Labor agreements extended between Chugach and IBEW Local Union 1547
Contracts will provide 3 years of stability for employees and the cooperative
In a unanimous vote at its Feb. 24 meeting, the Chugach Electric Association Board of Directors voted to approve contract extensions previously ratified by bargaining unit employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The agreements cover the period July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2013. The vote was taken following a required 28-day posting period to allow cooperative members to review the contract extensions terms and anticipated costs. The posting period was introduced by the board to increase communication and transparency in the labor-contract-approval process.
The three extensions provide no wage increase in the first year. In the second and third years increases are tied to changes in the Anchorage Consumer Price Index (CPI-U), with a 1-percent floor on the minimum increase and a 3.5-percent cap on the maximum increase. Health and welfare increases are provided in all three years with caps on the cooperative's maximum contribution increase. Employee pension contributions will not be increased during the extensions.
The contracts contain a provision to reopen wage negotiations under certain financial conditions.
"For the first time, employees ratified agreements recognizing that future wage increases have a connection to the financial performance of the cooperative," said Chugach CEO Bradley Evans. "Chugach employees demonstrated a willingness to lead change in the utility industry with their recognition of the cooperative's requirement to demonstrate positive financial performance."
"The bargaining process between management and the bargaining unit employees was an improvement, and the board respects the effort by everyone involved," said Rebecca Logan, Chair of the Chugach board of directors. "Bargaining was conducted between the parties in a low-key process that was less contentious, less time-consuming and less costly than in previous years. This process also contributed to building on and continuing positive relationship between the parties."