Black Bear Hydro Members Approve 5-Year Contract

IBEW Local 1837 members at Black Bear Hydro have unanimously ratified a 5-year contract, which includes a $5,000 signing bonus, increased wages, and other enhanced benefits.

In addition to the signing bonus, the contract features progressive pay increases over the next five years as follows:

- A 6% increase in 2023

- A 5% increase in 2024

- A 3.5% increase in 2025

- A 3.5% increase in 2026

- A 5% increase in 2027

The new contract addresses callouts and overtime, ensuring appropriate compensation. Employees called out after hours, who can resolve the issue over the phone, will receive 2 hours of pay.  Those assigned to on-call duty will be allowed to take the company truck home and those not on call can bring the truck home and return it the next business day when called out. If a second callout is more than a 30-minute drive from the initial callout location, it will be treated as a separate callout.

Furthermore, the contract emphasizes employee wellness and professional development. Sick days in the bank have increased to 8 from 6. The agreement eliminates the EMCC training requirement and instead moves towards in-house training, with progression to 1st class at 5 years.

Improvements have also been made to the vacation plan. New hires will start accruing vacation immediately upon hire at 4 hours per pay period, up to a maximum of 80 hours. Employees with 1-2 years of service will receive 2 weeks (80 hours) of vacation. Those with 3-11 years of service will enjoy 3 weeks (120 hours). Employees with 12-19 years of service will benefit from 4 weeks (160 hours) of vacation. 5 weeks (200 hours) of vacation will be granted to employees with 20-23 years of service. Employees who have dedicated 23 or more years to Black Bear Hydro will receive 6 weeks (240 hours) of vacation.

“This is a great contract, with no takeaways for the membership” said Renee Gilman, Assistant Business Manager of IBEW 1837. “I’d like to thank our team for their hard work, and a special thanks to Black Bear steward Keith Ouellette for his input in our meetings.  It definitely made a difference.”