IBEW 1837 News
February 20, 2017 - Members and retirees from IBEW 1837 joined with their union Brothers and Sisters throughout the Granite State and helped defeat a so-called “Right to Work” bill in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, 200 – 177. By doing so, the state’s Labor Movement overcame tremendous odds in thwarting a top policy priority of new Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who had GOP majorities in both bodies of the state legislature.
So-called “Right to Work” was narrowly approved by the Senate, 12 – 11, although its passage there was never really in doubt.
Everyone knew it would be a tougher sell in the House. Even though Republicans control that legislative chamber by a 226 – 173 margin, some of them are Union members or supporters of collective bargaining rights who recognize the true purpose of these union-busting bills. In the end, a total of 32 Republicans joined Democrats in the House and voted against “Right to Work.”
Hundreds of union members packed Representatives Hall at the State House in Concord for a public hearing on the bill before the House Labor Committee. Dozens of union members and allies from faith and community groups testified in opposition to it while only a handful of people testified in favor of “Right to Work.” Two IBEW 1837 members from Eversource testified in opposition: Rebecca Johnson, a Control Room Operator from Schiller Station, and Pat Moran, a Troubleshooter from the Hooksett AWC.
“To work beside someone who is enjoying the benefits I am paying for is not right and you know it,” Sister Johnson said, referring to “free riders” who are protected by the contract but choose to pay nothing in “Right to Work” states. “The bottom line is this bill is really not about paying dues so much as it is about splintering workers to their own corners and to take away hard fought benefits.”
January 13, 2016 - Brother Robert "Bob" Burns, a beloved Central Maine Power retiree and IBEW 1837 member, passed away this week a few days after a tragic accident. He was 81 years old but had more energy than many people half his age.
Bob remained active in the labor movement and his local community after retirement and was loved and admired by many. Brother Burns was also one of the first members of the IBEW 1837 Retiree Club, and his photo graced literature promoting the group.
"Bob’s kindness, patience, the sparkle in his eye and his dedication to his family and the working people of Maine were always a pleasure to be around whether working phones for a phone bank, sharing a meal at an event, or hearing about something he was proud of that his children or grandchildren had accomplished," said Maine AFL-CIO President and IBEW 1837 member Cynthia Phinney. "He will be sorely missed."
A CELEBRATION OF LIFE in honor of Robert "Bob" Burns was scheduled for Saturday, January 14, at the South Lewiston Baptist Church, 1919 Lisbon Street, Lewiston. Viewing 9:00 - 11:00 A.M. Funeral Service follows at 11:00 A.M.
Click here to read the complete obituary that was published in the Sun Journal.
December 22, 2016 - Union and Company negotiators reached agreement this month on a first contract for the Eversource Field Technicians and Specialists. The agreement was ratified overwhelmingly by the Field Techs and is an addendum to the collective bargaining agreement for the Utility Group at New Hampshire’s largest electric utility.
“I think it is a good agreement for the Field Techs and I’m pleased we were able to include them in our current contract with Eversource,” said Tom Ryan, IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager for New Hampshire. “We were able to maintain most of the benefits that our members enjoy.”
One of the biggest successes for the Union Bargaining Team was stabilizing and equalizing the pay rates for the classifications covered by the agreement. Under the new agreement, anyone that has been a Field Technician “A” for at least one year will be able to promote to Specialist upon successful completion of an exam. Formerly, there was only one Specialist per district and employees had to wait for an opening. Every Field Technician and Specialist received a wage increase to at least cover the cost of their union dues and most received more than that. Since the contract expires on May 31, it is likely that they will receive an additional wage adjustment upon ratification of the successor agreement.
September 29, 2016 - Two IBEW 1837 members working at Central Maine Power have received the highest commendation offered by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers after rescuing a man trapped inside a burning pickup truck after a crash.
It was an ordinary Thursday afternoon this past June that quickly turned extraordinary when CMP Lineworkers Andrew Grant and Paul Reynolds came upon a car/pole accident in Bridgton, Maine.
"We saw the truck was on its driver's side and was on fire," Brother Reynolds said. "There were secondaries (power lines) down there barking and arcing. (Then) we realized there was no one out of the vehicle yet!"
After Reynolds struggled at first to break the window with a gloved hand, Grant grabbed a set of pliers to smash it and pulled the man out before the truck was fully engulfed in flames.
"We were at the right place at the right time," Reynolds added.
As paramedics tended to the accident victim, Reynolds and Grant tended to the downed power lines to make the scene safe.
"We appreciate the acknowledgement but don't feel like any heroes," Brother Grant said.
September 12, 2016 - Local Unit Meetings have resumed after a summer break for members of IBEW Local #1837 throughout New Hampshire and Maine. The monthly meetings are an opportunity for our members to discuss issues affecting their jobs and their Union. In most cases, Union Business Managers, staff or elected officers will participate in the meetings. Members are welcome to attend any unit meeting although they can only vote in their home area units.
Meetings may be postponed or cancelled in the summer months, during storms or on holidays. Please check with the Union Office, your Shop Steward or our website calendar before driving to a meeting.
Some meeting times and locations may have changed in recent months. Please check the list below or use the link to download and print a copy to post on your Union bulletin board.
August 25, 2016 - Members of IBEW Local 1837 will spend a portion of "Labor's Day" weekend enjoying the company of their Brothers and Sisters from other local unions at exciting events throughout Maine and New Hampshire.
Starting with a BBQ and rally in Waterville, Maine, on Sunday, continuing Monday with celebratory breakfasts in Manchester, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine, and then spreading north throughout the Pine Tree State, workers will gather to listen to music and chow down on fine food all day long.
Please bring your family along and join the fun. Be sure to wear your union T-shirt or your regular work clothes. These are decidedly casual celebrations.
Here's a list below:
Sunday, September 4 from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Labor Day Weekend Rally and BBQ
Head of Falls Park, Waterville (Rain or Shine!)
Sponsored by the Central Maine Labor Council
Free! Games, food, pie eating contest & Guest Speakers!
Monday, September 5 from 8:00 - 10:00 a.m - Portland Labor's Day Breakfast
at the Irish Heritage Center, Corner of State and Gray Streets, Portland
Sponsored by the Southern Maine Labor Council
Celebrate Labor’s Day! $25 per ticket. Please join labor union members and special guests. Includes live music from 9 to 9 and ending with a short union march to Monument Square!
Monday, September 5 at 9:00 a.m - New Hampshire Labor Day Breakfast
at the St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 650 Hanover Street, Manchester, NH
Sponsored by the NH AFL-CIO
$30 donation per ticket. More info available by calling 603-623-7302 (ext. 17).
Monday, September 5 from 1:00 - 3:30 p.m. - Labor Day BBQ and Free Music
at the IBEW 567 Hall, 238 Goddard Road, Lewiston (Rain or Shine!)
Sponsored by the Western Maine Labor Council
Free! Free food, drinks and desserts provided!
Monday, September 5 from 4:30 - 7:00 p.m. - Labor's Day Dinner
at the Solidarity Center, 20 Ivers Street, Brewer
Sponsored by the Eastern Maine Labor Council
Suggested donation of $5, kids under 12 free. Proceeds benefit the Solidarity Harvest and Eastern Maine Labor Council.
Dinner will include locally grown food. Live music and speakers discussing the upcoming election.
June 21, 2106 - Union members working at the Sea-3 propane terminal facility in Newington, New Hampshire have voted to ratify a 2-Year contract. Voting concluded Monday afternoon on the agreement which will run through June 30, 2018.
All terms and conditions in the previous contract will continue without change. The 10 members of the IBEW 1837 bargaining unit will receive wage increases of 2 ½% each year.
Sea-3 has indicated that they have not been profitable in recent years. A proposed expansion of the Newington rail facility that could expand the work there has been put on hold by Sea-3’s parent company, Trammo.
IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers and Assistant Business Manager Tom Ryan appreciated the work of their fellow negotiating team members: Chief Steward Steve Paine and Steward Al Newton.
June 1, 2016 - Field Technicians A/B/C and Field Technician Specialists working for Eversource in New Hampshire have voted in favor of being represented by IBEW Local #1837 for collective bargaining. There are currently 29 workers in the classifications. They are commonly referred to as “Writers” and are responsible for work associated with the design, maintenance, construction and operation of the Eversource electric distribution system in the Granite State.
The National Labor Relations Board election was conducted by mail because the Field Techs and Specialists work throughout the state in multiple locations. The ballots were tallied on Friday, May 28, 2016 at the NLRB Region One office in Boston with a clear majority voting in favor of the Union. Work will begin soon on contract negotiations for these Eversource employees.
“We’re planning to get to work on bargaining for this group as soon as possible,” said IBEW 1837 Assistant Business Manager Tom Ryan. “We’ll be working with the Writers to select contract team members and to review contract proposals before we sit down at the table with the Company. Since the Writers voted to be included in our existing bargaining unit, it should help to streamline the negotiations and allow us to reach an agreement for them to consider relatively quickly.”