Business Managers Message

Happy Labor Day

Monday, September 4, 2017

This Monday, we celebrate you the worker. For one day every year, we thank the workers who work hard every day. At Local 94, we thank you for the hard work and professionalism that you show daily. While our work can be dangerous, you work hard to always meet and exceed the high standards that are set for you.  

On Labor Day, we also remember those that have fought so hard to gain the rights that we often take for granted, like the IBEW's Henry Miller. Those men and women organized their co-workers and stood up to their bosses, demanding better treatment and fair pay. I am proud to say that Local 94 is continuing that organizing tradition with our newest organizing victory at Linden CoGen.  

While much of America views the Labor Day holiday as a final blowout to summer, we must remember the true origins of the holiday and let them know that it is okay to be a proud worker and union member. That is why Local 94 is inviting all of our members and their families to join us in marching in the South Plainfield Labor Day parade on Monday. I hope to see many of you there and I hope that you all have a Happy Labor Day. 

New Jersey Needs Nuclear—Powering Our State, and Empowering Our Communities

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Here at Local Union 94, our number one priority is jobs.  Jobs, and more specifically, dependable Union jobs, provide financial stability for not only the individual and families, but also state and local economies.  Today, both of these things, essential to our success as a community, are at risk. 

Due largely in part to abundant new supplies of natural gas driving the cost of electricity to record breaking lows, as well as increasing regulatory costs,  and growth in unreliable, low-capacity renewables, nuclear plants around the nation are facing economic crisis.  Since 2013, eight plants across the US have been shut down or slated for early retirement, with four more claiming imminent risk of closure.  The impact of these closures reaches further than just jobs.  When California replaced their nuclear energy with natural gas in 2012, carbon emissions rose by nine million metric tons; when Vermont Yankee closed in 2014, the state suffered an economic loss of nearly $500 million annually; and when Maine Yankee closed in 1996, the school population decreased by more than 40%, local tax rates doubled, and real estate prices plummeted.  While economic pressures may have closed these plants, it seems the impact may have created a butterfly effect, leaving even more economic and environmental damage in its wake. 

Almost 50% of the electricity consumed in the state of New Jersey is sourced from our three nuclear power operating units—Salem and Hope Creek.  In fact, 97%, nearly all of New Jersey’s carbon-free, pollution-free energy is sourced from our nuclear power plants, producing enough electricity to power 2.7 million New Jersey homes around the clock. 

Local Union 94 represents about 750 members working between these two nuclear locations, with total employment numbers reaching about 1,600; this is not to mention an additional 1,000 union contractors employed during outages, and 1,600 ancillary and community positions that service the immediate area.  That brings the total number of revenue generating employees in Salem County, the poorest county in the state of New Jersey, to about 4,200.  With an average annual salary of $100,000, 35% higher than non-nuclear jobs in Salem County, that equates to $175 million in wages, $60 million in N.J. goods and services, and $30 million in local and state taxes at risk if we do not act now to save our plants.  That is not to mention that if New Jersey’s nuclear plants were to close, the electricity they provide would be largely provided by plants out-of-state, deepening the economic wound for New Jersey and its workers.   

To put it more simply—if the New Jersey nuclear power plants shut down, the economic impact on the state and citizens would be greater than the cost to keep them operating.  It’s cheaper to keep ‘em!

Local Union 94 is actively pursuing legislation to provide for a nuclear subsidy, in the same way that renewable energy is already subsidized, in efforts to keep our nuclear power plants open and serving the state of New Jersey with clean, dependable energy.  We already have legislators, labor organizations, and additional companies working with us to achieve this necessary goal.  Now, the power is in your hands.  We urge you all to go to www.NJNeedsNuclear.com, and sign up for updates on current legislation and actionable items. Take a stand for workers, our state, and our world in demanding better economic conditions for our power plants.

Working Hard for You

Friday, February 17, 2017

While we are only two months into the new year, Local 94 has been extremely busy.  As you will read below, we won a major organizing campaign at Linden Cogen. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the 39 new members to our union.  This campaign took a lot of organizing from both within the union and within the workplace.  Great job to everyone involved.   We have also officially gotten our 2 Line Clearance Tree Trimmers contracts ratified. This is a 3 year agreement that provides a 3.3% increase for each year of the agreement. I will also be attending the construction conference at the end of March where I will be participating in the first Line Clearance  Coordinating Council meeting.  The sole purpose of this group is to organize Line Clearance Tree Trimmers. Additionally, we renewed our Health and Welfare fund with Horizon and negotiated a zero percent in costs.  For our PSEG members you received a 3% increase at the beginning of the New Year.

Our union is also facing a time of change.  Coal plants are closing and as a union it is our duty to protect our members.  To do this we have negotiated an agreement with PSEG to close two coal plants.  All 160 members of Local 94 that work at these plants will have the option to receive a voluntary severance package and retire or the ability to bid on other positions within the company  at your current rate of pay.   We are also negotiating the closing of Sewaren units 1 through 4 as well as the staffing of the new unit.  Since the new unit will only provide jobs for half of the existing employees, these employees will have the option to take a voluntary separation with 2 weeks pay for every year of service or to transfer to another position within the company at their current pay rate.

While this has been a busy kickoff to the year, we will continue to work hard for all of the members of Local 94 to make sure that you get fair contracts and that your jobs are protected.  I would also like to remind everyone to work safely and that no job is so important that you get injured or you die over it.  

Happy Holidays Local 94

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Message from Business Manager Bud Thoman
 
2016 was a busy year for Local 94.  This year we settled a 4 year contract with PSEG as well as a 3 year contract with the Line Clearance Tree Contractors. These contracts will provide labor peace for our members for the next few years. 
 
Our Young Workers have also stepped up to provide leadership and support to the union.  Once again they organized the Third Annual Food Drive in the Spring, raising over $6,500 for the Rise Food Pantry.  Two of their members, Joe Checkley and Adam Neuman have joined our Executive Board this year.  Thanks to their leadership, we are training the next generation of IBEW leaders here in New Jersey.  
 
2016 also saw our members active in the larger union community. 94 Member Tony Ciasca was elected to the Burlington Township Board of Fire Commissioners thanks to the support and hard work of many of our members.  We also walked the picket lines with the striking IBEW and CWA members at Verizon as they went on strike for seven weeks in a successful attempt to get better wages and working conditions. In fellowship with our brothers and sisters at UWUA Local 601, we held our Annual Picnic in August. Our members also knocked on doors and made phone calls for countless candidates during the 2016 election.  Thanks to the hard work of union members, New Jersey has had one of the most successful labor candidate programs in the country.  This work has helped to elect and give a voice to union members at the local level, in Trenton and in Washington D.C. 
 
Your hard work and dedication to the labor movement makes me grateful to represent you this Holiday Season. On behalf of myself the staff and officers we want to wish you a very Happy Holiday and a Safe, Healthy and Happy New Year.
 
Labor 411: Holiday Shopping Guide
 
 
As shoppers head out over the holiday season for the best gifts for their loved ones, we have some suggestions for gift makers that will support good jobs. Perhaps a new car? Or an American Made toy. Look through Labor411's three gift lists for the holidays. Click here to check them out.
 

 

Happy Thanksgiving Local 94

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving is the time of year that we join together with our family and friends to share a hearty meal and appreciate the important things in life.  Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to our union family for all the work that you do. Our labor movement will always have battles to fight, but it is because of your dedication and persistence that we continue to forge forward.

History shows the countless gains we have made through union solidarity, including higher wages, safer working conditions and the right to speak with one collective voice for better workplaces. This year has been a long and tough one, but we are made stronger through our solidarity. It’s more important than ever to remain active in our locals and steadfast in our values.

There are many ways to show our solidarity from talking to our friends and family about the importance of unions to putting together a union shopping list for the holidays. Before you shop be sure to visit www.labor411.org for an extensive list of union-made products.

Thank you for all you have done throughout this year and will continue to do to keep our labor movement strong. Your efforts show that when we stand together, we achieve our goals together.

We wish all of our brothers and sisters a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving.

Local 94 Elects their 2nd Young Worker to the Executive Board

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
At the October Executive Board meeting, the board unanimously selected Adam Neuman to join the board. The vacancy was created when Bruce Johnson, a 38-year veteran of our union, announced his reti
rement. Bruce nominated Adam to fill the rest of his term.  
 
Adam will be the second young worker to join our Executive Board this year. Adam has a long history of being active within the union and the greater labor movement. Adam served as the Recording Secretary for the NxtUp 94 Committee for the last 4 years and is serving as the Chairman of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Young Workers Committee. Adam has done a great job with our Young Workers Committee and I expect that he will bring his talents to our Local Union Executive Board. 
 
Adam will join fellow NxtUP 94-member Joe Checkley as the two young workers on the Executive Board. Both Joe and Adam are the future of Local 94 and this moment was a great passing of the torch between Bruce and Adam. Bruce has served this union for 38 years in many different capacities and has spent the last 4 as a member of the Executive Board. Thank you Bruce for your 38 years of service and congratulations to Adam for stepping up and taking a leadership position within our union.

Make your voice heard

Tuesday, October 11, 2016
With only a few weeks left before the election, we are at a crossroads as a labor movement.  Not only is there an important election for President, but we also have very important Congressional races that will decide important issues around energy policy, regulations, and workers' rights.  I encourage every member to join the NJ AFL-CIO in their upcoming Labor Walks to help our local candidates.  Below you will also see some information about the Presidential election.  As many of you know the IBEW has chosen to endorse Hillary Clinton.  I have included some statements from Donald Trump as well as video's from the IBEW and the AFL-CIO that make the case for why we are supporting Clinton instead of Trump.  I would also like to remind everyone that the voter registration deadline is October 18th.  You must be registered to vote if you are planning on voting on November 8th.  You can click here to see if you are registered and to find out what you need to do to get registered.    

 

Happy Labor Day /Parade CANCELED

Friday, September 2, 2016
The Labor Day weekend is here and it is more than just the symbolic end of summer. Labor Day is a day of reflection for all those that work and toil in America towards a better life. It is a hard fought victory for those who came before us and battled against injustices such as child labor, unsafe working conditions and wages that were too low to sustain a quality of life that all of us take for granted today. Labor Day is an opportunity for all of us to be proud of the roots of the union movement for without which, we would not be where we are today, not just as a union, but as a society. It was the sacrifice and effort of those within the Labor Movement that advanced the cause of people like you and I. Their lead and example we honor by advancing the cause for future generations.  So be proud to be a Union and be proud of the people you work with. That is the union; you and your co-workers, the men and women who carry IBEW Local 94 union membership cards. Be proud of where we are today but and most important/y be proud of who you are and where we are heading.
 
The fight for fair wages, benefits, and working conditions is your fight. The strength of our membership derives directly from you as an individual. The pride of the Great American Labor Movement rests deep within you and no once can take that away from you. On behalf of myself and the staff and officers of IBEW Local 94, we hope all of you enjoy your Labor Day.

Fighting for what is right and just

Thursday, May 26, 2016

First join me in congratulating Joe Checkley, our Youth Committee Chair,  for being elected to our Local Union's Executive Board. Below you will find a few helpful ways to support our striking brothers and sisters over at Verizon who are now entering their 7th week. Also as you may have already heard, the state legislature is looking to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour and give unemployment benefits to striking workers. On behalf of myself and the staff and Executive Board, please have a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend and take some time to keep its true meaning in your thoughts and prayers as we honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to defend the many freedoms we all take for granted.

Tentative Agreement reached with PSEG

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

We have some exciting news. After 5 months of negotiations, we have a 4 year tentative agreement with PSEG that will take us out to 2021. It calls for a 3% wage increase in each year of the 4 year agreement. Some adjustments were made with our Healthcare plan to avoid hitting the Excise Tax of 40% under the Affordable Care Act. Discussions on this tentative agreement will be held at all four Union meetings throughout the state during the month of March. A contract ratification vote is scheduled for March 24th at all work locations. Please encourage all your fellow Local 94 members to attend and exercise you union right to vote. Also below is a notice of an upcoming food drive organized by our NxtUp Committee.  We sent in a letter to the International President requesting a Charter, Certificate of Recognition, for our Young Workers (NxtUp) Committee. The letter outlines the accomplishments and the length of time that the committee has been active. The charter is below in this email as well as some good news regarding the election of Tony Ciasca.

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