Posted: June 12, 2012
Safety, soccer, fire season and other news
Line Clearance Tree Trimmers
The Tree Trimmers Peer-to-Peer initiative will now be led by a group known as the “Keep the Clearance” committee.
“Keep the Clearance” refers to maintaining minimum approach distance to the lines and tree-to-conductor clearance. As part of our kick-off to this program, the committee started its presentations at unit meetings in June. All tree trimmer members who attend their unit meeting will receive a “Keep the Clearance” long sleeve tee-shirt. An announcement was mailed to all tree trimmer members. We expect to finish the north area in July. Sorry, no rain checks!
Fire season is now in full swing, which means our Line Clearance brothers are required to have their firefighting equipment handy. Discipline has already been issued for not packing firefighting equipment out to the job site or not having it close enough to the job site. There is tremendous liability if a fire is started. We are urging our members to comply with state law and company policies regarding firefighting equipment and fire season work rules. One fire can bankrupt a contractor and result in higher insurance rates for all.
Some very talented line clearance tree trimmers are applying to the JATC. We wish them well.
The former Davey Tree Surgery members in Humboldt County have just completed their probationary periods with Wright Tree Service. There have been adjustments both with our members and the company. The transition is going well. There are a few issues that we are working through.
Sadly, one of our members from Davey Tree Surgery had an off-duty injury. He fell from his horse. This happened about three weeks ago. He has been in a coma, but is starting to move his arms and leg a little. He has not regained consciousness yet. His wife is expecting soon. All our best wishes and prayers go with him.
We are working with Davey Tree Surgery to offer four-day ten-hour scheduling. This is something that the members are requesting. Davey is also working with the union to offer work to some of the former Wright Tree Service members who were not hired by Asplundh Tree Expert at SMUD. We are filing grievances with Asplundh regarding the successor rights of those brothers.
We held a GRC meeting in Morgan Hill on May 15 with Asplundh Tree Expert. We are expecting a final response from the company regarding the minutes from that meeting. We have several strong grievances that are candidates for arbitration. The grievance activity is starting to pick up system-wide. Members have started to receive information regarding changes to the 401-K plan. We are waiting to review those documents. Not all members are enrolled into the company 401-K.
We held a GRC meeting in Vacaville on May 18 with Trees Inc. We are expecting a final response from the company regarding those minutes. We have several strong cases for arbitration. The grievance activity has started to pick up in Stockton and Fresno. The GPS system is being monitored regularly by management. We need to make sure all stops are legitimate and work-related.
We have not heard from Utility Tree regarding the ratified agreement or from the corporation. The members have started to question the information regarding the changes to the company 401-K. We plan on meeting with the members to review the information. We have several members in the plan.
We held a GRC on May 23 with Davey Tree Surgery. We are waiting to get the minutes of that meeting finalized. We had a LMM in San Luis Obispo on May 31. We have a few issues regarding outstanding medical bills that have not been paid. We expect to get these matters resolved in June. Los Padres Division has been impacted by layoffs due to the work forecast. In Mission Division, we are following up on several wage progression issues. In regard to the Davey Tree settlement, the attorneys made themselves available in Concord on May 30. At Turlock Irrigation District we had been planning to take a one-year extension of the contract out for a vote on June 5, but that is now on hold.
The 2nd Annual IBEW 1245 Gold Cup Soccer Tournament was held May 12 at Mistlin Soccer Sports Park in Ripon, CA. We had 14 teams participate at the event, with 500 people in attendance. We appreciate the help from our sponsors, Davey Tree Surgery, Asplundh Tree Expert, Trees Inc., Benesys, and Mountain Enterprise.
Business Manager Tom Dalzell personally kicked off the festivities with a warm welcome for the soccer players and their families. Please check out photos on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IBEWLocal1245, and in the upcoming Utility Reporter. Also check out the photos and video at www.ibew1245.com. We are inviting feedback on the event from all team captains so that we can make it even better next year. Thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors and especially to Local 1245 Organizer Eileen Purcell, who put in a tremendous amount of energy to make this event so successful.