The amount of work completed over 2023 is nothing short of astounding. Our membership has risen to meet every challenge with great resiliency and pride. From the winter storms at the start of 2023, to completing hundreds of miles of underground cable installation, you showed up and met the challenge head-on.
In 2024, we are likely to see some of the same obstacles at our feet. Winter in Northern California and Nevada is sure to provide rain and snow that are likely to impact work plans. We are prepared to face this as we always do, keeping safety as the top priority.
At the close of 2023, we saw the typical work slowdown, due to budgets and weather. PG&E announced that they had reached their 350-mile undergrounding goal this year, a point of pride for many of our OSL members who worked long hours so PG&E could adhere to its commitment to harden their infrastructure. As PG&E plans for 2024, IBEW 1245 will continue to supply the qualified work force to meet PG&E’s current and future needs. This quarter we added a new Business Rep to the OSL team. Jesse Green is a journeyman lineman who completed his apprenticeship though Cal-Nev JATC and has worked most of his career in California of Nevada. He will be focusing on the North Coast and North Valley of 1245’s jurisdiction.
Local 1245 staff is continuing to provide Construction Organizing Membership Education Training (COMET) classes at the Cal-Nev JATC Woodland CA. facility. The COMET class gets deep into our union history, roots and core values as IBEW members. The main message we convey during the presentations is the importance of organizing ALL unrepresented electrical workers into the IBEW. We’ve received positive feedback from the apprentices attending the training class, most of whom were unaware of the IBEW’s rich history and core beliefs. If our newest members don’t know our history and where we have been, how will these future leaders carry on the IBEW banner for the future?
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 remaining meetings for this year will take place on March 12, May 14, July 9, Sept 10, and Nov 12.
Wasatch is providing NV Energy with dock hands who are currently supporting the Reno, Carson City, Fallon, Winnemucca and Elko yards. Dock crews are in these same yards, plus a crew in Hawthorne working on a 60KV rebuild as well. Wasatch crews are currently working on two transmission projects. One distribution was completed, and a two-year, 6,500 pole project has begun and is going well. Wasatch is also providing dock hands and dock crews for both North & South Lake Tahoe on numerous different projects.
On NVE property, Summit Line Construction completed a wood-to-steel pole rebuild in December. At Topaz Lake Substation, civil crews completed building foundations and ground grid. R2 is returning to the Topaz Lake job to lay rock around substation. Summit has also completed the Truckee Substation fiber installation on Liberty property, while Mountain Engineering line crews are nearing completion of a 75-pole 230KV H structure rebuild in Fallon, NV area.
On December 14, 2023, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) voted unanimously to assume joint control of entitlements on the soon-to-be-constructed Southwest Intertie Project (SWIP) North and existing One Nevada (ON) transmission lines.
SWIP North is a permit- and shovel-ready 500 kV transmission line totaling roughly 285 miles in length, which will serve as a tie between Idaho and Central Nevada. In existence today, is approximately 231 miles of 500 kV transmission (composed of the One Nevada ON transmission line and DesertLink transmission line). Upon completion of SWIP North, this line will be over 500 miles in length, spanning from north of Twin Falls, Idaho to south of Las Vegas, NV.
The construction of the SWIP North line will be a joint venture with Idaho Power, and is contingent on Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) approval by September 2024, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) reaffirmation, and other regulatory steps.
This project, along with a multitude of others slated for construction in the next few years, will draw many resources to Nevada and will provide hundreds of jobs to IBEW members. California will be faced with numerous projects as well, opening the opportunity for members across the country to work in our jurisdiction.
Supporting Members in Need
Whenever IBEW 1245 members need support, whether it’s due to work-related or non-work-related incident/accidents or losses, our staff is committed to being there for them. As members experience challenging situations in their lives, we go out of our way to bring a piece of our brotherhood to them during rough times. As we all know, our membership always steps up to the plate and helps monetarily when we “pass the hat” to collect funds for our brothers and sisters in need. Almost every single time, when we visit with the member and hand over the proceeds from those collections, the member gets teary eyed and is at a loss for words. It is in those most trying times when our members gain a deeper understanding that they are part of something bigger than all of us.
At the last Red Book quarterly meeting, the committee discussed a multitude of incidents, from motor vehicle incidents (MVI) to a crane tip-over (not in our jurisdiction). The MVI is something we are all too familiar with. Slowing down and assessing our conditions will help to prevent this. However safe we may be by focusing on our own driving; we must contend and take into consideration the other drivers as well.
Traffic Control Wage Increases
Effective January 1, 2024, all members working under the IBEW/NECA Traffic Control Agreement will receive a wage and HRA contribution increase across all classifications. This increase structure is different from previous years. Upon ratification of the new agreement July 1, 2024, all future increases will occur on January 1.
January 1st will bring a $0.25 increase to the cost of LINECO. Depending on the agreement, it may be covered by the contractor. Other agreements will require the increase to be split (50/50) between contractor and member. Please reference your agreement or contact an Outside Construction representative if you have any questions.
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.
2023 Dispatch numbers:
- 442 Apprentice Lineman calls
- 2316 Groundman calls
- 958 Flagger calls
- 596 Line EQ Man calls
- 217 Fab Tech calls
- 24 Cable Splicer calls
- 278 Sub Tech calls
- 2764 Journeyman Lineman calls
Total year-to-date calls for 2023 = 7,595
We currently have 314 on the Lineman book 1 and 2, and 1213 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 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.
The 1245 Examining Committee has changed their meeting date to the first Tuesday of every month starting at 5pm at the 1245 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.
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.
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.
Apprentice report as of Dec 27, 2023:
- 631 outside line apprentices registered in the Cal/Nev JATC program
- 0 traveling apprentices in Cal/Nev’s jurisdiction
- 222 apprentices working out of Local 1245
- 288 working out of Local 47
- 26 working out of Local 396
- 51 unemployed
- 20 suspended, 13 on medical hold and 11 on a leave
- 173 apprentices graduated to Journeyman Lineman in 2023
- 133 new apprentices indentured in Outside Line in 2023
The JATC typically opens up the lineman apprenticeship application process in the Spring, so if you’re considering applying, please review the Cal-Nev JATC requirements for applying at www.canevjatc.org.
Substation Technician Apprenticeship
The Cal/Nev Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new Substation Technician apprenticeship program. Apprentice Substation Technicians assist journeymen in building and maintaining electrical power Substations and Switchyards. Every project is complex, challenging, rewarding, and requires careful management of a skilled team of professional power workers. The construction, operation, and maintenance of substations and switchyards involves special skills and advanced technologies. In addition, workmanship must be of the highest quality, because the station and switchyard will operate unattended for 30 years or longer when the project is done.
The substation tech apprenticeship program at the California-Nevada JATC is similar to the lineman program, as it combines supervised, structured on-the-job training with related classroom instruction to prepare apprentices for skilled employment within the industry. Wages are paid during the on-the-job phase of training and increase as progress is made in the program. The JATC opened up its first application period for this new program in late January and plans to accept more applicants in the future. Learn more about the program here.
CPR & First Aid
CPR and First Aid classes are scheduled for the second Friday of every month at the Woodland and Riverside facilities. 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.
Injured Workers Fund
The balance of the injured workers fund as of Dec 26, 2023 was $958,824.12. In the three months prior, the fund paid out $157,200 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:
- Munsch Excavation Inc.
- Line Mule dba Engineering
Traffic Control Agreement:
- Arborworks, LLC dba Pathfinder DRX