Letter from our UPTO President 12-22-2018
Hello UPTO Brothers and Sisters,
First off, on behalf of the UPTO Executive Board, we wish all of our bargaining unit members and their families a wonderful holiday season!
Some recent emails sent out over the USACE email system have been critical of the Union. While I disagree with much of what was stated, I do acknowledge I need to do a better job of providing our members with current information. The best way to do that is to post updates here on the Union website and to provide more in depth information at local Union meetings. The VP’s have been directed to set up as many local union meetings as possible over the next few months on days when I am available to attend. I will also post more generic updates periodically on the website.
The situation at Ice Harbor put the Union in a difficult position. I won’t get into details here but we proceeded through the process using the advice of our attorney, then filed grievances when the final disciplinary actions were handed out. We now have 5 arbitration hearings scheduled on 4 removals and 1 suspension. The suspension hearing is in February and all 4 removal hearings are in May.
There are two more arbitrations scheduled, 1 in February and 1 in March. The first concerns how Wage and Salary used two low paying positions to calculate K-grade pay. These positions, located in the upper Columbia region are paid less than their own journeyman rate. The second arbitration is at Detroit dam concerning changing operator schedules to avoid overtime.
We are currently participating in meetings with the Agency to come up with qualification standards for Operators, Electricians and Mechanics. New hires would have to show proficiency in these standards during their probationary periods. The reason for these qualification standards are due to requirements in the USACE Safety Manual.
This year we worked with the Agency in authoring Apprenticeship Standards that would make sure the programs are consistent throughout the Division. We also partnered with the Agency in writing up Performance Elements and Standards for the new DPMAP performance management program though we are not happy over how these are being developed at the projects. More to come on that in the future.
The Executive Board also gets involved in project matters immediately, usually when we feel the Agency is bringing in higher level legal and LMR people in order to take actions against our members. For example, a member has been proposed an almost $8000 FLIPL after his own management recommended no liability.
I hope this gives you an idea of some of the issues we have been working at lately. We are not perfect and do the best we can considering how current politicians are aggressively attacking Union and employee rights. I will argue vehemently against anyone saying we don’t care or aren’t doing anything on behalf of our members. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please send me an email or give me a call.
Jack W. Heffling, President
United Power Trades Organization
Life Flight Applications & Updates
12-18-18 *** Send in Life Flight Apps/Updates in by Jan31! *** - Life Flight is paid for by our existing UPTO funds. Life Flight is for you and your dependents as well. See Form. Life Flight Form Life Flight is networked with other providers and covers most of the northwest. See coverage area here > lifeflight.org For the few Southern Oregon Folks, (out of Life Flight coverage area) you can join Mercy Flights instead. > mercyflights.com Print out the form, fill it out and send it to Jake. Send by Email: email@example.com
United Power Trades Organization General Meeting - Date and Time: 12 April 2019, 0800
Location: Red Lion Hotel Templin's on the River 414 E. 1st Street Post Falls ID 83854 / 208-773-1611 - Any member in good standing may propose additional provisions or amendments to the UPTO Constitution or Bylaws. Proposals must be submitted to the UPTO Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 January, 2019 so they may be published with the General Meeting agenda 30 days prior to the meeting as required by our UPTO Constitution. Proposed Constitutional amendments or additions must include the name of the person making the proposal, the number and wording of the old article in the UPTO Constitution or Bylaws, the proposed new wording of the article, and an explanation of the need for the proposed amendment or additional provision. Complete rules and procedures may be found in the UPTO Constitution and Bylaws.7/31/2018 United Power Trades and Claud Leinbach Scholarship - It is time for students to start thinking about this year's scholarship. Please see the Scholarship page under Member resources for the requirements/documents needed. Good luck!
5/23/2018 The 2018 Wage Increase has been sent out. Due to BOR pushing out their survey completion dates (estimated November). The Wage and Salary Division decided to do a current survey (with current numbers, BOR not changing) and give us our raise on time. This is consistent with our contract, Article 16.3. Next year we should be back on track with both agencies increased numbers, and our pay increase should be significantly more.
5/14/2018 - 2018 Wage Survey has started. BPA has supplied us with their numbers and their average pay increase is 2.84%. Unfortunatley BOR has not started (they start in June) and will be working with their 3 projects over the next several months to determine their increase. The 3 projects are Grand Coulee, Upper Columbia, and Snake River.
4/11/2018 - Project Rep annual training under way.
03-22-2018 All UPTO members are invited to attend the General Meeting on April 13th at 0800 - Cousin's Inn - The Dalles, Oregon. Training for the Project Reps will be held on April 11 and 12 from 0630 - 1700 in the conference room. **Project Reps - Please contact me to book your room. Most folks will stay the nights of April 10,11,12 and check out on the 13th. Please let me know if you are attending training but not staying in the hotel. (local folks) Thank you - Bret Smith
01.30.18 Congratulations to the United Power Trades and Claud Leinbach Scholarship Award winners for this year! - Lillian Ontiveros, Kaitlin Eck and Devon Caruso! Students will each receive $2000 during their first year of school and an award plaque from their District VP after the General Meeting. We wish all the applicants the best in their future education, training and careers!
1/30/2018 Pay Update - New pay scale has been sent out to members Corps mail. Also available on wages page.
11/21/2017 Check out this article from our President... "Lawsuits meant to help fish are actually hurting them". http://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article185141758.html
10-16-17 Election - the official results of the United Power Trades Organization (UPTO) supervised election. Treasurer - Summer Dellamater 63, Jake Chambers 122 / Lower Columbia VP - Ron Brubaugh 33, Dan Rice 31.
5-9-17 Wage Survey Trip (May 1-4) - In our meeting with BOR, their comparable employees at the three locations we survey all gave an increase. In our meeting with BPA, they stated they will be giving an increase retroactively to March 5th, 2017. BPA is getting an interim raise at this time which is an increase so hopefully the final numbers will be even better. So for now, Wage and Salary will wait until BPA finalizes their raise before completing our schedule.
1-5-17 Annual Training - Date: March 1 & 2, 2017, Location: Red Lion Hotel 2525 N 20th Ave, Pasco, WA 99301. *** Project Reps - Reserve your room by Feb 7! - It's time to start reserving our rooms for the annual training/general meeting. Most will need 3 nights ... Feb 28, March 1,2 (check out Mar 3rd). Please let me know if you are coming and what nights you will need a room. I will do the actual booking with the hotel. Please send e-mail to: email@example.com
12-8-16 General Meeting and Nominating Convention - Date & Time: March 3, 2017 @ 0800, Location: Red Lion Hotel 2525 N 20th Ave, Pasco, WA 99301. 2017 General Meeting Agenda.pdf Members in good standing are eligible to nominate candidates for UPTO offices. Eligibility for office, in accordance with the UPTO Constitution is membership in good standing for a continuous period of one (1) year immediately preceding the election. Any member in good standing may propose additional provisions or amendments to the UPTO Constitution or Bylaws. Proposals must be submitted to the UPTO Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 January, 2017 so they may be published with the General Meeting agenda 30 days prior to the meeting as required by our UPTO Constitution. Proposed Constitutional amendments or additions must include the name of the person making the proposal, the number and wording of the old article in the UPTO Constitution or Bylaws, the proposed new wording of the article, and an explanation of the need for the proposed amendment or additional provision.
12-5-16 ... Sad News - Claud Leinbach passed away this last weekend (Dec 2nd). Jack - "For you that didn’t know him, he probably did more for this Union than anyone that’s ever been involved. The UPTO scholarship is named after him." Arnie - "He was a true champion and probably the biggest reason our jobs were not contracted out in the 90's. God speed Claud." Claud's service will be at the SH Funeral home in Sweet Home, Oregon on Saturday December 10th at 11 am.