Business Manager Tony Sapienza
IBEW Members at CMP Ratify New Contract
May 6, 2014 - Members of IBEW 1837 in Central Maine Power Company's largest bargaining unit have ratified a new 3-year, 10-month contract agreement. Union members cast their ballots at various CMP service centers on Tuesday, May 6. A meeting of the membership was held in Gardiner on Sunday, May 4 to discuss the proposal and the Union Negotiating Team’s positive recommendation for ratification. While the Local’s policy is not to share the percentages of the results of the vote, the Negotiating Team was pleased that 92% of the membership turned out to cast their ballots.
The contract contains wage increases each year of 2.75%, 3%, 3% and 3.25%. It maintained the current health care plan for existing and future hires. It increases the funds that an employee contributes to his or her 401(k) account when working overtime while maintaining the Company’s match on their first 40 hours worked. The agreement guarantees the continuation and participation of the annual employee bonus program.
Last month, CMP union members rejected a modified contract extension in large part due to the Company’s offer to maintain the existing health plan for current employees while downgrading coverage for new hires. The agreement ratified this maintains the current health plan coverage for all employees during the term of the contract, which expires February 28, 2018.
“It was clear that health care was very important to our members,” said IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers. “They didn’t want a different health plan for new employees to further divide us. Frankly, I think that’s a great thing that they’re looking out not just for themselves, but for the next generation of CMP workers as well.”
In addition to Rogers and IBEW Assistant Business Manager Bill Dunn, the Union Negotiating Team was joined at the final bargaining sessions by IBEW International Representative Ed Collins and Federal Mediator Joe Keliher. Rounding out the team were Doug Ames, Lisa Bartell, Lisa Bean, Mark Bedard, Greg Fortin, Mark Henderson, Ryan Wilson and Becky Rugan.
“We’re grateful for all the hard work that our team put into these negotiations,” Brother Dunn said. “These are the people who are doing the work every day and their input has been invaluable and much appreciated.”
There are close to 600 members in the bargaining unit at CMP. Collectively, these union members design, build, repair and maintain the electric grid serving the largest customer base of any electric utility in Maine, and provide customer service assistance to residents and businesses in most of southern, central and western Maine. They also control the balance and flow of electricity across the grid beyond their own customer base into other parts of Maine and New England.