FREQUENTLY ASKED

QUESTIONS

Because many of these questions refer you to the district office, please check the link on this website for District Offices which provides addresses and phone numbers.

Membership/Joining

How do I become a member of Local 18, and how much does it cost?
Contact your local district office for up-to-date information.

If I am currently working for a non-union contractor, how can I help organize the company to become a union contractor?
Your local district office will put you in touch with the appropriate organizer who can help you.

Who do I call when I have a change of address?
Call your district office and the Ohio Operating Engineers Health & Welfare office (800) 282-1767.

Why do I need a new registration card when I work more than 30 days?
The referral system states you may work a total of 31 accumulative days on the same registration card (page 15 of the current Ohio Highway Heavy Agreement).

When do I pay registration and what happens if I’m late?
Registration fees are good for 30 consecutive days. If the fees are not paid by the end of the 30th day, your card will be pulled from the deck and you will need to fill out a new card. At that time, a new registration fee is paid. Your receipt shows the date that your registration is paid through.

Will I be a member when I pay this registration?
No. Certain other criteria must be fulfilled.

When can I check my status on the out-of-work list?
You will be given your approximate position when you call the district office during non-dispatch hours, between noon and 2 p.m.

How can I find out what jobs are coming up and when?
This information is given out at regular membership meetings that are held the second Monday of each month at 7:30 pm. in each district and also at satellite meetings held throughout the state. Check the Buckeye Engineer newsletter for one in your area.

Can I register on the out-of-work list in more than one district at a time?
Referral rules allow registration in only one district at a time.

Must I register when laid off if I am going back to the same company next year?
Yes. In the event the state’s unemployment department checks availability for work, the union can only state someone is out of work if that individual is on the out-of-work list.

What do I need to do if a contractor I worked for previously contacts me directly to return to work?
You have recall rights for 24 months with a contractor. You must notify your district office within 24 hours. You can leave a message if it is outside business hours.

How can I restrict my card to areas where I want to work?
Only by counties and only in writing. Restrictions must be phrased in the negative. (“Do not call me for ….. counties.”)

Why do I have to take my card out of the deck when I am working out-of-state?
Because you are gainfully employed elsewhere, and not available for work.

How many times can I refuse a job before my registration card goes to the back of deck?
After the second consecutive refusal, your card goes to the back of the deck.

Can I work outside of the local and remain registered in Local 18?
No. You would not be deemed an applicant and registered in the deck if you are gainfully employed as an Operating Engineer.

Training

How do I apply for the apprenticeship program?
You can apply in person at a training site two weeks of the year, usually the last week of January and the first week of February. Click here for current dates, times and application locations.

Where can I get a copy of the apprenticeship training schedule?
At the local training site office, in the Buckeye Engineer newsletter or online at local18training.net.

When am I eligible to train at the training site?
After you reach 250 hours of employment with a signatory employer of Local 18.

Can I schedule training classes through the district office?
Members can contact the training center directly to sign up for classes.

Do I need a CCO to operate cranes?
Yes, when it is a requirement at certain job sites or when required by the employer.

Who do I contact if I wish to take a test to obtain my Stationary Engineer’s license?
The state examiner’s office in Columbus at (800) 686-1524.

Does Local 18S accept resumes?
Yes. Resumes are accepted from individuals seeking employment as high and low pressure operators. If a position becomes available within an area covered by a Local 18S collective bargaining agreement, the employer is notified so the qualifications being requested can be matched to the proper individual.

Is Local 18S a hiring hall?
No. Members work under a collective bargaining agreement between employer and Local 18S.

Dues

What are the dues rates and when is the next increase to go into effect?
Contact headquarters, your district office or check the Local 18 newsletter.

I currently am not working due to an extended illness, accident or retirement. Am I eligible for a reduction in my quarterly union dues?
Yes. Contact your district office for information about eligibility and to obtain the appropriate paperwork. For retirement, contact your district office for your options.

What is the difference between the dues deducted from my paycheck and the quarterly dues I pay to the union?
Administrative dues are withheld from your paycheck when you are working. Quarterly dues, payable to the union, are your responsibility whether you are working or not.

Where can I pay my union dues? Can I pay by phone?
You can pay by mail or walk in at any of the district offices. Dues also can be mailed to the headquarters office at 3515 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44115. Only cash, checks or money orders are accepted at the above locations. Credit cards are not accepted.

Why didn’t I receive a bill for my quarterly dues payment?
When dues payments are received in the headquarters office by mail or via the district office, a receipt is mailed to the member accompanied with a dues sticker and new membership card. This receipt also includes the next payment date and amount.

What if I don’t pay my quarterly union dues on time?
Contact your district office for information about being in arrears.

Will I receive a year-end statement of union dues paid for the year for tax purposes?
No. Save all your pay stubs and dues receipts.

Can I pay my quarterly dues in advance?
Yes. Call your district office or headquarters to obtain the amount prior to mailing payment, in case of a dues adjustment.

What is the advantage of going on reduced dues rather than taking an honorable withdrawal?
With reduced dues, you remain a current member and still are eligible for the death benefit, with the exception of 18S members who do not receive death benefits.

Are union dues used for political purposes?
No. Local 18 does not use union dues for political purposes.

How do I find out what I owe in dues?
Contact your district office or headquarters and ask for the amount owed. Your dues card and/or receipt will show your current dues status.

When I’m laid off from an employer with dues check-off, am I still responsible for paying quarterly dues?
Yes.

Benefits

Whom do I contact for fringe benefit questions?
The Ohio Operating Engineers Health & Welfare office in Columbus can be reached at (614) 488-0708 or (800) 282-1767.

How do I obtain forms or information on scholarship reimbursement?
Contact the Ohio Operating Engineers Health & Welfare office or your district office to request forms or information. Applications are taken between January 1 and April 1 of each year.

Medical Reimbursement Account

What is the Medical Reimbursement Account (MRA)?
This is an account in which 50¢ an hour is contributed on your behalf to cover deductible co-pays or prescriptions, and dental, optical and medical exams. Forms are available though the Health & Welfare office or your district office and invoices should be submitted to them for reimbursement.

Who do I contact regarding my MRA?
The Ohio Operating Engineers Health & Welfare Fund.

Where do I send my bill to get reimbursement from my MRA account?
Send it to the Ohio Operating Engineers Health & Welfare Plan, P.O. Box 12009, Columbus, OH 43212-0009. If you have questions, the phone number is listed above.

Death Benefits

My family situation has changed since I last updated my beneficiary cards. What should I do?
If it has changed, be sure to ask your district office for a new beneficiary designation card and file it with the necessary district office. In many cases, members have more than one benefit based on their membership so also check with the Health & Welfare office. Each of these benefit funds is separate and administered separately. Changing the beneficiary with one DOES NOT change the others.

Which office should I contact if I have questions regarding my death benefits, need to change my beneficiary or need to report a death?
Both the Health & Welfare office in Columbus and the headquarters office in Cleveland.

Does the union provide life insurance?
All members of Local 18 and its branches, with the exception of 18S, have group life insurance through Anthem Life Insurance Company, as long as you are a member in good standing. This plan is for term insurance, payable to the member’s designated beneficiary upon death.

Contractors

What are the current pay rates for a specific area?
Contact the appropriate district office and be specific as to the agreement working under, job type and location in order to receive the proper pay and fringe contribution rates.

I am a contractor and interested in making my company a union contractor. Who can I talk to in my area to take such action?
Your local district office will refer you to the appropriate organizer who can assist you.

How do I get employees for my project?
Contact the district office that covers the county your project is in. Ask for the dispatcher and give specific details of the equipment, project and operator needed.

Can I move operators to a job in another district in Local 18’s jurisdiction?
Yes.

Can I seek specific individuals?
The contract has provisions for that.

General

Why does the Operating Engineers steam gauge logo point to “420?”
When steam was used to operate heavy equipment, 420 pounds was the operating pressure that was needed.

What are the phone numbers for International Headquarters? The Central Pension Plan?
International (202) 429-9100  Central Pension Fund  (202) 362-1000

Which district is responsible for a specific county?
Contact headquarters, your local district office or check this website.

How many hours can a retiree work before his or her pension is affected?
40 hours a month by current law. Contact the Health & Welfare office to confirm.

I am thinking about retiring. How is my pension determined?
Contact the Health & Welfare office, Pension Department for information.

Do I have to keep paying dues when I retire?
Contact your district representative for the options open to you.

What do the following initials stand for?
NLRB – National Labor Relations Board
SERB – State Employment Relations Board
DOL – Department of Labor