President/Business Manager’s Report
I would like to begin by wishing Bud Thoman much happiness in his retirement, he will be missed.
I cannot express enough the “job well done” by all our members and the effort they have all given since the pandemic started back in March. As we approach the fall and winter seasons, we need to continue our due diligence to ensure that we all stay healthy as well as our families.
We have been involved in numerous and ongoing discussions with Management and the Training Center to begin a process for responsible reentry with the Training. We have been successful in some areas where we have done virtual training. The next approach is to follow up with a process to get the actual hands on or OJT, in the field to allow for more folks to be qualified. These discussions include use of Trainers in the field, Supervisors, as well as use of Adjuncts to assist. Please be patient and know that we are working hard to get moving.
The Noresco Cogen that supplies Electricity to the Edna Mahon facility in Clinton, NJ has severed their ties to the State of Nj, which prompted the Local Union to renegotiate a Contract for the remainder of the project with a new Company. We are happy to announce that the contract has been ratified and assures that our folks up there will be able to finish out the project until the end of next year. Congratulations!
To say that we have had a tough year is an understatement, however we have more hurdles in front of us, and I believe when all is said and done we will come out stronger and better than ever because of it. Please continue to stay safe and I would like to this time to wish all our members and your families a Happy Thanksgiving!
Distribution North, Transmission, FMC Report
I hope this newsletter finds both you and your families in good health during this challenging time. In a recent communication, the Company announced it is extending the re-entry to July 2021. Our workforce has proven the physical distancing efforts are effective, I applaud all of you and ask that you continue the good work. As we move into the colder months, I ask that you use your best judgment when you’re reporting to work. If you’re sick stay home and call the pandemic hotline. As of this writing, the state and the country are in an increasing wave of the virus, we have to stay vigilant. The Company is assessing reporting and work locations, there have been some exception identified, but more importantly, there have been some best practices identified. There’s a push to remind everybody about our pandemic PPE and protocols. The Company reported where the exceptions were identified they were remedied and expanded on in follow up assessments. Well done.
I hope everyone thanked a veteran on Veteran’s Day, whether it’s a family member or a co-worker, these men and women deserve our thanks and then some. They deserve our thanks every day, but the 11th was their day and I thank each and every one of them.
We continue to talk with the Company about options to get our training processes moving while staying within the directive of the Governor’s executive order(s). We have people moving into Electric Distribution from Fossil as well as new hires coming on board soon. While the training center is open for business the number of people they can get into a class is limited due to physical distancing protocols. The objective is to get the training done while keeping all healthy and safe.
Social media; when your engaged on any form of social media refrain from connecting yourself to PSEG. There have been multiple situations where Ethic and Compliance and/or Employee Relations have come in to talk to our members. Many of these investigations go no where while others can get added attention.
There have been some questions about a consent form for the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration) Clearinghouse. This is a federal regulation, January 2020, the FMCSA required employers to do a limited query of their employees with CDL’s. This is a national clearinghouse to prevent CDL holders having an unresolved drug or alcohol offense in one state from going to another state to obtain a CDL. As this clearinghouse was initiated in January 2020 any unresolved issue prior to then will not appear in the clearinghouse. If an employee does not consent to the query the employer cannot allow the employee to drive a CDL vehicle or do any safety sensitive work.
On a personal note I would like to wish Buddy Thoman a long, happy and well deserved retirement. He did a great job of moving the Local forward, I know he appreciated the support the members gave him over the many years he served the Local. I ask for your continued support as Scott Campbell takes over the reins. I wish everyone a happy, healthy thanksgiving. As always, look out for each other and watch each other’s backs.
Distribution South, Central Report
I’m writing this message on Veterans Day so I would ask all of us to take a moment to remember all our veterans, those who served in war and peace and reflect on the sacrifices that they made to protect our freedoms.
Thanksgiving Day is just two weeks away with Christmas and the New Year just around the corner. The year 2020 has been a very challenging year for all of us at work and at home. We have had to make changes to how we do just about everything to protect ourselves our families and coworkers from getting COVID 19. Now in the news we hear that a vaccine maybe available in the New Year. With the virus spreading across the world, that will not be the end of the sacrifices that we have been making. It will take time to get the vaccine distributed and get people vaccinated. We will need to keep practicing social distancing and wearing a face covering for some time into the New Year. It is always difficult to keep up the hard work of keeping each other safe when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The end of the tunnel is at least four or five months into the New Year so do everything you can to keep yourself and your families safe.
On November 1 Bud Thoman retired as President /Business Manager of Local 94 thank you Bud for all your years of service to the IBEW. Best wishes for a long, health and happy retirement. With Bud’s retirement Scott Campbell is now President/Business Manager of the local. Buddy could not have left the local in better hands congratulations Scott.
First I am very happy to inform everyone that the Nuclear vote for the 2 yr Contract extension was approved 310 in favor and only 26 opposed. That shows great support for your local Union Leadership.
The Unit 1 outage is extended due to work on 5 of the 8 Flexure Bolts in the Reactor that needed repairs. The outage was already scheduled for 60 days, now being extended at least 15 more days due to the unforeseen work scope. PCI is the only company in the country that can perform this work.
We have 2 Corporate Investigations ongoing. 1) is an accusation against a Manager that has actually left the company. 2) Another accusation against Management in the 12 Hr maintenance shop. Looks like the results of these investigations will conclude later this year.
We have negotiated 20 new Nuclear Tech machinists and welders from the maintenance shops. They were all promoted effective Oct. 5, 2020.
On the Covid front, IBEW LU94 members have done an excellent job of taking care of each other, while some Contractors had a few cases coming from one of their trailers. This is the second outage this year and our members have done incredible following all safety guidelines including wearing mask on site at all times, washing hands frequently and using the close contact sheets everyday in the event of someone being positive.
Thanksgiving is coming upon us, and then Christmas and New Year’s. I just want to wish everybody very happy holidays, and to take time to enjoy with whatever family you choose to entertain.
Gas Department Message
I would first like to start off by introducing myself, for those who do not already know me my name is Michael Langham and am the Business Agent for Gas, Mailroom and Springfield Meter shop. Id like to thank Scott Campbell and Buddy Thoman for the opportunity.
Secondly 2020 has been quite a challenge. Whether at work or at home times have been anything but easy. We have done an excellent job dealing with the pandemic on both fronts. Those efforts have not gone unnoticed. All our essential workers have done a great job looking out for each other and keeping each other safe. I am certain we will continue to do so for as long as necessary.
Throughout Gas we have seen increased numbers of issues surrounding the constantly updating COVID-19 protocols. Most cases are involving masks and social distancing. These issues are being reported by contractors, customers and people driving past random crews of municipal workers, landscapers’ and other utility workers thinking they are PSEG crews. They take pictures, email them to the company or post to social media all resulting in the company issuing discipline. The company has also started sending Electric supervisors to visit Gas crews and Gas supervisors to visit Electric crews making sure we are all wearing our PPE. Bottom line is, make sure you and your crew are all wearing PPE and following the COVID-19 protocols.
I would like to thank all those who took time out to vote on the purposed contract extension, which passed overwhelmingly. I want to wish Buddy Thoman all the best on his retirement and thank you for your many years dedicated to growing and strengthening the union as well as congratulate Scott Campbell on becoming the new President of the local.
Lastly as we move into the holiday season, I would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and good health.
Line Clearance Message
In the world of trees, I’m glad to say that our line clearance tree trimmers are doing well coping with this COVID-19 virus that’s going around, but we still need to keep or guard up and wear our masks when we are not alone. When riding in the trucks also use hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray when you get in. Remember we all have families to keep safe. I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.
In this unprecedented year which has presented us with more challenges than most of us would care to remember, we must take time to acknowledge the tireless amount of work our members have put in as well as the sacrifices they have made as workers essential to our state’s critical infrastructure.
At the end of 2019 the local union was informed by the company of a surplus withing the M+RS organization as well as the generating stations. Through extensive negotiations, we were able to secure positions for 76 individuals in the electric and gas utilities, as well as positions in the generating stations and LTS. A separation agreement was offered to the majority of the stations and M+RS with 43 individuals signing up to separate. The combined cycle generating stations adopted new job titles by way of the creation of the Control Room Operator and Production Technician positions as well as a Senior Production Technician. Further reductions in headcounts in the stations was avoided by future reductions through attrition. Changes were made to the Mobile Maintenance agreement to allow greater flexibility with the workforce. The CMS welders and machinists were absorbed by the Gas Department’s assuming responsibility for the Cliff Road CMS Shop location. They will support ongoing Gas department maintenance and projects and will also continue to support Nuclear. DP+C took on the CMS electricians to support ongoing Distribution projects such as relay racks. All of this transpired with the onset of a global pandemic with many meetings being conducted via teleconference.
The company announced their intention to divest itself of all of its Fossil generating stations to better align with the company’s carbon free strategy. This came as a huge surprise to say the least for the 123 members who still work in the gen stations. We are awaiting the process to get under way to see who the potential buyers will be. We secured language through a letter of agreement that will require any potential buyer to abide by the terms and conditions of our CBA until its expiration.
This has been a tough year for all of us. Time will tell when we turn the corner on this chapter in our history and move on to better days. Best wishes to Buddy Thoman on his retirement, his contributions to this local union have ensured we will continue to be successful going forward. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.