Code of Ethics Policy for PJSTA Local Leaders and Benefit Fund Trustees Provided by the PJSTA Welfare Benefits Fund
This document provides a Code of Ethics for the PJSTA’s benefit fund’s business affairs and is intended to keep the PJSTA free from conflicts of interest. It is intended to serve as a general guide for local leaders and benefit fund trustees in evaluating the propriety of certain conduct and in determining what conduct is prohibited. However, this document should not be relied upon as an exclusive or comprehensive list of applicable legal, regulatory, or fiduciary requirements of conduct.
It does not attempt to specify or replace every possible activity that might be inappropriate, or prohibited, under federal and state applicable laws and regulations governing
not-for-profit organizations. The standards of conduct set forth herein, are in addition to the standards imposed by any such law, rule, or regulation and should be read, interpreted, and
enforced in conjunction with other established policies.
In addition, any federal or state law requirements pertaining to the filing of financial
disclosure forms by local leaders and benefit fund trustees shall continue to apply.
The Code of Ethics applies to all local leadership and benefit fund trustees
as well as their Service Providers.
Local leaders and benefit fund trustees must recognize that they should maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct, exemplified by adherence to fundamental principles.
Local leaders and benefit fund trustees shall:
- foster an environment of trust, integrity, transparency, and accountability in the management and operations of the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund;
- recognize and accept their obligation to honestly and prudently manage the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund for the exclusive benefit of its members, participants, and beneficiaries;
- adhere to all policies governing the disclosure of information regarding the relationship between the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund;
- at all times be mindful of their duties of care and loyalty to the PJSTA, its Welfare Fund, and its members, participants, and beneficiaries;
- not use their positions with the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund, or any knowledge gained from their positions, for their personal benefit; and
- comply fully with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations and shall ensure that appropriate policies, procedures, and control systems are in place to assure that the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund complies with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
A conflict of interest arises whenever a local leader or benefit fund trustee has an interest with an individual or organization that has, or is seeking to enter into, a transaction, arrangement or other relationship with the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund, including, without limitation, an endorsement arrangement, or stands to obtain a benefit there from. Conflicts of interest or the “appearance” of a conflict of interest should be avoided.
A conflict of interest may also arise as a result of a personal or professional relationship
between a local leader or benefit fund trustee and third parties; commonly referred to as a related-party transaction. For example, a conflict of interest may arise when a related party has an interest in an organization that wishes to do business with the local association or benefit fund. In such cases, the interest of the related party will be revealed to the local leadership or benefit fund trustees and the conflict of interest proscriptions in this Code of Ethics will apply to both.
A general summary of the restraints upon the conduct of the leaders of the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund trustees include, but are not limited to, the following:
- No local leader, or benefit fund trustee, or related party shall solicit or accept anything of value from anyone doing business with the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund or seeking to do business with the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund, except that nothing contained in this Code shall prohibit a local leader or benefit fund trustee, or related party from accepting 1) a good or service on terms generally available to members of the public, or 2) a gift that is customary on family and social occasions from a family member or a person who is a friend under circumstances in which it is clear that the gift is unrelated to the recipient’s status as a local leader or benefit fund trustee;
- No local leader or benefit fund trustee shall use his or her position to obtain a benefit for himself, herself, or a related party from the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund (other than a benefit to which he or she is entitled as a member of the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund pursuant to rules and regulations of the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund applicable to all members);
- No local leader or benefit fund trustee shall solicit or accept employment from anyone doing business or seeking to do business with the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund, unless the local leader or benefit fund trustee completely withdraws from the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund activity regarding the party offering employment;
- No local leader or benefit fund trustee shall be paid or accept from any party compensation for personal services rendered in connection with a matter before, or expected to come before, the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund;
- No local leader, benefit fund trustee, or related party shall sell goods or services to the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund;
- No local leader, benefit fund trustee, or related party shall hold or benefit from a contract with, authorized by, or approved by, the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund (except that a leader or trustee who is a participant in the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund may receive a benefit provided or endorsed by the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund for which he or she is eligible under the terms generally applicable to participants);
- No local leader or benefit fund trustee shall vote, authorize, recommend, or in any other way use his or her position to secure approval of a contract with the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund (including employment or personal services) in which the local leader, benefit fund trustee, related party, or anyone with whom the local leader or trustee has a business or employment relationship, or interest in (including a related-party transaction);
- No local leader or benefit fund trustee shall disclose any confidential information concerning the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund or its service providers that is obtained as a result of the performance of his or her duties and that is not otherwise available to the public or use such information to advance any direct or indirect financial or other private interest or any other person or firm;
- No local leader or benefit fund trustee shall use any property or resources of the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund for personal gain. For purposes of this Code, property or resources shall include physical assets such as equipment, furniture, supplies and facilities; computer hardware and software; financial resources; human resources such as staff time; and intangible assets such as good will; and
- No local leader or benefit fund trustee shall fail to adhere to all the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund policies governing the disclosure of information regarding the relationship between the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund and providers of products or programs.
The PJSTA and its Welfare Fund may contract for services with banks, printing companies, copier companies, real estate entities, caterers, etc. In addition to the aforementioned services, benefit coverage, such as insurance or financial services that are offered to members and that charge participants fees for these services would also be considered service providers.
It is recommended that no Service Provider shall:
- Receive as compensation for business with the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund, anything other than direct, hard-dollar compensation from the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund for actual services provided; and
- Provide a gift to a local leader or benefit fund trustee or related person.
Service Providers are required to disclose to the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund, among other things, the following information:
- Any finder’s fees, commissions, or similar payments made by, or on behalf of, the Service Provider to anyone as consideration for the placement of business with the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund (other than commissions paid to an employee of the Service Provider as an element of such employee’s regular compensation);
- Any travel or other expenses paid for or otherwise provided to local leaders or benefit fund trustees;
- Any other direct or indirect benefit(s) provided by the Service Provider or a Service Provider’s related party to a local leader or benefit fund trustee (other than a benefit generally available to members of the general public); and
- Any other actual or perceived conflicts of interest not previously identified.
Local leaders or benefit fund trustees are not prohibited from attending an event sponsored or underwritten by a Service Provider or prospective Service Provider at or in connection with a conference or convention, provided that such event is generally open to all PJSTA members or members of the PJSTA attending the conference or convention. Local leaders should not attend a special event that a vendor is hosting to attract new business.
Local leaders and benefit fund trustees who become aware that they have a
conflict of interest have a duty, not only to disclose that conflict to the PJSTA leadership, but to cure it, if a cure is required. A person normally cures a conflict of interest by either promptly eliminating the conflict or refraining from taking action on a particular PJSTA or PJSTA Welfare Fund matter as to which a conflict exists, provided that, in the case of refraining from acting:
- The person may be and is effectively separated from influencing the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund action taken;
- The action may properly be taken by others; and
- The nature of the conflict is not such that the person must regularly and consistently
withdraw from decisions that are normally his or her responsibility with respect to the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund.
A local leader or benefit fund trustee who cannot, or does not wish to, eliminate the conflict or refrain from taking action should either terminate the outside interest or activity generating the conflict or, in an extreme case when that is not practical or the person declines to do so, terminate the relationship with the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund as quickly as is responsibly and legally possible.
A local leader or benefit fund trustee who knows or reasonably suspects that a violation of this Code of Ethics has occurred should report the matter to the leadership of the PJSTA. The PJSTA and its Welfare Fund is not allowed to discriminate or retaliate against any person who, in good faith, reports possible violations of this Code. Local leaders and benefit fund trustees shall be afforded whatever legal protections are available to them under the New York State Whistleblower Law or any applicable collective bargaining agreement.
For purposes of this Code of Ethics Policy document, the following definitions shall apply:
- Anything of Value: anything of monetary value, including, but not limited to, money, gifts, food or beverages, social event tickets and expenses, travel expenses, golf outings, consulting fees, compensation, employment, or a discount or rebate that is not available to the general public. For purposes of this definition, Anything of Value shall not include non-cash gifts with a value of $10 or less (e.g., booth giveaways).
- Benefit: anything reasonably regarded as economic gain or advantage, including a benefit to a related party, as defined herein.
- Compensation: direct and indirect remuneration, as well as gifts or favors, that is not insubstantial.
- Disclosure: a description of the facts comprising a real or apparent conflict.
- Family Member: any child, stepchild, foster child, grandchild, parent, stepparent, grandparent, spouse, brother, sister, sibling, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, and any member of the household, regardless of relation.
- Fiduciary: any person who 1) exercises discretionary control over the administration, operations or management of the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund and its assets; 2) renders investment advice to the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund for a fee or other compensation, direct or indirect, with respect to any money or other property of the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund, or has any authority or discretionary responsibility to do so; or 3) has been designated by the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund as a fiduciary in connection with the performance of fiduciary duties on behalf of the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund.
- Gift: the provision of anything of value, as defined herein, to a local leader or benefit fund trustee for which the local leader or benefit fund trustee did not provide goods or services of equal or greater value.
- Interest: an interest that exists if a person has, directly or indirectly, through business, investment or a related party as defined herein; 1) an ownership or investment interest in any entity (other than an investment in a public company where the combined interest of the local leader or benefit fund trustee and his or her related party is less than 10 percent); 2) a position as officer, director or partner, whether compensated or uncompensated; or 3) a compensation arrangement, as either a contractor or employee.
- Related Party: a family member, as defined herein, and any organization in which any such local leader or benefit fund trustee is an owner, partner, officer, director or shareholder (other than a public company as to which the combined interests of the local leader, benefit fund trustee and his or her family members is less than 10 percent).
- Related-Party Transaction: any relationship between the local leader or benefit fund trustee pursuant to which the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund is to pay the related party, as defined herein, compensation for services, materials or products, or the related party is to enter into an endorsement relationship with the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund.
- Service Provider: includes, but is not limited to, professional advisers or contractors, banks, printers, repair/maintenance companies, insurance companies, financial advisers, or any person, corporation, service provider or other party that is doing or seeking to do business with, or which has interests before, the PJSTA and its Welfare Fund.
- Trustee: a person designated by the appropriate appointing authority and serving in a fiduciary capacity.