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Happy New Year, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. As we enter the New Year there are many changes that our members have experienced in 2020. I’m hopeful that with the approval of a vaccine for Covid-19, some sense of normalcy will reappear sometime in 2021. Until that happens, please remain vigilant in following all safety measures and protocols to keep you, your family and co-workers safe.

Below are some items I’ve been working on:
Ephrata Borough
Electric Department Meet & Discuss – A discussion was held with Borough management regarding the Electric Department. From this discussion, an agreement has been reached between the parties to increase the hourly wages for the 1st Class Lineman, Crew Leader and Foreman. This rate increase is effective 1/1/2021.

Full Time Positions – Local 1600 has been made aware of 2 new full-time employees that were previously Temporary Part Time Meter Readers. Local 1600 along with Chief Steward, Wendy Stover and Steward Ron Fasnacht had a discussion with Borough management regarding the seniority applied to these 2 employees. There is no agreement for any Temporary position in the Borough. However, there is language in the Labor Agreement regarding part time employees that go to a full-time position. The parties are working on a resolution regarding this situation.

The following grievances were heard in a Grievance Resolution Meeting
20CEN-001 – Logistics – Missed Overtime – parties are working on a settlement
20CEN-002 – System Shops – Contractor doing BU work – reconvene after receipt of information requested
20CEN-008 – System Shops – Contractor doing BU work – reconvene after receipt of information requested
20GO-007 – Communication Maintenance Tech – Vacancy not filled – reconvene after receipt of information requested
20GO-008 – Relay & Protection Tech – Contractor doing BU work – reconvene after receipt of information requested
20LEH-001 – CCC – RBP – withdrawn – RBP time in effect
20LEH-017 – CCC – Management doing BU work – grievance to be submitted to mediation

In addition to the above GRMs, the Company has declared vacancies in the Distribution Service Technician position and the Engineering Drawing Detailer position. The Company is currently in the process of filling these vacancies as defined in the agreements creating these positions.

One last item for PPL, regarding the Customer Contact Centers. Back in March of 2019, the Company approached Local 1600 to renegotiate the CCC progression lines. Local 1600 prepared and presented a proposal to the Company but has yet to receive a response or counter. In the meantime, Bargaining Unit members leave the CCC progression line for one reason or another (retirement, promotion, etc) and the Company doesn’t fill the vacancies (yes these are grieved). However, the Company continues to replenish the contractor staffing. An email was sent to the Company requesting a response to the proposal by 1/11/21. This response will determine how Local 1600 proceeds with regards to the progression line, staffing and the arbitration award received with regards to contractor use.

There have been multiple grievances filed with regards to ongoing payroll discrepancies. A settlement is pending. Thank you to all of the bargaining unit members for stepping up and questioning management.
In addition, grievances have been filed regarding the opening of a new Xfinity store in the Harrisburg, that is not staffed with Bargaining Unit members. We are also looking into filing board charges on this issue.
20COM-013 – Union work being performed by non-union employees – a reconvene of the 2nd step will be held.
20COM-015 – Union work being performed by non-union employees – 2nd step is pending.
20COM-029 – Discrimination and denial of a union steward

Terry Elekes

Author Terry Elekes

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