In January, we started contract negotiations with People's Gas for a contract that was to expire on the 23rd and although we were not able to come to an agreement in time, we did agree to a contract extension and to have a Federal Mediator assist in negotiations. In early February we agreed to a 3-year deal with a 2.75% wage increase each year, along with several other improvements and no takeaways. The ratification vote was held and the contract was accepted by a count of 23 - 0 for the 26 members that we represent at People's Gas.In February, we agreed to hold early contract negotiations (contract would expire on October 1st) with Duquesne Light in which each side would only have 5 proposals and we would only have 5 meetings. After the 3rd meeting we felt it was a waste of time since the Company wanted a number of concessions that we were not willing to agree to, so we agreed to end those negotiations.
On March 8th , an arbitration was held for a CSR that was terminated Duquesne Light in March 2017, we received the Arbitrators award on May 29th in which he reduced the termination to a 5 day suspension and the Company had to pay 26 months of lost wages, this was a huge win for him and this Union.
On April 15th, we received the award for the reasonable overtime arbitration that was held in December 2018, it was another big arbitration win for our members. The Arbitrator gave us some great language in his award but he did stop short of saying what a reasonable amount of overtime is and wanted the Union and Company (Duquesne Light) to try and come up with a solution. After meeting several times with the Company on this issue and not being able to come to an agreement the case was sent back to the Arbitrator. The day (September 5th) we were to meet with the arbitrator for the 2nd time, we were able to come to an agreement with the Company to settle that grievance, the Company agreed to offer makeup overtime(well over 1,000 hours) to the Facilities group, that along with the language the arbitrator gave us, we feel good about the agreement going forward.
The IBEW Third District started a Veterans Committee in September 2019 in which Local 29 had 2 members join, Darryl Honick and Andrea Honick who are both veterans and very excited to be a part of this committee. You will see more information on the work this committee is doing on our website and in future additions of Watts Current.The Local 29 MRC (Motorcycle Riding Club) continues to grow and currently has over 20 members and is led by their President Ken Jones. For more information see our website (IBEW29.org)