About the trust

The USW 8782 Retiree Benefits Trust provides healthcare benefits and life insurance for retirees of USW 8782 Lake Erie Works. The Trust also covers spouses and other eligible dependants of retirees.

The Trust, officially called the USW Local 8782 ELHT, was established on October 1, 2017, when it assumed the responsibility from Stelco for managing the retiree healthcare benefits plan.

The management of the Trust is overseen by four trustees.

These four trustees were chosen based on their extensive professional experience with the union, benefits plans, investment management, labour relations, and financial matters. It's their job to ensure that the Trust is managed effectively on behalf of the plan members—and that it continues to provide meaningful benefits coverage well into the future.


Why create a Trust?

The Trust was created as a result of the insolvency proceedings of Stelco and the subsequent purchase by Bedrock Industries Incorporated. In order to ensure the sale and ongoing operations of Stelco, an alternative funding arrangement was needed to reinstate some or all of the members’ retiree benefit plans.

All retired members of Stelco were affected, not only Local 8782 members. Your new Trust is part of a collection of complicated agreements between the government, Bedrock Industries, USW Local 8782 and 1005, the non-union employees and other key stakeholders.

In the end, deciding to establish three separate Trusts – one being your USW 8782 Retiree Benefits Trust – was the best solution for everyone involved, and allowed all interested parties to come to an agreement on how to proceed with the purchase of Stelco. And now the Trust ensures that your benefits are funded annually as per the contractual agreements.

Ideally, the Trust will continue to provide comparable benefits coverage until the last surviving member makes their last claim.

In reality, the Trust will remain active as long as there is money in it and Stelco is able to meet its annual funding commitments. It’s the Trustees’ job to see that the money in the Trust is invested and spent appropriately – in a best effort to ensure that the Trust remains active for as long as members are making claims.


Meet the trustees

As Trustees, it is our job to ensure that the USW 8782 Retiree Benefits Trust is managed and administered effectively on behalf of all plan members. It is an obligation that we take very seriously.


            
 
 
MARK TALBOT
Trust Chair

Mark’s extensive experience was a huge asset in getting the Trust set up, and continues to be an important part of the Trust’s ongoing administration.

Since 1987, Mark has been involved in the Local Union representing the members in all aspects, and has held positions in many areas over the years, including VP, Local 8782 (now retired). He has been part of the bargaining committee in many rounds of Collective Bargaining, including Group Insurance Benefits and Pensions. In 2004, Mark represented the workers in the restructuring of Stelco under the Companies Creditor Arrangement Act.

Most recently, he was part of the committee that represented the workers in the successful restructuring of Stelco. The creation of the USW Local 8782 ELHT (Employee Life and Health Trust) was a key component in the successful restructuring process. Mark was involved in both the bargaining of these benefits and in the day-to-day application.


            
 
 
BILL FERGUSON
Trustee

Bill was President of Local 8782 for twenty years, and an executive member since 1987. Now retired from his union role, he brings a wealth of experience to the Trust.

Over the years, he’s held various roles and responsibilities, including employee welfare coordinator, advocate for employee accommodation in the workplace and human rights, dealing with group benefits, workers compensation, and executive oversight of the Union health and safety group. During the CCAA proceedings, Bill led the union negotiating committee and negotiated contracts for other Steelworker locations in the Haldimand Norfolk region.


            
 
 
ROB NEWSTEAD
Trustee

Rob worked at the Stelco Pickling Plant for 39 years. He is now retired and brings his energy and experience to the Trust.

For the last 14 of his Stelco working years, Rob was Unit Chair, and negotiated five Collective Agreements representing the workers – including Health Care Benefits. Rob was also part of the Committee that negotiated the Employee Life and Health Trust and Collective Agreement, which was instrumental in leading to a successful Stelco restructuring.

Rob’s strong background will help oversee the administration of the Trust in the most cost effective manner, while providing retirees with their healthcare benefits.


            
 
 
RICK BEALE
Trustee

Rick has worked for Stelco for 37 years, and is involved in administrating the Good and Welfare of employees as Co-Chair of the Health and Safety Committee.

He is responsible for ensuring that the applicable Health and Safety legislation and agreements – negotiated within the Collective Agreement – are being implemented and followed. Also, in an effort to avoid steel mill worker injuries, Rick has taken a proactive approach to identifying potential hazards and ergonomic issues.

In the near future, Rick will become a Stelco retiree and a member of the Trust who will rely on receiving these benefits, so he has a personally vested interest in overseeing the Trust’s success.