May Union Meeting

** I.B.E.W. LOCAL 29 **

May 12, 2021

Monthly Union Meeting Notice

 

 

Location: Steamfitters Local

            Union Hall 449

            1517 Woodruff St.

  Pittsburgh, PA  15220

 

 

Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Time: 7:30 P.M.

 

Masks Mandatory

 

Social Distancing will be enforced.

No food or beverages will be served.

 

If additional directions needed, ask another member or call the Hall at 412-922-6969.

 

 

Local 29 member injury

A message about an injured Local 29 member

On Sunday April 11th, a fellow IBEW Local 29 member and Duquesne Light Journey Underground Splicer was involved in a near fatal incident.   An Underground splicing crew consisting of 6 qualified men were tasked with making emergency repairs on a 23KV distribution circuit.  The job required the crew to pull out 2 sections of failed underground cable, pull in new cable and also splice the new cable back together.  The crew was successful in pulling the failed cable out and was in the beginning stages of pulling the new cable in when another sub-transmission circuit faulted in one of the manholes that was involved with the original work.   Our fellow member was inside that particular confined space where the fault occurred. 

                For those who do not know, a manhole is a very small area underground with a circumference around 6 feet and an average depth of 10-15 feet that can hold multiple distribution and sub-transmission circuits within its confined space.  A fault is when a circuit fails phase to phase or phase to ground creating an arc flash with the danger of electrical shock and/or heat flash resulting in burns.  With that in perspective, you can only imagine the danger our fellow member was in.  

                As soon as the fault had occurred, the other crew members sprung into immediate action that in my opinion, saved the life of the member still in the manhole.  The two members above the manhole involved with the fault, got their fellow crew member out of the manhole within seconds.   The other crew members immediately called 911 and preformed first aid to the injured member.   One particular member of the crew called Duquesne Light operations center to make sure that the circuit that just faulted was not re-energized that could have caused further damaged to personnel or equipment.  As I said before, I believe the quick thinking and immediate action performed by the crew helped save the injured member’s life.   I want to personally thank every one of those crew members involved with the incident and am extremely proud of them for their actions and quick response. 

                Without getting into too much detail about the aftermath due to privacy, the injured member suffered multiple burns varying in degree and locations of the body and inhaled a large amount of carbon and smoke.   The member spent over a week in the hospital but is currently home and resting.  The member has a long and painful road of recovery ahead of him, but continues to be in good spirits.

                In closing, I think it is always important to be aware of the dangers that are associated with all of our jobs.  Whether you work inside or outside, alone or on a crew, please continue to use situational awareness and your training to ensure that you and all of our other members stay as safe as possible while performing all job duties.  

In solidarity,

Josh Ewing

April Union Meeting Cancelled

Due to Covid we are canceling April's Union meeting but we are planning to have the May meeting if all goes well, please check the website next month for an update. 

We are asking everyone to please consider getting vaccinated as soon as possible to help us get back to normal.....I hope to see everyone next month.

Download Our NEW App!

 

IBEW 29 is proud to offer a mobile app for our members, available on both Android and iPhone!

You can download the app with the following QR Codes:

*** Please have your Employee ID and Seniority Date ready to verify at registration! ***

Contact help@linkedunion.com with any questions. 

DLC Switching Dispatcher MOU

The Switching Dispatchers at Duquesne Light Company voted on and unanimously passed an MOU and 12 hour schedule that included a retention bonus of $7500 for anyone that stays in that position for 36 months. The pay scale was changed by eliminating a few of the progression steps which will enable members to achieve the top payrate quicker. The 12 hour schedule and the guidelines that are included are much improved over the last 12 hour agreement that was in place.

The MOU between the Company and Union moved very quickly since both sides wanted to make improvements to this important position so it would be properly staffed going forward for a long time. More details of the MOU will be available in the next week or so.

Contract Ratified - Little Blue

On Tuesday the 10 members that work for Energy Harbor at Little Blue Run ratified a new 3 year agreement with 8 accepting and 2 rejecting. The new agreement will increase wages at a minimum of 9.9% over 3 years with the opportunity of a 15.4% increase due to a new job classification. The Company has been going after the pension in their negotiations with the other plants and here it was no different, the pension will be frozen in 45 days and the employees will have a defined contribution plan. The Company will contribute up to 9% and will also match another 3% if the employee contributes 6%, the Company will also make a one time contribution of $6500 into the 401K. 

There were other minor changes and deletions to articles that no longer applied but the other big plus for our members was changing the number of years needed to get 5 weeks vacation, it was lowered from 24 years to 20 years and with 9 of the 10 members having 19 years service that was a nice pickup. The members will also get an additional $1250 one time payment.

Although we gave up the pension, i believe overall it was a good agreement for our members even though i wish we could have gotten them more (i feel that way about every contract). I want to thank the negotiating committee ( Glenn Camp, Vic Roppa, Joe Kristian & Kris Anderson) for their hard work and dedication in getting the best deal possible for our members. 

Vaccine Information

Vaccination Information Earlier today, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the State’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force announced that Pennsylvania’s Vaccination Plan would be accelerated so that all Pennsylvania residents will be eligible to begin scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments beginning on April 19. The State’s accelerated Vaccination Plan provides that residents in Phase 1B – which includes public transit workers – are eligible to start scheduling vaccination appointments on Monday, April 5, 2021. Additional information on eligibility and scheduling vaccination appointments is available on the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website (https://www.pa.gov/guides/get-vaccinated/) or by calling the Pennsylvania Department of Health hotline at 1-877-724-3258. As vaccine appointments become more readily available, Port Authority has received various information and tips on potential sites with appointment openings: • Excela Health has facilities in our region and is reported to have already begun accepting vaccine appointments for the Phase 1B group: https://www.excelahealth.org/Home/CoronavirusInformation/COVID-19-Vaccine-Information; • UPMC has facilities throughout our region and while still scheduling only Phase 1A at this time, several employees have reported wider appointment availability over the past week: https://www.upmc.com/coronavirus/covid-vaccine; • Spartan Pharmacy has set up clinics in our region and while still scheduling only Phase 1A at this time, it is reported they have begun more widely distributing vaccine doses due to greater supply: https://spartanpharmacy.com/; and • The Allegheny County Health Department has partnered with PA 2-1-1 Southwest, powered by the United Way, to schedule county residents for vaccination appointments by phone. Residents eligible for a COVID vaccine may dial 2-1-1 or 1-888-553-5778 to schedule an appointment. Please get vaccinated as soon as possible so we can all get back to normal. Check your company’s policy on getting a shot if it is scheduled on company time

IBEW Local 29 Member Introduces President Biden

When President Biden decided to come to Pittsburgh to announce his infrastructure plan, he wanted a union member that worked out in the field and someone that knew how important it was to invest in our infrastructure. With the President’s close ties to IBEW International President Lonnie Stevenson, we knew they would pick a member from either our Local or IBEW Local 5, I think they made the right choice by picking our member.

Michael Fiore is an IBEW LU 29 lineman that works for Duquesne Light Company and is on the Union’s Executive board representing the T&D department. Although it is a great honor to introduce a President, it’s not something that most field workers would be willing to do on national TV, Michael was no different, but he knew what it meant for our local to be represented on that stage, so he embraced it for that reason.

I am sure he had to be nervous reading a speech prepared for him by the White House, but I was very confident that he would do a great job at introducing the President.

President Biden didn’t have to roll out his plan at a union training center, and he didn’t have to have a union member introduce him, but he did so that should tell you something about how he views Unions. You don’t have to agree with all of his policies, but it is hard to ignore what he has done for unions since he has been in office.

When you see Michael let him know what a great job he did in representing our Local, IBEW 29. He may need a bigger hard hat also.

Click the link below to see the recording.

President Bidens' Speech

Building America Back Better

Inviting IBEW President, Labor Leaders to White House

IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson was among several leaders to meet with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the Oval Office on February 17.

“Today’s meeting with President Biden was enormously productive in addressing how the labor movement can work with the administration in putting Americans back to work and creating good-paying union jobs,” President Stephenson said of the 90-minute meeting.

Stephenson was joined by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, and others to discuss coronavirus relief, retirement security, energy policy, infrastructure legislation, and apprenticeship initiatives.

TAP HERE TO CONTINUE READING

Summary of the American Rescue Plan Act

March 12, 2021

 

Summary of the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319)

 

Below are some highlights of the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package enacting this week:

Public Health. Provides $48.3 billion for testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment (PPE); $7.5 billion for vaccine distribution; and $5.2 billion for procurement of

vaccines and supplies. Provides $10 billion to expand domestic production of PPE, vaccines, and medical supplies under the Defense Production Act.

 

Workplace Safety. Provides $200 million for pandemic-related worker protection activities at

the Labor Department, half of which would go to the Occupational Safety and Health

Administration (OSHA) to support OSHA enforcement and worker training in high-risk sectors such as meat processing, health care, correctional facilities and agriculture.

 

Relief for State and Local Governments. Provides $350 billion in aid to state, local, aid to help deal with the budgetary impact of the pandemic.

 

LOCAL AID AMOUNTS:

  • Pennsylvania: $7.29 Billion
  • Allegheny County: $382 Million
  • City of Pittsburgh: $354 Million
  • Pittsburgh International Airport (Airport Authority): $36 Million
  • Pittsburgh Metro Urbanized Transit Funding: $248 Million. (This includes Port Authority, Beaver, Westmorland, etc. Waiting on Port Authority’s exact number)

 

Education. Provides $125 billion in state grants to help local educational authorities reopen K-12 public schools safely, address instruction loss and support students as they recover from

the effects of the pandemic. Provides $39.6 billion to colleges and universities and their students, at least half of which must be spent on emergency financial aid grants.

 

Direct Payments. Provides $1,400 in direct payments to individuals making less than $75,000 and married couples making under $150,000 (full amount), and for dependents claimed on federal tax returns. Payments scale back up to $160,000.

 

Unemployment Benefits. Extends pandemic-related unemployment assistance that was set to expire on March 14, including the current $300 supplement to unemployment benefits (called

“Pandemic Unemployment Compensation”), for another six months through Sept. 6. Provides

that the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits received by taxpayers making less than

$150,000 will not be subject to federal taxation.

 

Relief for Multiemployer Pensions. Provides about $86 billion in financial assistance to

struggling multiemployer pension plans, which the plans will not have to repay, to cover all benefits due through plan year 2051, with no cuts to accrued benefits.

 

Full COBRA Subsidies. Subsidizes 100% of health care premiums of COBRA-eligible individuals who lose their job or had reduced hours, who will not have to pay any premiums, for

six months. The employer or health plan can claim a refundable tax credit against their Medicare payroll tax liability for the cost of the premiums.

 

Airline and Aerospace Payroll Support. Provides $15 billion for the wages and benefits of

employees of airlines and contractors in the airline industry.

 

Transportation. Provides $30.4 billion for grants to transit agencies, which can be used for

operating expenses, including payroll costs and PPE, and $1.7 billion for Amtrak in fiscal year

2021, including funding to recall furloughed workers and restore the frequency of long-distance routes.

 

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Extends eligibility for the PPP forgivable loan program to more tax-exempt groups, including 501(c)(5) labor organizations. Creates a new $28.6 billion grant program for restaurants.

 

Child Tax Credit. Reduces child poverty by expanding the child tax credit through 2021,

increasing the maximum credit to $3,600 for each child younger than 6 and $3,000 for other

children, and making the credit fully refundable.

 

Child Care. Expands the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to $4,000 per child or $8,000 for

two or more children and makes the credit fully refundable. Provides $39 billion for childcare,

including $15 billion in grants to states to help low-income families afford childcare and help essential workers regardless of their income and $24 billion for state grants to childcare providers.

 

Federal Employee Leave. Provides $570 million to create an Emergency Federal Employee

Leave Fund to provide up to 15 weeks of emergency paid leave for civilian employees and

postal workers, including those who have COVID-19, who are caring for someone with

COVID-19 are looking after children during virtual classes or are obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine. Provides $13 million for an Emergency TSA Employee Leave Fund and $9 million for

an Emergency FAA Employee Leave Fund.

 

Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credits. Extends current tax credits through September 2021 and expands eligibility to include state and local governments.

 

Employee Retention Tax Credit. Extends the current tax credit through Dec. 31, 2021, and

increases the percentage of wages covered for severely distressed businesses.

 

 

Earned Income Tax Credit. Expands the earned income tax credit for taxpayers without

children for 2021 by increasing both the credit percentage and phaseout thresholds.

 

Veterans. Provides $386 million to create a rapid retraining program for veterans who are unemployed because of the pandemic.

 

Housing. Provides $21.6 billion for emergency rental assistance to prevent evictions and $10 billion to help homeowners avoid foreclosure; $5 billion for emergency public housing vouchers; and $5 billion to address homelessness.

 

Nutrition Assistance. Extends a 15% increase to monthly benefits under the Supplemental

Nutrition Assistance Program through Sept. 30, 2021.

 

 

Brothers and sisters,

 

This bill is a total of over 1600 pages long and I know this is not everything. We will continue to break this down and will provide more information going forward in the future. If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at the office (412) 281-7450 or email: president@aclc-pgh.com.

 

 

In Solidarity,

Darrin Kelly, President

Allegheny-Fayette County Labor Council

Unemployment Compensation Resources

** If you know of anyone that is in need of assistance the following are helpful resources so please pass this on to anyone that may need this type of assistance. **

Brothers and Sisters,

It has been brought to my attention that a lot of our members have been experiencing delays in receiving their unemployment compensation. Until this gets resolved, there are resources available to help our members during this tough time. My friends, I share your frustration with this ongoing problem. I have been in contact with our State Officials actively trying to get this situation rectified. In the meantime, please see the resource links below that can help your members and their families during this extremely stressful time. As always, if you need anything, please call our office (412) 281-7450 or Community Service Representative Jim Blatnick (724) 272-2303.

  • Call 2-1-1 (always confidential)
  • Speak with a trained service professional that can help you find available services and resources in your community.
  • Assistance to help put food on the table, find a place to live, or access affordable healthcare.
  • Access to emergency basic needs fund

Other Helpful Links

  • Rental Assistance: Pennsylvania: HUD.gov/states/PA/renting 
    - Subsidized Apartments, Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers, other resources
  • VA Housing Assistance: VA.gov/housing-assistance 
    - VA housing assistance can help Veterans, service members, and their spouses to buy a home or refinance a loan. They also offer benefits and services to help you build, improve, or keep your current home.
  • Department of Education: Resources for families: Education.pa.gov/ResourcesFamilies 
    -Information on state and community services and programs that support children and families. 
  • Other Support and Resources for Your Family: Childcare.gov/support-programs 
    -Covers topics like health insurance, mental health services, and child support enforcement.
    -It also has information about basic supports like heating assistance and food assistance that can help your family weather a temporary crisis.

     

In Solidarity,
Darrin Kelly, President

An Open Letter to the Men and Women of the Electric Power Industry

Dear Colleagues,

As we head into this holiday weekend, we are writing to thank you for all you do each day to power our nation and to keep the lights on for the customers and the communities you serve. We applaud you for your unwavering dedication and your commitment to safety, particularly as we navigate through these challenging and unprecedented times.

Today, we all are seeing concerning trends in the spread of the coronavirus around the country, and it is more important than ever that we do not let our guards down, either as individuals or as a critical infrastructure industry. We know that electricity and the energy grid are indispensable, and our nation is relying on your essential work during this pandemic.

  That is why we are joining together—as labor and electric power industry leaders—to encourage you to stay vigilant and to continue to follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on personal hygiene, social distancing, and, most important, the use of masks or face coverings.

As we learn more about this virus, the guidance from the CDC and our nation’s health care experts continues to evolve; we now know that staying at least 6 feet apart and, when unable to do so, wearing a mask saves lives. We also know that we cannot fully restart our economy or return to any type of normalcy until we are able to control the spread of this virus.

Safety is, and has always been, our industry’s number one priority. We have a tremendous opportunity now to lead by example and to serve as role models for our fellow citizens by expanding the safety culture that we practice in our workplaces to our communities.  

It is a privilege to work with you, and we wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July.

Sincerely,

Lonnie Stephenson 

International President  

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Joy Ditto 

President & CEO  

American Public Power Association

Tom Kuhn 

President 

Edison Electric Institute

James Slevin 

National President 

Utility Workers Union of America

Jim Matheson 

CEO 

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association 

IBEW Statement on George Floyd

IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson issues the following statement in reaction to the death of George Floyd.

"The men and women of the International Brotherhood Electrical Workers stand with the millions of Americans demanding a full investigation into the death of George Floyd; an African-American pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on Floyd's neck as Floyd pleaded "I can't breathe."

"The cause of labor has always been the cause of human solidarity, human dignity and justice and equality for all, so the IBEW cannot afford to stay silent as our African-American brothers and sisters suffer in fear of violence at the hands of either the state or by private citizens like we saw with the case of Ahmaud Arbery.

"We believe that we as a country are better than what we saw happen in Minneapolis. And we believe that the majority of our police officers, who are dedicated public servants protecting their communities every day, are better than what we saw there as well.

"But it's all too clear that the plague of racism which has beset this nation since its birth remains to be overcome.

"This is the time for all those who love America and care deeply about its values to speak out in the name of justice and against systematic racism. More than ever, every American, regardless of race, gender, faith, sexual orientation, or sexual identification, must come together to heal the wounds of division and hate.

"The labor movement has always stood shoulder to shoulder with those fighting for civil rights and a society free from the blight of racism and discrimination.

"And the IBEW is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with those peacefully calling for justice for George Floyd and all victims of racism."

Energy Harbor Updates

It seems that things are starting settle in with the new company after a few rocky months with all of the pay issues along with getting dues collected and turned over to the union, I'm sure there are some issues but it has gotten better.

Since this is a new company they may try to make changes without talking with the union first or without the union agreeing on things that need our agreement, so I am asking everyone of our members to report any changes to your steward who should in turn talk with Joe Kristian, don't take for granted that the company is doing the right thing.

Refresh Day and MLK Day

Steve Malnight, DLC's CEO announced that the company would give all of the employees what they are calling a "refresh day"(a day off work) on July 2nd for all of their hard work and dedication during the COVID-19.

Steve also announced that starting next year, 2021 Martin Luther King Day would be a company holiday for all employees.

I want to thank Steve for what I think he is trying to do at DLC, I believe he is trying to change the culture and make it a place where people want to come to work. Change doesn't happen over night and he can't do it by himself, but I think some of the new members of his team (David Johnson & Kevin Walker) will help him with changing the culture. I think we owe it to ourselves to have an open mind, stay positive and help them make it a place that you want to work at.

The contract that was Ratified in October is in the process of being reviewed and should be going to the printer soon, sorry for the delay but everything has been moving slower due to the COVID-19 but we are working to have it completed as soon as we can....thank you for your patience.

July 8th Union Meeting Canceled

Please following social distancing guidlines and wear a mask, thank you.

Union Officers Nominations

Please take the time to read this very important notice.

Due to COVID-19 we have postponed our officers nominations and election back several months in the hope that we could use the same process that we always do but due to the recent increase in cases the process will be changed.

New Process – If you wish to be nominated for one of the officer positions (see page 2) of this local union and you are a member in good standing you will need to do the following:

  1. Submit a letter that indicates which position you intend on running for.
  2. Letter must be signed and dated.
  3. Include your contact information (phone number, email & home address)
  4. The letter can be mailed, emailed or dropped off at the union hall
  5. Email – IBEW29@IBEW29.org
  6. Mailed –  IBEW 29, 986 Greentree rd, Pgh. PA. 15220 
  7. Once your letter is received at the union hall you will receive a confirmation phone call within the next business day.
  8. If you do not receive a call you will need to call the union hall no later than 4:00 pm on August 13, 2020 for your name to appear on the ballot. In this case you will have until noon August 14, 2020 to supply the hall with a letter. No letters will be accepted after that time.

Elected Union Officer Positions

  • Business Manager – Fulltime position
  • President – Part time position 
  • Vice President – Part time position 
  • Recording Secretary – Part time position
  • Financial Secretary – Part time position
  • Treasurer – Part time position
  • Executive Board - T&D (DLC employee) Part time position
  • Executive Board – Substations & Shops (DLC employee) Part time
  • Executive Board – Fossil (GenOn) Part time
  • Executive Board – Nuclear (2 positions) (Energy Harbor) Part time
  • Executive Board – Clerical (DLC, People’s Gas, Port Authority) Part time
  • Port Authority Chairperson (Port Authority) Part Time

** You can only be on the ballot for one of the above positions

  • We will also elect Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the International Convention
  • You may run as an officer and as a delegate to the Convention.

Click here to download a list of officer duties.

IBEW Annual Golf Outing - Accepting Payments

The union hall is now taking names and collecting payments at this time. Click here to download the registration form.

9/11 Flag Ceremony

Matt Salter, Journey Lineworker from Raccoon Service Center, and Darryl Honick, Journey Lineworker from Penn Hills (both recently took the Senior Operator Apprentice role) conducted the flag raising ceremony. Robert Pierce, Sr. Lineworker

from Penn Hills and Workforce development trainer, dedicated the ceremony to our military, and men and women that paid the ultimate price in the 9/11 terrorist attack. Charles Rothhaar, Sr. Lineworker from Preble and Login Richards, Sr. Operator Apprentice from Preble, assisted as groundworkers for Darryl and Matt.

The 2020 – 2021 EDT program students were in attendance (orange hard hats) as well as Preble Lineworkers, Property Services employees, Substation trainers and Underground Splicers.

You can see two poles near each other, one with the flag, and one adjacent. This is to represent the Twin Towers.

Thanks to all those that participated in the ceremony and I want thank to Duquesne Light management for allowing this great tribute to happen on their property.

I also want to thank and remember all first responders for what you do everyday and for what they did on that fateful day 19 years ago.

FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS EVENT, PLEASE GO TO ABOUT US > PHOTOS

December Union Meeting Canceled

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and the Allegheny County mandate to keep gatherings to less than 25 people we have decided to cancel the December union meeting for everyone's health ans safety.

If anyone wants information on recent union activity, please talk with your steward or union rep and as always please check the website.

Any questions please call the Union Hall at 412-922-6969.

IBEW 29 Golf Outing

Local 29's annual golf outing was held on September 20th at Blackhawk golf course, it was a great event with weather to match. Although we had fewer golfers (20 foursomes) at this year's event due to COVID-19 and we did not have the usual dinner afterwards, but we had plenty of door prizes. I don't believe we had damage to any golf carts like we have had the last couple of years which is good. It was nice to get out and see everyone outside of work and have some fun during this pandemic, I have no reports of anyone getting the virus on that day and that is the most important thing. We are hopeful things will return to normal next year as we look forward to an even more successful outing. I want to thank Jim Depoe for organizing everything, and also the beverage cart drivers, Debbie Slaney and Caitlin Mullin and her friend, it wouldn't be same without them. Stay safe, stay healthy and I hope to see everyone next year.