NORTHERN AREA: DAVEY TREE SURGERY
Davey Tree Surgery tells us they have been losing money with the North Coast Tree Trimming Contract for several years; they claim one million in loses this year. The North Coast area includes Humboldt and Mendocino Counties.
Davey went to PG&E asking for financial relief and PG&E turned them down. Davey responded that they could not continue to lose on the North Coast contract, PG&E then told Davey that the contract would go out to re-bid. Bids are due Dec. 13. The union is planning job site visits Dec. 9 and 10 to discuss these issues with the current Davey employees.
Davey Tree Surgery, Asplundh Tree Expert, Wright Tree Service, Trees Inc., Family Tree Service, and possibly others, are bidding the contract at this time.
We have been assured that the contract will be awarded to a signatory contractor. Initially PG&E released Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from several non-union contractors. Through the fast action of Business Manager Tom Dalzell, the non-union bidding was stopped.
In the event Davey is not awarded the contract, there is successor language in all the contracts we have with the tree companies, which will make a transition to another contractor less painful to the membership. The incumbent employees will have first hire rights and their union seniority will determine the order they are hired. The issue of vacation credit will also be based on union seniority. The successor language will protect current wage rates.
The potential bad news is with a new contractor there will be a 90-day probation period, drug screening tests and most of the companies have stricter commercial driver’s license policies. We have explained this to the membership at the Davey Tree Willits Unit Meeting and at a Special Unit Meeting in Eureka authorized by the Business Manager.
NORTHERN AREA: TREES INC.
The vegetation clearing season has ended and the annual lay offs have taken place. Many of those laid off will return to Trees Inc. in the spring, as they have in the past. When they come back, Local 1245 Business Representatives Junior Ornelas and Carl Lamers will keep an eye on who and how they are rehired as in the past local General Foremen have tried to play favorites and put seniority in the back seat.
SOUTHERN AREA: ASPLUNDH TREE EXPERT
Asplundh Tree Expert — We held a Grievance Review Committee (GRC) meeting Nov. 19. Senior Assistant Business Manager Ron Cochran participated, along with Business Representatives Carl Lamers and Junior Ornelas. We reviewed the last of the pending grievances in the system. We now have a wrap-up final GRC meeting planned with the company in Sacramento Dec. 16, 2010.
The company has agreed to perform joint investigations when incidents take place in the system. We have been having safety related issues in the entire system. The 100% tie-in policy has been in effect for several years now. The company does not tolerate employees not obeying this rule. While in the tree or in the bucket preforming work you must be secured at all times.
Overtime has been ramped up in the system with the exception of Kern Division.
SOUTHERN AREA: DAVEY TREE SURGERY
We have been working on scheduling the next GRC with the company for December. We are now looking at a tentative meeting date at the Vacaville Union Hall on Dec. 20. We have several open cases for the Committee to review. We have one employee returning back to work in Placerville on Dec. 13. We reached this agreement with the Company at the last GRC. The entire system has been working 10-hour shifts, and including Saturdays.
We held a Labor Management Meeting(LMM) in Pinole on Nov. 18. This meeting covered all areas that are the responsibility of Area Manager Phil Gibbons: Santa Rosa, Silverado, and Diablo. We had three shop stewards attend, and discuss all local issues. We did have an issue with the company regarding canceling the 10’s and going back to 8’s. Then we had another issue with mandatory overtime 9-hours a day when refusing to hold a vote for the 10-hour days. The membership reconsidered their options and decided to re-vote the 10’s in Diablo Division.
SOUTHERN AREA: TREES INC.
We have a GRC scheduled in Yuba City on Nov. 30. This meeting will be for all open grievances in the system. The company has continued working 10’s on PG&E including Transmission. SMUD crews have been allowed to work on PG&E property on Saturdays. The SMUD crews are having a problem with the way the schedule was changed during the Thanksgiving Day workweek. The crews have been working 10’s for over 2-months now. We will see what can be done.
SOUTHERN AREA: WRIGHT TREE
We are planning on holding a GRC in December. We have one termination case to review with the Committee. Date and location is to be determined.