Posted: August 2, 2012
Support Grows for Master Agreement
Line Clearance Tree Trimmers Justin Casey and John Simms have joined the IBEW Local 1245 staff on a temporary basis to assist Business Representatives Carl Lamers and Junior Ornelas. They will help with day-to-day duties representing members and also with the campaign to explain the Master Agreement.
Local 1245 is reaching out to all IBEW line clearance tree trimmers to explain the historic Master Agreement, which applies to IBEW 1245 members at Asplundh Tree, Davey Tree, Trees Inc., Utility Tree, and Wright Tree. The Master Agreement locks in wage increases for the next five years and will increase our strength at the bargaining table in future negotiations.
The union presented details about the Master Agreement at unit meetings in July. In August, information will be available at unit meetings and at these special events for members and their families:
- August 11: Breakfast meeting at the IBEW Vacaville headquarters.
- August 25: Breakfast meeting St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Fresno.
- August 25: Barbecue and meeting at Spring Lake Park in Santa Rosa.
On July 16-18, the union trained 47 volunteers at union headquarters in Vacaville to help explain and promote the Master Agreement. Business Manager Tom Dalzell joined the July 18 meeting via Skype from San Francisco, where he had just delivered the opening remarks at the IBEW 9th District Progress Meeting. Following the Skype conversation, Dalzell helped produce two video presentations about the Master Agreement. Speaking in both Spanish and English, he stressed the importance of voting in all elections, and especially this first-ever Master Agreement for tree trimmers.
As of the end of July, the union had already gathered 161 pledge cards from members who say they will vote “Yes” for the agreement. Assisting with the campaign are Local 1245 Organizers Fred Ross Jr. and Eileen Purcell.
Ballots will be mailed to members on Aug. 27. Ballots will be counted on Sept. 14 at union headquarters in Vacaville. If the Master Agreement is ratified, the union will start work immediately on establishing Joint Apprenticeship Training Standards for all Line Clearance Tree Trimmers.
Generally speaking, here is what the Master Agreement provides or protects:
- Wage increases for 5 years, 10% to 14% over the term. This is tied to CPI in Years 4 and 5, with a minimum increase of 1% and maximum increase of 3%.
- Premium (Blue Cross) Medical Plan with no monthly contribution, up to five dollars an hour worked.
- Family Medical Coverage when contract changes.
- IBEW 1245 Money Purchase Pension Plan 3% per year.
- Safety Bonus Award 1% per quarter.