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 201
Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 743-1652, Fax: (603) 743-1654

Welcome

to IBEW Local 1837 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1837 is proud to represent approximately 1,600 working men and women all over Maine and New Hampshire. Most of our members work at electric utilities or broadcasting stations throughout the two states. We work at companies such as Central Maine Power, Eversource in New Hampshire, and WGME-TV 13, just to name a few! IBEW Union Local 1837 maintains two offices to better serve our members—one in Manchester, Maine and the other in Dover, New Hampshire. The office in Maine includes a separate building with a conference room and meeting area for union programs and training sessions.

IBEW 1837 News

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    Turnout was high throughout the state for the contract vote. Ballots were tallied at the Manchester, Maine office of IBEW 1837.

    May 5, 2021 - IBEW members working at Central Maine Power voted to approve a new collective bargaining agreement with guaranteed wage increases and annual bonus payments, and without significant concessions of any kind. Voting took place at 15 different locations throughout the state on Wednesday, May 5th. The contract takes effect immediately and runs through April 30, 2025.

    “The ratification of the new 4-year contract agreement with Central Maine Power is a significant step in the right direction for our members and for Maine’s largest electric utility,” said IBEW 1837 Business Manager Tony Sapienza. “After months of negotiations we were able to come to an agreement that the negotiating committee and the Union leadership could recommend to our members. Our members are proud of the important work they do serving CMP’s many thousands of customers and this agreement demonstrates that the company recognizes the value of our commitment to them.”

    The Union and the Company met a total of 15 times in March and April at CMP’s General Office in Augusta with both sides limiting the number of people at the bargaining table as a COVID-related precaution. The Union side brought in a limited number of other members beyond the core negotiating committee for one or two days at a time to gain the benefit of their specific knowledge and experience.

    Union negotiators sought wage adjustments across the board and presented detailed data when and where it was available to bolster their arguments. Ultimately, all job classifications received at least a single 2% wage adjustment prior to the general wage increases of 3% per year in each of the four years. Some job classifications, including First Class Lineworkers, received larger wage adjustments as the data conclusively proved they were underpaid and the Company found it increasingly difficult to attract and retain people in those positions.


  • The Zoom hearing had some 100 witnesses and took
    more than six hours to complete.

    March 25, 2021 - At a hearing of the New Hampshire House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee, the overwhelming majority of people testified in opposition to the so-called “Right to Work” bill. Elected union leaders were joined by rank-and-file union members in urging committee members to vote “Inexpedient to Legislate” on the union-busting bill, SB 61. Similar bills have been considered dozens of times in the State Legislature and have always failed to become law.

    “The only purpose of this bill is to increase corporate power at the expense of working people,” IBEW Local #1837 Business Manager Tony Sapienza said. “Obviously, wages and benefits will erode faster or grow slower if corporations are empowered and collective bargaining rights are eroded.”

    In addition to workers and their unions, other opponents of the bill included faith leaders, economists, small business owners and larger companies that rely on union apprenticeship programs for a reliable source of skilled workers.

    Corporate lobby groups such as NH BIA were joined by the Virginia-based National Right to Work Committee in support of the bill. All testimony was given on Zoom at the virtual hearing.

    Prior to the hearing, it was announced that just over 200 people from New Hampshire had signed on in support of the bill on the NH General Court website while more than 1,700 had signed on in opposition to it, a margin of more than 8 to 1 against Right to Work.

    One of the last people to testify against the bill was Pat Moran, a Troubleshooter for Eversource NH and a Chief Steward for IBEW Local 1837.


  • Ed Goodale working on a West Buxton Dam
    on the Saco River where IBEW 1837 also
    represents Brookfield workers

    March 16, 2021 - A proposal to amend the state’s Kennebec River Management Plan would remove at least two and eventually as many as four dams where IBEW 1837 members work generating electricity. The dams are owned by Brookfield Renewable Partners.

    Maine’s Department of Marine Resources (DMR) said removing the Lockwood Dam in Waterville and the Shawmut Dam in Fairfield would allow endangered Atlantic salmon to move upriver to spawn and create new recreational opportunities and economic development. But others noted that removal of the dams would negatively impact recreational opportunities that the dams provide, hurt the local economy, cause tax increases in local communities and lead to the loss of good-paying union jobs. and properties along the river, create job losses and cause municipal tax rates to increase.

    IBEW 1837 member Ed Goodale testified at a public hearing about what he’s learned after working on Maine rivers for nearly 33 years.

    “The people doing these jobs truly care about their river system and feel more like a steward of the river than just a hydro tech,” Goodale said.  “Brookfield and their employees have proven they can and will operate their generating stations both safely and environmentally friendly. All work is done with safety and the environment in mind first.  Brookfield and their employees maintain the motto of doing the right thing.”

    Matt Beck is an Organizer and Business Representative for IBEW 1837 and helps to represent 29 workers at Brookfield throughout the state.

    “As Maine lost thousands of good-paying Union jobs in manufacturing throughout the state, jobs that allowed people to buy a home, raise a family and have enough financial security to retire with dignity, those kind of jobs became harder to find. Any steps that may be taken to remove dams will have unintended consequences that will be difficult to reverse,” Beck said. “If the dams go away, many of those good jobs will go away, too. As was the case with shuttered factories and mills, those workers, our members, are unlikely to ever find jobs with the wages and benefits that they have now.”


  • CMP Workers restoring power (file photo)

    March 10, 2021 - Workers at Central Maine Power Company (CMP) are angry and disappointed by the decision of company officials to give an unusually low 1.4% annual bonus to their non-management employees. At the same time, CMP managers will receive a bonus payout of 8 – 9% of their annual pay.

    As we reach the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, CMP’s lineworkers, clerks, dispatchers, customer service representatives and other unionized employees have continued doing their vitally important jobs providing electricity to Maine families and businesses. In the past year, more than 20 storms have led to outages affecting CMP’s customers and CMP’s frontline employees have worked around the clock restoring their power. At the same time, Maine’s largest utility has been saying that their financial condition is excellent, making this low bonus payout even more difficult to understand.

    “Our Union members are proud to do the work that they do supporting Maine communities,” said IBEW Assistant Business Manager Renee Gilman. “We know CMP’s management says that they appreciate their employees but their actions speak louder than words. We hope that they will reconsider this insultingly low bonus payment and show their employees that they value them every bit as much as they do their management team.”

    Members of IBEW Local 1837 at CMP comprise the largest bargaining unit of the local union, with more than 600 members represented. The contract covers field and support workers in the line departments, meter departments, substations departments, customer service representatives, area and systems dispatchers, engineers, programmers, communications center and field offices, GIS and CADD technicians, offices services personnel, technical services representatives, and a variety of other support personnel.


  • February 9, 2021 - Anti-union politicians in Concord and out-of-state special interest groups are back at it again. They’re trying to cut wages and benefits for union members by supporting more deceptively titled “Right to Work” legislation, Senate Bill 61.

    Right to Work should be called “Right to Work for Less!” It doesn’t create any jobs or give anybody rights. It simply undermines the ability of working people to join together in strong unions by attacking their unions’ financial health. When unions are undermined in this way, wages, benefits and safety for workers all suffer as a result. In fact, what these special interest groups really want to do is abolish unions altogether.

    “This will be devastating for the hardworking men and women in New Hampshire,” said IBEW 1837 member Pat Moran, a Troubleshooter at Eversource.  “This will lead to low paying jobs, jobs with less benefits and in general employees that have no care for their employers.”

    If Senate Bill 61 is passed by the New Hampshire Senate, it would then move on to the House of Representatives where it would face additional hearings and a vote by that legislative body.

    “Our members know that these bills are designed to hurt them and their families and they’re speaking out and contacting their elected representatives,” said IBEW 1837 Business Representative Matthew Beck. “Wages in so-called right to work states are 16% lower on average and why would anybody think that’s a good idea?”



  • February 8, 2021 - A union organizing campaign by registered nurses at Maine’s largest hospital has captured the attention of union members and hospital patients throughout Northern New England. It also has earned a rare public endorsement from IBEW Local Union #1837.

    “We’re proud to stand with the registered nurses at Maine Medical Center as they join together to form their union,” said Michelle Crocker, President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #1837. “Our local union E-Board, made up entirely of rank-and-file union members from our represented companies, voted unanimously to support them in this important effort.”

    IBEW Local #1837 represents nearly 1,600 union members in Maine and New Hampshire working at utilities and broadcast outlets.

    “We regret that the hospital administration seems to be employing the same tired, old union-busting tactics that their anti-union consultants often favor,” Sister Crocker continued. “We urge Maine Med’s administration to show these heroic RNs the respect they deserve and let them make their own decision without the unrelenting pressure that only serves to make their jobs more difficult.”

  • Linda votes for the contract
    Kittery Water District Office Manager
    Linda Johnson voted to ratify the contract.
    Every member of the bargaining unit took
    the time to cast their ballot.

    December 30, 2020 - At least one good thing has come out of a very bad year: Workers at the Kittery Water District have overwhelmingly ratified their first contract with IBEW Local #1837. The 15 workers at the water utility include office staff, filtration plant workers, laborers, meter readers, service technicians and others.

    “We’re grateful to negotiating team members Linda Johnson, Matthew Crosby, and Brandon Woods for the time and effort they put into making this a good first contract,” said IBEW 1837 Organizer and Business Representative Matt Beck. “The contract guarantees that they will be able to maintain the good wages and benefits they currently enjoy while making other substantive improvements as well.”

    Although the employees at Kittery Water District had been in IBEW Local #1837 through most of the 1990's, both sides at the bargaining table approached the negotiations as if this was the first contract agreement for them. IBEW 1837 Business Manager Tony Sapienza and attorney Jeff Young also participated in the bargaining along with Beck and IBEW 1837 notetaker Sue Ekola.

    The 2-year contract agreement includes 2.5% wage increases in each year and maintains 100% health insurance coverage paid for by the Kittery Water District. Other improvements included new requirements by management to give employees advance notice for schedule changes and improving opportunities to earn overtime pay. It also instituted a grievance and arbitration process for any violations of the agreement.

  • Covid-19
    COVID-19 virus image from CDC

    October 28, 2020 - Members of IBEW 1837 are required to adhere to safety measures that our represented companies have put in place to protect their employees during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Although the safety protocols including mandatory use of face masks vary from one employer to the next, and not all of our members support them or believe that they are necessary or effective, they must be followed nonetheless.

    COVID-19 is a nationwide and worldwide pandemic that is expected to continue well into next year - even with the most optimistic vaccine distribution forecasts. Employees and their family members have been affected by this disease and all employers have a responsibility to try to maintain a safe workplace.

    IBEW 1837 has asked our legal representation to advise us about the masking, testing and other safety protocols being instituted where our members work throughout Maine and New Hampshire. While we will continue to follow and monitor these measures, our legal counsel has said that we will not be successful in trying to avoid or file a grievance on these measures, if a Company is erring on the side of caution.

    Of course, the safety of our members is of the utmost importance to us. It is important to follow the guidelines of our represented employers for that reason alone.

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