IBEW 1837 Members at NextEra Ratify One-Year Contract Extension

December 21, 2012 -  All terms of the current NextEra collective bargaining agreement have been extended one year to February 28, 2014 as a result of today's ratification vote by IBEW 1837 members employed by the Company. In addition, effective February 25, 2013, all employees will receive a 4% general wage increase while employees in the Production Specialist and Senior Production Tech A classifications will receive an additional 1.5% equity pay increase.

Approximately 90 members of IBEW 1837 work for NextEra Energy (formerly FPL-Maine) generating electricity. They maintain and operate the oil-fired plant on Cousins Island in Yarmouth and the hydro dams on the Kennebec, Androscoggin, and Saco Rivers. Union members voted today at various work locations beginning at 6:00 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. at the IBEW 1837 Maine office in Manchester.

With the possible sale of the hydro assets approaching, the contract extension also includes assurances that those employees will be recognized by any new owner as IBEW 1837 members under any sale agreement with all their present terms and conditions of employment. The agreement also states that although the Union has been assured in good faith that no Maine fossil assets are currently being considered for sale or transfer, IBEW 1837 would be given reasonable advance notice if the Company decided to do so.

The extension agreement was reached at the culmination of many discussions between IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers, Assistant Business Manager Bill Dunn and the Next Era Labor Relations Department. The process also included important input from the Union's leadership team at NextEra. The Union's Pre-Negotiations Team and Negotiations Team subsequently recommended ratification of the agreement which received the members' stamp of approval today.

"I'm glad that our members at NextEra agreed to this extension," Dick Rogers said. "It's a fair deal for all of our members and I'm satisfied that it's the best contract extension agreement we could reach.

FPL-Maine acquired the Maine assets from Central Maine Power Company in 1998, shortly after Maine’s electric deregulation law prohibited a company from owning both generation and distribution assets. Many of the IBEW 1837 members who work at the NextEra facilities are former CMP employees who worked at their jobs prior to deregulation and the sale, and are longtime union members.

Earlier today and into this evening  the Union and NextEra employees had been informed about a company conference call with all their employees. IBEW 1837 believes this is due to a possible sale of the Hydro assets. "The potential sale of the hydro assets didn't come as a surprise," Rogers said. "If there is a sale I want to assure our members that we will contact the new owners to open a dialogue with them as soon as practicable.”