Union ratifies five-year GMP contractBy Bruce Edwards
STAFF WRITER | January 16,2013The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 300 has ratified a new five-year contract with Green Mountain Power Corp, the union and company announced Tuesday.
The contract combines the contracts of GMP and the former Central Vermont Public Service Corp. under one contract for the merged company and its 300 union workers.
“It is highly unusual that newly merged companies are able to combine union contracts and blend so quickly and effectively to form one strong working unit,” Mary Powell, GMP president and CEO, said in a statement.
The new contract gives union workers of the merged company a 3.25 percent raise this year. That was the rate set in the legacy CVPS contract that ran until the end of 2013. The contact for GMP workers expired Dec. 31, GMP spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure said Tuesday.
For the remaining four years of the contract, raises are 3 percent each year for the second and third years and a 2.8 percent raise each year for the final two years.
Because health insurance premiums were different for various employee groups, Schnure said the new contract establishes a uniform 20 percent employee premium share.
“Some employees now are paying more than 20 percent, some are paying less than 20 percent,” Schnure said. “So we’ve put in place step changes, so by the end of the five years they’ll all be at the 20 percent share.”
She said uniform work rules are also being phased in. For example, she said rest times during storm outages, which were different at both companies, will now be uniform.
Powell went on to say that its not unusual for some companies to go years without being able to merge contracts. She credited union and management representatives “to develop fair and consistent practices to support our service to Vermonters.”
Jeffrey Wimette, IBEW Local 300 business manager, said “both sides acknowledged the importance of reaching a contract that benefited customers while honoring and respecting matters of importance to union employees.”
Powell said having one contract provides “fair and consistent compensation packages and practices to employees who now are working side by side.”
GMP said the contract provides for opportunities to serve customers at lower cost, which will help meet the company’s guarantee to save ratepayers $144 million over the next 10 years.
The new contract took effect Jan. 1.
Green Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com) serves more than 250,000 customers throughout the state.
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