Business Manager’s Message — October 2021

A Tribute to our Veterans

What a wonderful coming-back party we had last weekend at Hollywood Sports Park! Almost 2,000 of our members and families turned out for our 20th annual IBEW 11 picnic. The sold-out event was a huge success, with so many young children and families enjoying the day. Members told me they missed having the picnic last year and were only too happy to get their families out for a beautiful Southern California day to have fun, network and see each other again. We had a lot of terrific raffle prizes to go around. Congratulations to all our winners, and thanks to our great staff for putting on this stellar event. Be sure to check out our gallery of pictures here.

VEEP Program

Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, and I want to take a moment to honor all those who have so honorably served our country. IBEW 11 is doing its part to help these brave veterans transition back into society with a good career and good-paying job through our apprenticeship program. I’m pleased to announce we are ramping up the IBEW International’s pre-apprenticeship program VEEP – Veterans Electrical Entry Program – to help these young men and women transition from military to civilian life.

For these soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines looking for a career in the trades, VEEP can help make the leap back to civilian life that much smoother. Thanks to Mike Kufchak, our Director of Veterans Affairs, who is spearheading this initiative for the local. Let us know if you know servicepeople who could benefit from our VEEP program.

I’m also pleased to report that all our funds are doing well – our pension plans (both our DB and DC plans), our medical plans, our healthcare reimbursement fund and our supplemental Unemployment fund – so members should take comfort in the knowledge that your union leadership is looking out for you. Be sure to read President Roten’s report below about how best to track and take advantage of some of these valuable benefits. And be sure to report and pay attention to the hours you have contributed to the plans, including your banked hours.

$1,200 in all SUB Benefits Could Be Yours

I want to remind our IW apprentices to take advantage of your supplemental UE benefits during your required week of school. In reviewing a recent report on all of the SUB plans, I was surprised to see how few of our members had taken advantage of it. Don’t leave this hard-negotiated money on the table. We worked hard to increase the UE from $24 to $200 a week. If you register for it during your six weeks of in-class apprenticeship training, that’s $1,200 in your pocket – a nice addition to your vacation fund. Talk to your district rep to find out how you can take advantage of this benefit.

Work continues as well. In addition to high-profile projects like Intuit Dome, the new Clippers stadium, and our ongoing work at LAX, LAUSD and the Los Angeles Community College District, we also work on smaller bread-and-butter projects to ensure work for our members. We just signed a PLA for a phase-2 medium-sized project in Pasadena that had previously gone to a non-union contractor. These kind of wins are the result of our work in helping elect union-friendly officials like Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo. Victor comes out of the union world, and he understands our issues and the value we bring to construction projects in his city.

And finally, when it comes to the future, no one is better situated than the IBEW to take advantage of all the climate change initiatives being discussed in Washington, D.C. We will be launching a “Green Jobs Need to Be Union Jobs” campaign to highlight the unique skills that IBEW members bring to the table. We will be reaching out for your support in Sacramento and in City Hall as we introduce legislation to make sure we capture that work.

Stay safe, stay healthy.

In Solidarity,

Joël Barton
IBEW 11 Business Manager

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