With the amalgamation of CPSU, IMPACT and PSEU came an opportunity to enhance membership benefits. There are a broad spectrum of benefits available to members, varying in nature. Some are financial, others by means of support. With some schemes members are automatically enrolled in when they join the union, and there are others that operate on an “opt in” basis. It is important to note however, that members can make considerable savings through these benefits.
So what exactly does your membership subscription get you?
After 6 months in membership all members are entitled to the following;
• €5,000 in personal accident cover
• €5,000 critical illness cover or death benefit. Spouses are also covered under this scheme
• From 2 January 2019 a €5,000 illness benefit will be available to members if you are out of work for more than 12 months
• For members who are seriously ill, injured, or pass away while abroad, Fórsa will cover evacuation or repatriation expenses up to the value of €250,000
Fórsa has also negotiated a number of group schemes for its members through various providers including Cornmarket, Glennons Insurance, JLT, KennCo and Lyons Financial Services, to name but a few. These providers will give members advice on various financial products such as car and home insurance, pension benefits, salary protection and life cover.
Fórsa members can also avail of free counseling, legal advice and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, through the following helplines;
• Free legal help in bodily injury cases 1850-77-66-44
• Free 24/7 legal advice helpline 1850-77-66-44
• Free 24/7 confidential counselling helpline 1850-77-66-55
• Free 24/7 domestic assistance helpline 1850-77-66-44
In addition to this, provisions have been made for a benevolent grant for members who are in financial distress. Gaeltacht scholarships are available for members who have school age children. Members can also avail of industrial relations scholarships.
Another hidden gem is the group scheme. This operates on an “opt in” basis and there are huge savings to be made on everyday items. Members can access discounts from small businesses located near their place of work, including restaurants, retailers, hairdressers and coffee shops.
The group scheme also operates a cashback system. The concept is simple; every time you shop online with one of the cashback partners they will reimburse a portion of what you spend. The money accumulates in your group scheme cashback account, which you can transfer to your bank account at any time.
Fórsa organiser Bernie Aston explains just how important these schemes are for members. “All of the membership schemes are hugely beneficial. Fórsa has negotiated with a number of financial providers to give members the best options available. Generally, with the likes of the financial products, members will see discounts on what they are currently paying.”
Bernie also highlighted the benefits of the group scheme. “This is a real money saver” said Bernie. “Members can more than negate the cost of their union subscriptions through the savings and offers available.”
For more information on the full range of benefits see www.forsa.ie