The NECA contract negotiations went to impasse in April. There was an interim meeting scheduled on April 28. We made a lot of progress at this meeting and in the last hour talks failed.
Contractually we are required to take our issues to the Council of Industry Relations (CIR) in Washington DC. That meeting was held on May 11. Business Manager Tom Dalzell prepared the brief for this case. Tom flew the Redeye to DC on Mothers’ Day to present our case Monday morning. Local 47 also shares this agreement and was present in this meeting.
NECA and the two locals had discussions in the hallway before the hearing and were very close to an agreement. Cases were presented in executive session. On May 19 we received the CIR electronically:
1. The parties are instructed to amend Article I, Section 1.1, to show the period of agreement as being from June 1, 2009 through May 31, 2012.
2(a). The hourly wage for Journeyman Lineman shall be increased 3.25% per hour, effective June 1,2009, an additional 3.75% per hour, effective June 1, 2010, and an additional 3.75% per hour, effective June 1, 2011.
2(b). The present differentials for all classifications other than those specifically mentioned in this decision shall be maintained in accordance with the present agreement.
3(a). In addition to the above wage increases, the employer contribution to the existing NEAP Fund shall be increased $0.25 per hour, effective June 1, 2009, an additional $0.25 per hour, effective June 1, 2010, and an additional $0.40 per hour, effective June 1, 2011.
3(b). In addition to the above wage increases, the employer contribution to the existing NEAP or LINECO Fund shall be increased $0.25 per hour, effective January 1, 2012.
3(c). Effective January 1, 2012, the parties are instructed to delete paragraph 3 from Article IV, Section 4.11.
This decision is final and binding. This mean there will not be a ratification vote. We will hold several special meetings in Jun to explain the negotiations and how we got to this agreement. Meetings will be held in Reno, Vacaville, Fresno, and Bakersfield. There possible could be a meeting in Trinity County and Salinas area depending on the density of the membership working in these areas. We will send these contracts to print as soon as we have hard copies signed by the Business Managers and NECA.
While we were in DC, we were able to have a brief meeting with International President Ed Hill, shown below with Business Manager Dalzell and other IBEW leaders.
Injured Workers Fund
The Injured Worker Fund continues to increase. As of May 22 the current balance is $82,669.73 which is up from last month’s $41,517. There were two payouts in the month of April. Both members are recovering from health issues.
We have been working with the attorney to get the Death Benefit increased from $5,000 to $10,000 as well as required filing with the IRS. It’s our vision to someday get that fund Death Benefit increased to $25,000.
We also will be accepting donations from contractors over the next 12 months, with pledges up to $87,000. Some of these donations will be realized in this month’s balance statement.
We have found a vendor to complete the Groundmen Flagger training online. This training can be completed through the Internet. Upon completion the Cal-Nev JATC will be reimbursing students. We are also scheduling OSHA T&D classes June 27 & 28. These will be considered special skills calls in 2011.
Work continues to cool we have several projects that are in progress.
We currently have less than 258 Outside Line apprentices in the Cal-Nev JATC program. We are not planning to interview again until September of 2009 if needed. We have only 24 working in Northern California. 218 are working in Southern California and 1 working in Nevada. We currently have 22 unemployed.
We continue to battle one inside contractor performing our work in the Stockton area. These issues will probably continue until there is economic recovery.
Vice President, Mike Mowrey attended the Central California’s monthly Organizer’s meeting in Fresno to relay the International’s message that not only should we focus on construction organizing but also on manufacturing. We also need to take a lead role in making the new green jobs our work.
We met with W.A. Chester in Washington D.C. while at the IBEW Construction Conference. They are contracting to PG&E to do Cable replacement work; however they have yet to sign an agreement with PG&E for the work. W.A. Chester is a Union Contractor on the east coast.
Ralph Armstrong and 2 members from the IBEW 1245 Safety Committee attended the 2009 National Safety Councils (NSC) Labor Divisions and the IBEW Safety Caucus Spring meeting in Louisville KY. The NSC Labor Division members work with over 100 other union-based safety professionals and government regulators from the IBEW, Teamsters, United Steel Workers and OSHA to target various safety and health concerns within Labor.
In conjunction with the NSC’s Labor Division meeting the IBEW has formed a separate safety caucus that meets twice a year to addresses safety concerns specific within the IBEW. This committee meeting is attended by delegates from various IBEW local unions throughout the US and is directed by James Tomaseski, the Safety Director from the International Office.”
Construction Conference in Washington DC
The Annual IBEW Construction Conference was held May 13-16 in Washington, D.C. Attending for Local 1245 was Mike Davis, Mike Cottrell, Ron Cochran, Ralph Armstrong and Elizabeth McInnis. The theme of the conference was Harness the Power. Th conference was very informative with many workshops focusing on Green Jobs and Renewable energy. Speakers at the conference included Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and commentator James Carville. Liz, was asked to escort Secretary of Labor Solis to the podium to speak. There were several hundred people in attendance to hear Solis speak.