Business Manager Tony Sapienza
Members at Eversource Approve New 3-Year Contract
October 6, 2020 - The Eversource NH contract has been ratified by a razor thin majority of Union members at the Company. It is the policy of IBEW Local 1837 to not release the ballot totals but turnout was strong among union members at New Hampshire's largest electric utility.
In September, members rejected an earlier tentative contract agreement. Union and Company officials then agreed on a contract extension while they returned to the bargaining table. The IBEW negotiating team and Union leadership worked very hard with Eversource NH senior management to renegotiate a second agreement. Those renegotiations focused on the three issues the negotiating team heard most about from the membership: Forced stand-by, FSR second shift and Troubleshooter coverage area. Renegotiations are typically limited in scope to addressing the biggest issues with the dual goals of reaching agreement and avoiding a job action.
"There’s tremendous concern among many members about the forced standby provision in the new contract," IBEW 1837 Business Manager Tony Sapienza said.
The contract includes 3% wage increases for all members in each of the three years and wage adjustments for lineworkers prior to those increases.
Other improvements include 100% pay for 12 weeks of short term disability (previously 6 weeks), although it doesn’t extend the overall period of STD payments (total 25 weeks). The premium paid when working away from home for an entire workweek doing their normal function was improved by an additional $30 and major meal reimbursements were capped at $25.
Starting in January, the Company may assign additional standby crews “when anticipated (verifiable) weather conditions require coverage’. Such employees shall receive four (4) hours straight time pay per day. Previously approved time off will be honored.” Changes were also made in wages and schedules for the Troubleshooter classification as the Company seeks to fill more of those positions.
"I want to thank the volunteer members of the negotiating committee: Kitty Kilroy, Jeff Huckins, Adam Baker, Tim Perozzi, Chris Guimarra and Jake Cote as well as Mark Penny and Pat Moran for all their hard work, dedication and time spent on behalf of all union members," Sapienza said. "I also want to thank outgoing IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers and IBEW 2nd District International Representative Tiler Eaton for assisting in the renegotiations."
IBEW 1837 represents 300 workers at Eversource NH, whose service territory includes 211 towns and 5,628 square miles according to their website.