Outside Construction Report
By Ron Cochran
Work outlook remains good. We continue to be on track to meet or exceed the same amount of hours worked in 2013.
Through the month of May we have handled and resolved several grievances at various stages. Last month it was reported that we had 2 separate contractors who used non-signatory contractors to perform various duties on their project. Both of those grievances have been resolved by having those contractors assume the liability for this work and making a restitution payment to the Outside Line Injured Workers Fund.
We also had a new contractor during the month of May assign some fiber optic work on a project to a non-signatory contractor that we are working to resolve now. This work is in Nevada and the non-signatory contractor is in the process of signing a project labor agreement for this project with the thought of signing a full assent at a later time if it looks like they will be obtaining more work in our jurisdiction.
We have had several new grievances initiated and resolved, most to do with terminations the employee felt were without proper cause. Of these grievances there remains one that has not been resolved as of this report and may need to be pushed to Labor Management as the next step.
We had five grievances scheduled for arbitration the beginning of May with one contractor, all of which were wrongful terminations. These were all part of 10 total grievances that were scheduled for two separate arbitrations by two separate arbitrators. The week prior to the arbitrations we successfully settled six of the outstanding cases, five of which had favorable results for the members and one which we withdrew due to inaccurate information provided by the employee and discovered while making final preparations for the arbitration. In July we are scheduled to arbitrate the final four cases but continue to work to a resolution before then.
One case involves a wrongful termination in California with a pole testing contractor. Arbitration date still needs to be determined.
Contractor / Utility Safety Meeting
The contractors and PG&E have been hosting Contractor Safety Meetings that involve the contractors performing electrical distribution work on PG&E property. The primary goal is to identify causes and trends in work procedure errors (WPE). In these meetings a review of all WPE and corrective actions are shared and discussed, including what each contractor is doing to prevent similar incidents. General safety topics are discussed.
The meetings also give the contractors time to share with PG&E some of the hurdles they face in contracting with PG&E, such as work stability, materials and the difficulty in maintaining a consistent work force due to the inconsistent work distribution. It seems as though some of these concerns are being addressed at this time and should be helpful in maintaining a stable work force.
There is a push from the contractors as well as the utilities on how the local union addresses violations of the Safety Red Book. Complaints raised are that workers who violate safety rules and have work procedure errors quit or get fired, come to the hall, re-sign the books and are sent to another company without any penalty to the member for their actions. Some discussions were leading to the utility banning some of these workers from their property.
Although this can be viewed from many perspectives, such as the contractors have the ability to choose their leaders and they ultimately need to set the tone in the field and should demand 100% compliance, it is ultimately up to every individual working under our agreement to comply with all safety and work rules. With this being said, IBEW Local 1245 and Local 47 will be sharing information about members who have violated safety rules and will prohibit these members from being dispatched until the incident has been reviewed by the local. Local 1245 has instituted the policy below and it has been added to the dispatch policies.
Individuals who are discharged for cause, involving Safety Violations in reference to the “California Safety Manual Accident Prevention Rules” are to be suspended from future referral privileges until a full investigation by the Local 1245 Business Manager or his appointed Business Representative. The Business Manager may, in his or her sole discretion: (1) require the applicant to obtain further training from the JATC before again being eligible for referral; (2) disqualify the applicant for referral for a period of four weeks or longer depending on the seriousness of the conduct and/or repetitive nature of the conduct; (3) refer the applicant to an employee assistance program, if available, for evaluation and recommended action; or (4) restore the applicant to his/her appropriate place on the referral list.
Since this policy has been implemented there have been four Journeyman who have been involved in incidents that have been reviewed and determined that they need to complete extended Journeyman training before they were dispatched here in Local 1245. With the amount of work and large number of travelers working in our jurisdiction it is imperative that we make sure our safety rules are followed to protect the work all our members enjoy so we all will have it in the future.
The following contractors were recently organized:
- Associated Power Solutions – Substation Relay Test agreement
- Western Cherokee Wireless – Communication & Installer agreement
We are scheduled to meet with the Siemens on June 5-7.
We reached an agreement for the San Francisco Trolley agreement
2013 Training Schedule & Special Events
- First Aid & CPR is the 2nd Saturday of every month at our Riverside and Sacramento facility.
- IBEW 9th District Softball Tournament, August 17 & 18, 2013, Orange, CA
- IBEW Golf Tournament , October 12, 2013, Vacaville
- International Lineman Rodeo, October 17-19, 2013
We currently have 324 Outside Line apprentices registered in our JATC program. We have 24 traveling apprentice working.
- 86 apprentices are working out of Local 1245
- 171 are working out of Local 47
- 20 – working out of Local 396
- 71 are off of work (12 are on disability – 9 are on leave of absence- 6 are suspended)
- We have graduated 12 apprentices to journeyman lineman.
- We have indentured 19 outside line apprentices this year.
We have 2 traffic signal maintenance apprentices registered.
- 1 is working for Republic Electric in Local 1245’s jurisdiction.
- 1 is unemployed
- 0 are working for Republic Electric in Local 47’s jurisdiction.
- We have graduated a total of 18 traffic signal apprentices.
Injured Workers Fund
The balance of the fund as of May 24, 2013 was $560,389.58. There no claims paid in the month of May.
Out of Work Books as of May 24, 2013
|Year to Date