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

Inside IBEW 1837

Kittery Water District Workers Ratify "First Contract" with IBEW

Linda votes for the contract
Kittery Water District Office Manager
Linda Johnson voted to ratify the contract.
Every member of the bargaining unit took
the time to cast their ballot.

December 30, 2020 - At least one good thing has come out of a very bad year: Workers at the Kittery Water District have overwhelmingly ratified their first contract with IBEW Local #1837. The 15 workers at the water utility include office staff, filtration plant workers, laborers, meter readers, service technicians and others.

“We’re grateful to negotiating team members Linda Johnson, Matthew Crosby, and Brandon Woods for the time and effort they put into making this a good first contract,” said IBEW 1837 Organizer and Business Representative Matt Beck. “The contract guarantees that they will be able to maintain the good wages and benefits they currently enjoy while making other substantive improvements as well.”

Although the employees at Kittery Water District had been in IBEW Local #1837 through most of the 1990's, both sides at the bargaining table approached the negotiations as if this was the first contract agreement for them. IBEW 1837 Business Manager Tony Sapienza and attorney Jeff Young also participated in the bargaining along with Beck and IBEW 1837 notetaker Sue Ekola.

The 2-year contract agreement includes 2.5% wage increases in each year and maintains 100% health insurance coverage paid for by the Kittery Water District. Other improvements included new requirements by management to give employees advance notice for schedule changes and improving opportunities to earn overtime pay. It also instituted a grievance and arbitration process for any violations of the agreement.

Company COVID-19 Protocols Must Be Followed

Covid-19
COVID-19 virus image from CDC

October 28, 2020 - Members of IBEW 1837 are required to adhere to safety measures that our represented companies have put in place to protect their employees during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Although the safety protocols including mandatory use of face masks vary from one employer to the next, and not all of our members support them or believe that they are necessary or effective, they must be followed nonetheless.

COVID-19 is a nationwide and worldwide pandemic that is expected to continue well into next year - even with the most optimistic vaccine distribution forecasts. Employees and their family members have been affected by this disease and all employers have a responsibility to try to maintain a safe workplace.

IBEW 1837 has asked our legal representation to advise us about the masking, testing and other safety protocols being instituted where our members work throughout Maine and New Hampshire. While we will continue to follow and monitor these measures, our legal counsel has said that we will not be successful in trying to avoid or file a grievance on these measures, if a Company is erring on the side of caution.

Of course, the safety of our members is of the utmost importance to us. It is important to follow the guidelines of our represented employers for that reason alone.

Members at Eversource Approve New 3-Year Contract


Members voted at five locations in NH.

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.

Dick Rogers Retires as Business Manager of IBEW 1837


In 2009 while still working at CMP, Rogers
climbed a pole in Augusta to protest a
company contract proposal.

October 1, 2020 - After a career that started as a Summer Helper at Central Maine Power in 1979 and ended with a 9-year stint as Business Manager and Financial Secretary for IBEW 1837, Dick Rogers has retired. IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager Tony Sapienza will assume the Local Union’s top job.

“We work for the members,” Rogers said.  “I always kept that in my mind. A number of people don’t realize the time that goes into doing this job, the time and the commitment. It is a 24/7 job because we have shift workers. I tried to return all calls and be a straight shooter.”

Early in his tenure at CMP, Dick realized there was something about being an active participant in the Union that appealed to him.

“In 87 or 88, I watched a Union Steward named Chuck Applebee talking to a manager, say ‘Bob, we have a right to bitch.’ I knew right then that it was a job for me,” Rogers said. He was appointed to be a Union Steward in the early 90’s.

During his three 3-year terms as Business Manager, Rogers was a skilled negotiator of collective bargaining agreements and grievance settlements. Not surprisingly, that’s the part of the job that he liked best.

Granite Ridge Members Approve 3-Year Extension


Granite Ridge is a natural gas combined
cycle electric power generation plant near
the Manchester, NH airport.

September 21, 2020 - IBEW 1837 members at Granite Ridge have approved a 3-year contract extension with raises in each year and without any concessions.

Members voted on Friday, September 18th 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.

 

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