Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Your leadership team is constantly looking for ways to streamline and improve our ways of disseminating information. To this end we have been researching the feasibility and legality of publishing our Collective Bargaining Agreement, the contract, via PDF file.
We have chosen to make the CBA available to the membership in PDF form through this Newsletter, and on SHAREPOINT. Please understand, this is a “draft copy” of the contract. And while we expect the approval to be a formality, our CBA has not yet been officially approved by the IBEW International President. This is standard procedure and takes a fair amount of time for the IBEW to complete the process. However, I felt it important enough for you to have access to the CBA as soon as possible.
We will also be looking into the prospect of making a PDF “final edition” once the IBEW approval is granted. Each member will be able to save and use this file. You will be able to download it to your smartphone for your convenience. You can even print out a copy if you wish. Stewards will also benefit from having the contract in their pockets. Doing this will get the CBA into your hands quicker and will save the local thousands of dollars in printing costs. These savings, in both time and money, can potentially be had each time Local 1505 distributes future contracts. This plan should put us more in line with the technology of today and with other Local Unions. I am proud of the work your leadership has done to make this a reality.
Please know the 2021 CBA will look different than the 2017 CBA. It won’t line up directly because the articles of the contract will be rearranged to make it easier to understand for everyone. This is especially important with the large number of new members in Local 1505. If you have questions regarding the contract, please write down your question and/or concern with the appropriate CBA article number and give it to your steward. The stewards will make sure you get an answer in writing.
Pay Issues, Blizzard, and Plant Closings
On January 1st the RTX company implemented all new systems to manage (mismanage) their business. To say these systems have been a nightmare is an understatement! Your leadership has been working hard to resolve each of these many pay issues. The problems with the $2.00 AWP for January 1 should be resolved as of your February 10th paycheck. This issue alone affected over 1200 of our members!
The OT lists are also a continuing problem. We are working with Value Stream Leads and Labor Relations to get these solved in a timely fashion. United Technologies closed the Texas payroll center, laying off many employees, and moved it to their New Jersey ADP facility causing issues to be fixed much too slowly. We are committed to staying on top of these problems until they are right.
On Saturday January 29th we experienced a true Nor’easter. A storm of the magnitude we had not seen in 5 years! This storm was forecast correctly, and the company cancelled the overtime shifts due to the blizzard. However, they DID NOT CANCEL the 4th shift scheduled for that day! I made numerous calls to the head of Labor Relations Michael Hunt, the HR/LR Vice President Steve Ratner, and the local operations manager Don Hersey who all said, “if the decision was mine, I would keep everyone home and safe. Why risk injury or worse under these circumstances.” For those of us who live here in New England these decisions are a no brainer. But apparently, the V.P of RMD, Alan Couture, thinks our 4th shift employees deserve lesser levels of concern for their safety. Perhaps Mr. Couture can’t watch the weather reports from his home in sunny Texas where he made the decision to send folks to work in a blizzard! Perhaps Mr. Couture thinks of them as less human than our other shifts! This is clearly unacceptable to the Union and should be unacceptable to every single member of Local 1505. We have filed a grievance here and hope to come to a resolution soon. There is also a petition regarding the blizzard from the 4th shift employees which we wholeheartedly support.
Many of you may know RTX is getting a new landlord at the Woburn Facility. The Business Manager has been assured the lease will remain through 2031. But, we understand the landlord is looking to make a “life sciences” campus at this location. And we do not know what the new landlord has planned for RTX after 2031. RTX is also closing the main Billerica plant and the Billerica STARS facility. The STARS location is being moved to NH and Union leadership is currently negotiating the situation through “effects bargaining” for these members.
RTX is shrinking its footprint in Massachusetts with the closing of both Billerica locations, Alight has replaced Fidelity for our investment plans due to their relationship with United Technologies, and decisions as to your safety are being made from the other side of the country. It is obvious RTX’s commitment to Massachusetts is nowhere near the level of Raytheon’s commitment in the past.
Yours in Solidarity,
IBEW Local 1505
Hello Sisters and Brothers,
I’m proud to say that safety is making strides thanks to our membership. We have been able to secure a pilot program for our Safety Zone Specialists (SZS) that will be on going through 2024.
This working agreement allows our members who are active participants in the Safety Zone Specialist program the opportunity to receive an annual incentive bonus of $300! Active participation is defined as having submitted at least 75% of the SZS checklists in a calendar year for locations that are on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule, and 100% for locations that are on a monthly schedule.
If a Safety Zone Specialist participant leaves the department they are covering for any reason, they will still be eligible for the $300 award if they have submitted the required percentage of check lists before they leave the department and have worked as the SZS for at least 6 months in the current calendar year. This incentive does not count toward the spot award program. If the program is deemed successful at the end of the pilot, it will be discussed to continue as a permanent program.
This is the first time in the history of the program that we’ve been able to secure an agreement like this that allows for our volunteer members to be paid for their efforts. It’s a practice that we would like to continue at the end of the pilot program and moving forward. We still have some spots available if you are interested in participating.
Thank you for your time and have a safe and wonderful day!
Sr. Safety Officer