Monday, April 4, 2016
I hope the Members of Local 459 are enjoying a safe and prosperous 2016. For your local staff, the first quarter of 2016 has been a busy one. I would like to share with the Members a few of the highlights from just 3 months into the year:
- 6 year Somerset REC contract extension was ratified.
- 5 year agreement with Penelec was ratified.
- 3 year agreement with the Village of Westfield, New York was ratified.
- 2 year agreement with Beaver County was ratified.
- After the Union filed Labor Board Charges against NRG on behalf of 459 members at the Homer City Plant, all health care benefits have been restored. For the Genon/NRG Plants, an arbitration hearing will be held on April 13, 2016 over the same issue.
- The first quarter of 2016 has seen a declining number of outstanding grievances. Much of the credit goes to the Local 459 Union Stewards who are resolving issues at the first step of the grievance procedure. The hard work and persistence of our dedicated Stewards are second to none.
- The beginning of 2016 saw a watershed moment for Local 459. In February the Local Treasury hit a financial milestone.
- Regular Labor and Management meetings with the Jamestown, New York Board of Public Utilities (BPU) have been established to stay on top of issues.
- A listing of all 17 of the Local sponsored special events for 2016 was mailed to all members.
- The PA Fair Trade Coalition is holding a Town Hall meeting at Local 459 Union Hall on Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to take part in the discussion on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) and other pressing issues with public officials and community leaders.
- Planning for the 2016 Steward Workshop is almost completed. I take pride in this worthwhile training session and I hope all Local 459 Stewards will be in attendance on April 21.
- The annual PA-Adopt-a-Highway cleanup is scheduled for April 23 with a cook out to immediately follow. Meet time is 8:00 a.m. at the Keystone Generating Station entrance.
- The Young Workers Committee of Local 459, AMO, has their first 2016 event in May. It's the IBEW 459-5K with proceeds to benefit the 459 Community Service Fund (food drive). Registration is currently open so please follow the link on the web site for on-line registration or print out the forms and have your fellow Local 459 members get involved to help this very worthy cause.
Below you will find a few stories of interest and an event we should all participate in. Thanks for your continued support and please make safety a daily habit.
As you all are probably aware, this month is Women's History Month and the AFL-CIO has done a few profiles of labor leaders, both past and present, who have made tremendous contributions to this country. Did you know that the AFL-CIO's Liz Shuler came from the IBEW? She is the first female Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO and the youngest ever to hold the post. Below you will also find some stories from the PA AFL-CIO on an increase in the minimum wage and union membership.