IBEW Local 111
Colorado - Washington - Wyoming
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    << April 2017 >>
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    • What's New at IBEW 111

      NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE FOR FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2017

      The Company and the Union met on Thursday, April 20th and Friday April 21st, whereas various proposals were exchanged across the table.  The Union had many questions for the Company surrounding their proposals, which were given to us at the last negotiations session.  There was a lot of dialogue, which resulted in follow up questions, and more dialogue.  The question that was asked repeatedly by Business Manager Eppie Martinez was; “How is this good for the membership, and how do I sell this to them?  The Company’s standard response was. “I can’t tell you how to do that.”  In other words, the Company knows that their proposals are outlandish.

      Eppie and the Negotiating Committee had several questions for the Company surrounding Retiree Medical.  First and foremost, “What happens to the employees that retire after May 31, 2017?”  The Company’s answer was that it needs to be negotiated, they made it clear they are NOT certain if it will be a part of the future Collective Bargaining Agreement.  And, they WOULD NOT answer any other questions.  At this point, Eppie gave the proposal to vest retiree medical, which was followed by more discussion. Just so our members are clear, the Company communicated to us that they think retiree medical is an UNNECESSARY Benefit.  Your Negotiating Committee reiterated to the Company that retiree medical funds were approved by the PUC in 1989, and that it was promised to our membership from that point forward. The Company rejected the Union’s proposal to vest retiree medical.  The question was asked to the Company, “What about the individuals that have already retired?  Does the Company think they can change their retiree health benefit?   The Company’s response was that the plan provision could change, there is plenty of litigation on that, and the retirees are not covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

      There was a lot of discussion surrounding the Company’s proposal to end Interest Arbitration.  When the proposal was rejected by the Union, the Company stated that it wasn’t a proposal, it was a notice to the Union and that the Company intends to terminate the Interest Arbitration language. The Union asked why the Company wanted to abolish the Interest Arbitration language, and they responded they had lost confidence in the process.

      The Company also proposed to delete the automatic 60-day contract extension. The Union asked the Company several times what they thought would happen at the expiration of the contract during the next negotiations if the Union wasn’t able to present a proposal to the affected membership?  Their response was a curt “whatever the law allows.”  We again asked the question, whereupon the Company’s Attorney interjected for them that “we are not here to answer interrogative questions, ask your own Attorneys.”  Just another deflection on the Company’s part.

      The Company proposed that the Union surrender their rights to Check Off and our Union Security Clause, post contract expiration, yet allow them to retain Management Rights.  Both of these items have been clearly defined by the National Labor Relations Board, per the Act.  When they were asked why would we give up our rights? and, How could they propose such language contrary to the Act? their answer was strictly that they believed the NLRB got these decisions wrong!  For your protection, and to be clear, we rejected those proposals as well.  To be transparent, this is described as Union Busting 101!

      The Union rejected in total 6 of the Company’s proposals, one other worth noting is the 45/60 day go back rule in a transfer or promotion that the Company proposed to delete.

      Today, the Company gave us 10 more proposals, many of which included language to increase other classification duties from one classification to the other.  For example, expanding the type of electric meters’ linemen can set; allowing Electric Meter employees in underground transformers to terminate services; and, having an entry level classification in High Pressure Gas perform their facility locates (This is currently done by the Journey level classifications because of the hazards associated with excavating around high pressure gas lines, and the stand by provision that is necessary for many of these excavations).  In our opinion the reason for the job duty increases in these classifications, is due to the Company’s shortage of manpower and failure to hire more employees.

      The Company also proposed language for the Designer Planner Technician Department, which included the language:

      “To enter or PROMOTE into a Designer, Planner or Technician position, the employee will be required to have a 2-year technical degree or higher degree in a subject deemed relevant by the Company.”

      At the conclusion of today’s Negotiations, the Union offered an additional 3 more days in May for availability to further these Negotiations.  As of now we are scheduled to continue May 8th.

      Please watch for Stewards’ News Briefs, check the Local Union webpage:  www.IBEW111.org, and call the PSCO Negotiations Hotline to keep informed on what is happening with your General Negotiations.

      Information will be forthcoming regarding a SOLIDARITY meeting on Saturday, May 20, 2017, commencing at Noon, at the Union hall. This will be an open forum meeting to answer any questions you will have regarding the status of these Negotiations.

      In Solidarity!

      RAM:jh/ds/opeiu#30/afl-cio

      This is the Public Service Company of Colorado General Negotiations Hotline Update

        The Next Scheduled Negotiations are May 8th. 

      Please stay informed of the status of these negotiations by using the PSCO Hotline, the Local Union Webpage, PSCO Negotiations Tab and by attending your scheduled Unit Meetings.

      Your voice is extremely important and needs to be heard!  

      In Solidarity,

      Epifenio J. Martinez

      Business Manager/Financial Secretary

      EJM:mm/ds/opeiu#30/afl-cio

      This is the Public Service Company of Colorado General Negotiations Update for Friday, March 17th, 2017.

      The Company and Union read Opening Letters.  We asked pertinent questions to get absolute clarity on what items are on the table for negotiations.  Anything that was not talked about and agreed to for negotiating, will automatically roll into the new agreement. 

      The Union did not present any proposals at this time.

      The Company had 7 proposals, which we will briefly highlight:

      Removal of Interest Arbitration

      Removal of the 60-day contract extension after the contract expires

      Keep Management rights after the contract expires

      Removal of the Union Security Clause, dues check off and COPE after the contract expires

      Regarding seniority – the Union should track and maintain

      Extend the probationary period from 120 days to 180 days

      Eliminate the 45 day/60 day go back rights after accepting a new job in regards to promotion or transfer

      There was extensive discussion as to why the Company has not been transparent with the membership on their working together website.  The Company expressed to the Union they want to get information to the membership, however the Union questioned this statement due to the fact the Company still has not published the Union’s first proposal to extend the M/M Retiree Medical Plan to 2022, which the Company rejected.  The Company stated they control what information goes on their site.  I ask you, why is the Company limiting what information, you, the membership receives?

      The next scheduled negotiation is the week of May 8-12, 2017.  The Union is currently working on scheduling dates for negotiations sometime in April as the staff at the hall is shorthanded and is trying to reschedule other meetings to make this happen.

      Remember to attend your PSCO Combined Unit Meeting on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, whereas the Local Union Attorney will be present to answer questions.

      Please stay informed of the status of these negotiations by using the PSCO Hotline, the Local Union Webpage, and by attending your scheduled Unit Meetings.

      Thank you,

      Epifenio J. Martinez

      Business Manager/Financial Secretary

      EJM:mm/ds/opeiu#30/afl-cio


      Download: Union's 1st Proposal to Extend MM Retiree Medical Plan.pdf
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