District 15 has a long history of representing the highly skilled mechanics employed in the trucking industry throughout the greater New York City Metropolitan area. These members provide an essential skill that keeps our regional economy strong but as negotiations heated up earlier this year, the industry mounted an effort to weaken our members' hard fought benefits package. Specifically, our members excellent medical coverage provided by the District 15 Health & Welfare Fund came under attack. The trucking companies promised similar benefits, but our members would not budge and even authorized a strike over the issue. Their resolve was easy to understand; as a union plan, the District 15 Fund is managed by and for our members and has a long history of providing excellent benefits and steady predictable rates. With a conservative strategy lead by a board of trustees made up equally of union and management representatives, the District 15 Health Fund has strong reserves and doesn't attempt to profit on the premiums paid by our members and their employers. Due to the patient solidarity of our 325 plus truck leasing brothers and sisters, management finally realized how important quality health care is to our members. On February 4th, a new 3 year agreement was signed and it not only protected our members strong health care benefits, but also included annual 3% increases in wages and pension contributions.
Congratulations for this excellent agreement go out to all involved, with special recognition to our members and stewards whose unity allowed us to complete a progressive and successful agreement with our truck leasing industry employers. Thanks and credit also go to constant support of DBR James Conigliaro and the tireless work of the entire negotiating team: District 15 ADBR Juan Negron, Lodge 447 ADBR Robert Motisi, General Counsel James Conigliaro, Jr. and BR's Dominic Taibbi, Norman Brown and Dave Isabel.