Hello Sisters and Brothers,
I would like to start this message by wishing you and your family good health and prosperity during these difficult times. The work picture remains strong and job calls continue to come in. I urge all those willing and able to man the calls we currently have. There were 10 unfilled Inside Wireman calls just the other day for Touchstone Engineering at SoFi stadium for 6 weeks. We must fill these calls to ensure continued success in the Los Angeles labor market.
I have been attending group meetings and speaking with members about safety on the job. The contractors are all in and are providing the necessary PPE to protect you. We must take this pandemic seriously if we are to prevail and eradiate this virus.
For those of you not comfortable going to work, the CARES Act provides an additional 600 dollars per week on top of State Unemployment Insurance. The Local Supplemental Unemployment Benefit for the months of April, May and June, have been increased from 24 dollars per week to 200 dollars for apprentices and 300 dollars per week for journeyman. However, any payments for any of these are taking 3 weeks or more. Also, remember, when you do not work, no benefits are being contributed on your behalf. You should have received your quarterly statement from the Southern California IBEW-NECA Administrative Corporation. These are reported hours for the months of January, February and March. Check to make sure contributions are being paid on your behalf. If incorrect, contact the Trust Fund office at 323-221-5861.
Due to stay at home restrictions and the mandate that no meetings of any kind may be held, we are conducting our first ever allocation by mail-in ballot. You should have received in the mail one ballot along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to be mailed back to the Local Union address. This allocation applies to Inside Wireman, Inside apprentices, Intelligent Transportation Systems Electricians and ITS apprentices. Please mark your ballot and mail immediately as it must be received by May 30, 2020 to be counted by the Local Union Executive Board on June 1st.
We have concluded negotiations for the CE/CW 9th District Memorandum of Understanding. We were only able to negotiate a one-year contract, but able to secure wage increases for all classifications. The ratification for this Agreement is also by mail and faces the same time constraints. If you are a CE or CW, mark and mail your ballot immediately. We were in the process of getting classes so you can advance, but the closing of the Electrical Training Institute is hampering our efforts. There is a senior business agent and 2 business agents working towards the goal of getting you all on track. Just like the other classifications, be sure to track your hours and make sure the employer submits them on your behalf. Temporary changes to the NECA/IBEW Family Medical Care Plan include crediting those eligible for coverage through the Plan for the month of April 2020 and laid off without pay at some point during the month of April, coverage for the month of May 2020. Also, if you have never been eligible for coverage under the Plan and you worked at least 100 hours in the month of February 2020, the Plan will provide coverage for the month of June 2020, regardless of how many hours you worked in April. If you have any further questions or are not being credited properly, please contact the Benefit Office at 877-937-3602.
Over the past few months, we have had to make some adjustments to how we go about our business, from social distancing and more vigilant cleanliness on the jobsite to voting on union business by mail. We are all trying to find our footing in this new paradigm. Yes, these are challenging times, but it is nothing that the men and women of IBEW 11 can’t handle.
Work Hard, Be Safe.