On June 12, 2018, IBEW 1245 announced a proposed two-year contract extension for physical and clerical members at PG&E. The terms of this extension are outlined in Letter Agreement 18-09.
WHAT DOES THE EXTENSION INCLUDE?
- A 3% general wage increase for 2020 and a 3% general wage increase for 2021.
- No other changes would be made to the basic agreements, although the parties can and will continue with the practice of interim negotiations. We will also continue the union’s practice since 2006 of voting certain letter agreements.
WHY DID THE UNION PROPOSE AN EXTENSION?
- PG&E’s current and future financial situation is extremely volatile. PG&E’s stock has fallen 46% since the fires in the fall of 2017, meaning that its total worth or market capitalization has fallen from about $36 billion to about $21 billion. CalFire’s reports on the cause and origin of the fires have continued to drive the stock price down and to introduce great uncertainty.
- It is always our goal to provide our members with as much stability as possible, particularly during times of uncertainty. Given the fact that our current collective bargaining agreement with PG&E expires in 2019, and knowing that the instability and financial pressures on the company are likely to increase between now and then, we believe that approving an extension immediately would give our members wage security and peace of mind in these increasingly precarious times.
WHAT ABOUT THE BENEFITS AGREEMENT?
- The contract extension pertains only to the physical and clerical agreements, and does not include the benefits agreement. The benefits agreement includes medical, dental, and vision insurance. The Benefits agreement also includes pension and long-term disability.
- The major components of the current medical are locked in through 2020 as part of the benefits agreement reached with PG&E in 2013.
- The dollar amounts of the medical deductibles, the dollar amount of the out of medical pocket maximum and the dollar amounts of the medical plan HAP credits (both automatic and those earned by taking tobacco and health screenings) cannot change until after Dec. 31, 2020.
WHEN WILL THE BENEFITS AGREEMENT EXPIRE?
- As with the rest of our current agreement, the benefits agreement with PG&E is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2019. This would put us on schedule to begin the negotiations process during the summer of 2019. Assuming the ratification of LA 18-09, that would focus those negotiations only on the items covered under the benefits agreement that were listed previously.
WHO WILL BE VOTING?
- All active PG&E physical and PG&E clerical members, including Hiring Hall, and any active dues-paying members currently on leave, LTD, or worker’s comp from PG&E as of June 21, 2018, are eligible to vote.
- Every eligible member will receive a single ballot. Physical members and clerical members will vote on their respective agreements.
WHAT IS NEEDED FOR LA 18-09 TO BE RATIFIED?
- A simple majority of 50% + 1 vote of eligible ballots returned, for each agreement, shall constitute ratification by the members.
WHEN WILL MY BALLOT ARRIVE?
- All ballots were received by the postal service on July 9, and are now being processed for delivery by US mail.
- If you do not receive a ballot by July 16, 2018, or make a mistake in marking your ballot, please call UniLect Election Services’ Duplicate Request Answering Service toll free at 1.855-240-0363 as soon as possible to request a duplicate ballot. For legitimacy, and accuracy required for eligibility to receive a replacement ballot, please be prepared to provide your IBEW card number at the time of a call to the ballot hotline. Your card number can be found on the IBEW Local 1245 membership card, mailed to you annually. You can also receive your card number by contacting the union hall and providing the required verification information.
WHEN WILL THE BALLOTS BE COUNTED?
- The ballot count will be conducted on Friday, August 10, 2018. For a ballot to be included in the count, it must be received into the official return PO Box by the morning of the ballot count.
As always, we welcome you to contact your Business Rep with any questions about the proposed extension.