Trustee Election | Position Description | WEA Trust

Position Description

ELIGIBILITY: 

Trustees must be at least 18 years or older and be bondable (as determined by the WEA Trust’s fiduciary liability carrier or its intermediary).  Trustees must be able and willing to meet 5 times per year.  Additional meetings may be required and can occur by phone.  In addition, committees of the Trust and its affiliates and subsidiaries may meet on a similar frequency, should you be appointed.  Trustees can expect to spend between 10–20 hours per month fulfilling their duties. Trustees need not be participants in any Wisconsin Education Association Insurance Trust (Trust) sponsored benefit plan. 

LENGTH OF TERM: 

All Trustees are elected and serve three-year terms. Terms may be renewed if re-elected by the Membership.

FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS:

Trustees are provided a modest stipend for service on the Board of Trustees.  Travel, accommodations, and meal expenses are provided—including for attendance at educational and relevant conferences.  The Trust can reimburse employers for time lost and/or costs necessary to facilitate participation in Trust meetings.  The Trust indemnifies its Trustees against financial harm incurred as a result of a Trustee’s performance of duties as a member of the Board.

MAJOR BOARD RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE:

  • Define the long-range, strategic direction for the enterprise to guide management:

    • In consultation with management, study the external environment and direct management to develop appropriate long-range, strategic direction.

    • Approve the long-range strategic plan and annual business, operating, and capital plans.

    • Hold management accountable for plan implementation and performance.

  •  Oversight of the enterprise’s operating and financial performance.  Trustees are also typically appointed or elected to the Boards of all affiliates and subsidiaries.  Most meetings, however, are generally consolidated to avoid additional meeting obligations.  This service is contemplated in the time commitment estimate below.

  • Oversight of quality and service measures.

  • Ensure compliance with fiduciary obligations to plan participants.

  • Advise senior management in carrying out the enterprise’s mission.

  • Oversight and approval of member governance documents, policies, and procedures.

  • Develop, implement, and monitor the executive compensation program.

  • Develop and oversee CEO and senior management succession planning.

  • Evaluate Board performance.

  • Participate in Board Committees.

  • Monitor ethical, legal, and audit compliance and assess business risks.

  • Trustees also serve and perform these functions as Directors of the WEA Insurance Corporation.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS OF A TRUSTEE:

  • Ability to provide wise, strategic, ethical, and independent counsel on a range of complex business issues and decisions.

  •  Leadership, facilitation, and collaboration skills with a demonstrated capacity to serve in a leadership role.

  • Strong team player with excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Sufficient time, interest, and loyalty to the Trust for full engagement as a significant contributor to the Board.

  • Governance or executive experience defining and evaluating organization strategy.

  • Financial and business acumen.

  • Professional and life experience that demonstrate integrity and high ethical standards.

  • Experience monitoring and supporting organizational change.  Ability to function well as part of a group; be an effective team member, and ask thoughtful and probing questions.

  • Previous Board experience.

  • Professional and life experience that demonstrate commitment to social justice.

  • Knowledge of health care issues or health care delivery systems.

  • Knowledge of health, dental, disability, and/or long term care insurance programs and issues.

  • Commitment to understanding and serving the interests of plan participants.

  • Commitment to community service and improving the quality of life for all.

  • Other knowledge/background that will allow the candidate to make a strong contribution to the Board.

The Governance Committee will consider the above key qualifications and personal attributes during the candidate nomination process, along with work/volunteer experience and educational background.  While they are desirable, in some measure, in all Board members no one person is expected to have exceptional competency in every one of the qualifications.  Collectively, the Board should exhibit strength in all of these areas.

EXPECTATIONS OF TRUSTEES:

  • Support the Trust’s purpose, mission, and values.

  • Avoid conflicts of interest.  When unavoidable, disclose actual, perceived, and potential conflicts and follow Board policies for abstaining from discussion and voting.

  • Respect the confidentiality of Board deliberations and information provided to the Board.

  • Publicly support decisions made by the Board.

  • Respect and appreciation for public workers and educators.

  • Understand and honor the respective roles and responsibilities of the Board, CEO, and Executive Team.  Maintain appropriate professional and respectful relationships with staff.  Make requests of management through the Board Chair.

  • Understand and fulfill the Board’s legal and fiduciary responsibilities.

  • Learn the enterprise and its external environment well enough to assess the impact of Board decisions on plan participants and enterprise sustainability.

  • Serve on committees as appointed.

  • Respect and appreciation for the value of labor unions in promoting worker safety, good working conditions and living wages and benefits.

  • Regularly attend and participate in meetings. Review advance meeting materials, come well-informed and prepared to share knowledge with Board colleagues, ask discerning questions, and discuss possible consequences of Board actions.

  • Work with the Chair or Vice Chair of the Trust to identify areas for individual development and develop an annual plan to provide appropriate education and learning opportunities.

  • Identify prospective Board candidates. Participate in the Trustee succession planning process.

  • Inform the Chair of the Board, in a timely manner, when no longer eligible to serve as a Trustee.

MEETINGS AND TIME COMMITMENT:

  • Trustees spend 10–20 hours per month fulfilling Board service responsibilities.  Those Trustees who are in leadership positions or who voluntarily assume a heavier assignment load may average more hours per month.

  • Board service time includes regular attendance and preparation time for:

    • Board meetings and meetings of committees to which appointed.

    • Task forces and other ad hoc or special assignments, as designated by the Chair of the Board.

  • Board meetings are scheduled five times per year with the potential to meet virtually.  Most committees meet 5 times per year depending on the committee.  Current Board committees are:

    • Finance & Audit

    • Executive

    • Governance

  • Most Board meetings are held in Madison. Meetings sometimes begin on Friday evenings and continue through lunch on Saturdays.  The summer meeting is Monday through Wednesday, typically during the month of July.

  •  Committee work is sometimes completed by telephone; however, typically Committees’ meet during business hours on Friday before Board meetings.

EXCLUSIONS:

Employees (or a spouse, domestic partner, or dependent of an employee) of any of the following entities (or any affiliate thereof) are not eligible to serve as a Trustee:

  • The Wisconsin Education Association Insurance Trust

  • The WEA Insurance Corporation

  • WEA Member Benefits Trust

  • WEA Tax Sheltered Annuity Trust

  • WEA Property & Casualty Company

  • Wisconsin Education Association Council

 Additionally, any former employee of any of the aforementioned entities is not eligible to serve as a Trustee.