IBEW Local 1245 has been putting in a great deal of time and effort with the North Coast tree trimming contract between Davey Tree Surgery and PG&E that was put out to bid.
Union staff attended two meetings in Ukiah and three in Eureka with our members to discuss what we know and what rights they have if a new contractor is awarded the contract. There have been countless phone calls as well.
PG&E split the North Coast contract with northern and southern parts: Humboldt County and Mendocino County. The southern part has been awarded to Family Tree Service. Currently Davey has eight two man crews working in Mendocino County.
There is successor language in all the contracts Local 1245 has 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.
The contract award for the northern part–Humboldt County–has been postponed.
The union held a Grievance conference meeting with Asplundh Tree Expert in Sacramento on Dec. 16. Senior Assistant Business Manager Ron Cochran participated, along with Business Representatives Carl Lamers and Junior Ornelas. Union and company reviewed the last of the remaining open grievances in the system and reached satisfactory settlements in two of the remaining cases for 2010.
There continue to be safety-related issues throughout the entire system. Emergency work has been ramped up in the system due to all the storm activity in Yosemite and the entire Bay Area.
At Davey Tree Surgery, overtime work has picked up due to all the recent storm activity in the Diablo and Mission Divisions. Central Coast has continued to work plenty of overtime and emergency work for several weeks now. At year’s end, East Bay crews were still working out of town in Silverado Division. Crews have been working their fair share of overtime in Los Padres as well. The amount of overtime worked on PG&E property for 2010 is unprecedented.
Grievance Review Committee meetings are planned for January with Trees Inc. and Wright Tree.
Senior Assistant Business Manager Ron Cochran and Business Reps. Carl Lamers and Junior Ornelas contributed to this report.