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

Labor News

New 5-Year Unitil Contracts Approved by IBEW 1837 Members in New Hampshire

Union Negotiating Team at Unitil
IBEW 1837 Assistant Bus. Manager
Tom Ryan (left front) retired from
the Local after the contract was ratified.

May 31, 2018 - IBEW 1837 members working for Unitil in New Hampshire have ratified new 5-year contract agreements that provide wage increases and other improvements in benefits.

A total of 38 members of IBEW Local 1837 work at two New Hampshire locations of Unitil Energy Systems, Inc. (UES): “Capital” in Concord and “Seacoast” in Kensington. They work as Lineworkers, Meter Mechanics, and some as Support Personnel. A second, smaller bargaining unit of five Electric System Operators work at Unitil Service Corporation's Centralized Electric Dispatch (CED) in Portsmouth.

Both contracts include pay increases in each of the five years, revaluation of some job classifications and increases in meal and clothing allowances.

“I think this is a good agreement," IBEW Assistant Business Manager Tom Ryan said. "Other than a small increase in our medical co-pays, we were able to reevaluate many of our classifications prior to the annual adjustment, increase standby pay and receive 3% annual wage adjustments.”

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.

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.

 

Pam Paquette and Bill Tarallo Retire from Eversource and IBEW 1837 E-Board

Pam Paquette & Friends
Pam Paquette received a plaque to
commemorate her service for the
Local from B.M. Dick Rogers (left) and
President Michelle Crocker.

March 5, 2018 - Two longtime activists of IBEW Local #1837 have recently retired from Eversource in New Hampshire, and have also left their positions on the Local's E-Board.

Pam Paquette has retired from Eversource/PSNH after 37 years at New Hampshire’s largest electric utility. Sister Paquette was active in her union for more than thirty years. 

“The Local and I share the same beliefs – that the dignity of labor needs to be maintained and defended for all workers, regardless of gender, race or experience,” Pam said.

Originally hired as a non-union Customer Service Clerk, with the assistance of recently-retired IBEW Local #1837 President Bill Tarallo, she helped organize her co-workers to join the union, winning their NLRB election in 1984. Pam not only served as Recording Secretary for the Union E-Board, she was also steward, a unit officer, a contract negotiations committee member, and an elected delegate to six International Conventions.

“One of the most prominent things I’ll take with me is all the Brothers and Sisters that I’ve met and talked with along the way,” Sister Paquette said.  “As Union members, we all share the same dream – which is to protect what we have, have a say in where we are going, and make sure everyone is treated with equally with dignity and respect.”  

“Pam has been an extremely active and helpful union member, and has helped me and the Local with innumerable issues,” IBEW Local #1837 Assistant Business Manager Tom Ryan said. “Her insight has been greatly valued. We’re going to miss her.”

“I want to thank IBEW Local 1837 for everything it’s done for me and made me the person I am today,” Sister Paquette added.  “I’m a PROUD UNION MEMBER forever.”

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