Business Manager Tony Sapienza
CMP Fiber Microwave Techs Ratify Their First Union Contract
February 24, 2014 - Fiber Microwave Technicians at Central Maine Power have ratified their first union contract. These six workers are now part of the largest existing bargaining unit at CMP along with hundreds of other IBEW members. The Fiber Microwave Technicians voted to have union representation in a National Labor Relations Board election last May.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re better off,” said Phil Fessenden, one of the Fiber Microwave Techs. “It was an avenue to better our position at CMP and ensure a more productive future for our department.”
The Fiber Microwave Techs are responsible for the installation, maintenance, troubleshooting and repair of CMP's fiber-optic cable and microwave networks that carry both voice and data communications. They also maintain the Load Management and Energy Management Systems for the Company.
Their contract includes improvements in wages and benefits, a grievance and arbitration procedure, and many of the other benefits found in a collective bargaining agreement.
“I’m excited about the addition of the Fiber Microwave Techs to the big unit at CMP and, more importantly, glad that they now will have a voice at the table without the fear of retribution,” said IBEW Local 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers. “With the addition of the 46 CMP Customer Service Representatives two weeks ago, this adds to the strength of not only the CMP unit but Local 1837 as a whole.”
Like most IBEW members, the Fiber Microwave Techs have tremendous pride in their trade and the quality of their work.
“We’re a good department, we really are,” Fessenden continued. “Everybody in our group brings a lot of talent to the party.”
"I’m pleased that we could finally get a proposal from the company that could be ratified," said IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager Bill Dunn. "We’re happy that this group is now being recognized a bit more for their contributions to the success of the Company."
In addition to Dunn and Rogers, the Union Negotiating Team included Fiber Microwave Technicians Jason Tibbetts and Bob Craig.