In Maine: IBEW Local 1837
16 Old Winthrop Road
Manchester, ME 04351
Phone: (207) 623-1030, Fax: (207) 621-8384
In New Hampshire:
680 Central Avenue, Suite 202
Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 743-1652, Fax: (603) 743-1654

Inside IBEW 1837

IBEW 1837 Member’s Daughter Diagnosed with Rare Form of Leukemia; Union Encouraging Donations for Family

Giuffrida Family
The Guiffrida Family during happier
times at this summer's OpSail event.

December 21, 2015 - The young daughter of an IBEW 1837 member will be spending this Christmas in the hospital suffering from a rare form of leukemia. Jazzlyn Giuffrida just celebrated her first birthday this month and is a patient at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland.

Central Maine Power Customer Service Representative and IBEW 1837 Union Steward Joe Giuffrida and his wife Jamie Lynn are being hit with unexpected expenses during this very difficult and challenging time. They have also lost much of Jamie Lynn’s income since she is unable to work while caring for her daughter and travelling between Augusta and Portland.

CMP, the First United Pentecostal Church and members of IBEW Local #1837 are working together to support the Giuffrida family during their time of need. Over $1,000 in donations were collected last week at CMP’s General Office, much of it given and collected by Joe’s fellow Customer Service Representatives.

IBEW 1837 Member Bids to Become Maine AFL-CIO President

Cynthia Phinney would be the
first woman elected to be
Maine AFL-CIO President.

UPDATE: October 23, 2015 - Cynthia Phinney won election to a 4-year term as President of the Maine AFL-CIO at their state convention in Bangor.

October 15, 2015 - Cynthia Phinney's dedication to making things better for working people is a big part of who she is and what she has done since first joining the Union in 1992 as an employee of Central Maine Power Company. The first person hired strictly as an Organizer for IBEW Local #1837, she held that job for several years before serving two terms as the Union's Business Manager and Financial Secretary. Her decision to run for President of the Maine AFL-CIO seemed to be a natural progression to those who know her, and to Cynthia herself.

"Certainly, some of my experience being an active participant in our Local has helped both to shape my vision and give me the skills for this position," Sister Phinney said.

Delegates to the Maine AFL-CIO State Convention in Bangor from October 22 - 23 will elect a successor to President Don Berry, who will be retiring at the end of his current term. John Portella, a Machinist from Local S6 is also a candidate for the post.

Since leaving the staff of IBEW Local #1837 and returning to Central Maine Power as a Meter Reader, Cynthia has remained active in the Labor Movement, attending many IBEW meetings, serving on the Maine AFL-CIO Executive Board and as Secretary of the Western Maine Labor Council. Phinney has also stepped up to become President of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign, serving the coalition seeking to educate the public and political leaders about the failed NAFTA-style trade model that threatens the jobs of Maine workers.

IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager Bill Dunn Retires

Bill Dunn
Bill Dunn

October 1, 2015 - After serving union members for more than 20 years, first as an IBEW Shop Steward and then as an Assistant Business Manager beginning in 2006, Bill Dunn retired this week from his position with IBEW and his job at Central Maine Power Company.

Brother Dunn, 55, started working for Maine’s largest utility in 1983. After 2 ½ years in the Meter Department, Bill moved over to the Line Department where he spent the rest of his years at CMP. He first became a Union Shop Steward in 1994 at the urging of Bob Dodge, the Assistant Business Manager that Bill would replace 12 years later.

“I became a Steward on the immediate heels of CMP going through a layoff the wrong way,” Dunn said. “It didn’t affect me directly but it affected everyone around me and it just ticked me off.”

Dodge suggested that Bill could channel that energy and anger into something constructive by becoming a Steward. He moved from CMP into his union staff position with the encouragement of other Stewards when he was appointed by then-Business Manager Cynthia Phinney.

Dunn helped countless members during his nine years as an Assistant Business Manager, managing their grievances and arbitrations, answering questions about their contacts (and helping to negotiate those contracts) while maintaining a good rapport and earning the respect of people on both sides of the table.

“The best part of the job was attempting to resolve problems and situations for people but understanding that not everyone would be happy,” Brother Dunn said. “The most satisfying moment was prevailing in the CMP AMI (Automated Metering Infrastructure) arbitration knowing that everyone who wanted a job could come back to work. That was a 2 ½ year process!”

Popular Eversource System Electrician Retires After 45 Years

Tom Rzasa
Tom Rzasa

August 26, 2015 - It would be hard to find someone at Eversource more well-liked than Tom Rzasa, a System Electrician at 1250 Hooksett Rd. T&D who retired at the end of July after 45 years with the Company. A friendly and easy-going guy, Brother Rzasa has seen a lot of changes since he started at New Hampshire’s largest electric utility in 1970.

 “It was a much different feel back then, more like family,” Tom said. “I was there about a week when they brought me in and took my picture with people and everyone was saying hello and calling me by name. Someone said ‘Do you know who that was? That was (PSNH President) Bill Tallman.’ I thought, wow, I just started here and he knows who I am. I’m pretty sure that (Eversource CEO) Tom May doesn’t know who I am.”

Rzasa started out as a Hydro Operator at Amoskeag for a few years, then moved into the Construction Department for a 13 or 14-year stretch before settling in as a System Electrician. Through it all, he maintained a positive and upbeat attitude.

“I worked with the best guys,” he said. “We had fun and enjoyed doing the work together. 45 years went by fast. I had a great run.”

New Contract Ratified at Emera Maine

July 16, 2015 - IBEW 1837 members at Emera ratified a new 5-year contract on July 2nd that includes wage increases in most classifications and comparatively modest increases in health insurance premiums for all members. Voter turnout was high with more than 90% of the 200 workers in the bargaining unit casting ballots in either Bangor or Presque Isle.

Over the term of the agreement most of the workers will see a nearly 15% wage increase with a notable exception being the 20 Customer Service Representatives and three Stockhandlers in the southern part of the Emera territory. The Company had proposed wage cuts for these classifications in order to bring them to parity with their workers in the northern part of the state. Eventually the Company agreed to freeze their pay while giving the CSR’s and Stockhandlers annual lump sum payments of $650 and $1,000, respectively.

“It’s still a struggle for membership to see the huge profits these companies are making and then see some of the initial proposals that they put on the table,”  IBEW Local #1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers told the Bangor Daily News.

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