Happy Thanksgiving and Updates from the Local

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
First, I would like to thank all of our veterans both past and present for their service to our country and fighting for freedom around the world. I also want to thank their families for the sacrifice that they make while those men and women are away from home. I also would like to send a special thanks to the men and women who were injured or worse yet gave their life protecting us and our freedom, it's a sacrifice I wish no one had to make.

Beaver Valley
Healthcare meetings and open enrollment were held for the members and retirees of Beaver Valley. The transition from UPMC to Highmark seemed to go smoothly with the assistance of the Highmark representatives. The versatility of Highmark and the decrease in cost, made a hard decision to switch providers a little bit easier. For those of you who have to switch doctors, I hope you find one you like even better than the one you currently have. Anyone that runs into a problem that Highmark can't help you with, you can call the Union Hall or talk to Joe.
The ongoing bankruptcy and deactivation plans, along with the bankruptcy Judge ruling against the Company's proposed KERP (Key Employee Retention Program), has forced the Company to negotiate a new KERP with the affected Unions who were all excluded from the original KERP. By joining with the other Unions and a great bankruptcy attorney we have been given a chance to get a piece of the KERP pie, without our attorney the KERP issue would be finished and no union member would have gotten a penny. After a number of proposals from each side, the Union's proposals included all union members and the Company's a very limited number of union positions along with a minimal dollar figure. The current proposal has increased the number of union positions along with an increase in the dollar amount to the point that the creditors committee is going to support this proposal when it goes before the bankruptcy judge at the end of the month. We will continue to try and improve the KERP and to fight to get what we feel is fair. Click here to read an update from the company.
 
People's Gas
We will be starting contract negotiations in the next few weeks as the current contract expires on January 22nd 2019. The Negotiating Committee will consist of the following members; Kenn Bradley, Glenn Camp, Nicole Greb, Mickey Maloney, Lynn Petrie and Garth Rae, we will do our best to keep everyone informed on the overall progress but the day to day details can not be communicated since things can change from meeting to meeting until we have a final agreement.
Aqua America is in the process of acquiring People's Gas and all indication is that it should not affect our group in the day to day operation but only time will tell.

  GenOn
The bankruptcy is still dragging on and the date that they officially are on their own keeps moving, but no major changes that affect our members are happening other than a much smaller operation. That being said when a problem does arise in the benefits area it's not always a quick resolution.
Cheswick has been running fairly well and more often than originally anticipated at the beginning of the year.

DLC

First the good news, we settled a termination grievance that was scheduled for arbitration, the member was returned to work after being off for 18 months. We agreed to a lump sum of $10,000(after taxes) settlement payment since the member was employed most of the time he was off and any back pay would be offset by what was earned while he was off.
 

A timekeeper who was suspended for 30 days was reduced to 10 days and paid any lost wages, then, brought back to work and placed in a vacant CSR position, we believe she was wrongly accused of falsifying records and we are proceeding through the grievance process.

Now the bad news, we just had another member terminated from the T&D dept. and there is an ongoing investigation into employees leaving work early, I'm sure there will be more discipline handed down once the Company completes their investigation. I ask that all members put a little extra focus on working safely during the investigation and not let it distract you, the last thing anyone wants is to have any type of injury. We will keep you updated to the extent possible, but in most cases the Company does not give us much information on the investigation.

We have held several meetings with our attorney in preparation for the arbitration scheduled for Dec. 4th on the reasonable overtime issue.....even though we know the company is not being reasonable we have the burden of proof so we need to be able to convince the arbitrator that the Company has been unreasonable.

The CCAC apprentices have started their internship at the service garages.
Here is a list of discipline over the last month;
  • 2 employees were given an MPP because the passenger in the vehicle supposedly did not have their seat belt on.
  • MPP given due to being late 3 times in a week according to a random check of the gate at Preble
  • MPP given for being late at the Racoon garage
  • 1 day suspension for not reporting to work Preble garage
  • CSR, Written warning for not completing work assignments
  • CSR written warning for not handling a call properly
  • CSR, 3 day suspension for lates and for not following Metlife Procedures
  • CSR, 3 day suspension for lates and leaving work unexcused
Union

The Christmas dance has been canceled for this year, it wasn't an easy decision and Bill Webb had already put his time and work into setting a few things up and had the tickets printed but due to some of the major expenses that we have incurred recently such as the bankruptcy attorneys along with the number of arbitrations we have had and the upcoming negotiations in 2019 with Peoples Gas and DLC, it made sense to skip this year's party but I hope to see everyone next Christmas.

I want to thank all of the Reps and officers that have either helped or at least put up with some of the cost cutting measures...it's never easy cutting cost but I believe that it's necessary so we can keep fighting the company's for what we  believe is fair. Along with cutting cost you will see under new business a request for a dues assessment to the members.
 
I want to thank everyone who took the time to vote and especially the ones who voted for the labor friendly candidates and a special thanks for everyone who helped knock on doors, leaflet and make phone calls on their own time.
 
I want to wish all the members, retirees and their families a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.