Business Manager Tony Sapienza
CMP Administrative and Technical Unit Members Ratify Agreement But Express Frustration
March 24, 2014 - IBEW 1837 members in the Central Maine Power Administrative and Technical bargaining unit have ratified a new 4-year contract agreement. This group of 42 workers had been working without a contract since July 1, 2013.
Although the contract was ratified, nearly all of the workers expressed disappointment and frustration in the final deal. Those feelings were echoed by union officials.
“By failing to include this one group of workers in the company-wide all-employee bonus, CMP has devalued these employees by sending them a clear message: You’re not worth it!” said IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager Bill Dunn. “The lack of that bonus is a big disappointment.”
Negotiations moved slowly after the previous contract expired last summer with the Company’s first offer in February overwhelmingly rejected by union members. With that rejection, members in the bargaining unit authorized a strike but Union and Company officials continued their talks.
Three weeks later, after returning to the bargaining table, CMP’s negotiators agreed to withdraw their proposal to make cuts in the value of the health insurance offered to current employees. The cuts will still be applied to new hires, much to the dismay of the union members.
“We can only hope that this positive vote gives the Company the opportunity to do the right thing, and extend the bonus program to these dedicated workers,” Dunn continued.
Workers in the CMP Administrative and Technical Unit organized to join the Union in 2005-2006. Among their responsibilities are maintaining the Automated Metering Infrastructure system, supporting the Energy Control Center, Distribution System Engineering and support, Office Support, and developing maps for CMP field personnel so they can safely perform their work. Their roles are clearly in line with the metrics of the bonus.
The 4-year agreement includes retroactive pay back to the contract start date of July 1, 2013. In addition to modest wage increases during the term of the contract, other changes include a requirement that all workers in the bargaining unit start contributing to the costs of collective bargaining effective January 1, 2016.
The Union Negotiating Team included Bill Dunn, IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers, and bargaining unit members Michelle Crocker, Paul Duperre, Rick Gray and Clint Smith.
“It’s time for the Company to put aside their pettiness and start showing the true value these employees are to CMP,” Crocker said.