Message from the Business Manager

Message from the Business Manager

A Holiday Season Like No Other

Season Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

This will be like no other Holiday Season we have ever encountered. With a global pandemic front and center, our priorities and usual business has been altered indefinitely. In the wake of increased transmission of the virus, the State of California and the City of Los Angeles have issued new “stay at home” orders. This means all non-essential travel and business is prohibited. We have fought hard for and so far, have retained the definition of “essential worker and essential work.” This means, if you feel safe, you may go to work. This variation applies to travelling to work, your workday and going home. Please keep yourself, your family, and your fellow workers safe by following this edict.

You will have noticed changes at our Dispatch Halls and offices. Temperature checks, screenings and sanitization have been implemented to keep you and our staff safe. I know it can be tedious, but please exude a little kindness and remember we are all the same, just different. We all have the same goals –safety on our jobsites, a good life for ourselves and our families and dignity and respect from all those involved.

I hope you have joined in on some of our District and Unit meetings to keep abreast of what is going on in the union. Remember, you are the Union and should be involved in the management thereof. We still cannot hold a virtual General Membership Meeting, but we are having informational meetings to update you on jobs, your welfare, and the local union. The IBEW Local 11 Executive Board has the authority and has been working diligently to continue the business of the local union. When we can finally meet in person, it will be a monumental task for the Recording Secretary to read all the minutes for your approval from mid-March.

Rest assured, your Business Representatives, Organizers and Union staff are still on the job working on your behalf as well as the Electrical Training Institute and Pension and Health personnel. I have received all your emails and suggestions for how to make the transition to this “new normal” regarding all these bodies and ask for your indulgence. We should have everything running properly in the beginning of 2021. It has taken some time to adjust from in person training, dispatch, and communications, but I think we are on the right track to make these better.

You all should have been notified of the changes made to the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan. The Trustees were able to increase the payment, while collecting Unemployment Benefits, from $24 per week to $200 for apprentices and $300 per week for journeyman. The newest change incorporated those apprentices attending day school. If the apprentice attends the entire week and passes the class, no further information is required. A $200 stipend will automatically be issued to all students completing their class. This and all these increased benefits are for a specific time period and are subject to change. I know some of you have expressed dissatisfaction with the application process and the administration of the SUB Plan. Please remember that the Trustees have a fiduciary duty to keep the fund intact for the benefit of all participants. Accordingly, the professional staff who administers the fund is charged with making sure all necessary documents are submitted to warrant a payment. Construction Electricians and Construction Wireman will also be compensated for their week of school, which should only be one or two weeks for some. The Labor Management Cooperation Committee will send all qualified CE/CW students a $150 stipend for the completion of class.

You will notice an additional corner for a report from the executive director of the Engineers and Architects Association. This Unit of IBEW 11 is over 1,500 strong and an important part of this union. Their recent elections produced an excellent Board of Governors who will represent and propel both unions to a higher level. We look forward to our continued relationship and camaraderie.

I wish to extend my gratitude for the trust you have placed in me to lead this great local union. I look forward to input from you all, whether it be positive or negative. All of you who know me know that I will always give you a straight answer, whether you like it or not. We will prevail through these unprecedented times and come out stronger for it.

In Solidarity
Joël Barton
IBEW 11 Business Manager