Effective April 1st there will be a dues increase. BA members will go from $23.15 to $23.66; A members will go from $27.53 to $28.04 and Other Properties will go from $16.96 to $17.30.
Received notification from President Stephenson that the International is doing an early endorsement for Joe Biden.
Political – there are a few bills out there that will interest us.
- Utility Workers will be authorized to use any public commercial restroom regardless of properties owners having an internal policy not allowing it.
- Building Services personnel must be paid the prevailing rate of wage to all workers under a public work contract. Maybe something we can use to get some of our Janitors back under our umbrella.
- Governor is decreasing the time to start receiving unemployment benefits when you are on strike. It was 7 weeks and now will be 3 weeks. If you are on a lock out, you receive benefits right away.
I have spent most of my time in negotiations. We have ratified a 6 year contract for Liberty Utilities. It includes a 22% general wage increase over the term of the contract, change in benefits now being offered a PPO plan, increase in boot allowance, meals, call out; bonus program, increase to their 401k but no new employees will be receiving retiree medical. They will also be going into a Cash Balance plan which is actually a better plan.
I have two more negotiations coming up; Exelon Nuclear which is up in June and Bear Swamp generating plant in Massachusetts which is up in July.
There is a Safety video coming out. I am asking members to engage. They will be asking us what we need and how to do our work. It is part of the new Safety culture and to our benefit.
I have filed a NLRB Labor Charge against the company about information requests which are called Foil Requests which are not being provided in a timely manner. We had two arbitration cases where they walked into the arbitration with the information we had requested.
Today I talked to our attorneys of what the company shared with us today that if anybody is tested for or suspected of going to work with any alcohol in their system, they are sending them home without pay. That falls below our Fitness for Duty procedure where you just cannot work on safety sensitive work. We have a fight on our hands.
Had major storm issues this past week. We will be meeting with Keith McAfee on February 13th in which we will be discussing among other things the number of non-union contractors that are coming on the property in a storm.
We are working on the discipline letter reviews for removal from your file. You will be notified if we are successful in getting them removed.
Pension Update – we meet them last month which was basically to tell us anything that might be done is not for free. They will be meeting us again at the end of March which is the end of their fiscal year to see what dollars they might have and what they might be looking for. There will be no movement on Article XXIII’s until the pension issue is resolved.
Lone Worker Device pilot is taking place. We will be looking at three devices. I have spoken to Tim Graham and we will be meeting in March to go over two man areas.
Central Division they are consolidating Office Technicians in the SOC Syracuse office complex and will be going from 16 clerks to possibly 5 and hoping to do thru attrition.