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Here it is just April and time for the spring thaw. What a start to the year it’s been. A major storm in January and another in February. I’m hopeful that mother nature gives everyone a break for at least the next few months, if not longer.

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

Ephrata Borough
24EPH-001 – excessive discipline in Waste Water – settled with a reduced discipline time period.

• There have been discussions in the Electric Department regarding the process of temporary upgrade to Crew Leader. Currently MA 18EPH-001 defines specifically the temporary upgrade process and time period. There is no change to this process at this time.
• I’ve been contacted regarding the recent posting for a part-time Community Service Officer. According to Nancy Harris, Borough Manager, the Police offered the cost saving measure of reducing the hours for this position during negotiations last year. We will be monitoring the workload and if any of the duties performed by the CSO have been moved to another position.
• The Borough contacted Local 1600 and expressed an interest in extending the period of time provided to obtain the CDL from 6 months to 10 months. An agreement has been drafted and we are waiting for the Borough to respond. Until there is an agreement changing the time period, the time period remains 6 months.

• A settlement was reached in December resolving 22 grievances and multiple complaints with regards to the CCC Billing Crisis and missed overtime opportunities. For the grievances involving management working when BU was not working, impacted employees received a lump sum payment. For the missed overtime opportunities for not following the CCC OT MA employees received a lump sum payment equal to 50% of the total amount of compensation. I thank the Company for their continued cooperation in resolving these issues.

• In addition to the above settlements, there have been ongoing discussions with regards to open issues at the CCC. This is a result of not just speaking up but of also being heard. Thank you to the CCC management for your efforts to create a better work environment and a special thank you to the employees who are speaking up. Just to give a brief look at some of the changes, these discussions have produced a weekly (if not more frequent) communication to the CCC floor. They are also helping in resolving work procedure issues not only within the CCC but in other work groups as well.

• Multiple grievances have been filed in the CCC for employees being placed on RBP for excessive use of NINJF. To provide some more detail, NINJF, is the old Sick-No Pay. A GRM was held for one of the impacted employees. During this meeting, the Company clearly stated that they do agree the absences were bona fide. They did not contact the employee to notify them that the time off was not approved. I don’t know if this is happening Company wide. Anyone that gets RBP, please see a steward.

There has been a rumor floating around that the Company is closing the SFC. I contacted the Company about this rumor and that’s what it is…rumor. I urge any employee that has a concern to discuss it with his or her supervisor. Get the facts and ignore the rumor.

One last note, for those who may not know it, Laura Fitzgerald, Chief Steward Scranton, has retired effective 4/1/24. Laura has been true supporter of her fellow brothers and sisters and has been a huge asset to Local 1600. I enjoyed working with Laura over the years. I wish Laura much peace, joy and relaxation during her retirement.

One last LAST note, Frank Graboski is retiring effective April 26, 2024. Frank has been a strong Union member for the past 40 years. I’ve probably worked with Frank the longest at the office and oh man are there some stories (but I’m not a storyteller). I will say I have seen Frank grow during his time at the hall. Although he was the President, he has been and always will be a person you work with not work for. He has turned into an effective Leader and brother. As I did with Laura, I wish Frank much peace, joy and relaxation during his retirement. You will be missed and believe me you will be remembered.

Terry Elekes

Author Terry Elekes

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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