Members Narrowly Approve Eversource CBA; Contracts Ratified at Three Other Companies

The Eversource NH collective bargaining agreement 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.

Central Rivers Power

IBEW 1837 members working at Central Rivers Power have ratified a new contract running from September 1, 2020 through March 1, 2024, including raises every year.


The biggest concern going into negotiations was losing legacy benefits that the large utility company (Eversource) was able to provide,” IBEW 1837 Business Manager Tony Sapienza said, “with pension and insurance being the biggest concerns.”


The legacy defined benefit pension plan has ended but there were no changes to the defined contribution plan that has been in effect since 2006. Though it is impossible for a smaller company to match a large self-funded health plan, our members are satisfied with the health benefit that includes a PPO plan and a high deductible plan with the company funding the full deductible for both plans.

Members will have 11 holidays and two floating holidays, which is an increase of one holiday. When conditions warrant, with mutual agreement, employees can be put on standby status and will promptly respond to emergency callins. Represented employees to be included in Company cell phone reimbursement policy and a Fire Retardant Clothing Allowance will be included in the contract.

In addition, the contract will be edited by both parties for content that only applied to large fossil fuel plants that are no longer part of this company.

Central Rivers Power owns and operates 45 hydroelectric power plants including nine in New Hampshire with a combined installed capacity of 340 MW across the United States

Granite Ridge

IBEW 1837 members at Granite Ridge have approved a three-year contract extension with raises in each year and without any concessions.

Members voted on Friday, September 18, 2020 to approve the contract extension offer. That offer was the result of several phone conversations between IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager Tony Sapienza and Calpine North Central Regional Operations Vice President Chris Jones. Mr. Jones insisted this was the Company’s best offer at this time.

The approved extension runs from September 28, 2020 to September 27, 2023. It includes a 2.25% wage increase for each year starting March 27, 2021, March 27, 2022, and March 27, 2023. Granite Ridge employees will be included in an employee referral bonus program. All other provisions of the collective bargaining agreement will remain unchanged.

“I’d like to thank all those who participated (in the vote) and special thanks to the volunteer bargaining committee members, Rick Davis and Brandon Carroll,” Sapienza said.

It’s the third contract for IBEW Local #1837 with Calpine Corporation, a Houston-based generator of electricity from natural gas and geothermal resources with 77 power plants in operation or under construction.


The Union represents all 19 maintenance and operations personnel at the Londonderry, New Hampshire, gas-fired plant.

The plant was organized into the Union by IBEW Local #1837 in 2006.

Granite Shore Power

IBEW 1837 members at Granite Shore Power ratified a new contract in June after difficult negotiations during which the Company insisted on scrapping the previous agreement altogether. The agreement runs through May 31, 2023.

At the time of the negotiation, IBEW Local 1837 represented a total of 80 members at Schiller, Newington and Merrimack Generating Stations in New Hampshire. These fossil fuel power stations were acquired by Granite Shore Power from Eversource NH as part of the legislatively-mandated divestiture agreement. Prior to the start of the negotiations, the Company notified the Union that they intended to cease operations at Schiller and layoff all of our

members there. (See story on page 4.)

While it is a completely new collective bargaining agreement, the Union negotiating committee worked very hard to maintain as many of the rights and benefits from the existing contract in the new agreement as it possibly could. The Union negotiating committee was able to offer a union-sponsored health insurance plan that costs considerably less and offers a much higher level of benefits and it is part of the new contract. 

The three-year agreement includes wage increases of 2.75%, 2.5% and 2.75%. The Union Committee worked hard to preserve double time on Sundays or second day off. There are some small increases to other premiums like working over 16 or 18 hours and minimum call-in pay. The Company’s 401(k) match increases to 4%.

Unfortunately, although the Union worked hard to include service prior to GSP ownership and all service will be recognized, there is still a significant reduction in termination pay. This had an immediate impact on approximately 30 members working at Schiller Station, which was closed as the markets for generating electricity have been seeing dramatic realignment. The Union negotiating team worked hard on getting whatever they could for the members at

Schiller Station. A separate agreement on a separation package was negotiated for the Schiller Station employees. 

When people chose to take termination pay, they no longer have call back rights should a job open up.