We, the finest electrical workers in the world, demand that language be adopted to the contracts of our Inside Wire, Sound & Comm, Residential, and Stockman units which will make the benefits of Washington States Paid Sick Leave Law accessible to all IBEW Local 46 members. For our sisters and brothers to benefit from this legislation paid sick leave benefits must be:
Usable after the 14th day of employment
All accrued & unused sick leave must carry year to year
Employers must be required to pay all accrued & unused hours upon a member’s termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment.
A change like this will help our contractors by keeping members producing on the job, and ease the administrative burden of keeping employees sick leave on their books for 12 months after that member is no longer employed by the contractor, and it will help our membership by ensuring that we get the benefits we are entitled to and keep us from worrying so much about the financial burden of getting sick as we complete projects and move to the next contractor to keep building America!
CALL TO ACTION!
At the General Union Meeting on Wednesday, February 13th a motion will be made to recommend that the business manager of IBEW Local 46 actively and sincerely pursue the adoption of language as a Memorandum of Understanding between all signatory contractors, Puget Sound NECA, and the members of all concerned units. A strong showing of YES votes will demonstrate that the members are ready to fight for an ever improving standard of living!
Many have expressed frustration that the Sick & Safe hours accrued are not put into an account like the health care or vacation funds. Part of the reason for this is that the law requires employers to pay out current wage hours, not wages earned at a previous wage scale. For our trade a clear example is an apprentice who moves up in year would get paid at their current hourly wage, not the wages from the previous school year when they actually accrued the benefit. So, banking wages does not work and banking hours is not possible due to these discrepancies.
Unlike most workers however, many if not most of us are continually switching employers. As one job winds down, we are laid off and re-dispatched to a new employer. When we are released from employment we are relieved of the Sick & Safe hours which we have accrued under the law. This of course leads to workers trying to figure out how can they work the system to ensure that they receive the benefits that they earned before those benefits are taken away. Often this leads to workers taking time for Sick & Safe situations during the last stretch of the job when they are most needed, putting them at odds with the contractor.
To avoid a loss of the benefit and ensure that the jobs are fully staffed to complete the job, the benefit should be paid out when the employee is laid off. This would help keep the workers on the job until the end, and still give them the opportunity to take care of their Sick & Safe situations which the benefit is intended to accommodate. When a worker is able to count on being able to afford to go to the doctor, get check ups, and what ever else they will be in healthier condition for the next job. Allowing this to occur after lay off, helps mitigate the downtime the contractors will occur during the project.
How does your trade’s wages and benefits stack up when compared to the other trades? The package information below includes all wages and benefits paid per hour. The training column is the number of hours required to complete apprenticeship. The figures for training were collected from the applicable apprenticeship programs and building trades websites.