As we try to not look back at 2020 — which was a year like no other — I am cautiously optimistic there will be some relief later in 2021. With all the challenges we faced with the pandemic in 2020, IBEW 1245 members didn’t miss a beat as essential workers, showing up every day and performing the work that is required to keep the electrical system up and running when the people of California needed it most.
2021 has been off to little bit of a slow start in terms of new calls, but Outside Line Construction work outlook in Northern California for this year remains very strong. By all indications, 2021 is set to be busier than last year. Fire hardening work will be an important part of the 2021 work picture, along with all the other routine maintenance and tag work that needs to be performed. If the 2021 fire season is anywhere near that of 2020 (which started early) our OSL members will be busy with the restoration work as well as assisting during Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) events. 2021 inspection work should be kicking off the first quarter of the year, with the project addendum in place addressing this single-man work and the pay structure.
Nevada work remains strong as well. Wasatch has numerous dock hands working on NV property Reno, Winnemucca, Elko, Carson City, Yerington, Fallon and on the Transmission Crew. Sturgeon was recently awarded the dock crew work for NV, and is slowly trying to man those calls which will eventually replace Wasatch for this work.
PAR has four crews working on NV property as well as Liberty, with one transmission crew working between NV and Liberty. Mountain General Engineering has three crews working on Liberty property doing pole change-outs. Several of these workers were recently laid off due to improper license to work on Liberty property. The company hopes to have those issues straightened out by February.
There is one TW Power crew working on Liberty property in South Lake Tahoe doing maintenance tickets. Cache Valley had a crew working on Mt. Wheeler property, but they have completed their work and have moved on. Titan was recently awarded the bid for the 4KV conversion in Sparks for NV Energy. They are planning on one crew for this work and is expected to take a year and a half to finish. Dacon has a crew working outside of Battle Mountain on a solar farm, which should be completed by spring.
NV Energy will be releasing a bunch of work during the second quarter that should keep NV busy all of 2021.
Signing the books at the Hall. The doors continue to remain locked all day and a security guard regulates access to ensure there are not more than two people in dispatch at any given time. You will be required to wear a face covering, have your temperature taken, and sanitize your hands before going into dispatch or any other area of the Hall. These changes were born out of necessity to deal with the COVID pandemic and to ensure the safety of everyone, especially our dispatchers. These changes have progressed for the better over the past months, and have ensured that we have not had any significant interruptions in dispatching of calls. Much of the application paperwork is now done electronically by the member from the safety of their vehicles. When you show up to the Hall, there is a menu stand with instructions about how to re-sign and sign the books. Please see https://bit.ly/signingthebookscovid for details.
Dispatch hours are 7am – 9am and 1pm – 4:30 pm. Applications received after 4:30 pm will be processed the next business day.
Outside Line Dispatch Numbers for 2020
There was a total of 5,470 calls made in 2020.
- 3140 Lineman calls
- 1288 Groundman calls
- 284 Line EQ man calls
- 350 Apprentice calls
- 245 Sub Tech calls
- 107 Fab Tech calls
- 32 Tower Painting Tech calls
- 24 Cable Splicer calls
With the close of 2020, we have been able to hand out thousands of new Red Books and contracts. If you haven’t gotten the updated Red Book, please reach out to one of the Outside Line Business Reps to obtain one. We especially encourage members to please review the Grounding and Rubber Gloving sections to see some of the rule changes.
New Business Reps
Outside Line Construction has recently hired two new Business Representatives. Michael “Fred” Aboud was hired to replace Casey Kelley. His assignment is Nevada and the Eastern Sierras, and he will also facilitate the 1245 Safety Peer to Peer programs. Ethan Stonecipher was hired to cover the Northern Area of our jurisdiction. These new representatives and their contact information can be found on the 1245 website.
All of our OSL Representatives have been busy in the field performing site visits, passing out Agreements and Safety Red Books, answering questions, resolving issues and counseling when required. There is and will continue to be an intense focus on safety, with zero tolerance for flagrant violations. The 1245 Examining Committee remains busy dealing with safety violations by bringing the offenders into the hall once a month to correct these habits before allowing them to go back to work. In several instances, members have been required to take additional training. It is important to all of us to do everything in our power to work safe, not just for the obvious reasons, but also to continue to keep all this work union, and showcase to everyone that IBEW is the right choice!
We will continue to have the General Unit meeting at the Hall the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm with these meetings being conducted outside in the parking lot under the Lineman’s Club sign. If you plan on attending, you will need to bring your own chair and these meetings are all weather permitting (if it’s raining, there will be no meeting.)
Safety Red Book update
All the Business Representatives have the new Red Books for distribution. This book contains all the new revisions and had been a long time in the works to get to completed. If you need these books, please reach out to one of the Business Representatives so they can get them to you. The new books can be identified by the yellow stripe towards the bottom of the cover that contains the new amended date of July 1, 2020. If anyone still has one of the older versions without the yellow stripe, we are asking to please remove them from the jobsites as there have been a lot of changes, and the old books are no longer valid.
The final round of interviews from the October 2019 application period were conducted and completed in September and October of 2020. The COVID 19 pandemic in 2020 had a major impact and we’ve been working on getting all unemployed apprentices back to work before beginning any new classes. As of the end of 2020, the CalNev JATC indentured just over 50 new apprentices into the program. Plans are under way to begin new climbing schools and bring in new apprentices during the first couple of months of 2021. The trustees will evaluate the list and determine when we plan to open up the application process again. Stay tuned.
Current apprentices report as of Jan. 1, 2021:
- 572 outside line apprentices registered in our JATC program
- 2 traveling apprentices in CalNev’s jurisdiction
- 0 apprentices traveling outside our jurisdiction
- 181 apprentices are working out of local 1245
- 331 are working out of 47 and 17 are working out of 396
- 23 are unemployed, 15 are not available to work for various reasons and 5 are on a leave
- 64 apprentices graduated to Journeyman Lineman since January 1, 2020
- 56 new apprentices indentured as outside line apprentices in 2020
Update on the new Northern CalNev JATC facility. Construction on the new training facility is on schedule and we expect to have it turned over to the JATC around April. Work on this project is moving right along, and currently the majority of the work is focused on the inside of the building. This new facility sits on 13 acres, which was purchased last year by the CalNev JATC, and will have a 12,000 square foot state-of-the-art training center. The new facility address is 545 Santa Anita Dr. in Woodland, CA.
The JATC had placed an announcement looking for a new Assistant Director to run this facility when it is completed, and am proud to announce the hiring of Kyle Saddler into that position. Saddler will be spending time at the Riverside facility in preparation of the opening of this facility.
As we work on building this new facility to handle the increased load of apprentices in Northern California, we are still operating at the temporary Northern California Cal-Nev JATC Training site location in Sacramento Ca. at the former Campbells Soup facility. The building is 6000 sq. ft. which allows us to handle the increased volume of apprentices and our new Trans Banker transformer simulator.
The address is 6200 Franklin Blvd in Sacramento, Ca 95824
Outside Line Construction Injured Workers Fund (IWF)
In the past three months, the Fund has paid out 13 claims. However, the Fund has received numerous other claims that are either pending because the required documentation was not received or denied as the member did not meet the eligibility requirements. When submitting a IWF application, please make sure to read all the eligibility requirements and provide the required documentation with the application to avoid further delays. To request an application please email IWF@ibew1245.com or text (707) 452-2720; please include your first & last name and card number.
The following companies have signed on to the Outside Line Construction Agreement with Local 1245 since October 2020:
- Sargent Electric Company
- CK Construction Group, Inc
- VIP Power Line Corp.
- Centerline Drilling, Inc.
- Alisto Engineering Group
Please call the Hotline after hours for daily counts related to actual numbers on the Books.
All 1245 OSL members are encouraged to sign up and register your own personal account through the Local 1245 website. Once registered, you will be able to check your books status, make changes to personal information, pay union dues and even check on available jobs without having to call the dispatch office for this information. This is a very useful tool for our OSL members.
Please call the hotline for details on all available calls.