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Hello and Welcome Summer. By now everyone is preparing for the 4th of July and enjoying the lazy days of summer. Enjoy the warm weather and please keep safety in the forefront when enjoying outside activities or performing work outdoors.

In mid-April, a Meet & Discuss was held to discuss Public Works and the Electric Department. The Borough expressed an interest in returning the PA1Call work to the borough employees. After reviewing the job descriptions in Public Works it has been agreed to between the parties, that the task of performing PA1Calls, with proper training, can be performed by the laborer in Public Works.
21EPH-001 – Unjust discipline – the Union has proposed reducing the discipline to a verbal, with an end date of 8/31/21 and expunge and record of insubordination. The Borough owes a response by 7/23/21.
We are beginning to prepare for contract negotiations with the Borough. Thank you to everyone that completed a survey. Your voice matters.
One final note for employees of the Borough of Ephrata, it’s been brought to my attention that employees have been directed not to use email for inquiries on tasks they perform in their job. I do advise employees to email their supervisors for direction, guidance, suggestions, etc. This benefits both sides to provide a written reference should the assistance be needed again. Of course, if there’s a situation that requires immediate attention, please have a discussion with the appropriate employee/supervisor to care for the situation at hand.

20COM-013 – Bargaining Unit work performed by non-bargaining unit employees from Fairview Hub site – submitted for arbitration – scheduled for 11/30/21
20COM-015 – Bargaining unit work performed by non-bargaining unit employees from Fairview Hub site – submitted for arbitration – scheduled for 1/7/22
20COM-024 – Maintenance – No overtime offered when contractor staffing was at or exceeded 40% – 2nd step held on 6/3/21 – Company declined settlement – staff will review for next step
20COM-026 – Xfinity store opened in LU 1600 Harrisburg territory staffed with non-union employees – submitted for arbitration – scheduled for 7-15-21
20COM-027 – Bargaining unit work performed by non-bargaining unit employees – new store stocked with equip from Lancaster warehouse – submitted for arbitration – scheduled for 9/10/21
21COM-021 – Maintenance – non-bargaining unit employees performing Bargaining Unit work – 2nd step held on 6/3/21 – Company declined grievance – staff will review for next step.

Dispatch – Multiple grievances have been filed for the Company not implementing the 10-hour scheduled, after notification was provided cancelling the current agreement. The parties are currently in discussions to settle these grievances.
CCC – Clerical support – around mid-May Customer Service has no clerical support due to bidding out, absence, etc. My understanding is that as of today there is still no steno support in Customer Service. LU1600 reached out to find out who was performing the BU clerical work in this situation. The Company responded stating that CSAs will be providing assistance. Recognizing the immediate need due to time constraints of some of the tasks performed as well as daily support needed for the Customer Service organization, LU 1600 reached out and offered an agreement for the CSAs to perform these duties with an increase in pay, since the Steno/Clerk-General is a higher rate of pay. The Company declined this offer and proceeded to have the CSAs trained and performing this work. Grievances have been filed for BU working out of their job classification, as well as management performing BU work.

Clerical (systemwide) – I’ve been receiving many inquiries with regards to Steno vacancies not being filled. However, the Company is filling some slots with spec temps. This seems to be the Company norm at this time. I have asked about the vacancies (either by phone, email and/or grievance). According to the Company there are going to be some technology changes that will result in the need for clerical support to be reduced (doesn’t stop me asking). I do ask that stenos throughout the PPL system make a list of any and all duties you perform. Not just job description but specific tasks (creating reports, entering time and labor, managing supplies, working excel, etc.). This is very important for LU1600 to know when we have inquiries regarding vacancies not filled.

Terry Elekes

Author Terry Elekes

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