Business Manager’s Message — September 2023

Labor Day Power 2023

Fall is here already, the sun is rising later and setting earlier, and the morning air is feeling crisp and cool.  

Thank you to all the members and their families who attended this year’s Labor Day Parade and Rally. IBEW Local 11 was well represented by over 100 members and their families wearing our trademark “eco-green” t-shirts. The plan was for our stake bed truck ‘float’ to highlight LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, but in the spirit of the day, many of our IBEW Local 11 members and their families hopped aboard. Supervisor Solis was a good sport and joined them, enamored by the fun family atmosphere.  

City Councilmember Heather Hutt was also on board and Congresswoman Judy Chu stopped the parade mid route to join the members as we rolled down Avalon Boulevard.  

Congressman Adam Schiff, IBEW Local 11’s endorsed candidate for United States Senate, donned the “eco-green” t-shirt and marched alongside Local 11 members and their families the entire length of the parade. Please remember to support Adam next year in his race for Senate. He has done so much for the IBEW and is the right choice for the U.S. Senate.  

IBEW Local 11, through our partnerships with the LA/OC Building and Construction Trades Council and CREED, are signing more Project Labor Agreements than ever before. Our relationship with various legislators and public works is resulting in more jobs for union electricians.  

As a result, work is picking up for the Inside Wireman, and the out of workbook has finally dropped below 700. However, work remains slow for the Sound and Communication classification. We continue to take in new apprentices for all programs, and many of our apprentices have graduated and turned out to start their careers as journeyman wiremen.  

Please be sure to keep all your certifications up to date so you don’t miss out on some of these jobs. Don’t let your California State Certification run out – it will affect your ability to work, since having a state certification is the law.  

Health Care Plan Update 

I have some important news to share. The Trustees on the Southern California IBEW-NECA Health Plan have been meeting continually over the last month since our consultant informed us of the need for additional funding for the Plan Year 2024. Despite dramatically rising healthcare costs, IBEW members have been able to enjoy minimal increases over the last four years. But now the hammer has finally come down, and our providers are requiring substantial increases amounting to over $3 per hour – nearly a 15 percent increase.

But we think we have come up with a good plan to lessen the blow to most of our members and keep our high-quality health care in place with only minimal raises in premiums. Rather than burden everyone with the entire cost, the Trustees are recommending some changes which would only affect a small percentage of the participants. Most members will not be impacted at all.

But, and there’s a big but, all of this is contingent upon you designating half of your upcoming $2 raise to the Health Plan in the next allocation on January 27, 2024. We hope the membership will take rising healthcare costs to heart and authorize these changes. If we don’t vote to make these changes, we will be forced to make drastic cutbacks to the plan to keep it funded.  

The SC IBEW-NECA Trust Fund will be sending out a mailer in October with all the changes which will go into effect January 1, 2024. Be sure to read it and reach out to the Pension and Health Trust if you have any questions or need further clarification.   

Remember, our health plan is one of the best in the country, and it is our job to protect that valuable asset for our families now and for the next generation. We are stronger when we work together. #IBEWStrong! 
In Solidarity, 

Joël Barton
IBEW 11 Business Manager

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