As we move in to 2018, the overall work picture for Local 1245 construction looks very good, with a projected increase of about 30% in electric distribution work, and increases in other types of work as well. Some of this is due to work that wasn’t completed in 2017 due to the fires in Northern California, which put some projects on hold while resources were used to address those emergency needs. Towards the end of 2017, Local 1245 would routinely run unfilled calls, however those did slow down as we entered the holiday season.
In 2017, Local 1245 dispatched 2,992 calls, which is nearly 600 more calls than in 2016. Of those calls, 1,265 were for journeyman linemen, which is also a significant increase from the 992 dispatched in 2016. This number is important because of all the standing calls we experienced towards the end of 2016, at least 90% of them were in the journeyman lineman classification. With the increase in projected work in 2018 we can expect to see even more of the same, especially if the industry continues to experience the same level of natural disasters as we saw in 2017. Having plenty of work would seem to be a good problem to have, however, we need to make sure we can man this work with a well-qualified workforce.
We are continuing to host lots of safety orientations, job and yard visits. We have had an increase in reports of pay issues where an employer lays off a member over text, the member is owed monies, yet they are not paid in full at time of layoff.
Wilson is running 13 distribution crews in the Bay Area to the Sierra Mountains. They are also running five transmission crews from Dixon to Cameron Park.
Abercrombie Pipeline has all but finished the shoefly project at the Oroville Dam. There still running one crew, finishing up odds and ends.
Cupertino Electric is leading the MHP (Mobile Home Parks) project in northern California, with 27 parks in construction. They are currently running 3-5-man line crews. (There are several civil contractors — CSI, Fidelis Green, Veteran Power — that are also in the process of completing 27 parks phase 1 of the MHP project.)
Cupertino just started a project in Dixon where they will do all the below ground work also. The company has line crews in the San Jose and San Carlos area, doing CCM work. They are also in the middle of completing their arrestor project in Kingsburg area.
Underground Electric, an offshoot of Underground Construction, are up to two electric crews now. They are working mostly on underground cable replacement in the Sacramento area.
Par Electric has crews all over the state. There are four cell site crews, Turlock crews, the Feather River project and Greenville. The PG&E tower painting project for 2018 will be double the towers of 2017. This tower painting work will be about 1,000 towers in 2018, and another 1,500 in 2019. We are trying to find ways to maintain a workforce with all the other work out there that will stabilize and meet the need of the customer. There is more to come on this.
Hotline is currently working on three substations in Northern California. One of the Subs is the V5 Sub for a data center in Santa Clara. They are also running two-line crew, and two splicer crew.
Henkles & McCoy has a 14-mile transmission project that includes pole replacement and a reconductor. They are also working on four substation projects throughout our jurisdiction.
Titan Reno has one crew that has been staying busy on small projects for NV Energy.
PAR has two crews working. One is in Reno for NV Energy staying busy on small projects, and the other is in North Lake Tahoe working for Liberty Utilities on new business and maintenance work on a T&E basis.
Cache Valley Electric is working on two substations — one in Mason Valley and one in Smith Valley NV. Completion date is Feb. 15, but material issues may delay completion.
Wasatch has 14 doc linemen and five doc sub-techs working at various locations for NV Energy. Wasatch also has 17 miles of 120kv w/ distribution under-build in Smith Valley with a Feb. 15 completion date that looks doable.
Titan Wyoming and Newman Electric have completed their 4/25kv cutovers and moved on.
Summit Line is currently working on a five-mile section of 120kv line at the Reno-Tahoe industrial park, west of Reno. This project is slated to be completed in March, but material issues may delay that.
NV Energy has put out a couple of bids one is two miles of 120kv underground and a 129 pole 4/25kv cutover in Reno. Work picture for Nevada is looking good for this year, with lots of talk about some substantial substation and transmission projects, and some good distribution work as well.
Liberty Utilities has put out a 30 pole 120kv pole replacement job and a small 120kv UG project in Truckee for a new commercial complex.
POLE TEST and TREAT
The new five-year pole test and treat agreement was ratified by the membership in mid-December. The OSMOSE work group ratified the agreement with 100% yes vote, and the Davey Test group was a lot closer, with a 51% yes vote for ratification. The big difference between the two work groups is the way the companies were structured, with regards to the number of members who will now receive paid vacation.
As mentioned in every report, we deal with issues daily, most of which are resolved in a day or two and in the first steps of the process. Sometimes they go a little longer and further, however our reps do a good job of getting resolution before needing to go too far.
Towards the end of 2017, we had a couple of issues that took a little longer than normal, but we were able to close out one that resulted in a contractor donating to the OSL injured workers fund for a violation related to the misuse of the forman classification.
We are currently dealing with another case in Nevada related to the misuse of the referral process and not clearing a few members through dispatch as required. We feel this situation will be resolved in the next week or two.
Paycheck issues continue to be the number one problem. It’s amazing that, with all the technologies out there, we continue to see paychecks wrong or not processed in the time specified in the collective bargaining agreement.
As always, since we share the same agreements, Local 1245 and Local 47 continue to support each other during Labor Management when grievances make it that to that step.
It’s been almost two years since the Cal Nev. JATC has been open for applications. This was mostly due to the number of applicants that were obtained when the processed was opened last. We expect to see the application process open again sometime in the first quarter or the next couple of months in 2018. Just like last time, there will be a 10-day period that it will be open so anyone wanting to apply will want to make sure they have everything they need to apply. There will be one change to the application requirement, and we are waiting on the final approval from the DOL before opening the application period. The new requirement will make it mandatory to have a CDL in order to apply. If you are interested in applying please visit www.calnevjatc.org routinely for information.
Given the need for skilled manpower, the JATC has done a good job of bringing in new apprentices. There are, on average, around 350 to 360 apprentices indentured in the program. This is for all steps, and in 2017 there were 115 new apprentices indentured into that number, while 69 graduated to Journeyman Lineman. As we increase the numbers of new apprentices (we have been bringing in around 90 over the last couple of years), we would think that the total number in the program would increase. However, the rate of applicants who get indentured and then wash out due to various reasons is higher than we would like.
January 1, 2018 Lineco premiums went up another $.25 an hour. This is the third increase in as many years. For the OSL agreements, as well as the pole test agreements, the contractor will pick up those increases for 2018.
- First Aid & CPR is the 2nd Saturday of every month at our Riverside and Sacramento locations.
The following contractors have been organized and signed the CA Outside Line Construction agreement in the last quarter of 2018:
- Cedar Creek Corporation
- Cal Pacific Constructors Inc.
INJURED WORKERS FUND
As of December 31, 2017, the balance of the Injured Workers Fund was $1,148,134.11.
As the Fund balance continues to rise, the Trustees are constantly looking at new ways this money can benefit the outside line membership who pay into the fund.
Effective March 1, 2018, the fund will offer parental leave benefits and non-work disability benefits. The details, including the eligibility requirements, were mailed during the last week of December 2017 to all active outside members who are working under the CA Outside Line Construction agreement.
If you did not receive a copy or if you have any questions, please contact Liz McInnis at (707) 452-2720 or EJMH@ibew1245.com.
Please call the Hotline after hours for daily counts related to actual numbers on the Books.
All 1245 OSL members are encouraged to sign up and register your own personal account through the Local 1245 website. Once registered, you will be able to check your books status, make changes to personal information, pay union dues and even check on available jobs without having to call the dispatch office for this information. This is a very useful tool for our OSL members.