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April President’s Report

May 12, 2022 | President, President's Corner, Recent News

We just wrapped up negotiations with the contractors. Soon we will have a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). One hard-fought benefit of belonging to the IBEW is collective bargaining. As Sisters & Brothers of IBEW Local Union 520 we have a duty to bargain in good faith with the Central Texas Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (CTX NECA). The reverse is true as well. The National Labor Relations Act ensures that the contractors and our Union keep coming back to the table to negotiate.

Right now, the Council on Industrial Relations for the Electrical Contracting Industry (CIR) will decide what our new CBA will be. CIR night have already decided by the time you read this article. Here is the history of how we arrived at this point: Back in September 2021 our Union spent money and resources to host Collective Bargaining Training for members who were interested. We had a good turnout and those Sisters & Brothers joined with others who had taken the training back in 2018 to form the IBEW 520 Large Negotiations Committee. The Large Negotiations Committee met regularly starting in October 2021 until April 2022. These Sisters & Brothers sacrificed many Saturdays to discuss, inform, research, and formulate our proposals for negotiations. We owe all of them a round of applause and a debt of gratitude for their service to our Union.

The IBEW 520 Small Negotiations Committee consists of Ben Brenneman, Kasey Lansangan, James Briceno, and Matt Gursslin.

These four Brothers took the proposals of the Large Committee, presented them, and worked hard negotiating with the Central Texas NECA representatives. Through many rounds and many hours of negotiations and with approval from the Large Committee, the Small Committee came to a common ground agreement with the CTX NECA representatives.

This Collective Bargaining Agreement was brought before the Large Committee for a ratification vote and passed. Then, the CBA was brought before the Union body in a special call meeting for a ratification vote. Our Union body voted down the ratification of the new CBA, which triggered CIR.

Afterwards, the Small Committee had an interim meeting with CTX NECA with one last chance to negotiate and resolve the new CBA before heading to Washington DC and the Council on Industrial Relations. It was not resolved. Article I Sec. 1.02 Subsection (D) of our Collective Bargaining Agreement states that “Unresolved issues or disputes arising out of the failure to negotiate a renewal or modification of this agreement… may be submitted jointly or unilaterally to the Council for adjudication.” “…The Council’s decisions shall be final and binding.” CIR consists of 6 representatives from the IBEW and 6 representatives from NECA. Their decisions are always unanimous. Our Union holds our Collective Bargaining Agreement as sacred.

Article II Sec. 2.02 of our CBA states that “The Employer recognizes the Union as the exclusive representative of all its employees… for the purpose of collective bargaining in respect to rates of pay, wages, hours of employment and other conditions of employment.” This means that YOU get together with your Sisters & Brothers and help decide our future.

This also means that YOU are responsible for abiding by and upholding our CBA. You are covered by our CBA and bound by the contract just as much as our Union signatory contractors are bound to abide by the same rules. Our Collective Bargaining Agreement represents over 100 years of Union Sisters & Brothers fighting for and obtaining better wages, benefits, and working conditions. We are proud to contribute to that strong tradition.

We can do more to help our positioning for our next negotiations. I ask you to continue the fight and uphold our CBA. I ask that you read our CBA. I ask you to inform your elected Union officers if you notice a violation of the CBA. I ask that you help your Sisters & Brothers understand the CBA. I ask that you attend and participate in Union meetings. I ask you to serve on a committee. I ask (and the CBA requires) that you show up on time for work and give 8 for 8. I ask you to continue wearing red shirts on Thursdays in a show of solidarity. I am asking you to help yourselves become a stronger Union. I ask all this because it’s always negotiating time.

In Solidarity,

Kasey Lansangan