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From the President

To:       EA members

From: Gay Henson, Valley-wide President

Date:   May 18, 2018

 

Membership Drive

Have you asked anyone lately, “Are you a part of the EA?” 

We are excited to begin an EA membership drive.  Any new member will receive an EA Tervis Tumbler.  Additionally, any member who signs up 3 new members will receive a tumbler too! Joining is simple… go to the EA website www.tvaea.com and click on the JOIN button.  There will be an EA MEMBERSHIP FORM that can be printed.  Fill out the membership form, scan it and email to bbtvaea5@tva.gov or mrmckenzie@tva.gov .  We plan on running our membership drive throughout the summer, ending in late August.  I would love to see all of us of like mind to come together this summer as one strong unified voice! 

 

Why is membership so important?

•        Bargaining Strength

•       If we are not growing, we are losing bargaining power and our union.

•       Signing up members increases our bargaining power during negotiations and with issues outside of the workplace (e.g., legislation), as well as providing more services to our members.

•       Sustainability

•       Work changes, management comes and goes, new legislation passes.  If our union is not growing and planning for the future it is destined to lose bargaining power or worse, disappear. 

Negotiations

The Collective Bargaining Agreement between TVA and the EA renews every three years unless either party desires to open the agreement for negotiations.  This year (2018) both parties agreed to not open the entire contract.  However, we did agree to negotiate over the following items:

  • TVA proposed using a 5 point rating scale for performance reviews instead of the 4 point scale currently being used for EA represented employees. The EA did not support moving to a 5 point rating.  However, the EA did agree to make adjustments to the performance ratings in S-12:C as well as the weighted overall scores which determine your overall ratings (S-12:C & S-4:D). We think you will like these changes.   

            The rating scale will continue to be on a 4 point basis.   The rating for an unacceptable in one of the goals or competencies in the past has been a minus 1, this rating would    change to a positive 1.  In addition, the minimum  overall score to receive an overall          exceeds  will change from 3.6 to 3.5,  satisfactory changes from 2.6 to 2.5.and the        beginning of the range for a marginal rating will move from a 2.0 to a 1.5 and an unacceptable will move from below 2 to below 1.49. 

            All of these changes are positive for our EA represented employees.

See attached MOU for exact wording to changes.

 

  • These two items still in negotiations.    

The EA proposed making these changes to our contract.  TVA has not agreed to these changes.  The parties will meet together again over the next several weeks to continue discussions. 

#1 - related to work on scheduled off days. 

EA proposes:

“Employees receive time-and-one half the straight-time rate for the first nonworkday he/she works in a workweek.  Employees receive twice the straight-time rate for the second nonworkday he/she works in a workweek.  Employees receive time-and-one-half the straight-time rate for any other nonworkdays he/she works in a workweek. Employees with four off days (12 hour shift schedules) in a workweek will receive double time on the

second off day he/she works and double time on the fourth off day he/she works.

#2 - related to pay or compensation time for callouts. This change would provide some compensation for our represented employees who receive multiple calls and often repeated calls after they leave the work place.  

EA proposes:

            “Employees called for work without reporting outside of and not continuous with their           regularly scheduled hours are paid at the applicable overtime rate, or accorded             compensatory time, but no less than two hours’ pay at the straight time rate for employees on the inflexible schedule and no less than two hours’ compensatory time for             employees on the flexible schedule.

            The EA and TVA will continue discussions on items #1 & # 2 above.

FY 19 Pay for Performance, Market Rates and CY 19 Benefits

The EA and TVA will begin discussions over the next few weeks concerning the pay budget (annual performance increases) and market rate (mid-point) adjustments.

The EA and TVA have begun negotiations regarding CY 19 benefit plan design changes. While last year, we were able keep our deductibles low with little to no changes, changes to deductibles are certain to be requested by TVA.  Some plan design changes that are being discussed include expanding coverage for speech/behavior/occupational therapy for children, moving to Express Scripts’ National Preferred Formulary and possible changes to prior authorization, step therapy & quantity/dose management.   One other possible change is to allow 90-day prescription fills/refills at Walgreens.    TVA proposes, again this year, to remove an existing transgender reassignment surgery exclusion.  TVA has already agreed and announced the maximum Healthcheck credits will increase from $200- $600…with the credits earned this year paying out in calendar year 2019.

I am certain you saw the TVA Today yesterday regarding opioid abuse.  TVA and many of its union partners have joined forces to roll out a new source of help in the battle against opioid abuse.  The EA has been presented this same plan.  However, we have some additional questions and concerns about the new program and have not reached full agreement with TVA.  The EA recognizes the ongoing problems in our community related to opioid abuse. We see the often tragic consequences this epidemic has created. We support making changes necessary to address this issue head on.  At the same time, we also want to assure we don’t, in haste, make changes to our benefits plan that aren’t necessary or are burdensome to you in any way.  Therefore, we are continuing our discussions with TVA about opioid abuse.  More information to come!

Timely Grievance Hearings & Resolution Implementation

We are having a difficult time getting grievance hearings scheduled in a timely manner. This causes unnecessary delays getting your issues resolved!  You deserve a timely result to issues you bring to TVA through our EA processes.  Pay adjustments that come from resolutions and grievances seem to take a snail’s pace to see to complete closure.   I met with and discussed this issue with the management of both Labor Relations and Human Resources.  This has gone on for far too long now! And while I believe that TVA now recognizes this as a true problem that needs an immediate correction, I look to see improvement in this area over the weeks and months to come.  If this problem does not improve we may be forced to work through other channels with our congressional representatives to seek remedy. 

Health & Safety Recognition - the EA salutes you!

At TVA’s Agency Health & Safety Committee meeting last week, the EA recognized 3 of our bargaining unit folks!  We are grateful for their contribution to keeping our sisters and brothers safe! 

Brian Scott & John Kirby - Brian and John discovered the alkaline battery disposal process was incorrect and drafted a bulletin with information about the correct process.

Ben Taylor - Ben submitted a suggestion to add an AED to the MR Auditorium area.  Then, his TVA local Health and Safety Committee made it happen!

Jeremy Goodman - Jeremy’s Raccoon Mountain management team recognized him “for his quick assessment and actions that led to identifying the eventual failure of the U3 shaft mechanical seal. He determined that the unit needed to come off and the seal be inspected.  After investigation, it was determined that if the unit continued to run, the mechanical seal would have completely failed.  This would have caused extensive damage to the seal collar around the turbine shaft and mechanical seal hardware.  Seal failure would have caused the wheel pit to flood and the resulting unit outage would have been far more costly and extensive.  Jeremy is conscientious and engaged and is an asset to plant safety and improvements.”

Hearing from You

Sometimes the only way we know of problems you face is if you reach out to us and make us aware.  Please do not hesitate to call either Gary Watson or Renae McKenzie in the EA office at (865) 632-2489 if you have any problems or issues you need to make us aware of.

 

EA Section Presidents & VW officers:

Chattanooga        Brandon Sapp     Nashville-West    Brad Shultz          Chickamauga      Jason Ferrell North Eastern    Gary Jordan   Southern               Alan Turpen

Engineering Association Officers:

Vice President      Melvin Dean        Secretary     Carl Merchant         Treasurer  Dan Kirk

 

In solidarity,

Gay Henson

EA President, IFPTE #1937

IFPTE VP - Eastern Federal

 
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