To view the Criteria and Guidelines document click here.
There are several important reasons why AFGE Districts, Councils and Locals must adhere to these policies, and this letter is intended to address these issues in the best interest of the Federation, its officers and members.
At the NEC meeting in November 1996, the NEC adopted the following resolution which makes clear that officers of AFGE affiliates will violate the NEC's insurance policy in the future at their own risk:
In the event of legal action, the AFGE National Office will not defend any elected officer at any level, or agent thereof, who willfully: has entered into a contract of insurance in violation of the NEC's Criteria and Guidelines, has otherwise violated the NEC established policy as stated in the Criteria and Guidelines, or has actively encouraged locals to violate the NEC established policy as stated in the Criteria and Guidelines.
The insurance industry is highly regulated and is subject to many federal and state laws. An insurance program's compliance with such laws, as well as its consistency with the fiduciary obligations of AFGE and its affiliates, must be established prior to implementation. This is the function of the NEC's Insurance Committee with the assistance of the Office of General Counsel. AFGE's experience has shown, in this regard, that reliance upon an insurance company representative to determine the propriety or legal sufficiency of an insurance program serving our members is often misplaced, because an insurance company representative (whose livelihood is dependent upon commissions) has a perspective and priorities that may well be different from those of AFGE and our members.
For example, two of the criteria set forth in the policy require that a program include an indemnification agreement (Hold Harmless Agreement) to shield an affiliate's officers and members from liability and a commitment from the insurance company to pay all legal and approval costs incurred in the evaluation of the proposed plan so as to preserve the affiliate's scarce resources. The typical proposal from an insurance company rarely includes such protections for our members, which AFGE's fiduciary responsibility demands.
As a result, the NEC policy regarding any insurance program that is being marketed to AFGE members requires that any such program must first be recommended by the Insurance Committee of the NEC and then approved by the NEC. If an unapproved insurance program is being sold to the members you represent, you must take immediate steps to seek approval for that insurance program, as specified in the Criteria and Guidelines. Detailed instructions are available under ‘Member Benefits’ in the 'Insurance' section on the AFGE web site.
AFGE Officers’ compliance with the NEC's Criteria and Guidelines is a critical part of providing representation to government employees. It is a mechanism to avoid personal liability and bad faith among our members, as well as to assure the best possible insurance programs for AFGE's members.
For a list of the insurance programs that have earned Federation-wide or District-wide NEC authorization, please visit the Member Benefits section on the AFGE website under “Insurance.”
If you have any questions, or require further guidance on this matter, please contact Mark Williams, National Benefits Coordinator in the Membership and Organization Department by calling 202-639-6483.