I would first like to thank everyone that made the trek down to our first Union meeting since last March. It was nice to get back to some sense of normalcy. Let’s hope that this is the start of putting this horrible pandemic behind us and getting our lives back.
The BPU passed the ZEC subsidy 2 weeks ago by a unanimous vote, which is great news. However, expect over the next few months to begin to hear some discussion about the future of how to deal with this in the future, whether it be an amended legislation or some new language altogether. The BPU is a bit irritated that they feel the way the law is written handcuffs them whereas they cannot do anything but grant the subsidy or the plants will close. Everyone agrees that the plants cannot close but they feel that this is something they would not like to be faced with every 2-3 years.
The company has no update yet on the sale of the Fossil fleet. From the rumor mill, it appears that sometime in last quarter of 2021 they will eventually close on the sale…more to come on that.
The AMI project that the company is embarking on is set to begin in the second half of this year and ramp up in full at the start of 2022. We have had several discussions on how to approach the work and keep it all in house. The pole work and sensors are about 6-7 months in duration, and it was agreed to contract that out. We are trying to catch up on headcount that was not filled along with training because of the pandemic. The company is trying to get folks hired and on the
property, but the process is slow. We are hoping to get our NWF at the number and a bit above before years end.
Last but not least—Moe is retiring, and I want to wish him the best for the future. He will be missed.
Distribution North, Transmission, FMC Report
It was great to see everyone at the meeting on May 13. We continue to move forward as the restrictions for the pandemic loosen. I hope to see more Brothers and Sisters at our future meetings. It’s been 14 months and things are beginning the to return to normal in the workplace, and society in general. The AMI project is moving in the right direction with an agreement for several permanent meter tech positions, as well as an agreement for project employees. This project will run through 2025, and it involves changing two million plus electric meters in our service territory. The objective is to keep the work in house, and these agreements are a good start to achieve that goal.
I sat in on a Zoom meeting of the Corporate Security Council, on behalf of President/Business Manager Scott Campbell. The Council is a diverse group including representatives from the FBI, Homeland Security, and subject matter experts (SME) in cybersecurity. There was a lot of discussion about the recent news of the Colonial pipeline being hacked and the continuous threat to New Jersey’s critical infrastructure; this includes the power grid. The SME’s reported on an ongoing criminal case involving another company and the length to which the hackers will go to gain control of systems and proprietary information of any organization. Regarding that case, two employees within the company were downloading their employer’s “trade secrets” to a parallel database they built. This went on for years, and the investigation showed there was a foreign power involved. The message for us—they stole some of the information by hacking other employees’ emails and social media accounts to access the system. If you see something strange, say something.
Our Veterans Committee is running a raffle and looking for donations for the upcoming tank pull in Clifton, to be held Sunday June 13. With Memorial Day coming, remember what it’s all about; many have made the supreme sacrifice and we are the home of the free because of the brave. As always, look out for each other and watch each other’s backs.
Distribution South, Central Report
We have been meeting with the Company on AMI, and have reached an agreement. The Company will be posting 20 Meter Technicians jobs and 30 temporary project employees to work on the AMI project. The 20 Meter Techs will work on the project and only receive the training that is needed to do the work on the project. After the project is completed, they will receive the remainder of the training. The 30 project employees will be hired for the project and may bid on jobs after 12 months, but are not guaranteed employment after the project is completed.
Our Veterans Committee met for the first time, and is working on raising money to sponsor the tank pull team. Mike Butler is the committee chairman, and we have members of the committee from all areas. Some of the committee members are here tonight. If you are a Veteran Committee member, please stand so everyone knows who to see about buying a tee shirt. Please support the Veterans Committee and buy a raffle ticket or a tee shirt.
Gas Department Message
Discussions with the company regarding the Harrison Garage Mechanics and the Harrison/Jersey City Welders continue as we get closer to having a finalized agreement in hand. One of our members out of the Harrison District is being deployed overseas. The Harrison District, IBEW Local 94 Veterans Committee, and PSEG Veterans council gave our member a very nice sendoff celebration. Thank you to all our Veterans and active military members.
The company has approached us in reference to our Jersey City Sub-Headquarters in Ridgefield Park. Due to the upcoming sale of the company’s Fossil locations, discussions are underway on the relocation of that Sub-Headquarters. Any updates will be shared as we get them. All the Gas districts currently have job openings posted. Please let anyone you know looking for a job to apply.
Finally, make sure we are looking out for one another. Stay safe.
Line Clearance Message
In Asplundh Tree, we had two members terminated for refusing to take a drug and alcohol test. In NGGilbert, we had a foreman written up for his passenger wearing his seat belt improperly. The company said the in-vehicle camera in the truck spotted the passenger not wearing the belt correctly, and that the foreman should have pulled over, stopped the truck, and told the passenger to put it on correctly (FOR HE IS THE CAPTAIN OF HIS SHIP).
Asplundh Tree is sending crews to local 1319 in PA to keep members working. Davey Tree also is sending crews out of state to keep members working. Lewis Tree will be out of work on JCP&L property in June.
Still on the forefront of everyone’s thoughts and concerns is the pending sale of the fossil fleet. With roughly 120 members impacted by the sale, it is a distraction to say the least. When the sale was first announced, it was a shock to all of us. With the prospect of having a single buyer for the entire fleet, I feel more confident that we will be positioned well with whomever the new buyer is. We have a tremendously talented workforce, the best run plants in the country, and are in the middle of the most lucrative energy market in the United States. The flexibility that our CBA will afford a new buyer in my opinion is a very unique and valuable asset in this business. I think many of our members are ready to move forward and see what the future will bring us with a new owner. We have heard many of the concerns that the affected members have brought to our attention, and passed them on to the company. I encourage everyone in the plants to continue to ask questions at the meetings conducted by the Senior Leadership Team, so they know for certain what is on everyone’s minds. Once the prospective buyer is announced, we can dig into the specifics of how they operate, their track record of working with labor, and what challenges we may have going forward. We have our contract in place with an agreement signed by the company that any prospective buyer will be subject to the terms and conditions of our CBA. I would imagine we will be hearing something by the end of the second quarter, as far as the buyer, if the deal is still to be completed by the end of this year.
We are still in talks with the management of LTS for the creation of transfer matrix to help make the pay offers extended for transfers within the lab more consistent and fair. We have met 3 times so far and are very close to the guidelines that we will be using going forward. We have representation on the committee from the union side, as does the company from management side. This group will function as a de facto JEQC for the services group, as they do not have one.
Hoping everyone gets off to a safe and fun start for the coming summer!
Alex DiEgidio Sr. – Salem Nuclear Equipment Operator – Service Date: 5/1/2001 – 20 Years of Service
Warren Knight – Nuclear Automotive Technician – Service Date: 10/29/1984 – 36 Years of Service
Ed Huesser – Nuclear Tractor Operator – Service Date: 8/31/1987 – 33 Years of Service
Moe Hufsey – Nuclear Business Agent – Service Date: 4/29/1983 – 38 Years of Service
Salem – Upcoming Dry Cask Storage Campaign- Dates and Agreement TBD.
Hope Creek – Completed H1R23. Shortly after completing the refueling outage Hope Creek entered a forced outage to replace two Recirc Seals, and one SRV main valve. The station completed their forced outage was synchronized to the regional power grid at 0446 Friday, May 28, 2021
A MESSAGE FROM JOE CHECKLEY
Congratulations to all the retirees. A special thank you to Moe Hufsey for his many years of dedicated service to the IBEW – congratulations and enjoy your retirement. As I settle into the Business Agent position, please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. I look forward to representing the membership of the Nuclear Division of the IBEW.
609.216.4814 (mobile) | 609.426.9702 x 105 (office)| firstname.lastname@example.org (email)