Business Manager Tony Sapienza
IBEW 1837 Reaches Tentative Agreement for New Contract at CMP
February 22, 2010 - The Union Negotiating Team at Central Maine Power has reached a tentative agreement for a contract for 650 workers at Maine’s largest utility. Prior to negotiations on Thursday, February 15, it had been nearly six months since the last bargaining session between the parties. During that time, three other Iberdrola USA companies settled contracts with their respective unions.
Those contracts were better deals than CMP had offered to their workers represented by IBEW Local 1837. For their employees in Maine, the Company was willing to meet a few of the inequities between the contracts by offering the same annual across the board wage increases in each year of the contract and the same company match on the 401(k) plan for new hires in lieu of a defined benefit retirement plan. However, CMP was unwilling to move on their controversial demand to cap the post-retirement medical coverage benefit.
Coming on the heels of a Maine PUC decision on an AMI System that could lead to the layoff of 141 CMP workers, IBEW’s negotiators were able to make inroads on a transition plan for employees affected by its implementation that will allow retraining for many employees.
“As we have stated since the first rejection vote last May, we would not bring anything back to our members for a vote unless we saw substantive changes from CMP’s first final offer,” said Bill Dunn, IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager. “This contract offer does have some substantive change to it, and the Negotiating Team believes it is the best offer we will see from the Company. Therefore, we are bringing it back to for a vote of the membership with our recommendation.”
An informational meeting has been scheduled for our members at CMP on Wednesday, February 24, at 6:00 PM at the Gardiner Area High School, 40 West Hill Rd. Gardiner, ME. IBEW will be reviewing the contract offer and answering any questions members may have. The contract ratification vote will be this Friday, February 26 at CMP worksites during the day.
Workers at CMP had been working without a contract since mid-May of last year.