In Maine: IBEW Local 1837
16 Old Winthrop Road
Manchester, ME 04351
Phone: (207) 623-1030, Fax: (207) 621-8384
In New Hampshire:
680 Central Avenue, Suite 202
Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 743-1652, Fax: (603) 743-1654

Bargaining

Union Votes to End Strike at New Hampshire Electric Cooperative


Voting took place this morning in Laconia.

May 17, 2018 - International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union #1837 members at the New Hampshire Electric Co-op voted this morning to ratify a new 3 1/2 -year contract agreement and end their 10-day strike. The contract includes wage adjustments for some classifications, annual wage increases for all bargaining unit members and improvements in the retirement plans for union employees.

Significantly, the final agreement does not include the Company’s proposed language that would have given them the ability to modify or eliminate their contributions to employee retirement plans. It was that proposal from the Company’s so-called “last and final offer” that was pivotal in the decision of IBEW members to overwhelmingly approve a strike at the Co-op.

“The courage and determination of our members at the Co-op cannot be overstated,” IBEW Local #1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers said. “They stayed strong and unified throughout the strike and none of our members crossed the picket lines during the strike. They have earned our respect and admiration.”

Union workers walked off the job last week at the New Hampshire Electric Co-op. Yesterday, Union and Company negotiators reached a tentative agreement on the 10th day of the strike as union members continued their picketing. IBEW members met this morning in Laconia to listen to their negotiating team detail the terms of the final agreement and cast their ballots for ratification. 

Throughout the strike, support for our members on the picket lines was overwhelming. Countless people driving by picket lines honked their horns or gave a big "thumbs up" to show their appreciation for the people who have done so much to serve the Co-op's customers (who are referred to as Co-op "members"). 

Union workers are expected to return to the job on Tuesday, after an anticipated vote by the Co-op’s Board approving the agreement.

Community Rally for Striking NH Co-op Workers on Wednesday, May 16


Striking Co-op workers have been
picketing at multiple locations.

May 15, 2018 - More than 100 Union workers and members of the community are expected to gather together in Plymouth on Wednesday, May 16 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for a Community Rally to show support for the striking workers of the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative. The rally was set to take place outside the headquarters of the Co-op at 579 Tenney Mountain Highway in Plymouth.

The rally will mark the 10th day of the strike at the electric utility which serves 83,000 residents in more than 100 towns. It is the first strike action in the history of the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative. The Company and Union met independently with a federal mediator last week and the mediator will return to meet with the parties Wednesday.

The primary issue that needs to be resolved is the Company’s insistence on new contract language that would allow them to change the pension and 401(k) plans whenever they wanted to without the need to negotiate. No other electric utilities with union contracts are known to have similar language in their collective bargaining agreements. The Union proposed that if the plan(s) were in financial trouble verified by our own independent review, we would accept it. The company refused and wanted full control to just change the plans any time they wanted to allow them to spend money elsewhere in the company or to balance the books on the backs of their workers.

In addition, the low wages earned by lineworkers compared to their counterparts at other New Hampshire utilities have been an issue – with Co-op lineworkers being paid $2 less per hour on average.

 

IBEW 1837 Collecting Gift Cards for Striking NHEC Members


Click here to download flier.

IBEW Local 1837 is on strike at the New Hampshire Electric Co-op (NHEC). The Company is attacking our retirement plans and the right to bargain over possible changes to them.

We have begun collecting gift cards for our members for Hannaford Supermarkets and Mobil or Irving Gas (the most common stations in NHEC territory). Gift cards can be mailed to: IBEW Local #1837 (NHEC Strike Support), 680 Central Avenue, Suite 202, Dover, NH 03820.

Signs of solidarity from other union members and community supporters would be welcomed by joining our picket line at any NHEC location including those listed below. Picketing runs from 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. every day until further notice:

·         Plymouth (NHEC Headquarters): 579 Tenney Mountain Hwy.

·         Intervale (Just north of North Conway): 239 NH Rt. 16

·         Alton: 39 Emerson Drive

·         Andover: 10 Potters Road

·         Newport: 604 Sunapee Street

·         Meredith: 192 NH Route 25

          Raymond: 272 - 284 NH Rt. 107

Union Workers On Strike at New Hampshire Electric Co-op


Union members prepared signs last
night in anticipation of a possible strike.

May 7, 2018 - Union workers have walked off the job and are on strike at the New Hampshire Electric Co-op. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union #1837 represents 85 employees of the New Hampshire Electric Co-op (NHEC), a utility that serves 83,000 residents across 100 towns.

Last week, union members in the largest bargaining unit at the New Hampshire Electric Co-op voted 79 – 1 to reject the company’s contract offer and authorize the IBEW Negotiating Team to call for a strike at the utility. Members in the smaller Warehouse bargaining unit also voted unanimously to reject the contract and authorize a strike. Union and Company negotiators met this morning but NHEC representatives refused to back off their demand that that they have the unilateral right to modify or eliminate 401(k) or pension plans without first negotiating with the Union. In other areas, the Union previously agreed to almost all of the company’s proposals - including flexibility.

The Union agreed to extend the previous contract until today due to the company’s promise to bring something to this morning’s bargaining session with a substantial change that would make us happy.  We can’t help but think this tactic was just a way to have our members around for this past weekend’s storms.

The Company’s continued insistence on this extreme proposal would make NHEC one of the only unionized electric utilities in the country to have such disastrous language affecting worker retirement plans. The Company was clear this was not about a failing pension plan but rather that they want to be able to balance the books on the backs of their workers by changing the plan at any time they wished. 

The top 12 management people at NHEC make over $2 million in base salary and another $600,000 in other compensation. Two of the managers who responsible for making the decisions for the management negotiating team make $353,000 plus $86,000 in other compensation and the other makes $189,000 plus $72,000 in other compensation a year, according to NHEC’s 2016 income report. 

The fact that the management team would treat these men and women this way is unconscionable, especially given what they do day-in and day-out in the worst conditions imaginable to keep the lights on for NHEC customers. These are highly-skilled hardworking, dedicated workers for the members of the Cooperative. They deserve better.

 

New 5-Year Contract Approved by IBEW 1837 Members at Brookfield in Maine

Ed Goodale on Brookfield Dam in West Buxton
IBEW 1837 Chief Steward Ed Goodale shows
a visitor Brookfield's dam on the Saco River.

February 28, 2018 - IBEW Local #1837 members at Brookfield Renewable’s hydroelectric assets in Maine have ratified a new, 5-year contract. Members will see a 12.75% increase in wages over the term of the agreement while maintaining their level of benefits.

“This is a good contract,” said IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers. “The members will receive a wage increase similar to or even a little better than workers at other Brookfield hydro assets.”

In addition, minimum call-outs for members were increased to 4 hours for regular call-outs to 6 hours on holidays.

Stipendable skillsets were changed which will qualified more than half of the members to receive more money beginning in 2019.

New employees will now get holidays immediately after being hired instead of having to wait for six months.

“There were no losses and most of the (members) seemed to be happy,” said IBEW 1837 Chief Steward Ed Goodale. “The negotiations themselves went well. The company proposed some changes including adding a stand-by policy and changing the management rights clause but we were successful in getting them to drop those.”

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Bargaining