It’s gratifying that both sides were able to come together and emerge with a fair settlement that provides important protections for hardworking members, company and the communities they serve, particularly in the areas of staffing and safety.
Eversource is the new name of NStar and Northeast Utilities, and is New England’s largest utility. About 1,900 of UWUA Local 369’s 3,000 members work for Eversource, and the two sides were working out disagreements relating to staffing, healthcare and the elimination of a five-year no layoff clause. The prior contract had expired at midnight on June 1, 2015.
Staffing was a particular concern given the aging of the workforce and the fact that it takes multiple years to effectively train the linemen responsible for maintaining lines and responding to power outages.
“During the snowiest winter on record, we were able to prevent any major widespread power outages, largely due to the fact that we have such highly trained, experienced and committed workers,” said Dan Hurley, UWUA Local 369 president. “It’s critically important that we maintain training and adequate staffing levels so that we can quickly and effectively respond to the storms and extreme weather that will inevitably occur.”