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which benefit is claimed. In case of the failure of the applicant to report on time, payment will begin with the second day previous to date of application. When the branch or district has secured the services of a medical adviser, the secretary must notify the one belonging to the branch or district in question to visit the member. In case the member is able to visit the surgeon, he is required to do so at least once a fortnight, or as often as necessary, in order to secure a certificate of unfitness for work; otherwise he receives no benefit.
The committee is expected to scrutinize the application of each member, as well as the medical certificate and all other accompanying evidence, and if not satisfied this committee has the power to demand further medical or other evidence, and if thought desirable to send a physician to visit the applicant. The rules specifically state that no member shall be paid until the committee is fully assured of the justice and legality of the claim. When the committee is satisfied, it authorizes the treasurer to make payment after deducting all arrears of contributions, fines, and levies, and all money of any sort due from the member to the society.
When members reside or work outside the district or at a distance, they are expected to make application to the secretary, inclosing their pence book and the medical certificate within fourteen days from the date of such certificate and every two weeks during the illness. In all these cases the benefit is paid from the date of the certificate. No member is entitled to receive any sick benefit for any day that he has worked a part of," nor are members allowed to receive benefit for any period less than three working days. A claim for sick benefit by any member residing in the United Kingdom is considered to have lapsed when not presented within one month. Upon the recovery of the member he immediately notifies the secretary in writing, but the member retains his sick form until the full amount due to him is paid, after which he is obliged to return the sick form, duly signed by the surgeon, and acknowledge in full the sum sent him.
One of the hardest benefits to administer is the unemployed or out-of-work benefit, which frequently involves questions of considerable difficulty. A member is entitled to unemployed benefit when he is thrown out of work under circumstances satisfactory to his local union and when he has continued out of work for six consecutive days. The payment, moreover, is construed to begin from the fourth day after signing the vacant book and may continue for twenty weeks, but no further sums may be paid for unemployment during the next twelve months. The pay for the first ten weeks is at a higher rate than for the last ten weeks. Even after the lapse of the twelve months a member may not again receive benefit of any character unless he has worked at least four weeks in a trade and received the current rate of wages, and he may not receive the higher rate of benefit unless he has had
twelve months clear of this unemployed benefit. Unemployed benefit is not paid for less than three days, the first three days' payment being made at the end of the sixth day after the unemployed man first signs the vacant book.
The rules of the society define unemployment with considerable exactness. An unemployed member must be one who is willing to work, but can not find employment. He is not considered unemployed and is not entitled to receive out-of-work benefit if he left work of his own accord, if he was dismissed for irregularity, if he absented himself without leave (except for sickness), if he was intemperate, if his conduct was imprudent, or if his unemployment resulted from a "captious and voluntary self-dismissal.” A member unable to work by reason of accident, illness, or any disability which would entitle him to sick benefit may not receive out-of-work or idle benefit. If a member out of work and in receipt of unemployed benefit becomes sick, he is removed from the unemployed benefit and placed on the sick roll, and the unemployed benefit is stopped until he is again able to resume work if work is offered. A member does not receive unemployed benefit for the usual holidays of the city or trade, nor for the special holidays given by the firm with which he may be connected. The rules provide, however, that persons in receipt of unemployed benefit before the holidays may have the benefits continued during the holidays.
In order to prevent fraud, the society provides that the applicant for the unemployed benefit must, within forty-eight hours, state in writing to the secretary the cause of his being unemployed and, similarly, must give notice within forty-eight hours of his resumption of work.
The vacant book in which the men sign is a book of uniform pattern in all the local unions. It is kept at some known place which is determined by the local union. During the period of unemployment a member residing within 3 miles of this place must sign his name daily at some time between 9 a. m. and 5 p. m. or forfeit one day's allowance. If he resides from over 3 to 7 miles from the place, he may sign at such intervals as the local union determines, but not less than twice a week. If a member is traveling from one district to another in search of employment, he may receive the benefit in the local union visited by signing the book.
No member is entitled to the sick benefit or the funeral benefit until twelve months from the time that he has paid his initiation fee. If only six months have elapsed, he may receive half this benefit. Members receive the sick benefit when they are unable to follow their usual, or any other, employment through accident or disease, provided the disability has not been brought on by intemperance or other improper action on their part.
Strict rules are prescribed for members while in receipt of benefit. A member who refuses to be visited while sick receives no benefit, and if a visitor has any doubt as to the illness of the member on benefit the committee has the power to send a physician. No member in receipt of a sick benefit is permitted to be out of his residence later than 9 p. m. from April to September, inclusive, or later than 7 p. m. from October to March, inclusive. A fine is levied for disobedience to this rule, and upon the third offense the donation is stopped. A member on the sick list is also fined if found in a state of intoxication. In case a change of residence is necessary for improving the health of a sick member he may leave the town, provided recommendation to that effect is made by the society's surgeon of the district; but notice must first be given to the secretary, who reports the removal at the committee meeting. During his absence from the city a member must report on the state of his health to the secretary at least once in two weeks, and the statement must be attested by the medical attendant of that place, as well as by two respectable householders.
One of the easiest forms of relief to administer is that of the funeral benefit. While it is to be classed as a friendly rather than a trade benefit, it was paid by 87 of the 100 principal unions. As appears from a prior table, the proportion of expenditure in this behalf ranks below that of any other class of benefits. Its uniformity in amount, its definiteness of proof, and the positiveness of its requirement in every instance, and for but a single time, make it possible to adjust rates and costs with greater accuracy than can be done elsewhere. The following table shows the actual sums paid in this connection by the different groups and the total for 100 principal unions:
FUNERAL BENEFITS PAID BY 100 PRINCIPAL TRADE UNIONS IN GREAT BRITAIN,
TOTAL AND BY INDUSTRIES, 1898 TO 1907.
The amounts paid out as funeral benefits by different unions are far from uniform, the Associated Society of Iron Molders (Scotland) paying as much as £30 ($146) in some cases, while some branches of the Amalgamated Cotton Spinners' Association pay but £2 ($9.73). The table below shows the amount paid by 12 important unions on the death of members and of members' wives. The amount expended by these 12 unions accounted for more than one-half the total expenditure on account of funeral benefits in 1907 as shown in the foregoing table. AMOUNT OF FUNERAL BENEFITS PAID BY 12 PRINCIPAL TRADE UNIONS.
(Source: Board of Trade Report on Trade Unions, 1905–1907.)
Inclusive of the amount payable on death of wife. One-third of member's benefit is payable on death of wife, and is deducted from payment on death of member. eThis society also has a fund from which weekly payments are made on account of orphan children.
The average cost per capita for funeral benefits in the above unions was ls. 11d. (47 cents) in 1907, as compared with 1s. 5d. (34 cents) in the remaining 75 unions that paid this benefit. Omitting the unions whose benefits of this class are notably small (the two miners' unions and that of railway servants), the per capita average cost was 2s. 9d. (67 cents).
Trade unions have laid themselves open to the criticism that they have failed to consider duly actuarial facts in the adjustment of their contributions and benefits, while they have of necessity worked under the limitations existing from the lack of authentic tables of expectancy, as has been true of friendly societies. The added difficulty attaching to classes of risks restricted in numbers and peculiarly subject to identical conditions of residence and employment has operated to lead to the embarrassment or dismemberment of the smaller societies, while the larger ones have been compelled to readjust their rates and charges to avoid a similar fate. General statistics of accident and mortality are now available, but the experience of important trade unions possesses for such bodies a value that surpasses the general tables on account of their more accurate reflection of the particular conditions to be met. A few tables showing trade union experience follow.
The first is one showing the deaths per annum of members and members' wives for a period of fifteen years, 1878 to 1902, and the average age at death in the Associated Iron Molders of Scotland. Besides the deaths shown in the table, one apprentice died in 1902, at the age of 18 years.
DEATHS OF MEMBERS AND WIVES OF MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATED IRON
MOLDERS OF SCOTLAND, AND AVERAGE AGE AT DEATH, 1878 TO 1902.
[Source: Monthly report of the Associated Iron Molders of Scotland, January, 1904.)
The Bristol, West of England, and South Wales Operatives' Trade and Provident Society is composed of general laborers, largely agricultural. It was organized in 1873, and had in 1903, 37,269 members. During 1903, 149 members died, the average age being 39 years and 9 months. Their average period of membership was five years and three months.
The following table shows the distribution of these 149 members, according to the number of years of their membership:
AVERAGE LENGTH OF MEMBERSHIP OF 149 MEMBERS OF THE BRISTOL, WEST OF ENGLAND, AND SOUTH WALES OPERATIVES' TRADE AND PROVIDENT SOCIETY WHO DIED IN 1903.
The Steam Engine Makers' Society was organized in 1824, and had 10,001 members in 1903. During that year 95 of its members died, at an average age of 511 years. Sixty-two wives of members died during this year, at an average age of 51} years.
From 1856 to 1902, inclusive, 352 members of this society died in receipt of superannuation benefits, their average age being 69 years and 2 months, and the average length of their superannuation period 5 years 74 months. But 2 members were under 55 years of age at death, and 15 between 55 and 60; 78 were 60 or under 65; 83, 65 or