Kittery Water District Employees Form Union with IBEW 1837

March 17, 2020 - Workers at the Kittery Water District have formed a union with IBEW Local #1837. The 15 workers include office staff, filtration plant workers, laborers, meter readers, service technicians and others.

“We’re proud that the workers at Kittery Water District asked us to help them form a Union and negotiate a collective bargaining agreement,” said IBEW 1837 Organizer and Business Representative Matt Beck. “Even though they like where they work, they understand that having a union contract gives them to ability to protect what they already have and negotiate to make things even better for themselves and their families.”

The employees were able to take advantage of a new state law that recognizes unions if a majority of municipal workers in a bargaining unit sign cards stating that they would like to be represented by the union. This allows workers to avoid a drawn out election processes after they’ve already decided to collectively bargain a contract with their employer.

“I’d like to express my thanks to Rep. Mike Sylvester of Portland for introducing the “Majority Sign-Up” legislation last year,” Beck continued. “The law simplifies the process of public sector workers joining a union and having a real voice at work.”

The Kittery Water District serves Kittery, Eliot and a portion of York, Maine. They provide drinking water to 12,000 people in addition to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, their largest governmental customer.