IBEW Local 77
International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers * Seattle, Washington
  • July 21, 2017
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  • PSE Negotiations

    PSE Small Negotiating Committee Members:

    Ben Benson – CAC Bothell

    Aaron Henderson – Maps and Records (B Group at Large)

    Mike Nixon – E.F.R.

    Scott Hines – System Operations

    Matt Summers – Fredonia

    Randy Turnley – Relay

    Debbie Smith – Electric Dispatch  


    UPCOMING NEGOTIATING SESSIONS

    • None scheduled at this time

    July 7, 2017

    PSE Member Communication


    June 13, 2017

    click on first photo for PDF


    April 28, 2017

    Members,

    Your Small Negotiating Committee has met with frustration at the table lately as the Company continues to claim that they have nothing more to offer.  Even with solid data showing that many other local utilities are seeing better wage increases and benefit stability, the Company is sticking with their perspective that the reductions and modifications are their way to maintain sustainability. 

    It is hard for us to comprehend why the Company proposed contract, which has a negative impact on most of the membership, is in our best interest.  The Company considers this to be a good and fair proposal.  We strongly disagree.

    The major areas of contention are the general wage increase, healthcare cost sharing, and PTO bank reduction and carryover.  From a high level it may not seem that the Company’s desires and the Union’s needs are much separated, but the gap is deep and, as of yet, unbridgeable. 

    We will continue to invite the Company to meet in active negotiations with the option of including FMCS (Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services) in an attempt to spark the negotiations forward again.  Our intent is not to leave the table, but to stay at the table, engage in productive negotiations, and get a proposal out to a vote of the membership that we are comfortable with and confident in.

    Our next meeting with the Company has not been set yet, but we are still in communication and are reaching out to coordinate meeting dates in the near future.

    We need your continued support.  Please attend your local Unit Meetings, talk to your fellow Union Members, and stay strong and united as we work through this, on your behalf, to resolution. 

    What happens when the current CBA expires?

    The Status Quo Period

    Upon CBA expiration, PSE must maintain the status quo of the expired CBA and past practices.  All terms and conditions of the CBA, including wages and hours, continue and are in full force until a successor agreement is reached or good faith bargaining results in a lawful impasse.

    There are four exceptions to the status quo requirement:

    1. Union Security: New employees will not be required to join the union or pay dues.  However, PSE must continue dues check-off for current members.

    1. Arbitration: PSE can refuse to arbitrate grievances filed after the CBA expires, except those that concern events or rights that occurred before expiration.  This is not automatic; PSE has the choice whether to recognize arbitration for a grievance filed after the CBA expires.

    1. No Strike/ No Lockout: The no strike / no lockout clause automatically expires with the CBA.  Employees are allowed to strike immediately upon expiration.

    1. Management Rights: The management rights clause expires automatically with the CBA.  The Union can issue demands to bargain over virtually all items in the expired management rights clause before PSE acts upon them.

    Impasse

    If the parties reach a deadlock and both sides believe further bargaining would be futile, PSE may declare an impasse.  Once lawful impasse is reached, PSE may unilaterally implement its pre-impasse proposals – terms that it previously offered in bargaining.  However, impasse does not justify a unilateral change concerning a mandatory subject over which there had been no bargaining in the last round of negotiations.

    If PSE declares an impasse before the Union believes that further bargaining would be futile, the Union has the option to pursue an unfair labor practice charge to force PSE back to the bargaining table.

    If you have questions, please contact your Union Stewards, Small Committee Members, or Business Representative, Rex Habner.

    Small Committee Members:

    • Ben Benson
    • Aaron Henderson
    • Scott Hines
    • Mike Nixon
    • Debbie Smith
    • Matt Summers
    • Randy Turnley

    Upcoming Unit Meeting Schedule:

    Thursday, May 4, 2017:

    • Unit 116
    • Meeting begins at 6:00pm
    • IBEW Local 77 – 19415 International Blvd, SeaTac, WA

    Tuesday, May 9, 2017:

    • Unit 112
    • Meeting begins at 6:00pm
    • 119 1/2 N Capital Way, Olympia, WA

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017:

    • Unit 151
    • Meeting begins at 6:30pm
    • Sammamish Valley Grange – 14654 148th Ave NE, Woodinville, WA

    Tuesday, May 16, 2017:

    • Unit 115
    • Meeting begins at 5:30pm
    • Alger Community Hall – 18735 Parkview Lane, Alger, WA

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017:

    • Unit 119
    • Meeting begins at 5:30pm
    • Port Gamble Conference Room - 32400 Rainier Ave NE, Port Gamble, WA

    Tuesday, May 23, 2017:

    • Unit 122
    • Meeting begins at 6:00pm
    • VFW 120 2nd St NE Puyallup, WA, 98372

    Wednesday, May 24, 2017:

    • Unit 150
    • Meeting begins at 6:00pm
    • PSE Goldendale Plant

    Thursday, May 25, 2017:

    • Unit 153
    • Meeting begins at 6:00pm
    • Mint Farm Longview 

    March 30, 2017

    Members,

    Your Small Negotiating Committee has met in active negotiations with the PSE negotiating team 13 times now and our expectations of progress at the latest session on Friday, March 24, 2017, fell short with PSE again claiming that what we want for our members lacks corporate sustainability (their latest buzz word).  This leaves us questioning how other local utilities with similar, ratified proposals are able to sustain and thrive in this environment. 

    As you know, the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) with PSE will expire this Friday, March 31, 2017.  Your IBEW bargaining committee is still actively negotiating a successor contract, but it is obvious that we will not reach an agreement before the CBA expires.  We are providing the following information so that the membership is informed and aware of the CBA expiration and its impacts.

    In terms of negotiations, after CBA expiration, PSE is still required to meet at reasonable times and to continue to bargain in good faith with Union representatives with respect to wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.  The parties are scheduled to meet next on Thursday, April 6, 2017.

    What happens when the current CBA expires?

    The Status Quo Period

    Upon CBA expiration, PSE must maintain the status quo of the expired CBA and past practices.  All terms and conditions of the CBA, including wages and hours, continue and are in full force until a successor agreement is reached or good faith bargaining results in a lawful impasse.

    There are four exceptions to the status quo requirement:

    1. Union Security: New employees will not be required to join the union or pay dues.  However, PSE must continue dues check-off for current members.
    2. Arbitration: PSE can refuse to arbitrate grievances filed after the CBA expires, except those that concern events or rights that occurred before expiration.  This is not automatic; PSE has the choice whether to recognize arbitration for a grievance filed after the CBA expires.
    3. No Strike/ No Lockout: The no strike / no lockout clause automatically expires with the CBA.  Employees are allowed to strike immediately upon expiration.
    4. Management Rights: The management rights clause expires automatically with the CBA.  The Union can issue demands to bargain over virtually all items in the expired management rights clause before PSE acts upon them.

    Impasse

    If the parties reach a deadlock and both sides believe further bargaining would be futile, PSE may declare an impasse.  Once lawful impasse is reached, PSE may unilaterally implement its pre-impasse proposals – terms that it previously offered in bargaining.  However, impasse does not justify a unilateral change concerning a mandatory subject over which there had been no bargaining in the last round of negotiations.

    If PSE declares an impasse before the Union believes that further bargaining would be futile, the Union has the option to pursue an unfair labor practice charge to force PSE back to the bargaining table.

    If you have questions, please contact your Union Stewards or Business Representative, Rex Habner.


    Members… 

    We have met with PSE for 9 negotiating sessions thus far and have finally hit the agreed upon date where all proposed changes to the CBA needed to be submitted for inclusion in negotiations.  According to our ground rules, no new proposals can be submitted from this day forward without agreement from both sides. 

    We are a long way apart on the major proposals described below.   

    PSE hasn’t made any movement on their original PTO proposal. They are trying to convince us that the same plan that the non-rep employees were forced to adhere to is for the good of the employees.  We strongly disagree. 

    Data has flown both directions on health care but what it comes down to is PSE trying to substantially cut their Health and Welfare funding.  During the 2014 negotiations we agreed to a cut from 95% to 80% company contribution for EE (employee only) and from 85% to 80% for EF (employee & family).  Now they want to push us down further to an eventual 75% EE and 70% EF company contribution.  During the first year of their proposal, if you make $30 or less per hour and select EF health care coverage you actually go backwards with their proposed general wage increase.

    The meal allowance changes are hard to swallow (ha).  We fought hard last negotiations to tie the meal allowance value to a wage rate to avoid future negotiations only to find that they want to reset it to the 2010 rate now.  Add to this their proposed language change to disallow a meal allowance if a company meal is provided (chips and dip?) makes this a definite NO.  We like it the way it is. 

    The general wage increase proposals are dramatically different.  Their proposed three year, 2%, 2%, 1.5% offer feels like a slap in the face. 

    In addition, PSE has rejected all of our market level increases even though we provided sound justification data.  Market level increases were proposed for:

    • Meter
    • Electric Dispatch
    • System Operations
    • Communications  
    • Generation ICE
    • Drayage
    • OSS
    • GIS Technician

    We have a lot of time left in these negotiations and have many other proposals on the table besides the ones mentioned.  Pass the word and let’s stay strong and united as we negotiate to get the best possible contract for our members!  

    Where we stand on the major proposals:

    PTO

    PSE Proposal

    • Increase in accrual for first year of employment from 10 to 20 days
    • Increase in accrual for years 6 through 10 of employment from 20 days to 22 days
    • No change in accrual for years 10 through 19 of employment at 25 days
    • Change from 19 years to 20 years of service to achieve the maximum of 27 days
    • No change in accrual for pre July 1, 2003 employees
    • Modification of carryover from annual to monthly and two year planned buyout reduction of carryover banks for everyone down to 160 hours. The first buyout is proposed to be on 4/1/17 down to 320 hours and the second on 4/1/18 down to 160 hours.
    • Decrease in carryover limit for years 1 through 4 of employment from 160 hours to 120 hours

     IBEW Proposal

    • Change from “Continuous” to “Total” years of service for PTO accrual calculation
    • Increase in annual carryover limit to 600 hours for all employees
    • Change to all hours over the maximum carryover to be paid at straight time rate
    • Change to all hours over the maximum that were denied for operational needs to be paid at the double time rate
    • Change to allow a carryover payment to be deposited into the 401K plan

    HEALTH CARE

    PSE Proposal

    • Stepped reduction in the company contributions as follows:

              2018   From EE 80% / EF 80% to EE 80% / EF 75%
                   EE $38 / EF $102 average monthly increase excluding premium increase (estimated at 4%)

              2019   From EE 80% / EF 75% to EE 75% / EF 75%
                   EE $35 / EF $0 average monthly increase excluding premium increase (estimated at 4%)

              2020   From EE 75% / EF 75% to EE 75% / EF 70%
                   EE $0 / EF $86 average monthly increase excluding premium increase (estimated at 4%)

    • Change in the flex benefit formula from using Regence Engage as a driver to a weighted average of all participants.

    IBEW Proposal

    • Increase in company contributions from EE 80% / EF 80% to EE 85% / EF 85%
    • Change in the flex benefit formula to include a 1.25X multiplier to the Regence Engage driver
    • Stepped increase in wellness credits of $10 per month year over year

    MEAL ALLOWANCE

    PSE Proposal

    • Reduced from 50% of Wireman rate to $20
    • Addition of language to reject meal allowances if the company has provided a meal

    IBEW Proposal

    • No change to existing language

    GENERAL WAGE ADJUSTMENT

    PSE Proposal

    • Three year term from 4/1/2017 to 3/31/2020
    • General wage adjustments:

             4/1/2017   2.0%
             1/1/2018   2.0%
             1/1/2019   1.5%

    IBEW Proposal

    • Six year term from 4/1/2017 to 3/31/2023
    • General wage adjustments at 6% per year

    Previous Negotiating Sessions

    • November 2, 2016
    • November 9, 2016
    • November 17, 2016
    • December 6, 2016
    • December 13, 2016
    • December 20, 2016
    • January 20, 2017
    • January 24, 2017
    • February 16, 2017
    • March 1, 2017
    • March 8, 2017
    • March 13, 2017
    • March 24, 2017
    • April 6, 2017
    • April 24, 2017
    • May 15, 2017
    • June 8, 2017
    • June 15, 2017





    Page Last Updated: Jul 07, 2017 (13:58:47)
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