Tentative Agreement Reached with NRG Energy
Message from Business Manager Jeff Davis
Late in the evening of Monday, September 29th the negotiating committees of Local 29 and NRG Energy came to a tentative agreement, in principal, that would achieve a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the two parties. The two committees met again on Tuesday, September 30th to get the commitments made into a final written document. At the end of that day, there was still work to be done on the proper documentation so a one day extension was agreed to reach a conclusion. Both sides met again on Wednesday, October 1st, to finish the final legal agreement. Both sides have agreed to an extension of the existing agreement to allow the Union time to put together a contract resume for the affected membership and to schedule a contract explanation and ratification vote on the new agreement. Wage increases will be retroactive to October 1st if the contract is ratified.
The new agreement is for six years from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2020. Each year of the contract contains a percentage wage increase that exceeds any previous raise since these plants were owned by Duquesne Light Company. The contract also contains improvements in shift differential each year and two adjustments in the meal allowance.
Employee benefits was the biggest stumbling block in achieving an agreement. NRG wanted to have all Local 29 members fit into their platform package of benefits. Through negotiations, agreements were made to have a reasonable transition spread over several years from existing benefit levels and plans to the Company's benefits.
A number of benefits had changes made to fit into the NRG package. Improvements were made to the 401K plan, Severance Plan, Long Term Disability (LTD) and Life Insurance plans. Retire Medical will be reduced from five years of eligibility to three years effective January 1, 2017 and Retiree Life Insurance will be eliminated effective October 1, 2019.
Clerical positions will be upgraded in the new contract and Power Plant Workers will be able to progress to Equipment Operators if they desire.
Several items were improved for the Mobile Maintenance members, travel language and payments, layoff language, and the ability to return back to Mobile after bidding into a plant. Also language was agreed to on replacing Local 29 members in Mobile and for resolving outstanding Grievances with Mobile.
The meetings for the Contract explanation and vote will be held on Thursday, October 9th at the Krivan Hall, located at 628 Garfield St, Springdale, PA 15144. The meeting times that day will be, 1:00 PM, 3:15 PM, 4:30 PM, and 6:15 PM.