WASHINGTON, DC (DECEMBER 12, 2022) – The Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO today announced after a year of intense negotiations, about 30 UWUA members who work as wind technicians successfully agreed to an inaugural contract with DTE Energy. The agreement, which was recently ratified, resolves several issues members sought to address including wage rates, healthcare costs, vacation time and existing work rules.
“This contract sets a high bar on wages and working conditions specifically for those working in the renewable energy sector, an industry that is often non-union,” said UWUA President James Slevin. “These members envisioned a better future for themselves and went out and made it happen. While it took a lot of patience and persistence, these individuals will all hold their heads a little higher knowing they can better provide for their families in the immediate term and well into the future.”
Under the contract, the members are now afforded the same benefits and protections as all Local 223 members who work for DTE Energy. The contract increases wind technicians’ wages by an average of 10.9% in the first year, plus another 15% over the next two years. Senior wind techs bargained an 8.9% average wage increase in the first year and an additional 8.5% increase in the second year in addition to a ratification bonus. Notably, members also secured better health insurance coverage with lower deductibles and they negotiated more vacation time with more flexible vacation policies.
“It was a big win for everyone involved and we’re glad to welcome these members into the Local 223 family,” said UWUA Local 223 President Juanita Ray. “A lot of people talk about green jobs, but these are the good, family-supporting green jobs we should all be talking about. This was a long process, but everyone’s hard work paid off.”
Chartered in 1945, the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO represents 45,000 active members employed in America’s utility sectors including the electric, gas, water, and related professional and service industries. James Slevin is UWUA’s National President. For more information visit https://uwua.net.