Who We Are
The Employee Benefit Funds provides health, pension and other benefits to over 90,000 Union members, dependents and retirees of the New York City hotel industry.
These benefits are funded almost entirely by industry employers and are offered nearly free of cost to our members. Members do not make contributions to the benefits provided through the Funds, nor do they face co-pays or deductibles for their health coverage (except for a pharmacy co-pay of $5 to $15 for drugs on our formulary).
Training, scholarships and legal services are also provided, as well as a voluntary 401(k) program which members may contribute to as a supplement to their pension.
The Funds owns and operates Health and Dental Centers in Harlem, Midtown, Queens and Brooklyn as well as an Industry Training Center in Queens. Over 1,000 doctors, nurses, counselors, clerks and administrative staff are employed or contracted with in-house to provide these services to our members.
Members’ benefits were established through a collective bargaining contract between the New York Hotel Trades Council (the “Union”) and the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc.
Using the funds entrusted to us, the vision of The New York Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Association of NYC, Inc. Employee Benefit Funds is to be the foremost provider of high quality benefits in an environment distinguished by exceptional service.
The Employee Benefit Funds exist to serve its membership by improving their quality of life through the benefits and services we provide.
There is an interesting history behind the benefits and services that Hotel Trades Council members and their families enjoy. Our benefits and services, and the funds that make them available have set precedents for workers in many other cities and in many other industries.
The creation of our medical fund and the benefits it provides was not easy. To begin such an innovative program, special New York State legislation was required. That legislation was enacted through coordinated efforts of the Hotel Trades Council and the Hotel Association. Those efforts resulted in the needed legislation being introduced and passed in the State Assembly and Senate, and then being signed into law by Governor Thomas Dewey in 1949.
Our Medical Program, which is self-insured, has since served as the model for many others. Even today, over 65 years after our medical fund was initiated, other organizations are adopting the concepts of our own program.
The Industry Training Program (“ITP”) has also served as a model for similar schools in other industries. It is estimated that more than 25,000 hotel workers and their family members have utilized the school since its inception.
Our Dental Program and Optical Program, both of which began in the 1970’s, are also the result of collective bargaining between the Union and Hotel Employers. These programs have been expanded over the years. As an example, free dental service was only available to members of the Union. Now, of course, the free dental service is also available to spouses and dependents of members. Our Life Insurance program was initiated in 1978, and the benefits it pays have been increased in subsequent years.
In 1985, through collective bargaining between the Hotel Trades Council and the Hotel Association, two new and unique benefits, the Scholarship Fund and the Pre-Paid Legal Program were extended to the Union workers and their families.
The success of the scholarship and legal programs is unparalleled. The Hotel Association-Hotel Trades Council Scholarship Fund is the largest college grant program provided anywhere in the world through a collective bargaining agreement. Since 1987, when the program began awarding college scholarships to children of the Union members, almost $6 million in grants have been provided to over 740 students.
The Pre-Paid Legal Fund has assisted many Union workers and their family members since services were initiated in 1987. The program provides expert attorney service, at no cost to members, for a wide range of legal matters. Like many of our other benefits, the Pre-Paid Legal Fund has attained an unqualified success that has caused it to serve as a model for similar legal plans instituted by many other unions and employers.
The benefits and services enjoyed by Union members and their families are provided by employer-provided funds, meaning that the Union’s members do not pay anything to sustain these programs. These benefits and services are jointly administered by the Council and the Association through each fund’s Board of Trustees. The Trustees are not only responsible for keeping the funds financially healthy, they work very hard to try to expand services whenever possible. Examples of this are the expansion of Dental services to spouses and dependents in 1979, the expansion of the Pre-Paid Legal Fund to hotel pensioners and their spouses in 1994, and the expansion of Medical, Dental, and Insurance benefits to domestic partners in 1996.
In 1998, a Pharmacy benefit was added and the Optical benefit changed so that members’ dependents and pensioners could enjoy the the services. In 2015, an orthodontic benefit was added for dependents, followed by the opening of Eye Care Suites across the Queens, Brooklyn and Harlem Health Centers and 14 Penn Plaza.
Read more about our Grandfathered Status.
At the Funds, our strength lies not just in our size, but in our diversity and depth of experience that comes with it. We are proud to have assembled a staff with diverse and accomplished backgrounds, enhancing our ability to meet the needs of the members that we serve. We understand the importance of diversity and inclusion to the long-term success of our organization. We are committed to creating an inclusive, open, and respectful culture comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds – each of whom is given a platform for success.
Diversity encompasses a wide range of individual characteristics and experiences, including gender, age, race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, political affiliation, marital status, disability, geographic background, and family relationships. NYHTC & HANYC, Inc. Employee Benefit Funds’ goal is to create a work environment where the unique attributes, perspectives, backgrounds, skills, and abilities of each individual are valued. Diversity is beneficial to the NYHTC & HANYC, Inc. Employee Benefit Funds’ morale, productivity, and success. We believe diversity fosters a positive and creative environment that attracts talented individuals, encourages our staff to maximize their potential and enhances our ability to respond quickly with innovative solutions to the rapidly changing needs of our members.
The Hotel Funds utilizes technology for accelerating service, reducing costs and improving quality of care. We have made a strategic decision to invest in technology, recognizing that this investment would allow us to service our members’ needs faster, more accurately, and more efficiently. As the Funds continues to invest in technology, we listen to our members in order to understand their needs and deliver the right solutions at the right cost.
At the Funds, we understand that we have a responsibility to take a leadership role in environmental matters, including the use of environmentally friendly products and services, implementing sustainable energy programs and promoting environmental stewardship in the lives of our employees at work and in their communities. In order to accomplish this we have implemented the following:
- Server Virtualization– Reducing physical computer servers by migrating to a virtual environment. This lowered server electricity consumption by 78%.
- Office Reduction, Recycling and Reuse Programs – Reducing our consumption of office paper, using recycled stationery, purchasing environmentally friendly office and kitchen supplies, and creating partnerships with environmentally conscious companies.