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

Labor News

Schiller Station Closing Is The End of An Era

Schiller Station photo taken in July 2020.
Schiller Station stopped generating
electricity in June 2020.

July 14, 2020 - The long-term and likely permanent closure of Schiller Station in Portsmouth last month not only marked the end of 70 years generating electricity for the Granite State, but it was the end of the bargaining unit that played a pivotal role in the history of IBEW Local #1837.         

Local 1837 was first established at Schiller in 1953 as the framed charter hanging in the Union’s Dover office helps to memorialize. Richard Pray is credited with organizing the union at the power plant and his name is one of 24 on that historic charter document. Brother Pray would become Local 1837’s first Business Manager. Twenty years later in 1973, the International Union would consolidate 11 Locals representing electric utilities in New Hampshire and Maine but keep “1837” as the designation for all of them.

The original charter for Local 1937.
The charter for IBEW 1837 is dated
April 6, 1953 in Portsmouth, NH.

Schiller Station has been owned by Granite Shore Power since it was purchased from Eversource NH (formerly Public Service Company of New Hampshire) in January 2018. The purchase was part of the divestiture of Eversource NH’s generation assets mandated by the New Hampshire Legislature. Previous attempts to deregulate the utility were opposed by PSNH and union members joined the company in providing compelling testimony against the move. However, Eversource NH supported the 2018 divestiture plan and the Union negotiated to minimize any negative effects on members. GSP continues to operate Newington Station right next door to Schiller and Merrimack Station in Bow.

“GSP informed us this spring that they would begin an extended outage at Schiller in June with no end date and they have no intention of running it in the future,” IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager Tony Sapienza said. “They’ve laid off the entire workforce.”

Kittery Water District Employees Form Union with IBEW 1837

March 17, 2020 - Workers at the Kittery Water District have formed a union with IBEW Local #1837. The 16 workers include office staff, filtration plant workers, laborers, meter readers, service technicians and others.

“We’re proud that the workers at Kittery Water District asked us to help them form a Union and negotiate a collective bargaining agreement,” said IBEW 1837 Organizer and Business Representative Matt Beck. “Even though they like where they work, they understand that having a union contract gives them to ability to protect what they already have and negotiate to make things even better for themselves and their families.”

The employees were able to take advantage of a new state law that recognizes unions if a majority of municipal workers in a bargaining unit sign cards stating that they would like to be represented by the union. This allows workers to avoid a drawn out election processes after they’ve already decided to collectively bargain a contract with their employer.

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.

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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