This quarter has flown by and is by far the busiest we have seen in a few years, with a major shift in making sure we have the resources built and needed to meet the demand for undergrounding. The goal of 350 miles in 2023 looks like it is on track to be met, despite a somewhat late start. Our members and contractors are stepping up to meet these goals.
With the amount of construction work going on, we must be continuously stopping by jobsites and verifying that the work that is being performed is being done by 1245 contractors and our members. These extra eyes in the field will allow 1245 the ability to monitor our work as the undergrounding increases. We must be on the lookout for non-signatory contractors, especially during these times when we are constantly battling with other trades who want to take our work.
As usual, IBEW 1245 is always working on improving how we support our members. Business Manager Bob Dean has tasked our business reps to cross train with different sectors within Local 1245. The Outside Line Reps were the first to have reps from other sectors join them for “ride-alongs” to see what other assignments are like.
The Fresno bi-monthly informational meetings continue to take place on the second Tuesday of every other month at 6pm at Round Table Pizza, 5702 N. First St. in Fresno. The OSL reps will be passing out flyers and posting them in the job site trailers to let members know about this meeting, and 1245 also sends a mass text to members two days before the meeting. If you’re not receiving the text, please reach out to your rep.
Wasatch is providing supplemental labor on NV Energy property, and is currently supporting the Reno, Carson City, Fallon, Winnemucca and Elko yards. Dock crews are in these same yards as well. Over the last three months, Wasatch crews have completed four transmission projects and are currently working on four additional transmission projects. There is one distribution project that is almost completed, and the estimated two-year, 6,500 pole location project has just begun as well. Wasatch supplemental labor and dock crews are also being utilized by Liberty Energy at both North and South Lake Tahoe on numerous different projects.
Summit Line Construction is currently working on a wood-to-steel pole rebuild on NVE property, which is slated to be completed mid-November. At Topaz Lake Substation, civil crews are building foundations and ground grid. NVE internal employees will be installing new equipment once the civil work is completed (slated to be done mid-November). Over the past quarter, Summit completed the transmission line repair job at Walker Lake as well as Truckee Substation Fiber installation for Liberty energy.
Mountain Engineering line crews completed a distribution job for NVE up at Noth Lake Tahoe, and have been awarded a 75-pole transmission rebuild, which starts this month.
Titan continues the street light maintenance program on NVE property, replacing all existing lights with new LED lights.
Accidents and Focus Items
Our membership has been working more than ever before. Multiple contractors are working six and seven days a week, twelve to sixteen hours a day, to meet the goals of our customers. With more man hours, the risk of incident tends to increase. To date, our members have delivered a quality, efficient production level and have maintained a very high level of safety. This should be a proud point for all our members.
However, this should not be reason to dismiss the potential dangers in our field. Multiple pieces of machinery, more people on job sites, and more hours working under these conditions, make our members’ daily work sites a prime location for an issue to occur. As we approach the holiday season, we must collectively focus on the task at hand. With the amount of time members have spent working this year, the time off is much anticipated, but the daily focus of work should be at the top of the priority list.
Our traffic control members have been enjoying a steady increase in workload, compared to any time in the history of this work group. Our membership has been at a steady pace of increase, bringing new members with a range of experience from the first day to twenty years in the industry. As this work group continues to increase in size and strength, please be aware that the new agreement, implemented at the beginning of July, has created quite a list of questions. Continue asking these questions, as they are helpful in educating our entire membership.
Davis-Bacon Changes to Prevailing Wage
Changes to the Davis-Bacon Act take effect on Oct. 23, 2023. One of the most important changes to the act includes a return of the “three-step process”, which was in place prior to the 1983 assault on Labor. This process ensures that, if no 51% wage is determined, then a wage is considered prevailing if it is paid to 30% or more of workers in said classification. Currently, the prevailing wage is either 51% or an average of all wages in that classification, creating a number that is not a real wage. This new rule will be beneficial to our contractors who are seeking federally funded work.
Mental Health Matters
September was National Suicide Prevention Month. Mental health concerns, within the construction industry specifically, affect many of us in some way. Ensuring that we keep watch for any signs of distress in our co-workers, family, and friends, is a first step at addressing this epidemic. Additionally, alcohol and drug addiction has also been on the rise. Fortunately, we have an ample number of resources at our disposal. The Member Assistance Program (MAP) at LINECO, provides all our members with information and direction to seek out help for themselves or someone they care about.
We have been getting more involved in community outreach events such as school career days, climbing school visits, and labor festivals. If you have any events that you believe would mutually benefit from IBEW participation, please reach out.
IBEW 1245 dispatch office hours are 7am to 4pm and the last application will go out at 3:30pm. The dispatchers have returned to the dispatch office now that the remodel project is near completion. The improved dispatch lobby will aid in faster signing and processing of paperwork. A few additional items will be completed over the next couple of months. We will be adding monitors to show open calls and a kiosk to fill out applications.
When arriving at the union hall to sign or re-sign the books, you will be prompted to fill out a half-sheet of paper that includes 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 or illegible, it will delay your process. 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.
Third Quarter 2023 dispatch numbers:
- 284 Apprentice Lineman calls
- 1449 Groundman calls
- 545 Flagger calls
- 316 Line EQ Man calls
- 141 Fab Tech calls
- 6 Cable Splicer calls
- 143 Sub Tech calls
- 1728 Journeyman Lineman calls
Total year-to-date calls for 2023 = 4,612
We currently have 133 on the Lineman book 1 and 2, and 694 on the Groundman books.
LaborPower Mobile App
IBEW Local 1245’s LaborPower app allows members to check their position on the books, update contact info, pay dues, and more. You can find it in the app store of your mobile device.
We are currently waiting for a meeting with the full Red Book committee to approve changes to the Red Book. Once approved, we will print another batch of books. There were a couple of issues that will require a bigger discussion with all the major utilities – namely around grounding of the covered tree wire, as there are differences of opinions from utility to utility on how this needs to be performed to ensure compliance with OSHA standards. More to come.
Know the Rules
It’s important for all 1245 members as well as travelers to this local to educate themselves on the rules and requirements of the IBEW Constitution, as well as Local agreements and safety rules for the areas you may be working in. Failure to understand these requirements could lead to charges filed for violations of these rules under Article XXV, Misconduct, Offenses and Penalties of the IBEW Constitution.
We are starting to see issues arise around “double booking” (meaning, members who are employed by a contractor and also on the books in another local union at the same time) which is prohibited. Just recently, there was a member from a local union who went to work on a storm for another contractor while still actively employed by a contractor in our jurisdiction. Upon returning to our jurisdiction, the member went back to the old employer, without being laid off before leaving and clearing the hall upon returning. Be mindful of your obligation to the local union and its members and working agreements; violations such as these will not be tolerated.
The 1245 Examining Committee has changed their meeting date to the first Tuesday of every month starting at 5pm at the Hall in Vacaville. The committee continues to be extremely busy dealing with issues related to safety or other wrongdoings by workers in the local’s jurisdiction. This is not a good trend, and we as a membership must do better.
IBEW 1245’s dispatch policies state that if a member is discharged due to any safety violation, they will be placed on a dispatch hold until they meet with the Examining Committee to determine follow-up actions if needed. Everyone needs to stay focused on safety and quality; there is no room in this industry to work unsafely or perform substandard work that can potentially lead to a safety issue.
The JATC received 1,428 completed applications during its most recent application period (March 27 through April 7) and has started the interview process. If you turned in an application, you should be receiving a call to set up a date and time for your testing and interview.
Current apprentices report as of Oct 11, 2023:
- 597 outside line apprentices registered in the Cal/Nev JATC program
- 2 traveling apprentices in Cal/Nev’s jurisdiction
- 235 apprentices working out of Local 1245
- 281 working out of Local 47
- 33 working out of Local 396
- 4 unemployed
- 18 suspended, 14 on medical hold and 12 on a leave
- 164 apprentices graduated to Journeyman Lineman in 2023
- 80 new apprentices indentured in Outside Line in 2023
Apprentice privileges continue to be suspended to journeymen who are involved in unsafe work practices while having an apprentice on their crew. These suspensions are shared across the country to every JATC, as well as every Outside Line local, and won’t be lifted until the Journeymen involved in the incident meet with the trustees of the JATC where the incident occurred. This affects the journeymen’s ability to work, as there are few jobs that don’t have apprentices.
As a Journeyman Lineman, it is your responsibility to train and mentor apprentices for the future of this trade and make sure they are being taught correctly, with safety at the forefront. Keep this in mind whenever you have an apprentice working with you.
Competent Persons Training
To ensure we have the workforce ready to tackle the large amount of undergrounding planned, the JATC will be holding Competent Persons Training classes for Groundmen and Line Equipment Men. Classes will be held monthly for the next several months to make sure everyone interested has the opportunity to take it and receive the certification. We will schedule additional classes when there are enough interested individuals. Once everyone has had an opportunity to take the class and receive the training, this could become a special skill for this type of work.
The classes will be held during the week, roughly eight hours long. If you are interested and want to sign up for this class, visit www.calnevjatc.org. Click on the Web Services tab, then Class Schedule. If you do not already have a web account with the JATC, you will need to create one. Class availability is based on first-come, first-served basis.
CPR and First Aid classes are scheduled for the second Friday of every month at the Woodland and Riverside facilities.
Injured Workers Fund
The balance of the injured workers fund as of Sept. 30, 2023 was $1,014,520.07. In the three months prior, the fund paid out $196,600 in disability payments.
The Summary Plan Description (SPD) and Application can be found on the union’s website https://ibew1245.com/outside-line-injured-workers-fund/
The following contractors have organized with 1245 this quarter:
California Outside Line Construction Agreement:
- Snow Canyon Construction Services LLC
- Ruiz Underground Electric
- The Patriot Group
- Premier Engineering and Construction
- Cannon Constructors, LLC
Traffic Control Agreement:
- Basin Enterprises, Inc.
- Bullert Industrial Electric, Inc.
- Cedar Creek Corp.
- Dars Cox Construction, Inc.
- Donahoo, Inc.
- Outsource Utility Contractor Corp.
- Plum Tree Clearing, Inc.
- Pro Energy Services Group LLC
- Straight Arrow Traffic Control, Inc.
- Utility Traffic Control Services, Inc.
- Utility Traffic Services (UTS)
Substation Inspection Agreement:
- VMF Industries LLC
Hydo Division Maintenance Agreement:
- Njirich and Sons, Inc.
Gas Inspector Agreement:
- Subterranean Consulting Group
- KLE Field Services, Inc.