Salt River Venture may see as many as half its workers stroll off the job if the Arizona utility can’t work out a brand new labor contract for hourly staff.
The Worldwide Brotherhood of Electrical Employees Native 266 has turned down two contracts supplied by SRP administration. IBEW legal professional Jim Abdo stated the most important stumbling block is well being insurance prices.
The present contract, which expired Nov. 15 and is working below its second extension, has SRP protecting 100 p.c of worker well being insurance prices, however the brand new supply requires staff to pay as a lot as 25 p.c through premiums. Abdo wouldn’t go into specifics about how a lot SRP’s well being plan would price every employee. SRP spokesman Jeff Lane additionally declined to remark in regards to the clause within the proposed contract.
Abdo stated the contract impacts about 3,000 staff at SRP, whereas the corporate says the variety of hourly staff that will be affected is about 2,300.
Abdo stated the contract below negotiation could be for 3 years. Talks will begin once more in early January, the union and SRP confirmed. The third deadline to achieve a deal is Jan. 31.
Abdo stated if there isn’t a motion within the January negotiations, union staff may stroll out someday throughout the first quarter, although he hopes a deal can reached.
“No person actually desires to strike,” Abdo stated.
The labor settlement covers staff who restore and repair SRP utility traces in addition to meter readers, electricians, machinists, customer support staff and different hourly workers. SRP, which provides water and energy to 930,000 prospects within the Valley, has 4,500 staff statewide. The hourly collective bargaining settlement applies to each features of SRP’s enterprise.
How a piece stoppage would have an effect on SRP is unclear. Not all the 2,300 staff SRP says are hourly are within the union, and the state’s right-to-work legal guidelines don’t enable for “closed outlets” that require workers to affix the union.
“SRP maintains a piece power contingency plan to make sure that we are able to proceed to offer dependable water and energy and customer support,” Lane stated. “We will’t touch upon particular actions, nevertheless.”
No federal labor legal guidelines would bar staff from hanging. The Nationwide Labor Relations Board has restrictions just for union staff at hospitals the place they need to give a 10-day discover of an impending strike, in addition to staff within the railroad and airline industries, the latter two coated by the Nationwide Mediation Board.
Apart from that, labor restrictions are left as much as the state, stated Nancy Cleeland, director of public affairs for the NLRB.
Union staff rejected a second proposal by SRP administration on Dec. 18 and likewise voted to strike, if vital. After every contract rejection, SRP and union officers agreed to increase the present settlement. Whereas SRP officers wouldn’t touch upon its supply or sticking factors for the employees, Lane stated workers would see a 3 p.c pay increase in November, adopted by a 1.5 p.c pay hike by mid-2011. Raises within the third 12 months could be negotiated.
Lane stated the utility additionally gained’t touch upon the chance or what it would imply to prospects if there’s a walk-out.
Well being care prices and premiums additionally had been massive sticking factors within the down-to-the-wire negotiations between United Meals & Business Employees Union staff and the Fry’s Meals Shops and Safeway grocery store chains. Twenty-five 1000’s grocery staff had been poised to strike earlier than a last-minute compromise in November over pay and well being insurance.
In Los Angeles earlier this 12 months, a last-minute deal averted a strike between Southern California Fuel and members of the Utility Employees Union of America, which clashed in regards to the economic system and compensation.
SRP, like different utilities within the state, has been hit financially with a drop in Arizona’s development fee leading to a decline of recent prospects.
This week, the corporate put forth a brand new proposal for a fee improve to take have an effect on this spring that’s about half the preliminary request of final summer time. The proposed fee improve is about 4.9 p.c, or about $5.95 per thirty days on a mean dwelling, officers stated.
The request to mood the rise got here from the SRP board of administrators, which sought to reduce the influence on ratepayers. The board additionally requested the corporate’s administration to search for price financial savings. With much less cash for development and the prospect of slicing again on infrastructure, SRP may maintain off on worker raises, in addition to reduce as much as 100 positions by attrition and even name for layoffs by the tip of its fiscal 12 months in April.
Lane stated the labor negotiations and the speed requests are considered as separate processes by the utility.v