Category Archives: Concerns

Minutes – November 2016

Meeting called to order at 4:30pm 11/18/2016

  • Finance report given. We have limited funds, but have enough to cover the cost of producing generic business cards for advertising with.
  • Discussed the proposed changes to the Pension
  • resurfaced as a discussion topic. Would be great to promote it as an online destination for members to build an online community.
  • The 90 Day Rule Motion was passed at the last General Meeting. It will give members 7 days to quit a job without losing their number of the books. Only one member voted against the motion, and it was later revealed that he has never had to quit or been out of work for more than 20 years.
  • ESU (Electrical Sisters United) is trying to get more members involved with their group and improve the organization of their committee. It is a work in progress
  • The upcoming Local elections were discussed, candidates for Business Manager was the main topic of discussion.
  • Internal organizing members to join and or like CORE 46. Some success at work sites with asking members to join our mailing list.
  • Meeting adjourned at 5:30pm


Check Your Pension Benefits

With all of the talk about the changes to the pension it may be a good time to check on yours. “How do I do that?” has been the common question I’ve heard while talking to other members. Fortunately, it is really easy, and all you have to do is click on this link: Welfare & Pension Administration Service, Inc. If you have a PIN number, fill out the fields to login. Otherwise click the link to request a PIN number and the WPAS will send a PIN number to you via the U.S. Postal Service.



Uptick in Dissent

There has been quite a bit of frustration and talk on the job and outside of the Hall lately. I believe that there is a real need for a Rank & File group to develop and put pressure on the Hall and NECA. Fortunately, that is what this group is all about. If you feel that there is a need for this kind of group, please swing by our monthly meeting at Dick’s Restaurant on lower Queen Anne. This month we are meeting on the 18th from 4:30 – 6pm. If attending a meeting is not up your alley, or you just don’t have the time, please sign up for our mailing list so we can keep you in the loop.

Response from the IO

Well, it took a little bit as could be expected but the IO has sent their response to the By-Law change which would refund Stewards their Organizing Dues. Unfortunately, the IO has chosen to say as little as possible, and gave no reason for their denial of the unanimous vote by the membership to make the required change to the By-Laws.

While I was very tempted to try and pass a motion to send a letter to the IO asking for an official response (which I probably should have done), I could not keep myself from airing my disgust with this lack of justification when it came to the “Good of the Union”. I am of the opinion that the IO should have enough respect for the membership of our Local to tell us why they have chosen not support the motion. Our local leadership told me that I should contact the IO myself if I wanted an answer… (which they should have given in their letter to us in the first place)

Stewards Monthly Meeting – Not So Fast

Last month the membership of IBEW Local 46 unanimously voted to have a monthly Stewards meeting.  Yesterday, I received an announcement from the Hall, that the Stewards meeting will be quarterly. Why does the Hall refuse to listen to the membership? Why are Stewards being blocked from meeting more regularly? The Motorcycle club meets monthly… is that more important than organizing the Stewards in the Local?

Operational Fees and Investment Returns

Well… here is a letter that tells us that our Vacation Fund is going to be charged $3 per month from now on. At least for some undetermined length of time. The explanation is not given any historical context and was not presented to the membership at any General or Unit Meetings. We have a Vacation Fund that takes 6% of our wages and invests the monies in mostly bond markets… those markets have not had returns that exceed the administrative costs, so guess what? The Vacation Fund is in the RED by speculatively $300,000! And if you have been paying attention at all… you may realize that this is the skeleton they have been keeping in the closet on why we can’t move our “Vacation Account” to Denali Credit Union.

We have an intelligent membership who is willing to make the necessary steps to correct problems. The Leadership at the Hall has failed to bring the members up to speed, and instead chooses to unilaterally make these decisions and cut us out of the loop. I fully believe that the membership would support the decision that was made, but the real problem here is keeping the issue hidden. They have known about this problem since they started looking into the change over to Denali, but they have not told the general membership… and they still haven’t…

Ugh 👿

In The Dark

Every week there are meetings and discussion groups happening all around us. Ideas are being hammered out, and decisions are being made with and without our individual input. In many cases the “without” is a good thing. How many people really need to be involved in the discussion of changing a stop sign to a stop light for example. But many of the issues and ideas that get discussed could be of interest to you, and maybe you do want a say in how that intersection works. Unfortunately, there is a limited resource which we all have called time. How we divide it up between our families, our work, and our hobbies can leave limited amounts of this precious commodity to spend on special interests. Special interests are the behind the scenes players that affect the main three characters of our lives; family, work, hobby.

Let’s be honest. We don’t have time to be involved in everything. It really is that simple, and it is okay. There can be moments however where special interests and family, work, or hobby may intersect. For me, labor and political activism come together with my work life during breaks and lunch with my fellow brothers and sisters on the job. If they would let me, and I would soapbox about an issue everyday. I limit myself to speaking out with everyone once or maybe twice a week. During this weekly soapbox, I present my personal abbreviated minutes from the most recent union meeting and or talk about contract or safety issues.

It is in this moment that a number of things are occurring.  By limiting the number of times I speak, I am giving the speech more importance and heightening the sense of value for those receiving the message. Who wants to listening to someone speak out everyday during their lunch break anyway? I’ll be the first to ask you, seriously, please don’t interrupt my lunch everyday! The members that are actually listening are learning about what is happening, and it is kindling their interest, potentially arousing them to spend some of their precious time on being involved. In the long term, it is also helping me personally to become a better leader and public speaker.

Consider how limited our time is outside of our daily lives of work. If you cannot attend those meetings that seem to just keep happening, how can you find out what is going on, or speak about them yourself during your lunch breaks? Maybe you don’t have to attend those meetings to get the information. What if there was a place that you could go to read, print, or download redacted minutes from the meetings that have drawn your interest? Our lives are too busy, and we trudge along in the dark on so many issues. Maybe if we can put our minds together we can provide a space where redacted minutes can be uploaded by those with the time, and shared by those without.

The 90 day rule

This is taken from the letter mailed out to all members.

Dated April 8, 2015 , from Jim Tosh


Registrants will retain their position on the Out-of-Work List until they have been out 90 cumulative calendar days for one of more employer’s signatory with Local 46.  (note: This will include employers not signatory with Local 46 but who use Local 46’s hiring hall, examples, under a National Agreement, PLA or CWA.)  Days are counted beginning on the date the registrant is to report to work and ends on the day he or she signs-in at the hall (or his/her termination slip is faxed or e-mailed to the hall by the employer by 4:00 p.m.); both the first day and the last day count.  However, if the registrant signs in from a job in person, prior to dispatch on the next working day, then the last day counted will be the previous work day.

If a registrant is dispatched but not hired then no days will be counted under the 90 day rule so long as they properly notify dispatch by phone or fax before 3:00 p.m.  (otherwise days will count)

Procedure: Registrants who take a dispatch for a call shall, upon signing in from the job, be restored to their prior place on the Out-of-Work List if they have 90 cumulitaive calendar days or less.  If a registrant quits or is terminated for cause, he or she will need to sign the bottom of the Book, and will not reicieve the benefit of the 90 day rule.  The 90 day rule applies to all agreements.

A registrant who takes an unfilled, out-of-class call is not subject to the 90 day rule for the first 90days.  Thereafter the registrant is subject to the 90 day rule.