April 2012 Newsletter

UPCOMING SOCIAL EVENTS:  The Executive Board and Officers and Staff of Local 532 are continually looking for ways to increase involvement and participation in our Local.  This summer we are planning a couple new things.    BURGERS & BEERS…  We will serve barbecue hamburgers and pop/water at the May through September  Regular union meetings at 5200 Midland Road (weather permitting.)  Come on down and have dinner with us and then after the meeting concludes we will open the coolers to enjoy a frosty beer or two. FAMILY PICNIC & BASEBALL…The Local is providing each member with two tickets good for a barbecue meal and admittance to a Mustang game on Sunday July 15th.  Come down to the ballpark this summer and enjoy an afternoon picnic and baseball with your brothers and sisters.  Food will be served shortly before 1:00 PM and the game starts at 2:05PM.  Additional tickets are available for purchase at $17 each.  Please RSVP the Local before July 6, 2012 so that we can get an accurate head count.



ATTENTION LOCAL 532 COSTCO CARD HOLDERS:  Costco is no longer offering a price break in our annual membership fees.  We will be discontinuing this program in 2012.  From this point on, you can renew your card directly as COSTCO.  Thank you all for participating in the past. 


A special meeting was held March 30, 2012 at Local 532 involving all construction members of Local 532 and was attended by IVP Ted Jensen.  We would like to thank those members who attended the meeting for their support of the Local. The minutes of this meeting were read at the regular meeting of the Local on April 11, 2012 and are  available for review at the hall during business hours. 


At the IBEW 38th International Convention held September 19-23, 2011, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Resolution No. 35 called for parity among locals for all re-sign procedures.  The Resolutions Committee had first recommended non-concurrence based on the difficulty to devise a system that provided complete parity in locals’ re-sign procedures.  The motion of non-concurrence failed and after floor debate to standardize the day of the month, the original motion carried.

 Therefore, effective June 1, 2012, the following changes will be implemented in Local 532’s referral rules:

 Re-sign shall be required monthly beginning on the 10th and ending on the 16th of each month.

Re-signs will require the following information:  Name, address, home local #, and IBEW card # or if not a union member a driver’s license or government ID.

 Local unions are also to immediately initiate a policy requiring individuals who receive two discharges for cause within a twelve month period to be suspended from future referral  privileges until they appear before the Appeals Committee for a determination as to their continued eligibility for referral.


 April, 2012

The Montana Electrical JATC is in the final weeks of apprentice training of the 2011—2012 related training schedule.  On May 24th, we will graduate 24 apprentices in Helena.  In addition, we are entering the final stretch of Continuing Education training for this year.  Anyone holding a Montana Electrical license will be required to have their 16 hours of CE credits completed before license expiration in July.

Included in upcoming CE training are pole-mounted solar system installations at Local 532 and Local 768 in Kalispell.  The permitting process and the system design have provided for a couple of setbacks, but we have finally surmounted that.  Our recently commissioned Building Automation and Solar Training Trailer will also be on the road for training.  The trailer will be in Billings for classes on Saturday, April 28th.

 The Automation/Solar Trailer is the flagship of the ETP Grant.  With the exception of the sheet metal work, the trailer was fabricated entirely (and wired) by the MEJATC.  

 The trailer and the equipment inside represent the very latest in both solar and building automation technology.  The trailer will also be used for outreach and promotion as opportunities arise.

 In July of this year, the ETP Grant will sunset.  In the last two months, we have been shifting training costs from Grant funding to our normal funding sources to begin the close-out process.  The Grant has provided the JATC with some amazing resources and opportunities—much of this will carry us far into the future.

 Finally, thanks to all of you who have taken the time comment on our evaluations at the end of each training session.  These have been very helpful in improving the training deliver.   


John Colley


LINECO  Trustee  Meeting  Minutes: 

(Submitted by Mike Byrd, Bus. Mgr. Local 111) The LINECO Trustees met on March 22nd and 23rd, 2012.

We heard 34 appeal cases with 18 of them being associated with Worker Comp situations. As I have told you in the past if at any time during the process a member, a spouse, a nurse or the doctor says the injury was work related LINECO will not pay the bills. You need to watch what they write down.

 The number of employees covered by the trust exceeded 30,000 members for the first time in January 2012.

 There were 4.4 million hours worked in January, this is the highest total ever, an increase of 13.8%.

 Our months of Operating Surplus went up from 20.4 months to 20.7 months. As you know the Plan Administrators like to have a surplus of 6 months.

 The Utility Group made a nice cash gain in 2011, they were $736,000.00 over expenses or 9%; where the Construction side of the trust was up 18%.

 Some yearly stats from the staff are as follows:

  1. 178,013 calls per year or 706 call per day
  2. Claims paid were 773,200 an 8% increase
  3. We had 204 claims paid that were over $50,000.00 for a total of $23.4 million
  4. Number of paper claims fell to 152,581 down 8%
  5. The average age of a retiree is 70
  6. The average age of an active employee is 40
  7. Average number of retirees stands at 1674 an increase of 2%
  8. The Trustees heard 157 appeals in 2011
  9. In Patient Blue Cross/Blue Shield usage is at 99.3% in Network
  10. Out Patient stands at 98.6% in Network
  11. Professionals/doctors used In Network is at 99%
  12. There were 849 Newborns in 2011 with a 20% increase in C Sections
  13. There were 6 premature newborns that have cost between $400,000.00 and $1.2 million each
  14. The Blue Cross/Blue Shield In Network Dental Dentists have increased from 2136 to 2616 in 2011 or 480 new dentist have signed up. There is now 188,132 In Network Dentists in the USA saving members 18.6% of costs. Ask your dentist to sign up
  15. LINECO is going paperless with their new computer system. This should move documents to your files a lot faster
  16. A LINECO Health Reimbursement Account has been established to start in June. Details are to follow.

 CJ Construction has made LINECO whole for all owed money.

North Western Electric has some outstanding debts.

The next LINECO Trustee meeting is scheduled for June 18th and 19th.

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