In Maine: IBEW Local 1837
16 Old Winthrop Road
Manchester, ME 04351
Phone: (207) 623-1030, Fax: (207) 621-8384
In New Hampshire:
680 Central Avenue, Suite 201
Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 743-1652, Fax: (603) 743-1654

IBEW News

Operating Technicians at WABI-TV Ratify 2-Year Contract


WABI-TV officially signed on
as Maine’s first television
station on January 25, 1953.

November 19, 2019 - Operating Technicians at WABI-TV in Bangor, Maine, ratified a new 2-year contract this week with raises of 2.5% each year and a $250 signing bonus. The starting pay rate for Operating Technicians was also increased.

As part of the new agreement, the Union and WABI-TV's owner Gray Television agreed that non-bargaining unit employees may perform covered work on an intermittent basis so long as bargaining unit members are not displaced as a result and the number of bargaining unit positions are not reduced. In addition, any time a Technician is not scheduled in Master Control they may be assigned other reasonable duties which they are capable of performing.

Changes were made in the collective bargaining agreement's grievance and arbitration language that both sides agreed provided greater clarity to the process.

Lawmakers, Union Reps and Customers Express Concerns About Proposed Emera Maine Sale to ENMAX


Senate President Troy Jackson

August 7, 2019 - Senate President Troy Jackson, Rep. Seth Berry, IBEW Local 1837 and Emera ratepayers held a press conference in Orono to share their concerns about the proposed sale of Emera Maine to ENMAX of Calgary, Alberta.

Mainers are worried about the proposed sale of Emera Maine to ENMAX and the impact it could have on Emera Maine’s workers as well as the ratepayers of Maine’s second largest electric utility.

Specifically, they are concerned that ENMAX is paying too much ($1.3 Billion, all financed by debt) and is too small a company to provide the service Emera Maine’s ratepayers need and deserve. Cuts in staffing and service along with substantially increased electric rates may be necessary to help finance this proposed acquisition.

“More than 150,000 people in Northern Maine depend on Emera Maine for electricity, including myself. With so much at stake, we need to make sure the sale of Emera to ENMAX doesn’t leave hardworking families and seniors in the dark,” said President Jackson. “The PUC shouldn’t allow this deal to move forward unless it is in the best interest of Mainer ratepayers.”

Rep. Seth Berry is the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology.

"This sale has all the hallmarks of the FairPoint sale," Berry said, "and that is something that we need to avoid."

Consumer-Owned Electric Utility Proposed for Maine; Union Contracts to be Protected

Dick Rogers
IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers 
paused during the new conference to
answer a reporter's question.

January 28, 2019 - At a news conference at the Maine State House, Rep. Seth Berry, House Chair of the Energy and Utilities Committee, announced that he was submitting legislation to form a new consumer-owned utility.

The Maine Power Delivery Authority would not be run by the state and would not be financed by tax dollars in any way. If enacted, Maine Power would acquire all transmission and distribution assets of Central Maine Power and Emera Maine, compensating them fairly. All IBEW 1837 members would continue to be covered under the terms of their collective bargaining agreements.

IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers read the following statement at the news conference: "IBEW 1837 supports the consideration of any and all initiatives, including the proposed “Maine Power Delivery” bill, which would reposition Maine’s utilities for greater local control and better service at lower costs. IBEW 1837 believes that the current structure and workforce model, driven in large part due to the current utility ownership at CMP and Emera, has had a significant negative impact on all employees, and more importantly, the ratepayers in Maine. The union is committed to participating in the process to ensure that employees and ratepayers' interests are at the forefront of any proposed legislation. Our members and retirees have a wealth of experiences and knowledge and look forward to assisting in the development of any proposed legislation."

When questioned by a reporter, Rogers said that our represented lineworkers, clerks, customer service representatives and other workers have been struggling to maintain the quality of service that ratepayers deserve, in large part due to inadequate staffing. Rogers stopped short of endorsing the bill, saying that he needs to wait to see the final language in the legislation.

Union Wins Unemployment Benefits for NH Co-op Workers


NHEC workers went on strike on
Monday, May 7 and returned to
work on Tuesday, May 22.

August 28, 2018 - IBEW Local 1837 members employed by the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) are entitled to unemployment benefits for the time that they were on strike this May. That decision from the New Hampshire Employment Security Appeal Tribunal was handed down on Friday afternoon, August 24.

During the strike, IBEW encouraged our members to apply for unemployment benefits but NHEC argued after the strike that because of the work stoppage, our members were not eligible for those payments and an initial decision by a certifying officer agreed. The Union disagreed with the Company and engaged our attorneys to fight for those payments for our members, and won!

NHEC had management personnel perform the work of our members during the strike and also hired out-of-state replacement workers (often derisively known as “scabs”). The Employment Security Tribunal Chairman determined that there was no “substantial curtailment of work” during the strike and that “a stoppage of work requires more than holes in coverage.” In addition, the Chairman noted that NHEC did not suffer a loss of revenue or customers during the strike and continued to provide electricity and make repairs for their customers.

The decision of the Tribunal to allow those benefits for our members and to charge the NHEC account may be appealed by the Company.

New 5-Year Unitil Contracts Approved by IBEW 1837 Members in New Hampshire

Union Negotiating Team at Unitil
IBEW 1837 Assistant Bus. Manager
Tom Ryan (left front) retired from
the Local after the contract was ratified.

May 31, 2018 - IBEW 1837 members working for Unitil in New Hampshire have ratified new 5-year contract agreements that provide wage increases and other improvements in benefits.

A total of 38 members of IBEW Local 1837 work at two New Hampshire locations of Unitil Energy Systems, Inc. (UES): “Capital” in Concord and “Seacoast” in Kensington. They work as Lineworkers, Meter Mechanics, and some as Support Personnel. A second, smaller bargaining unit of five Electric System Operators work at Unitil Service Corporation's Centralized Electric Dispatch (CED) in Portsmouth.

Both contracts include pay increases in each of the five years, revaluation of some job classifications and increases in meal and clothing allowances.

“I think this is a good agreement," IBEW Assistant Business Manager Tom Ryan said. "Other than a small increase in our medical co-pays, we were able to reevaluate many of our classifications prior to the annual adjustment, increase standby pay and receive 3% annual wage adjustments.”

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