Business Manager Tony Sapienza
Field Techs at Eversource Ratify Their First Contract Agreement
December 22, 2016 - Union and Company negotiators reached agreement this month on a first contract for the Eversource Field Technicians and Specialists. The agreement was ratified overwhelmingly by the Field Techs and is an addendum to the collective bargaining agreement for the Utility Group at New Hampshire’s largest electric utility.
“I think it is a good agreement for the Field Techs and I’m pleased we were able to include them in our current contract with Eversource,” said Tom Ryan, IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager for New Hampshire. “We were able to maintain most of the benefits that our members enjoy.”
One of the biggest successes for the Union Bargaining Team was stabilizing and equalizing the pay rates for the classifications covered by the agreement. Under the new agreement, anyone that has been a Field Technician “A” for at least one year will be able to promote to Specialist upon successful completion of an exam. Formerly, there was only one Specialist per district and employees had to wait for an opening. Every Field Technician and Specialist received a wage increase to at least cover the cost of their union dues and most received more than that. Since the contract expires on May 31, it is likely that they will receive an additional wage adjustment upon ratification of the successor agreement.
As union members, they will have the opportunity to make proposals and vote for the Utility Group contract as well as vote for IBEW officers and leadership positions. For the first time, Field Technicians and Specialists now have a contract that guarantees that all work performed outside of their normal schedule will be paid at overtime rates.
The Field Technicians and Specialists are commonly referred to as “Writers” and are responsible for work associated with the design, maintenance, construction and operation of the Eversource electric distribution system in the Granite State. They had a successful organizing campaign to join IBEW 1837 earlier this year. Currently, there are 27 workers in the Field Technician A/B/C and Field Technician Specialist classifications.
The Union Negotiations Team was composed of Technicians Vaughn Taylor & Dan Pariseau, Business Manager Dick Rogers, Administrative Assistant Sue Ekola and Assistant Business Manager Tom Ryan.