Work outlook remains strong throughout Local 1245’s jurisdiction, and we expect this trend to continue for many years to come. In December of 2021, winter storms hit California hard, resulting in a significant amount of damage to the power system, and crews came in from all over to assist. Many worked through the holidays, with a lot of the additional resources arriving when they became available. PG&E requested contractor crews from out of the area to assist local contractor crews and PG&E crews to restore power. PG&E also requested mutual aid from other utilities. More than 75 contractor crews came into 1245’s jurisdiction utilizing the IBEW International Storm Agreement. These additional crews vastly decreased the time people were out of power.
We’ve reported on this before, but it bears repeating — there is an ongoing need for good, qualified journeyman linemen to help with the momentous tasks ahead. One of the steps we are taking to address this issue is trying to increase the number of apprentices, and we are in discussions about a requirement to have an apprentice (if available) on every crew, to help us build for the future on the line side. We are also putting together a sub-committee to discuss and find ways to address the operator and a qualified underground workforce, in response to PG&E’s commitment to underground 10,000 miles of powerlines located within the High Fire Threat Districts.
In addition to the wide spectrum of work that is planned, there are additional opportunities for 1245 contractors to bid temporary generation work which will be utilized during Public Power Safety Shutoff (PSPS) events. There is also a large cathodic protection program being launched that will impact thousands of transmission towers over the next several years. Tower painting will also return in full swing in 2022 with at least one new contractor, Tower Power, in the fold for this work. The future looks bright and prosperous in California, and it is ours to lose.
Due to fire liability here in California, we are seeing several contractors beginning to shift to limited liability entities, breaking away from the main corporations. We are having to work with the contractors to get all their dispatched employees transferred from the parent company to the new one.
The last three unit meetings of the year were well attended due to the many questions surrounding COVID-19 and possible vaccine mandates. Dispatch closed the year strong with 6,759 total calls, including 3,465 Journeyman Lineman calls. I want to give a big thanks to our four Dispatchers — Scott, Shawn, Ashley, and Julia — who worked very hard all year long to keep dispatch running smoothly. Without them, this Local wouldn’t be what it is today.
Work at NV Energy has been slow, aside from some substation work being done across the system. Wasatch and Cache Valley have been doing most of this work. There have been a few conversions that Titan has completed during the last quarter of the year. Titan was awarded some transmission work in the Ely area, replacing three pole angles on the 120KV line, but that work is shut down for the time being (some funding was pulled on that project). Titan was also awarded a decent size transmission job for 2022 which should keep them busy on NVE property until mid-summer. Wasatch continues to have all the dock work and the dock crew work on property. Sturgeon still has one crew working out in the eastern part of the state.
Liberty Utilities was very busy during the last quarter of the year, with numerous contractors (H&M, PAR, Summit, TW, Wasatch, and Basin) working on different projects, mostly to do with fire hardening. The workload is expected to double on Liberty property in 2022. During the last two weeks of the year, OLC helped with restoration efforts all around Lake Tahoe and continue to support Liberty as they are still understaffed. Liberty has gone to some contract inspecting, with PRO-E providing contract inspectors for the contract crews.
Towards the end of 2021, there was a slight downtick in the number of accidents occurring in 1245’s jurisdiction. However, during the latest storm event, we had three accidents that could have ended in fatalities. The first involved an apprentice that drilled through his rope skid, falling some 30 feet to the ground and landing on his back. The second was a pole that broke at ground level with a journeyman and an apprentice at the top of the pole, falling 32 feet. And the third was a squirt boom that rolled over down an embankment into a body of water. If it hadn’t landed on its wheels, it would have possible trapped the two occupants under water.
- Red Books / Contracts
- All the OSL Business Reps continue to pass Red Books and Contracts to each member they visit, which have amounted to several thousand books distributed across the jurisdiction.
- There’s been a significant increase in discussion around different Red Book rules. By all of us questioning and clarifying, we will continue to get better together.
- A large portion of our contractors have been on storm off and on for the entire fourth quarter. There have been many questions around inclement weather and rain gear requirements.
- Accidents / Focus Items
- Driving incidents continue to be our largest short-coming. If unsure of HOW to drive in a particular situation, stop and reach out for assistance.
- Recently, we had a member fall from a pole. Luckily, he has no significant injuries.
- Please visit Red Book Article 2.10 Working in Elevated Positions, (b), (4)
- Safety belts/body belts used as part of a positioning deice system shall be rigged such that an employee cannot free fall more than 2 feet. Transfer lanyard shall not be used as a primary working belt.
- Please visit Red Book Article 2.10 Working in Elevated Positions, (b), (4)
All the OSL Business Reps have been involved in Serious Incidents Fatality (SIF) investigations, require hundreds of hours to be devoted per accident. Many of the accidents and incidents we have mentioned here are what have led to these investigations, resulting in less time in the field for our business reps to conduct job site visits.
Shop Steward Update
As of this writing, we have 26 Construction Stewards for the OSL group. We are currently planning for an Outside Construction Steward training, more details to come. If you would like to nominate yourself or another person for a steward role, please reach out to any of the OSL Business Reps.
LaborPower Mobile App
As a constant reminder IBEW Local 1245 has a LaborPower app that can be downloaded from your App Store to you mobile device. You can use the app to check position on the books, update contact info, pay dues, and more.
The Local 1245 examining committee continues to be extremely busy dealing with issues related to safety or other wrong doings by workers in the local’s jurisdiction. This is not a good trend, and we as a membership must do better. The committee meets the third Tuesday of each month.
Cal Nev JATC
The Cal-Nev JATC Woodland Facility celebrated its grand opening with an Open House in December. Read more and view photos here.
The next 10-day apprentice application period will be announced soon. Anyone interested in becoming an apprentice will need to keep watching for the announcement which we will share once the date is finalized. Applications can only be submitted on-line during the 10-day window. If you or someone you know is interested, please review the minimum requirements to apply and start gathering the required documents needed here Minimum Requirements (calnevjatc.org) so you are prepared.
Current apprentices report as of 1/4/2022
- 708 outside line apprentices registered in our JATC program
- 7 traveling apprentices in Cal Nev’s jurisdiction
- 204 Apprentices working out of Local 1245
- 443 working out of Local 47 and 18 working out of Local 396
- 21 unemployed, 14 not available to work for various reasons, and 8 on a leave
- 83 apprentices graduated to Journeyman Lineman in 2021
- 252 new apprentices indentured as outside line apprentices in 2021
First Aid & CPR is the second Saturday of every month at our Riverside and Woodland facilities.
Injured Workers Fund (IWF)
You can now obtain Summary Plan Description and Application on the Union website under the “Outside Construction” tab. When submitting an IWF application, please make sure to read ALL of the eligibility requirements and submit with the appropriate documentation. To request an IWF application please email IWF@ibew1245.com or text (707) 452-2720 with your name, email address or mailing address if you prefer to receive this document through the mail.
The following companies have signed an agreement with Local 1245 in the three months past:
Outside Line Construction Agreement:
- 4G Excavation
- Alvah Contracting, LLC
Construction Coordinator/Inspector Agreement:
- Ubertech Professional Services, LLC