On Nov. 13, IBEW 1245 members unanimously ratified its Tentative Agreement with Amec Foster Wheeler Martinez by a vote of 12-0. Amec Foster Wheeler Martinez (AFWM) is a 150 megawatt capacity power plant in Martinez, CA that provides power to a local petroleum refinery.
IBEW 1245 Negotiating Committee members Devin Mun, Victor Aviles, Richard Blaine and Business Representative Al Fortier met with the company Oct. 24-26 and negotiated a three-year successor agreement to the Collective Bargaining Agreement that expired on October 15, 2017. The union negotiated wages increases of 3.5% in each year of the agreement for our members who maintain and operate the plant.
In addition to wage increases, the union negotiating committee also bargained several other improvements to the agreement. Under the Call-Outs/Report Pay article of the new agreement, employees who are called back to work will receive an additional hourly allowance of $15.00 per hour for all hours of call-in, while also improving on the standby-by pay for operators, working foreperson pay, and meal allowances. The company and our membership agreed to convert vacation and sick leave to a Paid Time Off (PTO) policy. As a part of the conversion, the union members agreed to freeze their existing sick leave balances in a separate bank. Employees can use the banked sick leave when on long-term disability, or cash out when they leave the company. One of the few concessions gained by the company was a reduction in the company contribution to the employee’s 401k plan, from 6% to 5%.
The company continued its trend of asking for increases in medical contributions. The company increased the employee share of the premium contribution to the medical insurance plan by 1% in the second and third year of the agreement, from 20% to 22%. But the union got the company to agree to contribute an additional $750/$1000/$1500 (single, spouse, family) in the first year of enrollment into the Health Savings Accounts (HSA) of members who enroll into the High Deductible Health Plan. Additionally, the company will contribute another $750/$1000/$1500 to the HSA annually. The company also agreed to meet in 2018 to confer over better and less expensive medical providers and plan options.
Amec Foster Wheeler and IBEW 1245 also agreed to include in the Collective Bargaining Agreement a bonus program that pays up to 6% lump sum annually to each employee. Bonus language previously existed as a side letter.
–Al Fortier, IBEW 1245 Business Rep