The work picture for Outside Line remained strong through the final days of 2015, and we are not anticipating much drop-off going into 2016. Forecasts predict a strong El Nino weather system and a wet winter. We do see this as a potential obstacle in some of this work, with the exception of storm-specific work.
Transmission work appears to be the bulk of the work, as was the case through the end of last year. We anticipate that distribution work in early 2016 will also be similar to 2015. Substation work should remain strong through the cooler months.
We have been reporting for the last several months on the rail work and trailer part conversion work which will increase the 1245 construction portfolio. That work should continue for several years once it begins, which should be sometime in the first half of 2016.
Local 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell has secured Project Labor Agreements for just about all of the work in our jurisdiction, either through the utility or through customers of these projects. He will continue to do pursue PLAs to ensure this work is performed using union labor.
Mike Cottrell, who has been on loan to 1245 from Wellington Energy, officially retired on December 31, 2015. Cottrell is a 30-year member of Local 1245 who served two terms as Southern Area member on the Executive Board, and in 2013 he was elected to a third term in the newly-created seat representing Line Clearance Tree Trimmers and Outside Construction.
Mike came over to help institute the union’s Safety and Code of Excellence Orientation initiative, and has done an excellent job in getting this program up and running (see statistics below). We will continue the work that Mike had started, and will be utilizing the current staff we have at this time with hopes of building on what has become a positive program for our construction group.
CODE OF EXCELLENCE
To date, we have given close to 5,000 Safety and Code of Excellence Orientations over the past 23 months. Members who wish to be dispatched from this local union must now complete this comprehensive orientation. It is also present a good opportunity for our members, travelers and prospective new members to sit down with a business representative and go over contractual questions, safety issues or any other thing they have on their mind.
GOODCENTS CONTRACT EXTENSION
IBEW 1245 members working for GoodCents Solutions recently ratified a three-year contract extension by a 77% yes vote. The three-year deal includes 3% wage increases per year, totaling 9% over the next three years. There was some minor seniority language addressed in the agreement as well.
GoodCents employees install new Smart Thermostats in customers’ homes for both PG&E and SMUD. They have been doing this work in our jurisdiction and have been a good signatory contractor to Local 1245 and its members since 2007.
We currently have a couple of wrongful termination grievances filed in various stages of the process. We are uncertain as to how far these will progress at this time.
- Wrongful termination, IBEW vs TTE
- Wrongful termination, IBEW vs. St Francis Electric
We have grievances on a daily basis for various reasons but in most cases are able to resolve these issues in the first step of the process.
We recently resolved two grievances that were on the books and moving through the process.
- One grievance dealt with vehicle damage sustained while parked in a company supplied yard. This was resolved prior to Labor-Management, with the contractor agreeing to pay for repairs.
- The other grievance dealt with a general contractor issuing work covered under a PLA to a nonunion contractor to perform. Local 1245 successfully obtained financial restitution of $10,000 to be paid into the Local’s Injured Workers Fund.
We continue to encounter members who are waiting to report issues on the job that may or may not be contract violations until they are laid-off or terminated, at which time they want to discuss everything. We have had members show up after being laid off with written logs of what they believed were contract violations with dates and times going back over a year. The Grievance portion of our agreement has set timelines on when a grievance must be initiated and the process that follows, and members can’t expect our Reps to address issues this far after the fact. Members are encouraged to read that section of the agreement and report these issues in a timely manner.
In December we organized Critical Weld to the Gas Inspector agreement. We also signed TSU Tree Service Unlimited Inc. to the line clearance tree trimming agreement.
We currently have 347 outside line apprentices registered in our JATC program.
- We have 11 traveling apprentice in our jurisdiction.
- 63 apprentices are working out of local 1245
- 250 are working out of 47
- 5 – working out of 396
- 22 are unemployed (40 are technically unemployed-but 18 can’t work)
We graduated 92 apprentices to journeyman lineman in 2015.
We indentured 111 outside line apprentices in 2015.
Check the CalNev JATC website for applications process at www.calnevjatc.org.
The JATC is also looking for part-time instructors in the northern area training facility. Anyone with interest should contact the JATC directly.
IBEW LOCAL 1245 INJURED WORKERS FUND
The balance of the fund as of December 31, 2015 was $863, 859.03. In the month of December the fund has two (2) disability payments.
The following is a basic summary of the basic provisions of The IBEW Local 1245 Injured Workers Plan. The Plan is designed to provide basic disability and death benefits in the event you are injured (and are unable to work) or die due to a work-related injury.
SUMMARY OF THE IBEW LOCAL 1245 INJURED WORKERS PLAN
A. Employee Eligibility for Coverage under the Plan
Effective July 1, 2008, you will become initially eligible on the first day of the benefit month, corresponding to the eligibility month in which you first accumulate at least 125 credited hours of employment for which an employer is required to make a contribution to the injured workers fund on your behalf. Once you have met the initial eligibility rules, you will remain eligible for coverage for each month in which you have contributions made for at least 100 hours of work (performed in the prior month) or 450 hours of work (performed in the six (6) months prior).
B. Eligibility for Disability Benefits
To be eligible for Disability Benefits, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be totally disabled as a result of an occupational bodily injury or sickness, which is related to your employment with an employer who is signatory to a collective bargaining agreement between the Western Line Constructors, Chapter of NECA and the Union , IBEW 1245, and be completely unable to perform each and every duty of your occupation or employment; and
- You must be covered under the Plan on the date your disability begins; and,
- Your disability must begin and you must see a doctor about the disability within 15 days after the last day you worked for an Employer.
1. Disability Benefits
- Initial Disability Benefit (for disabilities lasting more than ten (10) days but less than thirty (30) days) — $1500.00.
- Secondary Disability Benefit (for disabilities lasting more than thirty (30 days) but less than ninety (90) days) — $1500.00.¹
- Final Disability Benefit (for disabilities lasting at least ninety (90) days) — $1500.00.²
2. Death Benefits – If you die due to work-related injury while employed pursuant to the California Outside Line Construction Agreement, a Death Benefit, in the amount of $50,000.00, will be paid to your Beneficiary, Surviving Dependents of your Estate.
The Plan shall be funded solely by employee contributions (after-tax) of $.05 cents per hour worked.
Proof of Claims
Written proof of claims for payment of benefits should be submitted as soon as you become disabled. All claims must be filed within 180 days from initial the date of disability (for disability benefit claims) or within one (1) year from the date of death (for death benefit claims) and if they are not submitted, they will be denied as untimely.
Please keep in mind that his is a very basic summary of the IBEW Local 1245 Injured Workers Plan and is by no means a complete summary of such plan. If you would like a complete Summary Plan Description (SPD) please contact the Local Union Hall directly. Also, the plan provisions mentioned above are subject to change.
¹ This lump-sum benefit shall be in addition to any Initial Disability Benefit paid to the Participant.
² This lump-sum benefit shall be in addition to any Initial and Secondary Disability Benefits paid to the Participant.
For more information about the Fund, please email Liz McInnis at email@example.com or in writing to the Trustees of the plan at 30 Orange Tree Circle, Vacaville, CA 95687.
2016 TRAINING SCHEDULE & SPECIAL EVENTS
- OSL Shop steward training – March, 12, 2016
- IBEW-NorCal Clay Shoot – April 2, 2016- Location TBD
- Soccer Tournament – April 30, 2016– Ripon
- Soccer Tournament – May 14, 2016 – Fairfield
- First Aid & CPR is the 2nd Saturday of every month at the JATC Riverside and Sacramento facilities.