Business Manager Tony Sapienza
IBEW 1837 and CMP Reach AMI Agreement
October 15, 2010 - Months of uncertainty for more than 125 members of IBEW Local #1837 followed the February 2010 final approval from the Maine Public Utilities Commission that gave Central Maine Power the green light to move forward with their Automated Metering Infrastructure project. Once the AMI was complete and CMP’s residential and business customers had so-called “Smart Meters” installed, the positions of Revenue Data Readers and other workers in the Revenue Service department were slated for elimination. For those workers, their future at CMP raised many questions that were left unanswered.
On Friday, October 1, the Union and the Company issued a joint statement on an Enhanced Transition Agreement following five days of negotiations over a two week period. According to that joint statement, the agreement “provides a clear framework for managing the installation of CMP’s smart meter system, and a workforce management plan with generous opportunities for voluntary retirements, re-assignments, and support for those whose jobs will be displaced by this technology.”
The joint statement continues to say that the parties “reached a series of agreements on a Voluntary Early Retirement Plan, a Voluntary Severance Plan, a Re-Deployment Program, and a Reduction in Force Process. The key provisions of the agreements provide opportunities and address the needs of all the employees who may be affected by the deployment of AMI technology.”
Some of those provisions included significant improvements in severance pay, transition allowances and other benefits for eligible employees in the early retirement and voluntary severance programs, as well as in the reduction in force process. Other employees may be eligible for new jobs at CMP and will continue to work for the Company.
Meetings have already been held with employees of the Revenue Service Department to explain in detail how the agreement would affect each employee and the options that would be available. Further negotiating sessions to finalize the job descriptions and salaries for the AMI Computer Systems Administrators have to be scheduled in the near future.