Posted on Aug 29, 2007
John M Grau
It’s still more than a month away, but at the national NECA office, we’re in countdown mode for the 2007 convention in San Francisco. It’s a big event and requires a tremendous amount of planning. We book convention sites ten or more years in advance, and preliminary budgets and plans are already in place for NECA’s 2008 convention in Chicago. So considering how far in advance we’re planning, the 2007 convention is getting very, very close.
Recently, chapter Governors and leaders received copies of the proposals being submitted for action at this year’s Board of Governors meeting. The Governors will consider three bylaw amendments and four ordinary proposals.
As time and interest permits, I will add some comments about these proposals in this blog.
Ordinary Proposal #1 calls for the Board to reaffirm and support the Code of Excellence clause as Category I language. We’ve had several past postings on the Code of Excellence, so I won’t elaborate any further.
While we’re on the topic of standard language, I’ll skip to Ordinary Proposal # 3 regarding optional shift language. Way back in the days of the National Agreement (1976), NECA and the IBEW came up with a standard shift clause. It was the first time that many local areas were able to establish three independent shifts at reasonable premiums. It also prevented pyramiding of rates, multiple-shift requirements, and other non-competitive practices that were common at that time. Over the years, there has been some tweaking of the standard language, including how the shifts were run and premiums calculated, but the actual amount of the premium-per-shift remained the same.
In 2004, the Quad Cities Chapter submitted a proposal to the Board of Governors requesting that we negotiate an optional shift clause allowing lower premiums, if agreed to by the local parties. The proposal was adopted by the Governors, and I’m proud to say that we were able to make good on that request. So if the local parties agree, the standard shift language can be modified to insert lower (but not higher) shift premiums. The rest of the shift language remains the same.
This new language is a beneficial change, and in light of generally lower shift premiums in the National Maintenance Agreement and other national and local agreements, it is well justified. I understand that some areas have already reached agreement on lower rates. I assume that the Board of Governors will be more than happy to endorse the optional shift clause.