Brothers and Sisters Labor Day is upon us. Since we are the reason for the holiday enjoy every minute of the day. Our brothers and sisters at WFAA-TV completed contract negotiations on August 22nd. The bargaining unit is voting on a three year contract with a 1.5% increase with a merit component distributed at the Company’s discretion for the first year. The second and third years of the contract only wages will be negotiated.
Contract negotiations between Oncor Electric Delivery and IBEW Local 69 began on July 29, 2019, and the parties were scheduled to meet all week. The Company would only pay four (4) members of the IBEW to negotiate while the Company has nine (9) representatives to negotiate. The first day of contract negotiations the Company agreed to negotiate an “Industry Standard Contract”. The first day the Union proposed a Bereavement Policy that would allow employees three (3) days off without loss in regular straight-time pay for a death in your immediate family. This is an industry standard practice that is in all the contracts at Utility Companies in the state of Texas that has Unions with bargaining rights. The Company stated we did not need Bereavement language in the contract because they do a good job of letting employees off for bereavement. The Union disagrees because we have had to file grievances in the past because the Company did not allow members off to bury immediate family. The second day of negotiations on 7/30/19 the Union proposed a “Major Service Restoration” proposal. When assigned to service restoration assisting other utilities employees will be paid double time gate to gate. The Company stated they are not interested because they have no problems filling crews to go off system to work. Plus if you think about it they can make a lot more money off of your labor when they send you off system to work for straight time. The Union Committee proposed additional vacation, increase to Shift Premiums, Personal Days Off, Compensation for working into rest time, Time lost because of disability, and Safety Footwear. The Company was unable to meet the rest of the week and stated they were only available to meet and negotiate on Mondays and Tuesdays. On 8/5/19 the parties met to negotiate and the Company stated they did not agree to negotiate an Industry Standard Contract. The first proposal by the Company was to delete Dues Check-Off, the second proposal was to take away an Arbitrators judgement regarding a decision to discipline or discharge. The last proposal from the Company was a PTO Policy that is not worth the time to describe.
The parties met again on August 6, 2019, the Union had a counter proposal to the Company’s PTO proposal, a Jury Duty proposal, a CDL License proposal, and a Thrift Plan 401 (K) proposal. There has been many Industry Standard proposals made by the Union and the Company’s answer has been “we will take a look at it”. The Company has slowed negotiations to a crawl and seems uninterested in getting a fair and industry standard contract. The parties are scheduled to resume contract negotiations on Wednesday August 28, 2019, for one (1) day. Negotiations are fluid and it seems we have a lot of work ahead of us. The Company could not negotiate for days because they were attending Sempra’s Diversity and Inclusion Meeting in San Diego, California. You have to admit that is ironic for Oncor to attend a Diversity and Inclusion meeting with the Parent Company and not include the IBEW on their property.
Happy Labor Day!
Until next time May God bless you, your family, and our local union.