This section is from the "Modern Machine Shop Construction, Equipment, And Management" book, by Oscar E. Perrigo. Also see Amazon: Modern Machine Shop Construction, Equipment, And Management.
The necessity of such an organization. Sick benefits. The lodge method. Death claims. Accidents and sickness. Economy of the proposed system. The general plan. The physician. Officers of the association and their duties. Business meetings. Weekly dues. Classification of members. Table of classes, dues, and treasury receipts. Rate of weekly benefits. Suspensions of the payment of dues. Simplicity of the plan.
Necessity and value of such an emergency department. Under supervision of the physician of the Mutual Aid Association. His duty as an inspector. Liability to injury. Necessity of prompt attention. A case in point. Simplicity of the work. Emergency room, its work and its equipment. Medicine cabinet. Instruments. Portable case. Electric call bell. First cost. Economy of maintenance in proportion to benefits conferred.
Shop conditions. Necessity of a shop reading room. Its value to both employer and the employees. The class of reading matter desirable. Technical publications. The employers' opportunity. The room necessary. Politics to be avoided. Circulating technical publications. Lectures and shop talks on pertinent subjects. Lessons in mechanical drawing and plane geometry. The spirit of the unity of interests.
Good reasons for its organization. The progressive manufacturer. The room necessary. Cold lunches. Practical utility. A noonday restaurant. Plan of management. The Menu. Kitchen equipment. Practical advantages. Expenses of maintenance.
The fact that in the lives of all employees of shops and factories, in common with other people, come periods of illness and times of accidental injury, incapacitating them from following their usual avocations, and coming unexpectedly, as they do, often find them unprepared financially for such a loss of revenue and the additional expenses incident thereto, is the strong argument of the insurance companies' agents in seeking that class of their business which promises "sick benefits" and assistance in cases of accident. There is no doubt that such insurance often does much good in assisting the person during the time when he is incapacitated from performing his customary work.
But, that the usual methods of insuring in this manner are the most economical is certainly an open question, and many there are who do not believe that it is. Again, the form of mutual insurance in lodges, many of which form a larger superior body, or grand lodge, and several of these again forming a supreme body, while they may be an improvement in some respects, do not seem to meet all the requirements, as may be readily seen from the fact that once in a while we hear of these organizations going to pieces, and the persons who have faithfully paid in their money year after year find it swept out of existence so far as their interests are concerned. While it is true that this form concerns more particularly the death claims, yet it does also affect those for sickness or accidental injuries as well. It is true, however, that this plan is more economical to administer than the first plan, yet it still has too great administrative expenses, which may be avoided by the plan here proposed. It also has the disadvantage that in some parts of a large field of operations more money will be required for claims than in other parts, and consequently the healthier portions must be drawn upon to make up the deficiencies of the less favored localities.
So far as financial assistance in cases of accident is concerned, it would seem best that each organization, as the employees of one shop or manufactory, for instance, should stand alone, and by mutual assistance realize the greatest measure of benefit with the least possible outlay for administrative expenses. There is no good reason why the same should not hold good in the cases of sickness. By this plan there will be a much greater degree of confidence among the subscribers or members, inasmuch as they all usually know each other, elect their own officers, and fix the dues, benefits, and general policy of the organization. Abundant instances of the success of such an organization are at hand.
The plan here recommended is one, with a few modifications, with which the author was connected, and which succeeded beyond the expectations of its organizers, for many years. Briefly the plan is this. To organize a Mutual Aid Association, confined to the employees, male and female, of one company, firm, or corporation, who subscribe to its constitution and by-laws, agreeing to pay into its treasury stated amounts in proportion to their weekly pay, as dues or premiums, in accordance therewith. In consideration of these payments they are to receive, when ill or disabled by injuries, a certain proportion of their weekly pay, and also the attendance of a physician selected and paid by the association, if they desire his services.
The officers are a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer; also an auditing committee of three members. The dues of the secretary and treasurer are remitted in consideration of their services. No salaries are paid except to the physician, who is not a member of the society. In small societies one person may fill both offices of secretary and treasurer. Where there are female members they should be represented in the board of officers. Business meetings are held once in three months, at which the officers report the business done during the preceding quarter. The proprietors of the concern will usually furnish a room in which the meetings may be held.
The dues per week are one half of one per cent of the weekly pay, as being convenient to calculate. Thus each member pays a half cent for each dollar of weekly pay. If the pay is not in even dollars the next even dollar above the amount is taken as a basis in fixing the amount of dues. For convenience, the dues are collected once in four weeks (not monthly). The benefit paid after the first week of illness or injury is one half the weekly pay, reckoning fractions of a dollar of pay the same as in fixing the amount of dues.
For a society of five hundred members a physician will usually contract to attend such members as desire his services for $250 per year.
From the foregoing facts we may see that in a shop with five hundred employees, divided into classes as to amount of pay, the amounts collected will be as shown in the following table:
EMPLOYEES IN EACH CLASS.
TOTAL WEEKLY DUES.
This gives us $25.87 per week for the payment of claims. Experience proves that there will seldom be as many as three persons in the five hundred members receiving aid at any one time, and the number is usually considerably less.
The amount of the aid or benefit paid being one half the weekly pay, it will be found upon calculation to average $5.62 per week, or $16.86 for three beneficiaries, which will leave a liberal balance for unusual calls, as well as for the payment of a physician, this balance being $218.00.
Whenever the funds accumulate in the treasury to an amount over $300, the collection of all dues ceases until the amount is reduced to that figure.
It will be seen that the plan and its administration is very simple, and in this, in a great measure, lies its success, while the mutual interest of all its members insures its smooth working and efficiency. Upon organizing such a society each member pays as an entrance fee the first four weeks' dues, and benefits commence as soon as occasion demands.