Business Manager’s Report
Dear Brothers & Sisters
I want to start off by thanking all of the officers and the membership of Local 654 for all of your support. I would also like to congratulate the officers that were recently elected for the 2019-2022 term and thank the officers not returning, for their dedication and hard work they gave over the past years, it was greatly appreciated and it was my pleasure working with all of you.
The local has seen its largest growth in market shares, benefits, and wages in recent years. This was not by the accomplishment of one individual, this was achieved because of the hard work and innovative thinking of the officers and membership of this local. I have been a member for almost 30 years and can say I’ve never been prouder to call Local 654 my home.
With this marking the 80th anniversary for our Local, we started looking at old documents at the Union Hall. When you see wage rate sheets from 1939 with a scale of $1.37 per hour for a JW and $0.60 cents per hour for an apprentice, you start to realize how far we’ve come and appreciate the sacrifices the men and women before us have made. We have framed and hung many of these documents in the main hallway, from the first minutes in 1938 when the original 15 members were meeting to organize, to some of the first wage rate sheets and the first healthcare benefit book showing what was covered. One of the most interesting being a fee of $3.00 for a home care doctors visit. We welcome the membership to stop by and see all these documents and pictures.
I would also like to focus on what we have accomplished in the past few years. The leadership of Local 654 is always looking for new ways to increase work opportunities for its membership. Local 654 now has the highest percentage of market share in the third district of the IBEW at 62%. Since 2009, we have increased our market share by 28%. We have taken some innovative steps over the years to reach these levels and will continue to focus our efforts on increasing these numbers. Below I want to highlight a few other points of interest with the Local Union.
Defined Benefit Pension: Since 2015, the funding for the DB has increased 15% we are now at 95.6%. The average increase throughout the Third District was 7%. This accomplishment was because the foresight of the trustees of this Local Union being proactive to any market correction.
Healthcare: Over the last 5 years, this Local has seen an average increase of 1.5% per year in healthcare cost. In the past, increases have been as high as 18%. To lower the cost,, trustees have taken a more hands-on approach in negotiating the contract and implementing programs such as “Know Your Numbers”.
Automating Health and Welfare information: We have been working diligently over the last year to design membership information page. This secure page will give you access to your up to date Healthcare & Pension credits, along with hours worked each month. We’re hoping to launch this program very soon.
Again, I would like to thank the membership for their time and support in making Local 654 one of the premier Locals in the IBEW.
LOCAL UNION NO.654, IBEW
Paul A. Mullen