Business Manager’s Message — January 2023

2023: The Year to Grow Our Power

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

I want to begin by giving a shout out to EAA, our unit of 1,600 city employees who are part of our IBEW family. We’re making a big push to organize the remaining 1,400 or so members of EAA. The EAA represents a wide variety of city workers – from the planning commission to the civilian police force at LAPD.

On that note, I am pleased to announce that we signed up another 60 members last week at the EAA after-holiday party. Congratulations and welcome to our newest members! The event was held at the BOM Stadium, previously the Bank of California Stadium where 500 members and their families danced and let their hair down for an evening of in-person fun. I was delighted to attend the event, along with the rest of the IBEW 11 officers, to talk about the IBEW and meet many of the members who are an important part of the IBEW story. As a testament to the political sway of the IBEW and EAA together, five City Council members and the new City Attorney attended the event. We are truly stronger together. You can read more about the event on page 7.

New ETI Leadership

I also want to welcome David Nott as our new ETI Training Director. David is a product of the ETI. He came up through the system as an apprentice, and now will be running the place. That’s the kind of experience we need.

We’re very proud of our ETI facility. It’s a Net Zero facility, and the largest training facility of its kind in the country. Politicians and labor leaders from around the country come to visit to see the secret to our success. David has a lot of good ideas about how to improve service for our apprentices. Be sure to read his interview in this issue.

On Jan. 19, we held our first in-person meeting at the ETI. As we begin the new year, I want to stress the importance of keeping up with your certifications so you’ll be ready when work picks up. There are many projects in the pipeline. Those certifications include your state electrical license, your OSHA 30 and even your First Aid CPR. I’ve been honored to save a life on the job due to my CPR training, so I encourage all of you to get certified.

I also want to remind members to keep an eye on your hours being reported to the benefits department. Hang on to your paystubs. And when you receive those quarterly reports, check your hours and make sure you’re getting full credit for all your work hours. One final reminder – go ahead and pay your Basic Dues ahead of time so you won’t forget. We’ve had many cases of retirees who after 40-plus years dropped their membership, so they no longer qualified for their International pension or death benefits. Don’t get left behind.

Minority Caucus

Diversity is an important issue for the IBEW and particularly Local 11. We want our union to reflect the diversity of our communities. With that in mind, IBEW 11 sent 35 delegates to the 33rd annual Electrical Worker Minority Caucus conference in Denver earlier this month, to help train our women and minority members into leadership roles. Delegates got to meet members from other states, share stories, problems, and common solutions.

A big topic that came up at the conference was Mental Health and the need for people to reach out when they need help. The pandemic left its scars on many people. One of the benefits of your IBEW 11 membership is we offer FREE mental health assistance through our MAP program – Membership Assistance Program. For help, call the office.

And finally, I want to welcome the new LA County Federation of Labor’s new President, Yvonne Wheeler. Yvonne and I go back many years. I am proud to call her my friend. Last week I was honored to chair the LA Fed’s most recent meeting at the ETI. The ETI will now be hosting the LA Fed’s monthly delegate meetings. The partnerships the IBEW shares with the LA Fed is critical to building our political strength in Los Angeles and around the state. The LA Fed is a political powerhouse, and IBEW 11 is a large part of that. #StrongerTogether!

In solidarity,

Joël Barton
IBEW 11 Business Manager

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