‘A’ Construction Electricians Ratify Contract — Unanimously

Union World edition: 
Jun 2007
page: 
1
Untitled Document

Construction Electricians unanimously ratified a new three-year agreement at the May 2007 ratification meeting.

 

A standing room only packed house of Local 3 Construction Division electricians unanimously ratified a new three-year agreement the evening of Thursday, May 10, 2007. The ratification meeting was held at the Electric Industry Center Auditorium in Flushing, N.Y.

The agreement between Local 3, IBEW and the New York Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association which consists of the New York Electrical Contractors Association and the Association of Electrical Contractors sets the wages, hours and benefits of construction electricians through May 13, 2010.

Twenty-two negotiating sessions were conducted between the end of January 2007 and the conclusion on Wednesday, May 8th.

The Local 3 Negotiating Committee Chairman, Richard Doherty, after reading the modifications that had been negotiated to the membership stated, “the committee unanimously recommends the ratification of the negotiated modifications to the membership without any reservations.”

The floor was opened for comments and discussion on the proposed modifications. Several members spoke in support of the new agreement. There were no comments against the adoption and Local 3 President John E. Marchell called the vote, which was unanimous, to accept the recommendation of the ­Committee.

Business Manager Christopher Erikson was called to the microphone and he stated to the membership that the negotiations were difficult and tedious but that he believed it was a fair agreement. He expressed his confidence that the agreement contained the needed understanding between Local 3 and the employers that will result in the recapturing of work that has been lost over time.

“We believe that the relief we have provided the employers pertaining to the use of certain materials that are approved by the New York City Electrical Code, combined with modifications in the apprentice, M Helpers and M and MIJ rates will aid in the successful recapturing of work and future work by our employers. This will translate into greater numbers of Local 3 members on these jobs which signatory contractors have not been successful at getting in recent
times.”

In addition to the changes in wages , Local 3 has agreed to modifications if the employers endeavor and succeed in securing both the electrical and low voltage work on new and renovated affordable housing, market-rate housing and hotels and small retail work. The Union also agreed to expand the job description of “M” rated electricians to include, in addition to jobbing, work on one and two family residential dwellings and small retail establishments.

The agreement seeks to eliminate the concept of MIJ’s as 5th year apprentices. It is anticipated that the MIJ’s will be utilized on the market recovery work that will result due to the expanded definition of “M” work.

“A” Construction Negotiating Committee Chairman Richard “Doc” Doherty recommends ratification of new three-year agreement to the membership.

Wages

Wages for all “A” rated journeymen increased by $2.00 per hour on May 11, 2007 to $46 per hour. They will increase an additional $1.00 per hour to $47.00 on May 11, 2008 and an additional $2.00 on May 11, 2009 to $49.00.

Annuity

The employers have agreed to contribute an additional $1.00 per hour into the “A” rated member’s annuity account effective May 11, 2008, thereby increasing the contributions to $2 per hour.

Allowable monthly withdrawals from the Annuity Plan have been increased from $1,500.00 to $2,500.00.

Upon retirement or leaving the Industry there is now a maximum lump sum withdrawal from the Annuity Plan of $20,000.00.

Pension

Effective July 1, 2007 the Plan shall ­establish a 75% Joint and Survivor Benefit option. Presently there exists a 100% and 50% Benefit option.

It has been agreed to increase existing retirees pensions $5.00 per credit for all retirees who retired prior to July 1995.

It has been agreed to increase the JIB Pension unit benefit from $65.00 per month per year of service to $80.00 per month per year of service for all future and all prior years.

It has been agreed that any member retiring on or after June 1, 2007 at age 58 or older, under the early retirement provision of the Plan, will not lose their medical and dental ­coverage if they work outside of the Electrical Industry.

Construction Division members study handout with the proposed changes to the “A” Construction agreement recommended by the Negotiating Committee prior to the ratification vote.

Medical / Psychiatric

The employers have agreed to contribute an additional $1.00 per hour into the Medical portion of the Pension Hospitalization Benefit Plan effective May 11, 2008.

Substantial improvements have been negotiated for members that affect their medical and dental coverage for services rendered on or after August 1, 2007.

Coverage for hearing aids was increased from $1,500.00 to $2,000.00

The parties agreed the out-of-pocket ­deductible for out-of-network providers will be eliminsated. ­Magna Care will expand the PPO service providers for members outside the metropolitan area was eliminated.

The total out-of-pocket co-payments for physical rehabilitation from any illness or injury have been capped at four visits @ $25.00 for
a maximum of $100.00.

The Psychiatric Benefit is amended to cover services of a psychologist or Master of ­Social Work (MSW) for up to a combined total of 30 visits annually per family. The combined total may include a maximum of 20 annual psychiatric visits per family.

Medical and dental coverage for the spouse and dependents of deceased members has been extended from 18 months to 36 months.

Dental for participants of the Dental Benefit Fund of the Electrical Industry

The annual Dental benefit coverage for prosthetic service has been increased from $3,000.00 to $4,000.00

Coverage will be provided, as of Aug. 1, 2007, for non-cosmetic implants up to $750.00 per implant has been added to the Plan, as well as any associated abutment or bone graft charges.

VHUP & 401(k) Deferred Salary Plan

Contributions will no longer be made to the Vacation Holiday Unemployment Plan (VHUP) for the “A” rated electricians. The 13% of standard gross wages plus $2.00 per hour which was going to the VHUP shall now be contributed as an employer contribution to the 401(k) Deferred Salary Plan.

The transfer from the VHUP to the Deferred Salary Plan will enable members to access their monies from the Plan for the same reasons they were permitted to make withdrawals from the former Additional Security Benefit Plan. By utilizing the Deferred Salary Plan instead of the VHUP the full amount of the employer contributions will go into the member’s account and start accruing interest on the full amount. You will be taxed on the money when you withdraw it, however, the tax burden will be less even with the early withdrawal penalty since it will not be subject to FICA.

John Papandrea, who served as chairman of the special Worksharing Committee that assisted the Negotiating Committee, makes his report to the membership prior to the ratification vote.

 

Apprentices

It was agreed that an additional 300 apprentices will be accepted each year of the agreement if they can be absorbed into the industry. These new apprentices will be employed at the following rates of wages:

Apprentice wages

Wages of all apprentices currently accepted into the program shall remain unchanged. Their wage increase from year to year upon completion of their school and work requirements shall remain as stated in the collective bargaining agreement that expired on May 10, 2007.

All individuals that are accepted in the apprenticeship program after May 10, 2007 shall receive the following wages.

1st Year apprentice, $11.00 per hour.

2nd Year apprentice, $13.00 per hour.

3rd Year apprentice, $15.00 per hour.

4th Year apprentice, $17.00 per hour.

MIJ, $25.30 per hour.

It was further agreed that any apprentice that is removed, terminated or resigns from the Program will be replaced apprentice for apprentice.

Business Manager Christopher Erikson mingled with the membership and discussed the terms of the newly ratified agreement after the ratification meeting adjourned.

Temporary Light and Power

It has been agreed that the maintenance of temporary electrical heating systems is within the jurisdiction of Local 3, IBEW and shall be maintained by a journeyperson electrician while in use.

Effective May 10, 2007, the employer agrees to maintain temporary light and power with the following provisions:

1. If the employer chooses to employ more than one journeyperson on temporary light/power they will be allowed to do productive work.

2. Contributions will only be paid to the annuity, deferred salary, HRA and the NEBF.

3. There will be a one-year moratorium for temporary light and power for all jobs currently in progress as of May 10, 2007 or for which the employer can substantiate to the Joint Industry Board, that a bid has been submitted or awarded prior to May 10, 2007.

Employment Plan

Modifications to the Worksharing Plan were agreed to.

The modifications agreed to as of May 10, 2007 shall become effective January 1, 2008.

Any journeyperson not subject to any furlough in a given year will be entitled to two weeks vacation to be taken when the journeyperson chooses upon mutual agreement with the employer.

White-ticket forepersons are not required to take their furlough in six consecutive week.

A partial week of furlough time will be rounded up or down. i.e. A person owing 12 days becomes 2 weeks, a person owing 13 days becomes 3 weeks.

If a holiday occurs during a furlough period, the member is not obligated to extend furlough by an equal number of days.

The first furlough period does not have to be the six consecutive weeks. Sub-foreman shall only be required to take one consecutive six week period.

Miscellaneous

Wording in the finalized agreement will cover the installation of “Green Technology” as the jurisdiction of the electrician.

Funding for CDL license training will be paid out of the Educational and Cultural Trust Fund.

A recommendation from the employers and union will be made to the Finance Committee of the Joint Industry Board regarding the review of the policy regarding the investment of industry funds into banks and ­financial institutions in New York City.

Supplementary disability benefit from the ASBF and/or the deferred salary plan has been increased from $259.00 per week to $400.00 per week.

Supplementary worker’s compensation benefit from the ASBF and/or the deferred salary plan has been increased from $227 per week to $400.00 per week.

For those members not covered by the Electrical Employers Self Insurance Safety Plan an increase from $518 per week to $650 per week shall be instituted.

A new $50,000.00 term life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment benefit for active “A” rated journeypersons will be provided through the Holiday/Vacation Plan.

The total package represents an increase of $9.92 or 12.45% increase in cost over the next three years.

The following Divisions, in addition to the above improvements, have negotiated the following amendments to the agreement:

ADM Provisions

VHUP contribution increased from 12% to 13% effective May 10, 2007.

In addition it was agreed that effective May 10, 2007 new employees hired in the ADM Division will receive their vacation and holiday pay directly from their ­employer for their first full year of employment, therefore, there shall be no contribution to the VHUP for these employees during this ­period. At any time after the first year of employment in the ADM Division, the ­employee will have the option of having 13% contributed to their VHUP individual account for holidays and vacations are ­allowed in lieu of the employer-paid vacation and holiday benefits. Vacation will be accrued on a pro-rata basis when paid ­directly by the employer.

Medical – an additional 2% shall be ­contributed to the Medical portion of the Pension Hospitalization Plan of the Electrical Industry starting May 8, 2008.

Wage increases of 3% per year effective May 10, 2007, May 8, 2008 and May 14, 2009.

Annuity – Employees who attain 36 or more months of service will receive daily annuity contributions of $10 per day effective May 10, 2007 and $14 per day effective May 8, 2008.

Probationary period for new employees was adjusted from 60 days to 90 days.

Expeditor Provisions

VHUP contribution increased from 12% to 13% effective May 10, 2007.

Medical – an additional 2% shall be contributed to the Medical portion of the Pension Hospitalization Plan of the Electrical Industry starting May 8, 2008.

All new members must have a CDL license.

Clothing allowance increased from $350 to $400.

Annuity Plan contribution to increase to $14.00 per day effective May 10, 2007.

Wages shall be increased .75 cents effective May 10, 2007, $1.00 on May 8, 2008 and $1.00 on May 14, 2009.

Pictured above are the members of the “A” Construction Negotiating Committee: (l to r): (seated) Committee Secretary Antonio Abreu, President John E. Marchell, Business Manager Christopher Erikson, Committee Chairman Richard Doherty, Assistant Business Managers Raymond Melville and Lance Van Arsdale. Back row (l to r): Mike Wilson, Mike Lombardi, Edgar Nusser, Mike Whalen, Dave Zuppulla, Paul Moquin, Timothy Ryan, Special Worksharing Committee chairman John Papendrea and Negotiating Committee member Kevin Blondell.