By Ron Cochran
In 2012 Outside Construction reported over 5 million man-hours worked. Tree Trimming reported 2.28 million man-hours worked. We have no tracking mechanism in place to track hours worked through all of the different utility hiring halls or to track temps working on NV Energy, Lodi, SMUD and PG&E properties, although there were 640 members working as utility hiring hall employees in 2012.
A little less work in Northern California and a little more work in North Eastern Nevada. We think the PG&E electric contracting will be reduced overall by 15% in 2013. We are on track to meet or exceed the same amount of hours in 2013.
The construction and tree membership is currently at 4,949 members, with another 806 workers traveling into the local for work. Our membership grew by 350 members in 2012. All signs point to a good year in 2013.
A majority of the pole replacement work on PG&E property is in central California this year. We are adjusting our business representatives schedules and Outside Line (OSL) unit meetings to accommodate the needs of the members. We will maintain the current OSL meeting in Vacaville and encourage everyone to attend if possible.
The AMI projects are winding down; the PG&E project will likely finish at the end of August. Wellington will be laying off 10 journeymen and several installers in the next week. There will be more layoffs as the work finishes. It looks like meters will not be changed in Marin and some other areas due to local politics.
We have several projects currently working and starting in Nevada. We just started 18 miles of 345KV line to intertie the SWIP line into the NV Energy grid. We continue to work on the SWIP project, which is 265 miles of 500KV line. There are substation modifications at all points the lines connects. We also have several mine jobs and distribution jobs in Northeastern Nevada.
A” Member Dues
There seems to be a continual problem with a large number of OSL members who allow their union membership to be suspended and dropped for failure to keep their monthly dues paid. We are constantly running into people who are working and are so far behind in their dues that they have to restart their membership. Local 1245 has made it very easy for the members to pay their dues now. They can call the front desk and pay by card or go on-line and pay it there.
The OSL agreement requires a member to be current on their dues or they can be removed from the job. It is the member’s responsibility to keep this up and failure to do so can not only run the risk of having them removed from a job but also can impact one of the three retirement systems the OSL members have as part of working in this group. There is also a death benefit that is worth nothing if the member is not current and we have had some family members left without this benefit due to the untimely death of a member.
This month like always brings pay issues which we are very active in resolving as soon as possible. Another trend that is becoming more and more an issue is contractors who are sub-contracting covered IBEW work to either a contractor who is represented by another labor union or in some cases non-union contractors. This usually shows up on a report somewhere or one of our members or contractors call us to let us know this is happening. The contract is clear in that if it is covered work they are to be using IBEW 1245 contractors to perform this work. This month we had issues with a non-union relay testing company as well as two separate civil contractors being used by two of our contractors to perform work that our members would normally be used for.
The result is two separate grievances filed on two different contractors for using non-signatory contractors to perform civil work covered under the scope of our outside line agreement. These grievances are in the very early stages as of this writing and may be slated for labor management in June if we can’t get them resolved over the course of the next couple of weeks.
There are two wrongful termination grievances in the early stages with the solar projects that we are in the discovery stages of and one major pay issue that we are using a compliance agency to verify the correct pay was given to a handful of members.
In addition to the above issues we still have 11 cases of wrongful termination that are scheduled for arbitration after Labor Management was unsuccessful in coming to an equitable resolution.
- 10 cases are with one contractor with arbitration scheduled over 4 days. Half of the cases will be heard in Reno, where the work is being performed on March 9 & 10th and the other half are scheduled for July. All 10 cases involve wrongful terminations.
- 1 case involves wrongful termination in California with a pole testing contractor. Arbitration date still needs to be determined.
Substation Technician Books and Testing
On April 12 the JATC performed assessment testing at Local 1245 for the new substation technician classification. On that day we had 96 members signed up to come in and test with several questions asked pertaining to the new classification leading up to the test as well as on the day of the testing. What has made it confusing is there was a wrong assumption made by people signing up or who have taken the test in Local 47 area that if they took the test they were in the program and that is not true. For the test on the 12th the below information sheet was discussed with hopes of clearing some of the confusion up.
Substation Technician Assessment Test
Explanation of the process:
- 96 members have or are testing today, 42 are Journeymen, 54 are non-journeymen
- There are 23 slots currently available for members of Local 1245
- Preference will be giving to Journeymen. After Journeymen preference will be given to Line Equipment Man, Groundman, Fabricator Technicians, in that order with no exceptions.
This classification was intended to fill the gap within the OSL agreement that is left when a journeyman, utility substation electrician or out of class lineman who has performed nothing but substation work has found themselves unemployed and using the OSL out of work books. This classification will require an individual to know all aspects of the substation and work inside the fence. This includes control wiring as well as all the other disciplines that go into working in a substation.
The following Contractors were recently organized:
- Dale Carter Fencing, PG&E Support Agreement
- Baldry Brothers, CA OSL Agreement
- CES Utility Solutions CA-LLC — Gas Inspector agreement
Siemens Traffic Signal and Street Light Maintenance agreement is a joint agreement with Local 47. We are set to pre-meet with Local 47 on May 6-7 in Riverside.
2013 TRAINING SCHEDULE & SPECIAL EVENTS
- First Aid & CPR is the 2nd Saturday of every month at our Riverside and Sacramento facility.
- Soccer Tournament North — May 4, 2013, Fairfield
- IBEW Nor-Cal Clay Shoot — May 11, 2013 in Dunnigan. Registration can be found on our website.
- IBEW 9th District Softball Tournament, August 17 & 18, 2013, Orange, CA
- IBEW Golf Tournament , October-TBA, Vacaville
- International Lineman Rodeo, October 7-19, 2013
The California-Nevada JATC has opened the application process for Outside Lineman Apprenticeship program. You will find information relevant to this process and application at: //www.calnevjatc.org/
We currently have 326 outside line apprentices registered in our JATC program.
- We have 33 traveling apprentice working in our jurisdiction.
- 76 apprentices are working out of Local 1245
- 224 are working out of Local 47
- 20 – working out of Local 396
- 39 are off of work (12 are on disability – 10 are on leave of absence- 6 are suspended)
We have graduated 10 apprentices to journeyman lineman.
- We have indentured 19 outside line apprentices this year.
- We have 2 traffic signal maintenance apprentices registered.
- 1 is working for Republic Electric in Local 1245’s jurisdiction.
- 1 is unemployed
- 0 are working for Republic Electric in Local 47’s jurisdiction.
INJURED WORKERS FUND
The balance of the fund as of March 31, 2013 was $538,641.12.