After nearly a year of bargaining, the IBEW 1245 members at the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) overwhelmingly ratified their first collective bargaining agreement. The three-year agreement includes general wage increases of 5% in 2023, in 3.75% 2024, and 3.5% 2025, as well as 7% retroactive to June 2022 on eligible earnings. The bargaining committee also negotiated new wage schedules for all classifications, resulting in an average wage increase upon ratification of more than 20% across the board.
Based in control rooms located in Folsom and Lincoln, these workers are the nerve center of the power grid serving 80% of California and portions of Nevada, which comprises one-third of the Western Interconnection. CAISO facilitates over 28,000 market transactions every day to ensure enough power is on hand to meet demand.
The workers at CAISO first began their union organizing effort in August of 2020, mainly driven by a lack of wage parity — both internally, and with workers doing similar jobs for other employers. The campaign picked up steam in summer of 2021, and the workers voted to join IBEW 1245 in autumn of that year.
The IBEW 1245 team first met with CAISO representatives on February 15, 2022 to begin negotiating the initial agreement. The parties met over 40 times throughout 2022 and early 2023 until finally reaching a comprehensive tentative agreement on February 9, 2023.
Due to critical nature of work performed by our newly organized members, both parties shared a mutual interest in creating an agreement that recognized their value to CAISO, and ensured that CAISO could retain them, while also attracting the most qualified new employees to fill vacant positions created through attrition.
On February 15, 2023, one year to the day from when the parties first began bargaining, the IBEW 1245 members ratified the newly negotiated tentative agreement. CAISO and IBEW 1245 are excited to continue working collaboratively to build a strong partnership that serves the employees of CAISO and address the challenges in our industry.
The IBEW 1245 negotiating team consisted of Senior Assistant Business Manager (Chief Negotiator) Al Fortier, ), Assistant Business Manager Dave Sankey, CAISO employee members Eddie Williams, Gabriel Roach, Jacqueline Perlette and Brandon Russell, and myself. Special thanks and appreciation to the bargaining unit members on the committee who worked tirelessly over the last year in helping craft an agreement that everyone can be proud of.
— Gerald Williams, IBEW 1245 Business Representative