also pays health insurance premiums, which means free health insurance coverage for expecting mothers and the entire family in the trades.
The Benefits Package has been received well among members who have started a family while continuing to work. Elizabeth Williams, a NECA/IBEW Apprentice located in Portland, speaks about her experience being a mother and an apprentice; “If I would have gone back to work after six weeks, I would have been missing out on quite a bit. And I would have been a lot more stressed out, but being able to care for him this long and really get to know him and myself as a mother has been amazing.”
And it’s not just women who feel passionate about this Benefits package. Garth Bachman, Business Manager of the IBEW Local 48, took this benefit proposal personally. “My wife had four miscarriages. So [knowing] how delicate pregnancy is, I completely understand. That was part of my driving force in trying to push this.” Family is important to all of IBEW Electricians, and providing Maternity Benefits is a perfect way to celebrate that.
For any woman, who’s considering a career in the electrical industry and doesn’t want to compromise starting a family, We’ve got you. There’s steps in place to make sure that you’re safe while you’re on the job site. And then when you’re ready to stop working, you’ll be supported during your birth.