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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 at 610-395-8167 (press zero on the automated service) to speak with a secretary and provide your personal cell phone number and Company.

Here of some of the items I’ve been working on since my last newsletter:

Ephrata Borough
A meet & discuss was held with the Borough to discuss the following:

  • Electric Department
    • FR clothing MA 10EPH-005 – parties agreed to add prescription safety glasses to the list of 2 FR items provided. In addition, the Maintenance Tech – Electrical is being added. An agreement is being drafted and no changes will take effect until it’s signed by the parties.
    • o Pilot for 10 hour shifts this summer – Borough is reviewing.
  • Temporary Metering Support – language will be added to note that estimating billing may take place.
  • CDL requirements – the parties agree to remove the CDL requirement for the Water department.
  • Customer Service – the Union proposed revising the current job description. A draft agreement is being drafted.

First and foremost, a HUGE THANK YOU to the bargaining unit employees working in the CCCs for putting the customer first with regards to the billing issues and extreme call volume, that began in December and continues to be a problem. I’ve heard from some management that were providing phone support and the consensus is that that you have a very complex and stressful job. One went as far as to say that you are NOT paid enough for what you do…I AGREE. The continuous mandatory overtime requirement, which has been in place since approximately January has taken a toll on all of you and yet you keep going. I’d say you’re the energizer bunny but you’re so much more. You’re a Customer Service Rep, Customer Service Assistant and Sr Customer Service Representative providing all of the services and more, which is the basis of a Customer Contact Center. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Second, for the management doing back-office work, there are multiple grievances regarding this concern. The parties have agreed to an abeyance of time limits for any and all CCC BU work being performed by management. In addition, the stewards, me and the Company are having weekly discussions regarding this situation. This abeyance expires on 4/10/23. If there is no resolution or an agreement between the parties to extend the abeyance time period, the Union will proceed with the grievance procedure regarding management performing BU work.

Distribution Service Technician/Trainee
22LEH-002 – A grievance has been filed for the Distribution Service Technician/Trainee performing work above their job classification. The DST/DSTTs are performing complex underground work which is work that should be performed by Distribution Technicians. The GRM was held on 8/15/22, however information was requested to thoroughly review the nature of the grievance. Unfortunately, due to the implementation of Infor and the CCC billing issues the information was not received until recently. The reconvene of the GRM is scheduled for 4/12/23.

System Shops
An agreement was made between the parties to revise the existing System Shops progression line, creating an apprentice program with automatic promotion within the line to Electric Equipment Repair-Journeyman. In this agreement, there is language creating 4 vacancies to be filled by (1) a canvass of the journeyman electrician and electrician leader job classification and if all 4 vacancies aren’t filled by this canvass the Company will fill the remaining vacancies by following the language in Article V, Section 2, Paragraph M(3) -hire, hire, post. This agreement was signed in October of 2022. Only one vacancy was filled by the one-time canvass and the remaining 3 are sitting with the Company waiting to be filled. These positions have now been posted (1 internal and 2 external).

Currently, there are nine BU employees working in Dispatch (7 CSR-Shift and 2 Dispatcher). This work group works a rotating 8 hour/12 hours 7-day schedule. A grievance was filed regarding vacancies not being filled in accordance with the current MA that provides a staffing of 17 people. However, it has been held in abeyance pending discussions with the Company regarding the schedule for dispatch. Local 1600 was provided with a tentative schedule to accommodate a staffing of 10. However, there is no relief built into the schedule. The Union has provided an alternate schedule. However, our position is clear with regards to staffing. With no relief built in, it’s going to take one absence (rest, vacation, sick, etc.) for the schedule to go into multiple overtime offers for an extended period of time.

Terry Elekes

Author Terry Elekes

More posts by Terry Elekes
The Executive Board has appointed John J. Clausius as President/Financial Secretary. Due to John appointed as President/Financial Secretary opens a vacancy for Vice President. The Vice President vacancy per the IBEW Constitution Art. 16 Sec 16 shall be filled by the Executive Board until the next regular election. The Executive Board will be accepting resumes for the Vice President until May 3, 2024. Resumes can be sent to: IBEW Local 1600 Att: Executive Board 1259 Grange Road Allentown, PA 18106