Business Managers Message

Stay Safe this Summer

Friday, June 22, 2018
The Summer is finally here, it is nearly the July 4th weekend and I am sure that many of you are planning your time at the Shore. While we all love the warmer temperatures, it also brings the danger of many heat related illnesses. The IBEW has put out an excellent piece on some things that you can do to prevent heat illness. I have provided it here.

I am happy to announce that following Governor Murphy signing the nuclear subsidy bill, the state has provided further help for Local 94 members. This time it is through the Gas System Modernization Program, also known as GSMP2. This program, which was approved by BPU last month, will provide $1.8 Billion in gas upgrades over the next 5 years, beginning on January 1 2019. Additionally, the company will be filing for Energy Strong 2 in the coming months.

In August, Local 94 will be holding our union elections. As in past elections, our Executive Board has approved that AAA to conduct  this year's elections. We will be sending election notices and all pertinent information to you next month. Please keep an eye out for this information and continue to check future issues of The Badger to stay up to date. Please also remember to save the date for the Local 94 Picnic on July 28th. I have included the flyer below and information can also be found on our website. I hope everyone enjoys their summer and has a good and safe Fourth of July.

 

NJ Governor Signs Nuclear Bill

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Today, Governor Phil Murphy signed the nuclear subsidy bill into law. This ends a long 9 month fight to save our 3 nuclear power plants. By signing this bill, the Governor is saving 750 Local 94 members' jobs. Additionally, the bill will keep an estimated 5,800 people employed in the poorest county in the state.

Today's bill signing took place at an expansive solar farm that is built and maintained by union members. The Governor has pledged to convert 50% of New Jersey's energy to renewable sources by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Today's bill signing of the nuclear subsidy bill and a solar bill show that he understands that it is impossible to reach this goal without nuclear power.  We were joined at the bill signing by the head of the Assembly Labor Committee Joe Eagan, who is also the Business Manager of IBEW 456, environmentalists, and the President of BPU.

I want to give a special thanks to Senate President Steve Sweeney. He was the prime sponsor of the bill and stuck with us throughout the long fight. Senator Sweeney, who is a union ironworker, represents Salem County and knew that the loss of these plants would adversely hurt the community. He stuck with us through all of the roadblocks, helping to usher it through the Senate. He stood with us when the new Governor ordered a new bill that provided incentives for other types of renewables and made sure that the bill passed and was signed. Up until Governor Murphy signed the bill, he was getting calls to pressure him to not sign it, but leaders like Senator Sweeney kept the pressure on him and ensured a fair bill that will save thousands of jobs and put our state on the right path towards the Governor's Clean Energy agenda.

Local 94 Thanks Key Lawmakers for Recent Trenton Victories

Monday, April 16, 2018
I am proud to report that because of the hard work and dedication of the IBEW 94 rank and file, elected leadership, staff, and our key allies in the community and government, the PSE&G Nuclear Energy Bill (A-3724/S-2313) passed both the Senate and the Assembly.
 
There are many individuals to thank, I want to single-out two specifically. If it wasn't for the direct leadership of Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo of the 14th Assembly District, who is also a Business Agent with IBEW 269 and the chair of the Utility Committee these key pieces of legislation would not have been a reality. As you are all aware, these weren't just laws for the sake of passing laws, it will save jobs and continue to sustain hundreds of working families in New Jersey.
 
Thank you to Senate President Sweeney and Assemblyman DeAngelo and to all those in Local 94 for your help and support in this effort. We eagerly await the Governor's signature and thank him for his commitment to working families.

 

Update on Nuclear Bill in State Senate

Monday, March 12, 2018

By now you have heard that the legislation intended to ensure continued operation of Salem I and II and Hope Creek stalled again in Trenton last Monday. The legislation, Senate Bill 877, would recognize the environmental and reliability benefits of nuclear and boost rates to allow fair competition. The bill is sponsored by our good friend, Senate President Steve Sweeney, whose district includes all of Salem County.

Ralph Izzo, PSEG’s CEO, says that without rate relief for nuclear, he will have to retire the plants. I believe him. That’s why Sweeney’s legislation is the number one priority of our local union.

Nuclear is a complicated issue, and nobody likes to see their utility rates go up. That means that this is no easy sell.

I have testified at every hearing in Trenton and already talked to more politicians than I can count, but I am not stopping until we get the legislation through the Senate and the Assembly and get Governor Murphy to sign it.

Our International is with us, and so are the State AFL-CIO and the Building Trades. They will be joining me in sending a message to the politicians about the importance of nuclear.

I may be asking you to help too – to write a letter or to come to Trenton. It’s that serious.

It’s serious enough that PSEG Nuclear and Exelon Generation have cancelled all nonessential capital projects at Salem I and II. PSEG, as the sole owner of Hope Creek, is examining its options for that plant.

But right now, the most important thing you can do is to continue to do your job producing clean, reliable nuclear power.

Your union leadership at Local 94 is doing their job to push this legislation through. Please do not let the debate in Trenton distract you from safety on the job.

We will keep you informed and up to date.

Local 94 Takes Part in the 15th Annual WILD Conference

Friday, March 9, 2018

Over the weekends of March 2, IBEW 94 was proud to take part in the 15th Annual WILD Conference. The conference is for Women in Leadership Development and helps to promote women within our union movement. New Jersey is the only AFL-CIO state affiliate that holds a separate conference to help promote women. This year Dr. Gil Kirton and Dr. Geraldine Healy came all the way from the United Kingdom to speak about women's labor leadership in a post-Trump and post Brexit world. Below I have provided some more information on the conference as well as a picture of our members with Dr. Kirton and Healy. If you are interested in taking part in next years WILD Conference, please contact the union hall.

NJ AFL-CIO:15th Annual WILD Conference: Bridging the Divide for Workplace Safety

The 15th Annual WILD Conference brought together more than 300 union sisters from all sectors of organized labor, demonstrating the strength of our sisterhood and labor unity. From March 2-3, 2018, participants joined in discussions critical to ensuring respect, dignity, and safety at the workplace. Of course, WILD wouldn't be complete without providing the latest insights into building leadership skills and applying those strategies and tools to strengthen our collective voice.
 
CLICK HERE for photos.
 
The atmosphere of unity and sisterhood was remarkable as both first-time and long-time WILD sisters joined together to listen, learn, and lead in the fight to strengthen our labor movement and nation. Our conference was honored to welcome a distinguished panel of speakers along with the extraordinarily talented SCREAM TheaterTM Student Troupe for an interactive performance, challenging realities and educating against myths pertaining to workplace safety.
 
On Friday evening, Dr. Gil Kirton and Dr. Geraldine Healy, accomplished educators and researchers in the fields of women, work, leadership, and public policy, shared reflections on women's labor leadership in a post-Trump; post-Brexit world.  They also reflected on experiences from the 2009 US-UK exchange.
 
On Saturday, participants were treated to a thought-provoking discussion and performance by the SCREAM TheaterTM Student Troupe facilitated by Ruth Anne Koenick and Brady Root. Ruth Anne is a part-time lecturer at the Rutgers School of Social Work, who has worked in the field of anti-violence against women and children for over 45 years and is the founder and past Director of the Rutgers Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA). Brady Root is the Prevention Education Coordinator for VPVA as well as a part time lecturer at Rutgers for courses on Public Speaking, Special Topics in Bystander Intervention and Human Ecology.
 
New Jersey State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan stated that "WILD brings a multifaceted approach to leadership development, through interactive education, mentorship and enduring networks of solidarity, and every year we are proud to add new layers to this foundation that reflect our changing culture and political environment."
 

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is the only state federation in the nation to host an annual women's leadership conference. We thank our WILD sisters and sponsors for their many years of support, enabling our state to champion a diverse, strong and durable labor movement.

 

Fighting to Save Nuclear Jobs

Thursday, February 1, 2018

There is a bill in the New Jersey Legislature that would help to ensure the continued operation of Salem 1 and 2 and Hope Creek by boosting rates for nuclear-generated electricity. That bill is Senate Bill 877 and it will be considered in committee on February 5. Its fate is uncertain right now.

 
At the end of December, during what is called the lame duck session, the Legislature held two joint committee hearings on previous versions of the bill. Through two long hearings, the committees heard from many witnesses including Ralph Izzo, PSEG's CEO, and me on behalf of Local 94. All committee members, Democrat and Republican, in both houses voted in favor of a nuclear subsidy.
 
The Senate bill was sponsored by our good friend, Senate President Steve Sweeney, who represents the district that includes the nuclear plants and who is a union iron worker by trade. The Assembly bill was sponsored by our IBEW union brother, the Chairman of the Assembly Utility Committee, Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo.
 
Although the Senate bill was posted for a vote, at the last minute, the Assembly Speaker did NOT post the bill in the Assembly. Why? Because our incoming Governor decided he wants a more comprehensive energy bill that includes renewables, solar and off-shore wind incentives in addition to nuclear.
 
So, on January 25th, we once again were back at the State House ready to testify on S-877, the new bill that Steve Sweeney has sponsored. This time there was a four hour delay in the hearing to add the new language that Governor Murphy wants, making the bill go from 12 pages to 50. No vote was taken, just six hours of testimony. On behalf of Local 94, I testified once again about the importance nuclear and nuclear jobs.
 
The bill has been moved to the Senate Budget Committee for a vote this Monday, February 5. I will be in Trenton again to urge the committee members to vote in favor, and I will let you know what happens.

Happy Holidays Local 94

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
On behalf of everyone here at Local 94, we want to wish all of our members and their families a wonderful holiday season. We hope 2018 brings health, happiness, and prosperity to each and every one of you. As always, each year brings new challenges to the Local but we have learned when we work together we can achieve our goals. Welcome again to the new members at the Linden CoGen plant. We are excited to see what the new year holds for Local 94. 
 
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy New Year!

Happy Thanksgiving Local 94

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving is here again. There is no better time to think of the reasons why you are thankful over this long holiday weekend. As union members, there is a lot to be thankful for like our wages and benefits. We can also be thankful in knowing that thanks to our union and the solidarity of our friends and coworkers we will be working in a safe workplace that allows us to go home and see our families every night. As you sit with your family on Thursday, remember to give thanks for this hard earned privilege and remember that your family is why we fight.

Enjoy a union-made in America Thanksgiving this year. Click here to see a full list of items. 

Workforce Triumphs at Linden CoGen with a Union Voice

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Some 13 months ago, NAES employees at the Co-Generation plant in Linden, New Jersey, contacted IBEW Local 94, asking for support in unionizing their workplace. The CoGen plant has been in operation for 26 years, without a union in place.

After numerous organizing meetings held with the NAES employees at the Linden Co-Gen, IBEW Local 94 filed for an election with the NLRB. The election was held, and by one vote, the Union was victorious. Since that time, Local 94 was in continuous negotiations with NAES, working hard to negotiate a first contract for the workers. On November 3rd, a tentative agreement was reached and on the evening of November 13, 2017, 90% of NAES employees voted to ratify their new contract and representation by IBEW Local 94.

IBEW Local 94 welcomes all of its new members at the Co Generation facility. Buddy Thoman, IBEW Local 94 President and Business Manager adds, "We would like to thank the entire negotiating committee, staff of Local 94, along with NAES employees Dave Bishop, Tom Turon, for all of their hard work in reaching this first agreement".

I also want to thank all of our new members at the Linden Co-Gen for being patient and hanging strong since we started this whole organizing effort. There were many days, in the last year, when our negotiations became difficult and contentious. I congratulate everyone for staying strong and believing in the IBEW and Local 94. By the vote on the contract it is clear, the employees of the plant got stronger as time went on. Congratulations and welcome to the IBEW.

 

Get Out and Vote on Tuesday

Friday, November 3, 2017

On Tuesday, voters across New Jersey will head to the polls to vote for a new Governor. After 8 years of Governor Chris Christie, we will finally have a new Governor. It is no secret that Christie was not very friendly to unions during his tenure, which makes your vote on Tuesday all the more important. I believe that we have the choice on Tuesday to elect a real friend to labor, Phil Murphy. He has reached out to the labor community and marched with us at the Plainfield Labor Day Parade. With Murphy in Trenton, we will have a Governor that works with us, not against us.

While it is important to elect Murphy, he will also need a labor-friendly legislature. Below I have included a list of the NJ AFL-CIO's endorsements, but I would like to call your attention to a few important races. First is Senator Sweeney in Senate District 3. Sweeney is both the Senate President and a union Ironworker. If you live in District 3 make sure you go out and vote for him. I would also like to call your attention to the 3 IBEW members who are running for re-election. They are Joseph Egan IBEW 456 at District 17, Wayne DeAngelo IBEW 269 at District 14, and Eric Houtaling IBEW 400 at District 11. If you live in their district's please make sure you vote for them.

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