Brothers & Sisters,
I hope this newsletter finds you all well as we continue to celebrate the holiday season. We have made it through the rigors of national, state and local elections, and can now enjoy the benefits of the successes we have won. Remember, you are the union, and we all stand together with a common goal. We want fair wages for a good day’s work, time off to enjoy with our families and to retire with dignity and respect. I hope you have all had the opportunity to attend your District Holiday Parties to share in the fraternity with other IBEW members. The work picture remains robust and we have a hard time trying to fill all the calls. Now is the time to reach out to nonunion electricians and welcome them to the IBEW family so they may share the benefits we have.
With the increase in demand for manpower, there are shortages in all classifications. Our contractors working in the refineries depend on our trained workforce, so make sure to have all the skills and certifications needed. The ETI offers an industrial skills course to help prepare if you are not familiar with this type of work. Just like the convention calls, they require vast amounts of manpower during shut downs and scheduled maintenance. Welders are always needed and the ETI will reimburse your cost to become certified. Also, instructors are needed to teach all our classes, so contact the ETI if you are interested.
Starting January 1, 2019, there will be an increase in the Pension Benefit Fund (PBF) contribution of $1.00. This brings the per capita payment of “A” members to $38.00 per month. There is no increase for “BA” members. Also, look for changes in the referral and dispatch procedures. There are things we must do to become compliant with IBEW International mandates, so I ask your indulgence and patience as we implement these changes. Look for future correspondence which will address and prepare you for these requirements.
The beginning of the month, your local union pension trustees were called by the International Union, to make an emergency trip to Washington, D.C. to lobby our legislature to kill a bill which would have a negative impact on our pension plan. Thankfully, with the mobilization of hundreds of business managers and trustees, the bill was stopped. Much thanks to the executive board and the membership for approving this last-minute expenditure and the expertise of your trustees to accomplish this.
Again, I close wishing all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous holiday and new year. It is an honor and pleasure to serve as your business manager.
Business Manager/Financial Secretary