Southwestern Power Administration (Southwestern) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 1002, have joined together to implement a new multi-year contract for Southwestern’s craft personnel. The official agreement began September 22, 2021 and will be in effect until September 30, 2026.
The IBEW represents active members and retirees in the United States and Canada who work in a variety of fields, including the utilities industry. It is one of the largest groups in the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
According to Southwestern personnel involved in the negotiations, this agreement is something that has been long awaited.
"With the finalization of this agreement, bargaining unit employees have greater employment certainty and wage security," says Jessica Jennings, Southwestern’s Employee and Labor Relations Specialist. "It is the building block for a better management and union relationship that can start communications with a trust component."
While there have been several legal proceedings and various meetings between IBEW representatives and Southwestern management throughout the years, in 2021, negotiations were resurrected with a goal of working diligently toward a new agreement that would ultimately find a way to make separate goals unite in one common direction.
"When IBEW and Southwestern management met in August 2021, both organizations were willing to roll up their sleeves and find common ground," Jennings says. "This new agreement eliminates uncertainty for our bargaining unit employees relating to workplace rules and pay. Going forward, increased collaboration with a common focus will set Southwestern up for success."
Mike Wech, Southwestern Administrator and CEO, credits the personnel throughout the various agency sub-elements who worked hard to make the agreement a reality.
"This agreement represents not only a strong commitment between management and the IBEW to work together, but also offers the opportunity to strengthen the working relationship between the parties," Wech says. "I look forward to the successes yet to come."