IBEW 1837 Members Ratify Five-Year Contract at New Hampshire Electric Co-op

IBEW 1837 Negotiating Committee takes a quick break during bargaining. Following difficult negotiations that included almost two days of federal mediation, IBEW 1837 members at the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative have ratified a five-year contract. The agreement includes an increase in the meal allotment and wage increases in each of the five years. The Negotiating Committee was satisfied with the contract and it was approved by IBEW 1837 members at the Co-op by a ratification vote on Thursday, October 4, 2007.
The contract calls for a 65 cents revaluation in the wage paid to Lineworkers I, Working Foremen and District Representatives. That adjustment will come prior to the annual pay increases of 3.5%, 3.5%, 3.25%, 3%, and 3% for all represented members.
IBEW 1837’s agreement with the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative has been augmented by the addition of storm language in and out of Co-op territory. A small increase in the meal allowance is another improvement in the pact. Member payment percentages for health insurance that were negotiated last fall will remain in effect.
One sticking point during negotiations had been Company-proposed future changes in the retirement plan. The path to an agreement with the Union was cleared when the Company dropped that proposal at the 11th hour. Instead, a Union/Management Committee will take an annual look at how to contain the Company’s future retirement costs and make recommendations for changes. No changes can be made without a vote of approval from the IBEW 1837 membership.
“I have to give credit to our Brothers on the Negotiating Committee,” said Tom Ryan, IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager. “Through difficult and trying negotiations, they stuck with it and got the job done. My hat’s off to them!”
In related news, Brother Ryan has announced the appointment of longtime steward and union activist Arthur G. Cornelissen, Jr. as Chief Steward at the Co-op. "I'm looking forward to working with Art as he steps into his new role," Ryan said. "He's a great guy with a lot of experience."
As pictured above, the Negotiating Committee members were, from left: Robert Walsh, James E. Robison, Arthur G. Cornelissen, Jr., John H. Carrigan, and Charles L. Murphy. Joining them at the table were IBEW 1837’s Tom Ryan and Susan Ekola.
At the Co-op, IBEW Local 1837 represents some 94 employees including District Representatives, Working Foremen, Lineworkers, Operations Coordinators, Line Design Technicians, Auto Mechanics, System Electricians, Meter Technicians, and other Technicians.