|VP Cavanaugh engaged in cover-up.|
An informed source says Review Officer (RO) Dennis Walsh is "reserving judgment" on whether to charge Vice President Michael Cavanaugh for his role and participation in the illegal allocation of a wage increase into the Welfare Fund.
On Monday April 29, 2013 Carpenter boss Michael Bilello was booted from his post by the court appointed RO for violating several union rules — including directing a July 1, 2012 wage increase for Hod Hoist carpenters into the Welfare Fund without proper authorization and concealing it from the membership and delegate body.
Back in March, local157blogspot broke the story that Bilello "illegally diverted millions of dollars of a contractual raise into the welfare fund and now may face a possible veto by the Review Officer.
Bilello concealed the wage allocation to the welfare fund from the membership and delegate body and it now appears that his highly paid assistant Michael Cavanaugh participated in the scheme and engaged in the cover-up by also withholding this vital information from the membership and delegate body.
According to the "Notice of Veto," we learned that on June 28, 2012 Bilello and Cavanaugh signed a document titled “Rate Increase Allocation” (see picture left) in which the amount of $2.59 an hour was directed to the Welfare Fund for each hour worked by members covered under the Hoisting & Scaffolding Trade Association, Inc. (“HASTA”) CBA, in violation of Section 21 of the District Council bylaws which gives the Delegate Body the sole power to decide all allocations to the various benefit funds.
Cavanaugh wasn’t charged in the case — which followed a lengthy investigation by Jack N. Mitchell, the Chief Investigator for the RO, — but when asked whether the vice president should have been, several members and delegates told local157blogspot, “In a way, yes.”
“In my opinion, he knew what was going on, he signed off on the illegal wage allocation, he had a duty to report it, he concealed it and he should be held responsible," members told us.
The Rate Increase Allocation document was put in place by the UBC during the emergency supervision, the document requires a counter signature as a check and balance and is used to create a schedule of wages and benefits that is sent to contractors so that the contractors pay the appropriate wages and benefits.
Since July 1, 2012 Hod Hoist carpenters working under the HASTA CBA are being discriminated against and forced to pay a higher rate for their welfare coverage. The majority of the membership pays $11.25 per hour for health coverage, while Hoist carpenters now pay $13.84 per hour, an increase of $2.59 for the same health coverage.
Private sector unionized employees can get health and other benefits through a Taft-Hartley Mufti-Employer Health and Welfare Plan.
Taft Hartley trust funds and the assets of the funds are managed by a board of trustees. Management and labor are equally represented on the board. The trustees have several responsibilities including, among other things, balancing the interests of the fund and its members, fiduciary responsibilities for the assets of the fund and financial management of the plan's income, expenses, and reserves.
Rank and fliers told local157blogspot they plan on contacting the Inspector Generals office challenging the legality of members paying higher rates for health coverage and demanding a full investigation and have charges filed against Cavanaugh and any others involved.