TREE TRIMMER NEWS
Davey Tree made an offer to extend the agreement for 1-year, and see if things turn around. The offer extends the agreement to Dec. 31, 2012. This is a 2% wage increase for all line clearance members working on PG&E system-wide. The ballots will be counted on Sept. 9. All headquarters were given the explanation of the contract extension. See the Local 1245 website for the vote results: www.ibew1245.com.
We have made good progress regarding held up wage progressions. The problem appears to be at the field supervision level with a few field supervisors actively blocking progressions. Some responsibility also falls on employees who do not let us know when their progressions are being held up.
There have been several terminations lately for such issues as DUIs and unpaid court fines. There is very little if anything that can be done to assist.
Overall the available tree work has improved slightly from last month when we were seeing some layoffs due to no work. PG&E controls the flow of work and seems to want to keep the tree companies on a short leash.
We heard recently that the transmission work in the North Valley was going back to Davey Tree and Utility Tree after having been given to Wright Tree. Wright Tree was doing the work on Time & Material when PG&E told Wright Tree they were going to Unit Price and set the price low. Wright thanked them and said no thanks.
Asplundh Tree Expert — We had expected to hold a GRC for the remaining grievances in the system in late August. Due to a scheduling conflict we were unable to meet. We will meet in early September. We are still handing out proposal forms for our upcoming negotiations due early fall 2011.
We had a problem with a crew in Los Gatos. We had a property owner show appreciation for what the crew did for him by dropping off chips on his property. The property owner had given the crew a case of an alcoholic beverage. The crew Foreman tried to tell the property owner that he did not have to do anything. The property owner felt offended by what the Foreman stated. The crew went ahead, talked about tossing the case down the road. The Foreman instructed the CLA to drive the truck back to the yard, so he could finish the paperwork for the week! When the crew arrived in the yard the CLA pulled out the case in front of the rest of the hands, and including the General Foreman. Needless to say both men are suspended pending investigation. Company policy talks about this type of activity. Alcohol is not permitted to be transported in any company vehicle. We are waiting for the company’s final decision.
City of Santa Clara — The group rejected the company offer. We plan on meeting with the group one more time to explain the proposal.
Trees Inc — The held a GRC on Aug. 25 in Vacaville. We had several held-over grievances that we discussed with the company. In these open grievances we feel confident in reaching settlements. The company owes us a response on the open vacation matters. We are still handing out proposal forms for our upcoming negotiations. The company informed us that SMUD cut crews so employees were allowed to transfer to Stockton as their permanent headquarters.
Utility Tree — We held a GRC in Redding on Aug. 24. We are still working on the minutes of that meeting. We are still handing out proposal forms for negotiations.
Wright Tree — We have a termination case at SMUD. The crew Foreman signed off a tree that was not trimmed properly and had to be reworked. This Foreman had 5 trees that had to be re-trimmed a week ago. We are currently handing out proposals.