UWUA Summer 2021

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Decommissioning Exelon Mystic 7 P. 4

UTILITY WORKERS UNION OF AMERICA LOCAL 369

THE CURRENT SUMMER 2021 NEWSLETTER


C ON T EN T S 03 FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK 04 WORKER SPOTLIGHT PUTTING WORKERS FIRST

06 KNOW YOUR BENEFITS:

L O C A L 3 6 9 H A S YO U C O V E R E D

07 THE TREASURER’S REPORT 08 E VERSOURCE ENERGY CONTR ACT & OTHER WINS 1 0 CONGRATULATIONS TO LOCAL 369’S 2021 SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS! 11 IN MEMORIAM & RE TIREES

ABOUT OUR MEMBERS UWUA Local 369 represents over 2,900 workers across the utility industry in Massachusetts. Our members are proud to bring power, heat, and telecommunications to homes and businesses across the Commonwealth. We’re dedicated to fighting for our members and all working families in Massachusetts.

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SUMMER 2021 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369


FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT

CRAIG A. PINKHAM BROTHERS AND SISTERS, The last year and a half has been a testament to the power of our collective strength as a Union. Thank you to every one of you for your hard work as an essential worker and as first responders throughout the entire pandemic. Keeping the power running and the lights on was especially critical during a point in time when many people were working from home while facing financial uncertainty that made a difficult situation even more challenging. Without you, the pandemic would have been a much darker time for our region. I want to commend our membership’s dedication to following COVID-19 safety guidelines to ensure the safety of our coworkers and their families. With the Delta variant driving the continued spread of COVID-19, I strongly encourage all members to consult with your primary care physicians and seek guidance on being vaccinated and continue to follow the CDC’s protocols so that we can continue to keep our communities safe. Some employers may require members to provide proof of vaccination if they choose not to wear masks on the job. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers can ask employees if they have been vaccinated. Doing so is not a violation of HIPAA, which protects against the disclosure of personal medical information by a health care provider. As this pandemic continues and medical science evolves further develops, please keep an eye our website to stay updated. While we remain vigilant during the evolving pandemic, Local 369 continues to advocate on behalf of our workers. We have started the process of negotiating three (3) new contracts with Sunbelt Rentals that expire on August 31, and recently led a very successful negotiation with Eversource Energy for a new 4-year collective bargaining agreement. Strong contracts and agreements allow Local 369 members to enjoy industry-leading wages, benefits, and safe working conditions at all work sites. While I look forward to holding our September 12th membership meeting inside at our Union Hall, I’m dedicated to ensuring the safety of our membership. Masks will be required whether you are vaccinated or not. This will be our first indoor meeting since February 9, 2020. As we will be negotiating our 8th, 9th and 10th

contracts in 2021, I look forward to discussing our new contracts on these fronts with you all soon. You can read more about our contract negotiations on page 8 of this edition. I also want to congratulate the 16 winners of Local 369’s 2021 scholarships. We’re proud to award $10,000 to students from Local 369 families and help them achieve their educational aspirations and propel them on the path to accomplish their goals. Turn to page 10 of this issue to see the full list of winners. On a similar note, I’m excited to announce that we plan to have Local 369’s Scholarship Golf Tournament at one golf course this year. We will announce the final plans at our September Membership meeting. The funds raised will benefit our scholarship fund to ensure that we can continue to provide an opportunity to members and their families each year. I look forward to seeing the Local 369 membership come together in support of this program. As we mark our 75th anniversary as the Utility Workers Union of America, our UWUA Constitution Preamble reminds us that “we are dedicated to improving the lives of our members and their families and to enhancing the quality of life of our communities.” The flexibility and resilience each member of our union has demonstrated in the face of the pandemic has shown that together, we are unstoppable. This summer, we will continue to work hard to advocate for one another, support working families, and strengthen the collective power of our Union. Remember, it is never about the money…...because it is ALWAYS about the money! In Solidarity,

Craig A. Pinkham President UWUA Local 369

UWUA LOCAL 369 | SUMMER 2021 NEWSLETTER

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WORK SITE SPOTLIGHT:

PUTTING WORKERS FIRST At Local 369, we work hard to ensure that our workers throughout the region have the best jobs and working conditions possible. When our members face closures and unsafe conditions at worksites and at power generation facilities, our Union is there to advocate for safety improvements, secure severance deals, and find employment alternatives for those displaced. In his message announcing the closure, Exelon President John Barnes wrote, “I commend the men and women who have operated and maintained the units safely and to the highest standards.” Mystic 7 provided reliable electricity to the Greater Boston Area for nearly 40 years, and employed thousands of talented workers from our Union. And when the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth closed two years ago, we worked tirelessly to minimize the impact on our members employed there. We were able to successfully negotiate lucrative retention and decommission agreements, as well as excellent severance packages for hundreds of our members. Additionally, we watched closely to make sure that our highly skilled and trained Local 369 members were able to expertly lead a safe decommissioning effort. It’s also been nearly a year and a half since our big win at the Exelon Mystic Generating Station in Charlestown. When Exelon cut corners at the plant and delayed maintenance updates, our Union went on strike to demand that these concerns were addressed. After just three days of striking, we were able to reach an agreement that guaranteed our benefits and much-needed improvements to safety measures and working conditions. By protecting the rights of our workers, we also ensure highquality, reliable utility service for homes throughout Eastern Massachusetts. The collective strength of our Union allows us to continue to defend the health, safety, and security of our members, and our communities at large. And we’ll keep striving to make sure that people, homes, and businesses throughout the area receive safe, reliable power for years to come.

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SUMMER 2021 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369

Decommissioning Exelon Mystic 7 In May, the Mystic 7 power plant was decommissioned after more than 45 years in service. When the plant went operational in 1974, it used crude oil to power Everett and the surrounding areas. In the 1980s, it switched to a mix of oil and natural gas. At the height of its operation in the 1980s, Mystic 7 generated 560 megawatts of electricity. UWUA Local 369 members Rick Cross, Bob Kiklis, Mike Quinn and Charles Oliver are working on finalizing the decommissioning project, which will be completed in late August. “Some people think you just come in, turn a key, press a button and shut the lights off,” said Bob, a wastewater treatment operator and 23-year member. “But the reality is that there are significant safety and environmental factors to be considered, so we are really focused on ensuring this plant is decommissioned safely and responsibly.” To avoid any environmental impacts after draining the plant’s waste tanks, Bob separates out the oil and treats the wastewater with chemicals that make it safe to flow into the Mystic River. Rick, an instruments and control technician with more than 43 years of experience as a member of Local 369, is working on everything from the turbine control to removing hazardous waste, such as mercury, still present at the plant site. “This work is pretty specialized,” Rick explained. “There are very few people in this field who know their way around the systems at power plants like Mystic 7.” As the project progresses, the team regroups daily to evaluate the evolving challenges and determine what’s needed to make the decommissioning a success. “My job changes every day,” Rick said. Because of the work that Rick, Bob, Mike and Charles are doing, the Mystic 7 power plant’s decommissioning will be completed safely and efficiently. We applaud their efforts and thank them for all their hard work!


TOP LEFT: At the height of its operation in the 1980s, Mystic 7 generated 560 megawatts of electricity to the Greater Boston area. CENTER LEFT: The Mystic 7 Power Plant is located along the Mystic River in Everett, Massachusetts. BOTTOM LEFT: In order to safely decommission the plant, the team evaluates evolving challenges each day. TOP RIGHT: Members Mike Quinn (left) and Rick Cross (right) work on everything from turbine control to removing hazardous waste. BOTTOM RIGHT: After 45 years in service, the Mystic 7 Power Plant will be fully decommissioned in August.

UWUA LOCAL 369 | SUMMER 2021 NEWSLETTER

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KNOW YOUR BENEFITS:

LOCAL 369 HAS YOU COVERED At Local 369, the safety and wellbeing of our members and their families is our top priority. That’s why we’re proud to offer some of the best insurance and health benefits in the industry to Local 369 members and their families. With open enrollment coming up this fall, we wanted to remind everyone of what types of coverage you may be eligible for. Through Colonial Life, members are eligible for accident, critical illness, disability, and term and whole life insurance. You can enroll for Colonial Life benefits entirely remotely by making an appointment through their online portal. We’re also proud to provide high-quality vision care through Dr. Valentine so that all of your vision needs can be taken care of in one place, conveniently located at the same address as our Union Hall. On June 17, Local 369 members met with Patrick Nee and Douglas Padden from Boston Retirement Group (BRG) to learn all about planning for retirement. BRG helps members gauge monthly retirement income needs, estimate Social Security benefits, prepare a formal, written financial plan for retirement, and more. Security around health and finances allows our members and their families to focus on their work and life with peace of mind and comfort that Local 369 has them covered, no matter what. Reminder: Open enrollment for 2022 coverage will run from the middle of October through the first week in November.

Scan the QR code with your phone’s camera to visit our website and learn more about the benefits available to you:

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SUMMER 2021 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369


TREASURER’S REPORT: DEFENDING FRONTLINE WORKERS

BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I want to take the time to thank and commend everyone at Local 369 for their commitment and perseverance in facing the COVID-19 pandemic together. Many of us have experienced or seen firsthand the hardships caused by the pandemic, and the strength of our Local 369 community has been critical to getting through these unprecedented times. While prioritizing the health and safety of ourselves and coworkers, our Union was able to continue working hard throughout the pandemic, providing power and heat to families across the region in a time when it was needed more than ever. By following COVID-19 safety protocols on all worksites, we were able to ensure safe working conditions that protected our members and their families from the virus. That said, the reality is that the pandemic is still not fully over. I strongly encourage all of you and your families to get vaccinated if you haven’t already done so, and to continue following the safety measures recommended by public health officials. That way, we can continue to protect those who are most vulnerable and prevent future outbreaks of the virus in our communities. Even when faced with a global pandemic, we are fortunate to have security in Local 369’s robust benefits program, giving members and their families access to some of the best health care possible. With that in mind, I want to remind you all that open enrollment member benefits will take place this fall. Please be sure to complete any necessary steps to cover you and your family for the upcoming year. To learn more about the benefits and insurance available to you through our Union, turn to page 6 of this issue. As a note, the IRS has announced its 2022 Limits for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), an account that allows you to set aside pre-tax funds to cover any qualified health costs that may arise. The HSA contribution limit for both employers and

employees using a high-deductible plan is now $3,650 for selfonly and $7,300 for families. This is a $50 increase for self-only coverage and a $100 increase for families, or 1.4%, from 2021. While the IRS has not yet announced 2022 limits on annual 401K contributions, the 2021 limit is $19,500, which is unchanged from 2020. Additionally, members over age 50 are eligible for a retroactive contribution of $6,500 for 2020 and 2021. And the overall general cap for both employee and employer contributions increased $1,000 to $58,000 in 2021. I also want to congratulate our Eversource Bargaining Committee on successfully negotiating another 4-year contract with Eversource Energy, one of the largest employers of Local 369 members. Our Bargaining Committees have been hard at work this spring and summer to come to agreements that secure the best wages, benefits, and working conditions for workers across our Union. Thanks as well to all our members who’ve come out to vote to ratify these contracts and support continued negotiations. As we face yet another summer with record-breaking temperatures, please take the time to review best practices for staying cool and hydrated at outdoor work sites, and recognizing signs of heat-related illnesses. As more businesses re-open and we move into a new chapter, we anticipate a busy fall season ahead. I encourage you all to stay informed and involved in the coming months, and most of all, stay safe. In Solidarity, Dan Leary Secretary-Treasurer

UWUA LOCAL 369 | SUMMER 2021 NEWSLETTER

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EVERSOURCE ENERGY CONTRACT & OTHER WINS

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WINTER / SPRING 2021 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369


Local 369 fights for our members every day, winning strong contract agreements for our brothers and sisters. This spring, our Eversource Bargaining Committee proudly announced a tentative agreement on a new 4-year collective bargaining agreement with Eversource Energy. Local 369 members at Eversource resoundingly voted on May 11 to ratify the new 4-year contract. The new agreement began June 2 and will run through June 1, 2025. Members will receive a 3% general wage increase annually for the next four years. Contract wins like these are incredibly important for our Union because they ensure strong benefits and good working conditions for members across worksites, from the call center to power generating facilities to road work. We’ve also been working to negotiate strong contract agreements with a number of our other contractors, including finalizing an agreement with Sunbelt Rentals while preparing for upcoming negotiations with Exelon Medway Jets, Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant, City Generator, Liberty Utilities, National Grid, CDI-Holtec and ElecComm. Just like with Eversource Energy, members employed by these companies will have the opportunity to vote to ratify the contracts and solidify regular wage increases for the next several years. We’re proud to keep fighting so that our members can enjoy life-sustaining wages and benefits and the best working conditions, all while delivering high-quality service to families across Massachusetts.

UWUA LOCAL 369 | WINTER / SPRING 2021 NEWSLETTER

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CONGRATULATIONS TO LOCAL 369’S 2021 SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS! At Local 369, we’re proud to support our members and their families as they work hard to further their education and reach their goals. This year, we’ve awarded $10,000 in scholarships to 16 dedicated students from Local 369 families as they pursue a college degree. Congratulations and best of luck to all of our scholarship recipients! Student

369 Member/Retiree

Scholarship

Amount

Alexia Blais

Michael Blais

Larry Eppolito

$1000

Emily Gross

Michael Gross

Donald Wightman

$1000

Austin Au

Lap Au

John "Jack" Holland

$1000

Ryan Sherwin

Todd Sherwin

Valentine P. Murphy

$750

Madeline Hughes

Richard Hughes

Robert Ambler

$750

Nolan Barry

Robert Barry

Francis A. Kennedy

$500

Samuel Purchase

Aiden Langille

Francis A. Toland

$500

Thomas Roche

Thomas Roche

Pat Young

$500

Jacob Kumlin

Richard Kumlin

Local 369 UWUA

$500

Kylie Hemon

Douglas Hemon

John DcSantis

$500

Karissa Murphy

Michael J. Murphy

Paul Melody

$500

Kevin Gozzo

Robert Gozzo

Peter Brennan

$500

Alex Wisnes

Richard Wisncs

Kevin Fidalgo

$500

Lilah Read

Christopher Read

Paul Germano

$500

Charlie Elizabeth Wahlberg

Robert Wahlberg

Local 369, UWUA

$500

Meghan Laranjo

Thomas Laranjo

Local 369, UWUA

$500

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Congratulations all recipients. I am so glad that Local 369 is giving you a path for success in your future endeavors.” – James Slevin Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO

SUMMER 2021 NEWSLETTER | UWUA LOCAL 369


IN MEMORIAM & RETIREES In Memoriam Richard “Dick” Coulsey Thomas “Tom” Lacey

John Mara Thomas Morin

Alissa Sperazza Randall Tatum

Retirees Christine A. Abany Francine Abbott Robert E. Abbott Gary R. Ackerman Antoine Alexandre Steven Ames Antonio F Barroso Anne Biggins Mark E. Bishop David Bjornson Richard J. Boyle Keith D. Brazil Linda Buivid Michael Coombes Linda Coutinho David Couto John Crocker Stephen P. Daniel Douglas A. Davis Carlos Diaz Tad Duarte Michael E. Ellis Anthony J. Fava Marion Feeney Diane Fenderson Paula Fox Matthew Gillespie Francis Graham Joseph A. Guilfoy Francis X. Hartel Sheila Anne Harvey Maura E. Hoey Frederick Hogan Neville O. Jonas Paul Kelly Christine Kowal Nancy Lobaton

James V. Long Louis Matthews Paul McCabe Michael McKenzie Carl Moniz David Morrison Bruce Morris Christopher Murphy Robert J. O’Donnell Frederick Petrigno Arthur Rebello, Jr. Lance Rensberger Richard Reynolds Richard A. Rose, Jr. Robert Robbins David Rousseau Matthias Schneider James T. Sciarappa Aparna Shah John Shaugnessy, Jr. Clifford A. Silveira Ralph Spano Robert Spongberg Matt Stukus Christine Sullivan Robert A. Sylvia Arnold Tavares John Tewksbury Annette Thompson Rozita L. Waltower Kenneth Wilson John E. Whelan

L to R: Executive Board Member Rich Hughes, President Craig A. Pinkham, Ralph Spano, Business Agent Bob Senier, EVP Craig Connolly and Business Agent Stephen Milionis.

Brother Ralph Spano’s last day.

Brother Ralph Spano’s last day.

UWUA LOCAL 369 | SUMMER 2021 NEWSLETTER

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UWUA Local 369 120 Bay State Drive Braintree, MA 02184

ARE YOU RETIRING SOON? LET US KNOW! Local 369 is proud to celebrate each member’s retirement and achievements over the years. Tell us when you’re retiring so we can recognize your dedicated commitment to our Union!

Scan the QR code with your phone’s camera to complete the form:

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BROCKTON MA PERMIT 268


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