Our brothers and sisters at WFAA-TV recently ratified a wage increase. The negotiations this year was a wage reopener provision. The members voted on a 1.5% wage increase for all bargaining unit employees with a merit component of .5% to be distributed at the company’s discretion. The increase was effective August 22, 2014.
Our brothers and sisters at Fox 4 TV have been in contract negotiations since May 13, 2014. The parties have reached a tentative agreement on the contractual changes and are scheduled to meet on September 4, 2014, to discuss wages. Again, this is a tentative agreement and will remain so, until the Union committee decides we have the best offer available from the company to take to the membership for a vote.
Our brothers and sisters at Oncor are scheduled to receive their negotiated pay raise of 3% on October 26, 2014. As many of you know there have been a couple of accidents recently with Oncor employees. The first accident happened in Jacksonville, Texas. A crew was transferring a pole when a flash occurred. The Lineman in the bucket closest to the flash is at home recovering. The rest of the crew members are at home on crisis suspension. (I will come back to crisis suspension.) The second accident happened to a Network crew that work from the Central Service Center located in downtown Dallas. A crew leader and an Apprentice received a flash and are now at home recuperating. At this time, I am unaware of anyone on crisis suspension due to this accident.
Oncor Electric Delivery has a unique way of punishing their employees. They put employees on crisis suspension. I have looked throughout the utility industry and at other companies outside the utility industry to see if there are other companies that treat their employees in this fashion. I cannot find another company that administers a form of punishment like crisis suspension. Police officers are placed on paid leave from time to time until an investigation is complete. Fire Fighters are put on paid leave from time to time pending the outcome of an investigation. But, Oncor likes to administer a cruel and unusual punishment called Crisis Suspension. An employee on crisis suspension does not know if they will be paid for the time off. However, the company is kind enough to allow employees to take their vacation while on crisis suspension to ensure they will be paid until their vacation runs out. The employee is not told how long the crisis suspension will last, they are simply told to call their supervisor every morning for an update. The company does this so they can get you for job abandonment if you do not call in. As I stated, this is nothing more than cruel and unusual punishment administered to the employees at Oncor.
In my humble opinion the leadership team of Oncor Electric Delivery has lost their moral compass. Leadership begins at the top. Shame on you Bob Shappard, for subjecting your employees, to such a cruel and unusual punishment. People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. It seems as if you do not care about your employees by the way the company administers crisis suspension.
Brothers and sisters please continue to pray that a reputable company buys Oncor Electric Delivery so that we will have people in place that believe their employees are their greatest asset and treat them accordingly.
I hope everyone has an enjoyable and safe Labor Day Holiday. Always do the best you can and be proud of what you do. I am honored and privileged to represent each and every one of you. Some day we will have new owners that feel the same way.
Until next time may God bless you, your family, our local union, and the future owners of Oncor.
Bobby W. Reed