Calls for linemen every day
Outside Construction Report
By Ron Cochran
The work picture still looks good with calls for lineman being made every day. These calls are being filled with very few calls going unfilled. We do anticipate as the holidays get closer a large portion of the travelers working in our jurisdiction to leave and go home until after the first of the year.
Summit has started work on a re-conductor and line extension job in McGill/Ely for Mt. Wheeler Power. This is the first union contractor to work on their property in quite some time. They are building a 69 kv line extension to the site of a future substation in McGill.
Par has several crews throughout Nevada: two dock crews in Reno, one in Elko, one in Hawthorne. There are dock linemen in Carson City, Hawthorn, and South Lake Tahoe. Par will be starting a 5-mile line extension in Tonapah in December. Another 5-mile line extension in Hawthorn will be starting soon.
Other work in our area:
- We have work in 11 substations in various areas.
- There are 2 transmission re-conductor jobs going on in the Buttonwillow area.
- We have some tower raising /tower extension jobs going on in the Bay Area.
- All Day Electric has 2 crews working in San Francisco replacing lead cable and T-Gram switches.
- There are 15 crews doing pole replacement and distribution re -conductor work in various areas form the Bay Area to Bakersfield.
- Wilson has completed work on the Robinson 500 kv Sub outside of Ely.
- Sturgeon is still trying to get their steel issues settled on the 500 kv line they are working on.
In November 38 crews were visited in Nevada and the southern part of our jurisdiction. While in Ely we talked with a crew of non-union workers building a new substation. We left business cards and told them when they got tired of working for substandard wages and benefits to give us a call. We haven’t heard from them yet.
The National Outside Line Construction Agreement and Hurricane Sandy
On Oct. 30 Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the upper northeast of the U.S., causing widespread destruction to New York and surrounding states. It didn’t take long and there was a mass exodus of construction lineman from all over the country headed that way to assist in repairing the storm damage. Local 1245 lost several construction linemen and crews to this effort, creating a shortage in manpower for the better part of November where we were running as many as 40 open lineman calls on a daily basis until just recently. Most crews have been released and the workforce is returning and taking the open calls.
During this time we had received several contractual calls from members and non-1245 members that were cleared out of our local and went with contractors working in our jurisdiction to assist in this relief effort. It is important for all of our line construction members or workers working in any IBEW jurisdiction to familiarize themselves with the National Outside Construction Emergency Response Agreement. Here is the link to this agreement and we will have it reposted again to the main page under Outside Line Construction.
In October of 2009 the International Office of the IBEW and National NECA entered into the National Outside Construction Emergency Response Agreement. All Outside construction locals as well as contractors signatory to assent letters or like agreements are bound by this agreement and for the most part it supersedes specific rules in CBA’s across the country. This is intended to speed up the emergency response process in emergency situations such as Hurricane Sandy.
There are a couple of issues here that everyone needs to make sure they are aware of. First of all the agreement is specific on what is the “Site Local” and what is the “Home Local”—site being where the work is being performed and home being where the workers originated prior to traveling and working the storm.
The issue we have is this. In the Emergency Response Agreement it states:
“All minimum wage and fringe benefit package for all employees, including apprentices, working during an “emergency response” shall be the wage and fringe benefit package of the site Local “outside” NECA/IBEW collective bargaining agreement. Additionally, all other working conditions of the site local “outside” agreement will prevail during the emergency response.”
There is one exception and that has to do with the reporting of your fringe benefits back to your home local so it goes where it is supposed to go.
The reason we want to bring this up again is because we fielded several contractual questions as well as wage questions during this latest storm. This agreement is clear that wages and working conditions are that of the site locals and not the home locals. Local 1245 does not administer the contracts of those site locals and all workers should familiarize themselves with the agreements and wages of the site local prior to taking those calls and don’t expect more. There were a lot of promises made by some contractors that may have not been fulfilled. We will help where we can but again every member needs to be aware of the agreement and any side deals or promises made outside of this agreement leaves the members on their own if they are not kept.
- Exaro Technologies Corporation – Gas Inspector Agreement
- Sierra General Contracting, Inc – Outside Line Construction Agreement
- Elecnor Belco Electric – Outside line Construction Agreement
As reported last month we still have several open grievances related to AMI work in Northern Nevada. These grievances have been difficult to deal with since the contractor performing the work has not or will not respond to the grievances as outlined in the CBA which has prompted us to pursue another venue in getting these open grievances resolved.
“A” Member” On-Line Service
The new software that allows Local 1245 “A” Members to see where they are on the out of work books, make dues payments on-line, check calls as well as view their personal information is up and running and we encourage all our members to use this service. This new service can be found on the 1245 website under the Outside Construction section. Just click the link and follow the directions for getting yourself set up in the system.
Red Books Safety
The Outside Line Construction Safety “Red Books” new revision has been sent to the printer and hopes are that we get them back relatively quickly since we have had several inquiries into their availability.
We recently have participated in contract negotiations with all the contractors performing POLE TEST & TREAT work. We have negotiated a tentative agreement with Republic ITS, Utility Pole Technology, Davey Pole Test, Martinez Pole Test and Osmose for one master agreement with the following terms:
5 Years – January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2017
1st year 1% increase, all classifications
2nd year 3% increase, all classifications
3rd year 4% increase, all classifications
4th year (1%-3%) all classifications *
5th year (1%-3%) all classifications **
*Effective January 1, 2016, the wage rates that were in effect on August 2, 2015 will be increased based upon the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), as published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the twelve month period ending June of 2016 for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose local area (Table 4). However, the wage increase to be effective January 1, 2016 shall be no less than one percent (1%), nor more than three percent (3%) of the wage rates that were effective on August 2, 2015.
**Effective January 1, 2017, the wage rates that were in effect on July 31, 2016 will be increased based upon the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), as published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the twelve month period ending June of 2017 for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose local area (Table 4). However, the wage increase to be effective January 1, 2017 shall be no less than one percent (1%), nor more than three percent (3%) of the wage rates that were effective on January 1, 2016.
Should the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic discontinue publishing or change the CPI-U index referenced above, the parties shall meet to negotiate a substitute index.
7.1 Health and Welfare
The parties’ signatory hereto shall enter into a Health and Welfare Plan for which there is a Trust Agreement, known as the Line Construction Benefit Fund, for the purpose of providing insurance benefits for eligible employees and/or their dependents.
The Employer agrees to pay five dollars, ($5.00) per hour for each hour worked by each employee covered by the terms of this Agreement to the Line Constructors Benefit Fund for the purpose of providing insurance benefits for eligible employees and/or their dependents. The Employer agrees to pay up to a maximum of twenty-five cents ($.25) of any increases occurring between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017 with the wage rates set forth herein being reduced for the remainder of the increase.
Remittance shall be forwarded to the place designated by the parties hereto on or before the fifteenth (15th) day of each month for each hour worked in weekly payroll periods ending during the preceding month, together with a monthly payroll report on a form to be furnished to the Employer.
It is understood and intended by the parties to this Agreement that the purpose of this clause is to establish an Employer financed Health and Welfare Trust and that contributions thereto shall not be deemed to be wages to which any employee shall have any right other than the right to have such contributions paid over to the Trust fund in accordance herewith.
Failure of an individual employer to make all payments provided for, including liquidated damages for late payments, within the time specified, shall be a breach of this Agreement and will further require action by the Trustees as set forth in the Trust Agreement.
One Master Agreement using the terms and conditions in the Utility Pole Technologies agreement. *For Davey Tree Surgery and Martinez Pole and Tree Maintenance existing PTO time will be converted to vacation.
This is truly a historic event for the PTT membership. The offer shall be voted on during the month of December.
2012/2013 Training Schedule
OHSA ETD Classes: Members can sign-up in our dispatch office for any up-coming classed offered through the Cal-Nev JATC. Members will be contacted directly by the JATC regarding dates and location of future trainings. Future classes will be held at the Hedge Road facility.
First Aid & CPR is the 2nd Saturday of every month at our Riverside and Sacramento facility.
First Annual IBEW Hawaii Lineman Rodeo & Expo is scheduled for Feb.22-23, 2013. The Local will be sending four teams: one each from Liberty Energy, PG&E, SMUD and Outside Construction, and six apprentices.
Planning is underway for the Soccer Tournament. We now have a committee of members assisting in planning and rule setting. The committee has met once and already made significant headway.
Plans are also being made for the Nor-Cal Sporting shoot in the Spring and we are currently researching information to hold a Local 1245 crab feed. All of these events are planned for the members to interact with fellow members and exchange values and information while having some fun family time.
Out of Work Books as of Nov. 29, 2012
|Dispatched as of 11/29/12||Year to Date|
We currently have 331 outside line apprentices registered in our JATC program. We have 6 traveling apprentices working in our jurisdiction.
- 104 apprentices are working out of Local 1245
- 207 are working out of Local 47
- 4 – working out of Local 396
- 22 are off of work (4 are on disability – 9 are on leave of absence, 3 are suspended)
- 39 apprentices have graduated this year to journeyman lineman.
- 73 outside line apprentices have been indentured this year.
We have 3 traffic signal maintenance apprentices registered.
- 1 is working for Republic Electric in 1245’s jurisdiction.
- 2 are working for Republic Electric in 47’s jurisdiction.
We have graduated a total of 17 traffic signal apprentices.
Injured Workers Fund
The balance of the fund as of October 31, 2012 is $489,770.79. We did not pay have any claims in the month of October.
Ron Cochran is Senior Assistant Business Manager, IBEW Local 1245