Dear Brothers and Sisters, I hope that this is finding you and your family healthy and safe. As you all are aware and you are living it every day, this year has been a challenge like no other year. The coronavirus has turned our work and personal lives upside down. I wanted to give you all an update of the items that we have been working on since taking office on July 21, 2020. We will send out more of these updates since we are still unable to have indoor Union meetings. We are also moving towards creating a Zoom account for the Local so we can have Shop Stewards meetings on a regular basis. On the topic of Shop Stewards, Sister D’Alessio has set up training for new Shop Stewards and she has also set up training for the Executive Board. These training sessions will be via Zoom and are being taught by the International Office. I want to thank Sandy for her hard work in setting these training sessions up. With the coronavirus, the business of the Local has not slowed down at all. Our newly elected Executive Board is meeting every month to keep the business of the Local moving. I will list some of the items that your Union Representatives have been working on or have completed.
The Local negotiated and the Members have ratified a new 4-year contract at Sussex Rural Co-Op. I would like to thank all of the individuals that were involved in ratifying this agreement.
The Yards Creek station has been sold to LS Power/IHI. We were able to negotiate and ratify a contract that protects our Members that work at the station and it minimized the impact on them. This contract goes out to 2023. The license for the facility will not transfer over for possibly a few more months. Again would like to thank all of the individuals involved in getting a successful contract at Yards Creek.
The Local has hired the Withum Accounting group to replace Fallon and Fallon, this new accounting group will perform all of our “back office” work and all expense vouchers, bills, etc will be now approved and paid electronically. The approval process has not changed; it is just electronic now.
We will also be hiring an independent accounting firm to perform an independent end of the year audit, which is required by the IBEW Constitution.
At Gilbert/GenOn we have tentatively agreed on terms on allowing “grandfathered” members to have their medical and retiree benefits from a defined benefit plan to a cash buy out and their 401k was increased. There were only three members that this affected. I would like to thank Joe Kokinda for his help with this.
At JCPL we are working on getting more jobs in needed areas posted.
At JCPL we are working on getting Building and Maintenance jobs posted, there are currently no JCPL employees in those jobs, and contracting that work out is not acceptable.
We heard second step grievances in September at JCPL.
Local 1289 has withdrawn from participating in the PSI program.
Local 1289 Officers and Staff are in constant talks with JCPL management about their return to work plan. More to come on that, especially with the COVID-19 numbers increasing in NJ. Our members’ safety is the number 1 priority.
At Oyster Creek, the Company still is refusing to bargain in good faith and follow or acknowledge certain sections of the contract that especially speak to long term employment. We have many grievances on this issue set up for arbitration and there are unfair labor practice charges filed. More to come on this.
I just wanted to let you all just some of the things we have been working on since we took office. As always stay safe and healthy and if something comes up or you have an issue or a question, please call a Shop Steward or a Business Rep, or anyone of us. We will do more of these updates, and we will start having zoom calls with the Shop Stewards so they can help get the information out. Please stay healthy and safe.
Fraternally, Jeffrey Ecklof President/Business Manager IBEW Local 1289