Brothers and Sisters,
The Agreement between the Central Texas Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association, INC. (NECA) and Local Union No. 520 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW LU 520) is the result of generations of NECA Contractors and IBEW Union Brothers and Sisters sitting at the negotiating table. The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), or simply the Agreement or the Contract, is a both a living and historical document. Our ancestors built the foundation of our Agreement and each generation added or subtracted sections as negotiated.
Our CBA sets our wages, benefits, and conditions of work. This sacred document determines how we make our living, our standard of living, and our safety. The CBA is only as strong as you make it. We all must stand together and uphold our responsibilities in the Agreement as well as hold the contractors accountable for their responsibilities. This can be difficult to do when the CBA seems to be written in legalese. Let’s break down a section of our Agreement.
Article V, Section 5.11: No workman on one job shall replace a workman on another for any overtime work. All overtime work on any job shall be distributed fair and equal to all workmen. Exceptions to the two conditions above shall include the need for special skills or when workmen have not worked the available straight time hours during the “work week” as defined in Article IV, Section 1.
The first part is self-explanatory. Please be good Union Brothers & Sisters and don’t go to another job and replace someone for OT. Also, hold our contractors to the same standard. The fair and equal distribution of OT is not only the right thing to do it is required by all of us.
The word “shall” is construed as mandatory. Contractors, general foremen, area foremen, foremen, JIWs, apprentices, and CEs are under obligation to see to the fair and equal distribution of OT. Our responsibility to uphold the CBA must supersede our greed.
Sometimes overseeing OT is easy, especially on small jobsites – the foreman or a JIW can handle it. However, this becomes a complicated task at the large projects. Stewards can help by creating an overtime list and working with the foremen to make sure everyone follows the Agreement. This also means the foreman works with the Steward. If you don’t have a Steward on the job, the foreman “shall” make sure the OT is distributed fairly and equally. You can also step up and monitor the OT situation yourself.
You can learn more about our CBA and the process of contract negotiations by signing up for Collective Bargaining Training. You can learn more about protecting our legal rights in the workplace by signing up for Steward Training. We plan on having both training sessions before the end of the year. Please watch you emails for more information. You can also email me [email protected] and get on the waiting list. And as always, please talk with me if you want to become more active in your Union and be a force of positive change.
In Solidarity, Kasey Lansangan, Card No. 7865835