Outside Construction Contract Ratification
The IBEW 1245/47 Outside Line agreement was ratified by the members this spring, with 86% voting YES, 13.75% voting NO and .25% contested/voided ballots. Read more.
Work outlooks remains strong and will continue to be for many years to come throughout Local 1245’s jurisdiction. System hardening is here to stay, and we are focusing on the next big initiative, which is undergrounding. With PG&E’s commitment to put 10,000 miles of overhead lines underground over the next 9.5 years — something that has never been done to this magnitude — we are faced with making sure we can meet the needs of the contractors. Operators and skilled civil workers will be in high demand, as this is a major shift in the type of work we see here. PG&E has committed to 175 miles this year; installing and energizing of these lines and are on pace to reach that number. Next year, that number increases to 400 miles underground; to put that into perspective, it is roughly the distance from Redding to Bakersfield. In 2024, it doubles again to 800 miles. We are emphasizing this as it is our work to lose, and we must make sure that we have the manpower to successfully complete this work.
There is still plenty of overhead system hardening going on, and that work will continue as well. Public Power Safety Shutoff (PSPS) events, which require inspections and repairs before lines can be energized, may soon be upon us. As reported previously, a large cathodic protection program (which will impact 1000s of transmission towers over the next several years) as well as tower painting have begun or will soon.
With the heat of summer and the lack of rain this spring, fire season is already here. Every day as we head to work, we need to keep in mind the extremely dry conditions of our surroundings. Last year, a crew got some secondary service wires together and caused a roughly 10-acre fire. PG&E and contractors have rules and policies to prevent fires like this one. Please make sure you and your crews are following these rules – it could save one person, or even an entire community.
Wasatch continues to have most of the work on NVE and Liberty property. They have numerous dock crews throughout NVE system spread throughout the eastern part of the state up into Carson City and Lake Tahoe. Additional to the dock crews on NVE property they also have been awarded numerous bid projects as well. Most of the work is fire hardening the system, replacing poles, installing new tree wire in the Lake Tahoe area along with a replacement cutout program to fuse tamers. They also have a decent size Transmission project replacing poles in the Carson Valley up Kingsbury grade. On Liberty property they have been awarded the same type of work as on NVE property with dock crews and bid work. They have been awarded an extension of the dock work on Liberty property as well. Wasatch also continues to supplement the work force of the Substation crews on NVE property with dock hands.
Sturgeon continues to have a couple crews with some work on NVE property with fire hardening projects as well in the eastern part of the state. Summit has a crew working up at the Lake with some nasty terrain and mostly helicopter sets. Par West is wrapping up their Transmission project at USA Parkway east of Reno. Titan is continuing with their street light replacement project in the Reno area that is expected to last another couple years. They have also been awarded a pole replacement project with approximately 70 poles in the eastern part of the state. PRO-E continues to support Liberty with supplemental inspectors as well.
The Support and Fencing agreements that Local 1245 has with several contractors were all extended for five years, with the only change being a wage increase each year: 4%, 3.5, 3%, 2.25% and 2%.
The Traffic Signal and Street Light agreements received a 3% increase as part of their wage opener, which is based on criteria set up in the CBA.
As of July 5, IBEW 1245 office hours will be 7am to 4pm. Outside line dispatch operating hours are 7am – 12pm and 1pm – 3:30pm, and the last application will go out at 3:30pm. The dispatchers have moved back into their remodeled office. The new dispatch lobby will aid in faster signing and processing of paperwork. A few remaining items will be completed over the next couple of months, including the addition of monitors to show open calls, and a kiosk to fill out applications.
If you’re coming to the hall to sign the books, you’ll be asked to fill out a half sheet of paper upon arrival which will include your name, email address and phone number. Please write clearly, as that is the only way to get your application to you. If your information is incorrect, it will delay your re-signing. When uploading your documents, please make sure you are sending us the most current and valid information. Please do not re-enter Dispatch until you receive an email to do so. If you have any questions, please call our main office number 707 452-2700.
LaborPower Mobile App
IBEW Local 1245 has a LaborPower app that members can download to their mobile devices, which allows members to check their position on the books, update contact info, pay dues, etc. You can find it in the app store of your mobile device.
Red Books / Contracts / Safety
The Red Book full committee has met and reviewed several proposed changes which have been submitted from various sources. The full committee went through those changes and have kicked back several of those suggested changes down to the Red Book sub-committee to review and amend as needed. The sub-committee will be assembled in the next month to review and work on those suggestions. More to come on this soon.
Over the last three months, OSL contractors have had no less than 10 vehicle rollovers – one incident included a third-party fatality. Most of these rollovers were caused by brake failure due to overheating. This is typically due to inexperienced drivers and/or lack of experience driving down steep grades. When driving down grades, please consider using low range 4×4, the lowest gear possible, exhaust brake, and stopping to let the brakes cool before continuing your drive. Most automatic transmissions in bucket and line trucks will automatically up shift when going down grades (to keep the motor from over revving). Please look out for one another by confirming that you and your crew know the braking system on the truck and trailer you are driving.
- Accidents / Focus Items
- Driving continues to be the leading cause of accidents in our jurisdiction. If you have room to improve your driving (and most of us do) please make a conscious effort to change this trend in the right direction. The decisions we make behind the wheel effect much more than just us.
- With the increase in fire hardening work, please ensure that we are establishing equipotential zone (EPZ) grounding when needed. There have been multiple discussions with crews and inspectors on how to proceed. Establishing an EPZ at our work location will ensure a safe failure in the event of an accidental energization.
- With summer in full swing, remind yourself and others around to stay hydrated. Keep an eye out on one another for heat illness. Ensure you have adequate water for the day and take breaks as needed if you aren’t feeling well.
- Mental Health
- One of the taboo aspects of our trade, and construction in general, is discussing mental health. But the face is that the construction industry has a suicide rate about four times higher than the general population. FOUR TIMES. Given the prevalence, it’s time to break down some of these barriers.
- In conjunction with the above statistic: 1 in 4 adults are CURRENTLY experiencing a mental health condition (depression, anxiety, bi-polar, etc.). Additionally, over 1,000 people die annually in the construction industry. For comparison, over 5,000 die by suicide each year.
- Lineco provides the Member Assistance Program (MAP) to help navigate through some of the tougher times we can experience in life. Call them toll free at 1-800-332-2191.
- This summer, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) introduced a new “988” mental health hotline. This 3-didit dialing code will route callers to the NSPL directly, or connect them with help via text.
In closing, I ask that everyone take a moment to check on their friends, co-workers, and families. You could be the reason that someone gets the help they need. Solidarity knows no bounds.
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.
When dispatched, you were provided a copy of the dispatch policies which state that if a member is discharged due to any safety violation, they will be placed on a dispatch hold until they meet with this examining committee to determine follow up actions if needed.
Safety and quality are the two things that everyone needs to stay focused on. There is no room in this industry to work unsafe or perform substandard work that can potentially lead to a safety issue. The committee meets the third Tuesday of each month, and will meet every month as long as we continue to deal with these issues.
The apprentice application period was opened from April 4-14, and in the 10-day period there were over 1,400 applications completed and moved to the next step of interviews. Since May of this year, we have been conducting approximately 140 interviews per month, and will continue until all qualified applicants are interviewed. Once they are completed, plans will be made for the next open application period.
Current apprentices report as of July 5, 2022
- 685 outside line apprentices registered in our JATC program.
- 13 traveling apprentices in Cal Nev’s jurisdiction.
- 238 Apprentices working out of local 1245.
- 373 working out of 47; 27 working out of 396.
- 14 are unemployed, 17 are not available to work for various reasons, and 5 are on a leave.
- 81 apprentices graduated to Journeyman Lineman in 2022 so far.
- 97 new apprentices indentured as outside line apprentices in 2022.
Injured Workers Fund
The balance of the Fund as of May 31, 2022, was $1,226,089.94. In the three months past, the fund has paid out 34 Claims. The Summary Plan Description (SPD) and Application can be found on the Union’s website https://ibew1245.com/outside-line-injured-workers-fund/
In the three months past, the following contractors were organized:
CA Outside Line Construction
- Dig Alert Done Right LLC, dba Hydro Pros
- Fairway Electric, Inc.
- Teichert Electrical, Inc dba Teichert Line Services
Construction Coordinator Inspector
- KLE Construction Services, Inc.
- Farwest Corrosion Control Company