Brothers and Sisters as I write this article, school began for most kids in Texas. There is an eclipse taking place and Oncor has another potential buyer. What a summer this has been! I will get back to Oncor in a minute.
Our brothers and sisters at WFAA-TV have just ratified a wage increase of 1.5% that went into effect on August 21, 2017. Also, an additional .50% of the unit base weekly payroll, computed as of August 21, 2017, will be distributed as a performance increase to members of the bargaining unit at management’s discretion.
Management at Oncor has offered a labor agreement extension for bargaining unit employees. The Company has offered a one year contract extension with a three percent (3%) wage increase for eligible classifications. The ineligible classifications are the employees the Company calls “Legacy Employees” like Equipment Operators. The Company has also offered a two (2) year contract extension with a three percent (3%) wage increase for each year extending the contract to October 25, 2019. The members discussed which option to accept at the unit meetings held in July. If you were unable to attend a unit meeting in July and would like to express your desire to have a one year contract extension or a two (2) year contract extension, discuss the matter with your steward, email the Local Union, give me a call, or all of the above.
Today, Oncor was scheduled to meet in bankruptcy court in Delaware. As you know by now Berkshire Hathaway was blindsided in the eleventh hour and San Diego-based Sempra Energy announced today (the day of the eclipse) that it has a deal worth about $18.8 billion to purchase Oncor. The proposed merger would need the sign-off of the Delaware Judge overseeing Energy Future Holdings’ bankruptcy, along with the approvals from the Public Utility Commission of Texas and federal regulators.
Sempra Energy announced under their deal Oncor would stay in Dallas under local management and keep its independent board of directors. If Sempra Energy closes the deal, Bob Shapard, Oncor’s CEO, would become executive chairman of Oncor’s board of directors. Allen Nye, currently Oncor’s general counsel, would be named the utility’s CEO, according to a press release. Sempra Energy said it would commit $7.5 billion over five (5) years to expand Oncor’s transmission and distribution network. I hope that means hiring a lot more Linemen!
Until next time may God continue to bless you, your family, and our local union.