Business Manager’s Message — October 2023

ETI Apprenticeship Training Facility Shines

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

As the holiday season approaches, I wish you all good tidings as you gather with friends and family to celebrate. We are indeed blessed to be members of this great union, IBEW Local 11. We are the envy of the country in what we do here and everything we are involved with.

Our training facility is second to none, and educators and legislators are always amazed when they tour the ETI. This past week, we had the distinct honor to host the LA/OC Building and Construction Trades Council along with the President of NABTU, Sean McGarvey. The North American Building Trades Union represents over 3 million construction craft professionals. President McGarvey toured our facility and spoke to the delegates. He marveled at the training we provide and how we offer men and women careers in the electrical industry.

IBEW 11 Apprentice Honored

I’m pleased to report that our very own Dannielle Lewis, a third year Inside Wireman Apprentice, received the NABTU Tradeswoman Hero Award last month for her dedication to her trade and her local union. Dannielle has been a tremendous asset and representative of IBEW 11, both on and off the job. She is involved in numerous clubs and associations of the local union, and we look forward to seeing her become one of our future leaders. IBEW 11 and the Building Trades believe in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and we are committed to continue to excel in our practice of inviting women and other minorities into our union.

Ending Poverty and Homelessness

Earlier this month, the ETI hosted the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s Summit on Poverty and Homelessness. Over 500 labor leaders and elected officials attended to brainstorm solutions to this crisis. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson, County Supervisor Janice Hahn and a special guest, recently appointed U.S. Sen. Laphonza Butler, were there to address the group.

Unfortunately, even with our great wages and benefits, some of our very own members face homelessness. No one should be without a place to call home in the United States of America. Many thanks to the ETI and IBEW 11 staff for making this event such a success – from the planning to the parking. A special shout out to the Local 11 staff who are always there and ready to help no matter the time of day, including weekends. Their selflessness and devotion to the membership is to be commended.

Health and Pension Plan Updates

Please check your mail in the coming weeks for important news and documents from the Southern California IBEW-NECA Trust Fund office. You can also go to the website for all the updates. Due to staggering increases facing our Health Plan, starting January 1, 2024, several changes will be implemented. The Trustees had several meetings to determine a course of action that would affect the least number of participants. Double digit increases from our providers resulted in some changes and monetary costs. To stave off some of those charges, the parties elected to redirect 70 cents from the Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Fund to the medical plan starting with contributions due from September work hours. This will not result in any impact on the supplemental unemployment plan.

Currently, if unemployed, journeymen receive $20 per day and apprentices receive $10. Apprentices in day school receive $200 per week if they attend all classes and attain a passing grade. These benefits will continue throughout the life of the current contract, which ends in 2026.

All of this is contingent upon the next allocation, which is $2 on January 29, 2024, and designating $1 to the Health Plan. I encourage all members to vote for this allocation to prevent even more drastic cuts. You will receive your ballot via email in the next few weeks. So, be sure your email is current with the Local Union, and be sure to vote. I highly encourage everyone to vote to designate $1 to continue to enjoy the great benefits our Health Plan provides.

I would like to remind everyone of an important holiday this November 11, Veterans Day. This day honors all those who served this great country in the armed services. IBEW 11 is committed to those brave young men and women by offering them entry into our apprenticeship programs. Through VEEP – Veterans Electrical Entry Program – we are able to attract the finest into our ranks and offer them a career. Reach out and thank a veteran for their service on this special day for protecting our freedom.

As always, I am honored to serve you as Business Manager/Financial Secretary.

In Solidarity, 

Joël Barton
IBEW 11 Business Manager

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