By Robert Helton
In response to the company letter to all employees, there are several things I disagree with and one thing that I do agree with.
Mr. Dick points out in his letter that the Company is not asking for a wage freeze, but they certainly are not offering a fair increase. The first year lump sum at 2.5%, to my understanding, is not retroactive to January 1st and since it will be June before anything is settled, I calculate that first year lump sum to be only 1.47%. Apparently the Company has forgotten the first 5 months of the year and all the work that the Union members did to keep customers in power during rain, snow and wind storms. Plus, I believe even if they did give 2.5% this year, that doesn’t cover the inflation rate for 2010.
Working Hours. Mr. Dick states, “This does not mean work schedules can be changed on a frequent basis.” As a Union member, I don’t believe the Company would fight so hard for this proposal if they didn’t think they could use it to their advantage. We all remember the pager incident.
Language on Retirees. I will not spend a lot of time on this because I feel the Company knows what they are doing is wrong. After an employee spends their life working for a company and then has their medical stripped out from underneath them, after they retire: Shame on You.
Cash Balance. WOW! I received my calculation and if this isn’t a scary proposal. I can see where a company would believe taking 58% of an employee’s retirement is fair. But then again, who cares about the people who actually keep the lights on. As for being “Substantially similar to MPAT and Local 396”, that doesn’t make it right. Mr. Dick points out the electric and gas discount and the 85 point plan. It’s hard to believe after the last 2 negotiations, those aren’t on the agenda for next time. And the 85 point plan doesn’t really matter anymore, since under their proposal a person couldn’t afford to retire with 105 points.
Now to the one thing that I agree with Mr. Dick on. The statement, “As much as all Nevadans wish otherwise, it is no longer business as usual in our communities and state.” You see Mr. Dick, we who have lived in Nevada our whole lives and worked for this Company, some like me, for over 20 years, realized that years ago. Nevada’s utilities are now run by people from Florida. Who I should point out, ruined their utility. And those same people make way more money then in most of our “Communities.” I’m sure there are quite a few “Nevadans” who would like their wages to increase between 300% and 500%. In addition to not being business as usual, we “Nevadans” now have to negotiate with somebody from Texas, who has no ties to our state. Obviously, this is not business as usual, but then again ours is not a usual business.
I am voting No and would hope all other 1245 members do the same.
IBEW 1245 member since 1990