Here it is just April and time for the spring thaw. As we bring out our mowers, gardening tools and outdoor games, please keep safety in the forefront.
Please note, if you would like to be added to the text alerts, please notify Local 1600 (610-395-8167) and provide your personal cell phone number and Company.
Here of some of the items I’ve been working on since my last newsletter article:
Negotiations began 9/5/18 for the CBA. A tentative agreement was reached on 2/11/19. The vote on the tentative agreement on 3/7/19, was a resounding reject. The parties were back at the table on 3/21/19. The 3 issues that remain a topic of concern is the General Wage Increase, Overtime offered in relation to subcontracting and contributions to the Long-Term Disability program. Negotiations will continue until a new tentative agreement can be reached.
On another note, I was informed that there are some members that had not received the mailing of the 2/11/19 tentative agreement. I ask that you contact the Local 1600 office (610-395-8167) to confirm that we have the correct mailing address for you.
We’ve sign 4 agreements with the Borough, 3 agreements for the Electric Department and 1 agreement for Public Works.
- Defined the Lineman program and established a Physical Skills Assessment test for the Lineman program (Electric)
- Established a rotation for temporary upgrade to Crew Leader (Electric)
- Re-established the Foreman position. (Public Works)
If you would like to see these agreements or have any questions, comments and/or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact your local Steward, Chief Steward or me. I can be contacted at the Local Union office 610-395-8167.
I toured the new Call Center facility in Bethlehem. I’ve been informed that approximately half of the Call Center staff is working from home under the Hansen Work From Home program. I am currently reviewing this program.
18NE-008 – Settlement Agreement– The parties have agreed to revise the recently negotiated language in Article VIII, Section 4, Paragraph A – Substitution of Paid Time for Unpaid Absences from Duty or Unpaid Leaves of Absence. The period of time that must be used before taking unpaid leave is all but 40 hours of vacation AND all but 8 hours of mini-vacation. This also settled grievances 18NE-009, 18NE-013 and 18NE-019.
Storm Room Clerical Support– The Company approached Local 1600, June 2011, to create a consistent approach for clerical support in the Storm Room. This blossomed into the Company directive that all EU employees needed to have a specified role/roster for Storm Restoration Efforts. After many discussions with the Company, roles were established for every bargaining unit job classification in EU. Recently, the Company has determined that clerical support is not needed in the storm room and has not utilized the clerical roster. There are grievances filed on this issue and the Union position is that the there should be bargaining unit clerical support in the storm room.
Arbitration Award on Contracting at the CCC– In 2017 an arbitrator ruled that the Company was in violation of Article II, Section 5, Paragraph D, Article VI, Section 1, Paragraph D and Exhibit P of the CBA. This was reaffirmed by the Federal Court decision rendered on 9/18/18. As of today, the Company continues to violate the above noted articles by contracting with iQor and not filling vacancies. A discussion was held with the new Vice President of Customer Services and CCC management on 3/6/19 regarding the CCC progression line, contractor use and the arbitration award. The parties have agreed to establish a team of BU and management to re-evaluate the CCCs. This team will be established once the remaining item in the award is satisfied, which is the payment of back dues.
Distribution Service Technician/Trainee– The parties continue to negotiate the agreement for the establishment of the new job classification(s) Distribution Service Technician/Trainee. Most of the items have been agreed upon, however, the remaining open item of Temporary Work Assignment needs to be agreed to and incorporated into the agreement. We are scheduled to meet with the Company on 3/29/19
Drafting– The Company has proposed a new Drafting progression line, including new job descriptions and rates of pay. The parties are currently negotiating this proposal.
Material Handler/Helper Material– The parties have been in discussions to negotiate changes to the current Material Handler/Helper Material job classifications. The union is currently waiting to review the Company’s proposal prior to meeting.