Business Manager’s Message — May 2023

Remembering as We Move Forward 

As we near the end of May, we recognize one of our most revered holidays. Memorial Day reminds us to pause and remember those who have sacrificed so we can continue to enjoy the freedom and benefits of living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  

We begin all our meetings with the pledge of allegiance to the flag of our country. This Memorial Day holiday, please honor those who turned those words into action.  

Congratulations, Graduates 

Earlier this month we celebrated the graduation of our apprentices as they begin their career in the electrical industry. This graduating class overcame many unforeseen obstacles – the worldwide pandemic, the temporary closing of the Electrical Training Institute, remote learning, and continual testing for Covid to ensure the protection of all those who occupied the facility.  

Despite all these challenges, this group persevered and earned the distinguished status of journeyman. Congratulations to all the graduates and continued success throughout your working career and your eventual retirement with dignity and respect.  


Your Local Union is currently negotiating contracts for four classifications in Local 11. Residential, Construction Electrician, Intelligent Transportation Systems and Inside Wireman Collective Bargaining Agreements will expire in the next few months. The bargaining committees hope to soon have the CE/CW and Residential Agreements, and the Inside Wireman and ITS Agreements completed by the middle of June.

Please remember to cast your all-important vote when the time comes to ratify the Agreement. Your involvement in the Local Union activities will not only enhance your experience in the union but in your future as well.  

S&C Allocation Vote 

Thank you to all those who voted in the recent Sound and Communications allocation vote. Participation was much higher than in the past. The decision to offer online voting resulted in 53 percent of the membership casting their vote. Instead of 50 to 60 members voting at an in-person venue, 450 members voted to allocate $1.55 of the negotiated increase to wages.  

The Fringe Benefit Committee had recommended $1 to wages and $0.55 to the Active Medical Benefit to keep up with increased medical costs. Had their recommendation been approved by the membership, that allocation would have resulted in a Sound and Communications member only having to work 127 hours to qualify for one month’s coverage of family medical. Since the membership voted for no increase in contributions, Sound and Communications members must now contribute 134 hours to gain coverage – almost one more workday.  

The Health Plan Trustees are currently looking at ways to control future increases in the cost of the medical plan. We will bring you some options in the not-too-distant future to review and vote on.  

The Future 

We are at a crucial turning point in the IBEW. Artificial intelligence and advances in prefabrication threaten many of the tasks we have done for over 100 years. Prefabrication has been allowed by our signatory contractors as long as they use IBEW members to assemble and prebend conduit to be installed at the job site.  

Unfortunately, we have recently learned that supply houses are taking over much of that work. If this continues, we will only become installers and not the craftsmen we strive to be.  

For us to be effective in policing this work, we need your help. Please call your Business Agent about any pre-manufactured items which appear on your job. Be on the lookout for any pre-bent conduit with bar codes on it from a supply house. Catalog items do not apply, but pre-bent conduit is not one of them! 

We are at the start of a second Industrial Revolution. The first favored business and produced the robber barons of the railroad and steel industries. We have a chance to make the Green Energy world conducive to the worker – a world where we are not thought of as merely part of the machinery.  

Labor is playing a crucial part in requiring good pay and benefits, especially on Union jobs. That is why politics is so important, as is our relationships with other partner organizations who are involved in the Green Economy. Please stay involved.  

In unity,

Joël Barton
IBEW 11 Business Manager

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