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2020 Employee Communications | Scorecard Information | Frequently Asked Questions | Understanding Unions | What are my rights? | Union Authorization Cards | Union Membership | Collective Bargaining | Money Matters | Labor Strikes | Historic Organizing Activity at IPC | Glossary

2020 Employee Communications


Scorecard Information

IPC Avista NV Energy Rocky Mountain NorthWestern Pacific Power
COMPENSATION
Incentive Target 6% $667 2% N/A 2% N/A
Wage Increase 2020 2.75% 3.00% 2.50% 3.50% 2.70% 2.50%
Wage Increase 2019 3.00% 3.00% 3.00% 2.50% 2.50% 3.50%
Wage Increase 2018 3.00% 3.00% 3.00% 2.00% 2.25% 2.50%
Wage Increase 2017 2.75% 3.00% 3.00% 2.00% 2.00% 2.00%
Wage Increase 2016 3.00% 3.00% 2% + 2.5% Lump Sum 2.00% 2.00% 2.00%
RETIREMENT PROGRAMS
Pension 1.2 X FAP X YOS 1.2 X FAP X YOS N/A N/A N/A N/A
Grandfathered/Closed Pensions 1.5 X FAP X YOS
(hired before 1/1/11)
1.5 X FAP X YOS
(hired before 1/1/11)
DB ended in 2010
Cash Balance Ended 2017
DB ended in 1999
Cash balance ended 2013
DB ended in 1998
Cash Balance ended in 2009
DB ended in 2006
Annunity Plan ended in 2011
Pensionable Wages Base Salary + Incentive + OT + ROT Base Salary N/A N/A N/A N/A
Full Retirement Age/YOS Age 62 Age 62 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Early Retirement Reductions 4-5% reduction per year under 62 5% reduction per year under 62 N/A N/A N/A N/A
401k Eligible Earnings Base Salary + Incentive Base Salary + Incentive + OT All Cash Compensation Base Salary + OT Base Salary + OT Base Salary + OT + Premiums
401k Match Eligible Earnings Base Salary + Incentive Base Salary + Incentive + OT All Cash Compensation Base Salary Base Salary + OT Base Salary + OT + Premiums
401k Company Match Contribution 4% 6% 6% 3.4-5.1% based on YOS 3.6-6% based on YOS 5%
401k Additional Contribution N/A N/A 4% 4% 5-7% based on Age/YOS 4-6% based on Age/YOS
TIME OFF PROGRAMS
Paid Time Off -Days/Year (New Hire) 15 19 21 9 15 10
Paid Time Off -Days/Year (30 YOS) 32 38 41 30 32 30
Sick N/A N/A N/A 10 N/A 10
Paid Time Off Max Accrual 480 750 80 80 Vac / 200 Sick 480 320 Vac / No limit Sick
Hours Over Max Accrual Forfeited See below Foreited Hours over max roll into Supplemental STD/WC Bank Paid out at 75% Forfeited
Sell Paid Time Off N/A 120 hours at 100%, rest of annual accrual at 80% N/A N/A 75% of base rate N/A
Buy Paid Time Off N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Additional Time Off Programs Parental Leave – 2 weeks N/A Time-in-lieu for on-call: Use up to 200 hrs, Bank up to 200 hrs, Cash out 100% Supplemental STD/WC Bank, no limit, paid at 65% into HRA at retirement N/A N/A
Time off Payout Provision 100% 100% 100% Vac 100% / Sick 100% of 160 hours 100% Vac 100% / Sick-paid at 65% in HRA at retirement
Paid Holidays/Year 11 7 10 10 10 11
Bereavement Days 3 In Paid Time Off In Paid Time Off 3 In Paid Time Off Unknown
Military Duty Leave Supplement Pay Provided Unpaid Unpaid Unpaid Unpaid Unknown
BENEFIT PROGRAMS
Benefit Cost Sharing 80/20 90/10 82/18 75/25 75-100/25-0 based on YOS 78/22
Standard Medical Plan Premium –  EE/Month $33.15 $83.42 Unknown Unknown $148-$0 based on YOS Unknown
Standard Medical Plan Premium –  Family/Month $494.54 $211.00 Unknown Unknown $494-$0 based on YOS Unknown
Deductible/Year – EE $500 $300 $1,000 $300 $300 $300
Deductible/Year – Family $500 per person $900 $2,000 $900 $600 $900
Out of Pocket Max/Year – EE $3,000 $1,500 $2,000 $2,000 $1,000 $2,000
Out of Pocket Max/Year – Family $6,000 $4,500 $5,000 $4,000 $2,000 $4,000
Medical Co-Insurance 80% 80% 90% Unknown 80% Unknown
Medical Co-Payment N/A $20.00 N/A Unknown N/A Unknown
HRA Contribution N/A $400 $500 EE / $1000 Family N/A N/A N/A
Short-Term Disability 75% 60-100% based on YOS 100% for 4 wks, then 80% 75% 60-100% based on YOS 75%
STD Waiting Period 40 Hours 40 Hours 40 Hours 40 Hours 24 Hours 40 Hours
Long-Term Disability 66.67% 60% 60% 60% 60% 60%
Workers Compensation 100% 80% 85% 75% 66.67-100% based on YOS 75%
CALLOUT PRACTICES
Overtime 1.5x 2x 1.5x 1.5x 2x 2x
Callout Pay Rate 2x 2x 2x 2x after 16 & on holiday 2x 2x + 25%-50% premium
On Call Requirement Call rotation required Encouraged, not required Voluntary Expected to respond to call. Rural area offices have required call rotation. Availability List Required Voluntary
Overtime Distribution N/A Equal distribution Equal distribution Equal distribution Equal distribution Equal distribution
Minimum Call Out 1 hr before 10pm, 2 hrs between 10pm and 6am 1.5 hrs, 2 hrs 10pm-6am 2 hrs, hours worked if shift starts in less than 2 hrs 2 hrs, hours worked if shift starts in less than 2 hrs 2 hrs, 1 hr if called less than 1 hr before start of shift 2 hrs, hours worked if shift starts in less than 2 hrs
Standby Time 2 hours straight pay per weekend day and on holiday N/A $5.76 per hour available for duty or Time in Lieu (8 hours for weekends on call and 8 hours for 5 weekdays) Only in rural areas: 1 hour straight pay per day and 2 hours straight pay on holiday N/A 1 hour of straight pay for 8 hours of standby, 2 hours for 8 on a holiday (limited number of employees)
First Responder Shift Scheduling N/A Serviceman – Monday-Saturday Service Employees – 5 days beginning any day of week, 6am-11pm Troubleshooters – Weekend Coverage Rotation, Afternoon shifts Serviceman – Non-rotating shifts 5 days per week, weekends and holidays District Serviceman – 8 hr shifts covering weekends, holidays, and nights
Shift Differential for First Responders 5% for all hours worked if 50% of shift is outside of 8am-5pm N/A $1.75/hr afternoon (12pm-8pm), $1.95/hr night (8pm-4am) 4% afternoon, 7% night, 2% weekend $.70/hr afternoon & night N/A
Safety Rest – Call out Callout 10pm-6am – hour for hour paid rest period. Paid for rest crossing over regular work period Paid for rest crossing over regular work period Paid for rest crossing over regular work period Night Call Out – Hour for Hour paid rest up to 4 hours Required to work regular shift unless fatigued
Safety Rest – Extended Emergency Response 16 hours work, 8 hours paid rest 24 hours work, 8 hours paid rest at straight time rate 16 hours work, 8 hours rest 24 hours work, 8 hours paid rest at straight time rate Unknown 24 hours work, 8 hours rest paid at double time
Overtime Meals Company will pay for missed meals due to restoration activities Missed meals paid for or provided by company, pay for  reasonable amount of time to eat Missed meals and meal periods (30 min) at OT paid for by company or Pay for time and meal ($32.03) Company will reimburse employees for missed meals: $10 for breakfast, $11 for lunch, $ 20 for dinner Hot meals will be provided at regular intervals until work stops Option to take meal break or be paid 1/2 hour at double time rate in lieu of meal
OTHER PRACTICES
Travel Allowance for Traveling Positions 5% Travel Premium N/A $3.00/hr 7% Travel Premium N/A N/A
Housing Allowance (Resort Areas) Long Valley $182.50/month Wood River $358.50/month N/A N/A Park City, UT – 8.5% N/A N/A
Equipment Allowance Company Provided – Climbing Belts, Gaffs, Harness, battery powered hand tools, etc. Safety Straps provided on an exchange basis Required tools will be provided Proper tools and PPE will be supplied 50% of cost of required tools Proper tools and PPE will be supplied
Clothing Allowance $1,500 new hires, $1,000 annually with $500 carryover
(FR, boots, rain gear)
Unknown $1,750 new hires (no rain gear) FR Clothing is provided
$80/year for safety shoes
Required uniforms and rain gear will be provided 5-shirts & pants, 1-coat, 1-rain gear, 1-sweatshirt
$120/year safety shoes
Phone Allowance $55/month Unknown Phone provided to key personnel Company paid cell phone is provided Unknown Company paid cell phone is provided

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Frequently Asked Questions

Recent union activity has surfaced several questions regarding unionization and what it might mean for employees at Idaho Power Company. The following FAQ will provide answers to some common questions.

Current Union Activity

Employee Rights

Election Information

Wage & Benefits

Hiring / Job Selection

Right to Work

Union Membership

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Understanding Unions

A union is an organization whose purpose is to collectively bargain the wages, hours, and conditions of employment of a group of employees. It acts as the employees’ exclusive representative for these purposes.  For the union to become your exclusive representative, enough employees must show an interest in being represented.

Unions have had their place in labor history and may still today in companies that do not provide a safe working environment or do not demonstrate values of integrity and respect.

Is Idaho Power Company anti-union?

No. Idaho Power Company (IPC) supports employees’ right to determine for themselves whether or not they think unionization is beneficial. IPC believes that its role is to make sure that you have an informed choice as you are faced with these important decisions.

For over 100 years, however, the employees at IPC have chosen not to have union representation in our work environment.

Idaho Power’s position on union representation is clearly defined in our Employee Standards Manual stating:

Since 1916, IPC has proudly and successfully carried out its responsibilities to its employees without the interference of outside, third-party labor union representation. IPC has consistently adhered to the following guiding principles:

1. Fairness, honesty, and respectful treatment

2. Direct, frank, and open communication

3. Good working conditions, and

4. Competitive wages and benefits for all employees 

Throughout its history, IPC has resolved differences in an atmosphere of mutual trust, while maintaining its ability to consider the individual circumstances of each employee. IPC is dedicated to continuously enhancing its relationship with employees, and does not believe outside intervention of union representation would provide anything beneficial to employees. For that reason, IPC shall oppose union organization efforts with every legal means available.

This site has been developed to provide facts on various aspects of unionization including authorization cards, union dues, and collective bargaining to educate employees about union representation.

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What are my rights?

When discussing unions, it is important for you to understand your rights. Congress created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 1935 to administer the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) which protects the right of employees:

  • Form, join or assist a union
  • Ask questions of supervisors and management
  • Provide facts you learn about unions to your coworkers
  • Discuss your opinions about your work environment with other coworkers or managers wherever you and your coworkers gather for discussions of this type
  • Explain any previous experiences you have had with unions to others
  • Refuse to speak to or be bothered by union organizers (this includes ignoring telephone calls/emails/text messages/social media contacts from union organizers.)
  • To turn union organizers away from your home
  • You can decide to sign an authorization card if you are in favor of having a union as your exclusive representative
  • You may also choose not to sign an authorization card if you are not in favor of it

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Union Authorization Cards

One of the union’s first steps in undertaking an organizing effort is generally to obtain what are known as “authorization cards.”

An authorization card is a document expressing support for the union and requires your signature. Every employee has a protected legal right to decide whether to sign a union authorization card, free from threats, restraint, harassment, coercion, or misrepresentation. 

Union Membership

One of the most important things for employees to understand is that being part of a union is being part of an organization. As with organizations, unions have specific sets of rules that members are expected to abide by. By joining a union, an employee is subject to two sets of rules – the working rules established by their employer, and the working rules established by the union. If you are looking for information on a union, be sure you take the time to review a union constitution to understand some of the contractual obligations you may be signing on for.

Common Union Constitution Clauses

The following are some common areas that employees are encouraged to review in a union constitution:

Members in Arrears

Union constitutions will generally have information concerning ramifications for members that are not staying current on their dues payments. These ramifications can include fines and additional fees. One of the last available options is being removed from the union, so don’t think that you will be able to get out just by not paying your dues!

Misconduct

Union members may also be subject to misconduct rules instituted by the union. Some of these misconduct rules strictly cover any efforts to remove the union from a work area. So, if you choose to join a union and later decide that it was not the right choice for you, be careful in your actions as it may lead to additional fines and legal actions levied by the union.

Union Security

A union security clause is a provision in union contracts requiring employees, as a condition of employment, to become and remain union members or pay union dues as a condition of employment. Because Idaho is a right to work state, employees cannot be compelled to pay dues and become a member as a condition of employment.

However, unions often try to negotiate based on the employees’ primary work location, and Oregon is not a right to work state. Therefore, the union may try to bargain a Union Security clause for Idaho Power’s Oregon employees. For example, Portland General Electric’s previous contract (March 1, 2009-February 28, 2015) with IBEW Local 125, contains such a provision:

4.4       In case any employee shall become delinquent under the provisions of the foregoing section or shall fail to become or to remain a member of the Union in good standing, the Union will notify the Company’s Vice President, Human Resources, or other designated Company representative, of such fact in writing, and the Company will notify the employee before the end of the second (2nd) workday following receipt of such notice, that such employee’s employment will cease upon the expiration of six (6) workdays after delivery of such notice, unless within twenty-four (24) hours after delivery of such notice the employee shall exhibit to the supervisor a receipt or certificate issued by the Union showing that such employee has been placed in or restored to good standing.

The clause states that regular employees must become members of the union as a condition of employment within thirty calendar days after the date of employment. The provision also states that an employee who fails to pay union dues or initiation fees must be discharged by the employer at the union’s request.

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Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining is a process of negotiation between an employer and a group of employees, or a representative of the employee group such as a union, on all aspects of working conditions including wages, working hours, training, health and safety issues, overtime, grievances, and more.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) defines “collective bargaining” as follows:

“[T]o bargain collectively is the performance of the mutual obligation of the employer and the representative of the employee to meet at reasonable times and confer in good faith with respect to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment, or the negotiation of an agreement or any question arising thereunder, and the execution of a written contract incorporating any agreement reached if requested by either party, but such obligation does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession.” National Labor Relations Act, Section 8(d).

Employers are required to bargain in “good faith” if a union is elected, but the employer does not have to agree to anything just because the union wants it. This is especially true if it is not in the best interest of the employer, its employees or its customers. Unions, like the IBEW, may promise employees that they will negotiate with their employer to get employees better wages, benefits and working conditions. But that is not the whole truth.

Despite the union’s claims, if a union were to become the representative for employees, it would only win two things:

(1) the right and legal duty to speak for all employees in the bargaining unit; and

(2) the right to negotiate through the process of collective bargaining.

Union representation does not automatically mean that employees will receive better wages and benefits than they had prior to union representation. In fact, bringing in a union costs money to both the employer (for the expense of the bargaining process) and employees (for the payment of union fees and dues). Examples of this include:

  • The National Labor Relations Board has said: “Collective bargaining is potentially hazardous for employees” and “as a result of such negotiations, employees could possibly wind up with less benefits after unionization than before.” Coach & Equipment Sales Corp., 228 NLRB No. 51
  • The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also has said: “The right to union representation does not imply a right to a better deal.” NLRB v. Tomco Comm., Inc., 567 F.2d 871 (9th Cir. 1978)

Bargaining can take months and even years, before employees even see a contract. And, because neither side must agree to any of the opposition’s suggestions, some negotiations never result in a final contract. The outcome of negotiations is uncertain – you may get more, you may get less, or you may stay the same while paying union dues. Despite union promises, there is no guarantee you will improve or even keep what you currently have.  Before deciding whether union representation makes sense for them, employees should ask the union representative to sign a written guarantee that employees cannot lose existing wage and benefit levels through the collective bargaining process.

Common Contract Clauses

In almost every contract there are certain clauses that unions bargain for first which generally benefit the union, not the employees. They include:

    • UNION RECOGNITION CLAUSE:  This clause identifies the union as the “sole and exclusive bargaining agent” for the employees.  As a result, the union will be involved in any workplace issues an employee wishes to discuss with management.
      • Idaho Power Company strives to maintain an open work environment between management and employees without the need for third party representation. This is demonstrated by our core values of safety first, integrity always, and respect for all.
    • DUES CHECK-OFF CLAUSE:  This clause specifies automatic deduction of union dues and fees directly from an employee’s paycheck before the employee even receives it.
      • Idaho Power Company believes employees should receive complete paychecks free of unnecessary dues and/or fees.

Another common clause that demonstrates the limitations of union promises is:

  • MANAGEMENT RIGHTS CLAUSE:  Clause explaining that the employer has the right to allocate resources, manage facilities, and direct the workforce. This gives management the right to hire, promote, transfer, and demote employees, to layoff, to subcontract or contract out work, to establish and modify policies, rules and regulations governing safety, performance, procedures and conduct.
    • Under such a clause, Idaho Power Company would still have the right to operate the business whether the union is present or not.

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Money Matters

One common area of concern when discussing unions is money.  Unions are profit seeking organizations, so it is important for you to understand the financial obligations you would be considering when looking at union representation.

Dues

Union dues are what you pay to help support the unions’ operating costs. Dues are calculated in different ways depending up on the local union, but generally include a regular monthly due as well as a percentage of members wages. In addition, many unions charge an initiation fee when an individual first joins. This information is readily available on annual LM-2 forms that unions are required to file with the U.S. Department of Labor.  The following table provides details of union membership dues with neighboring utility companies:

2019 Rates of Dues & Fees

 

IBEW 77 IBEW 57 IBEW 1245 IBEW 44 IBEW 291
Initiation Fees $20 -$100 $3 – $136.84 $50 $35 or $37 $100
Regular Dues/Fees $1.25-$227.51 $2 – $176.36 1 – 1/2% of wages $24 or $43 $41.70
Working Dues/Fees 1.25% of gross 1-2% of gross 2% 1.5 gr or 2x straight pay 4% gross

What could the cost be on a monthly or yearly basis with an average salary of $75,000/year?  For an example, let’s look at IBEW 1245 with an assumption that the regular monthly dues would be 1.25% of the working wage (average of range listed on 2018 LM-2) and the working dues would be 2% of the working wage:

Annual Salary at age 30  

$75,000

Monthly Salary  

$6,250

Regular Monthly Dues at 1.25%  

$78.13

Regular Working Dues at 2%  

$125.00

Sample Monthly Dues  

$203.13

Sample Annual Dues  

$2,437.56

In this hypothetical example, this individual would be spending nearly $2,500/year on union dues. Consider how much money this individual would have earned at retirement age if they had invested in their 401K and received company match? Assume a 3% rate of return, this individual would have an account balance of $319,361 after 30 years of participation investing $2,437.56 annually!

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Labor Strikes

One of the most visible aspects of union representation is labor strikes. A strike is a work stoppage caused by employees’ refusal to work, typically to protest an employer decision. The right to strike is protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), but not all strikes are legal. We have provided some basic information about legal and illegal strikes.

When does a labor strike occur?

Labor strikes generally occur when collective bargaining has reached an impasse and negotiations are not proceeded towards resolution.

Is a strike legal?

A strike is legal – and therefore protected by the NLRA – if the employees are striking for economic reasons to protest an unfair labor practice by the employer. A strike can also become unlawful if strikers engage in serious misconduct, such as violence or threats, physically preventing other from entering or leaving the workplace, or sit-down strikes, in which employees refuse to leave the workplace and refuse to work. These strikes are not protected by the NLRA.

Who decides when a labor strike occurs?

Union leaders will generally ask the union membership to either adopt the contract as has been negotiated with the employer, or to go on labor strike to demonstrate their disapproval.  A vote is generally held among union members, many requiring a two-thirds majority to initiate a strike.

Occasionally, unions may request members from other chapters participate in a strike as a “showing of solidarity”.  This could mean that, even though the union members did not have conflicts with their current employer, they may be pulled into a strike situation with another employer based on their union affiliation.

What does it mean for union members?

A labor strike may be very impactful to union members in a variety of ways:

    • In a strike situation, union employees typically do not report to work for the employer, meaning they would not receive normal wages from their employer.
    • Employees that are involved in a labor strike are generally ineligible for unemployment compensation.
    • Unions may provide some level of financial assistance, but this is typically only a small fraction of their regular pay.
    • Also, prolonged strike situations may result in employee’s losing employer sponsored benefits requiring the striking members to utilize COBRA benefits.
    • Striking members are not guaranteed job protection, and the employer may legally hire permanent replacements.
    • Employers are not legally obligated to meet the demands of striking workers – rather, they are obligated to continue bargaining “in good faith.”
      • In a local example from 2012, members from IBEW 1269 went on strike for nearly one month only to return to work without a contract (Salt Lake Tribune).

What if I want to work during a strike?

This is a personal decision but if you want to work during a strike you must be certain that you are not a union member. Many courts have held that unions have the power to discipline their members. This discipline can include significant fines and then suing you to enforce the payment of the fine.

How long can a strike last? 

Labor strikes can vary in length from very brief periods of time to much longer periods.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the 2018 year, there was a total of 20 work stoppages involving 485,000 employees and 2,815,400 days idle. Using this information, the average work stoppage in 2018 was approximately 9 days per employee. For an employee with a salary of $75,000/year, that could be a potential loss of $2,586.

There are situations in which labor strikes can last much longer and lead to a complete lockout.  In one example from 2012, union employees were on lockout for more than one year from American Crystal Sugar over a contract dispute.

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Historic Organizing Activity at IPC

Unions have attempted to organize Idaho Power Company employees on multiple occasions.  The following information provides details on union organizing efforts that have taken place including links to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decisions:

2012

IBEW Local 125 sought to represent approximately 31 employees in, “seven job classifications: Generation Dispatcher, Senior Grid Operator; Grid Operator; Grid Operator, Entry; Grid Operator Trainee; Balancing Operator I; and Balancing Operator II.”

  • NLRB Finding – The NLRB Regional Director concluded, “Inasmuch as I have found that the only unit in which the Petitioner has indicated a willingness to proceed to an election is not appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining and the Petitioner has not made an alternative request for a broader unit, I shall dismiss the petition.”

1996

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) filed a petition seeking to represent employees in the Power Supply department as well as unfair labor practice charges against IPC.  The petition was ultimately dropped due to a lack of support by most of the employees in the proposed bargaining unit.

1969

The IBEW, Local No. 283, sought to represent “all of the employees in the Employer’s (IPC) Eastern Division, including the employees of the Employer’s American Falls power plant, and excluding office clerical employees, professional employees, guards, and supervisors as defined in the Act (National Labor Relations Act).”

  • NLRB Finding – The NLRB concluded, ” . . . the employees of the Employer’s Eastern Division share a sufficiently separate community of interests from other employees as to warrant a separate bargaining relationship, should they so desire.”
  • NLRB Election Results – Most of Idaho Power’s employees demonstrated that they did not desire to be represented by a union by voting against it.

1960

The IBEW sought to represent “transmission dispatchers, power plant operating and maintenance employees, all employees engaged in construction and maintenance of transmission lines, and all employees in the electrical department of (IPC’s) four geographical divisions.”

  • NLRB Finding – The NLRB concluded, “The primary unit sought by the Petitioner (IBEW) excluding the employees indicated does not correspond to any administrative subdivision of the Employer’s (IPC) operations, nor may it be found appropriate on the basis of any bargaining history”.

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Company Contacts

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding unions, please feel free to contact any of the following individuals:


Glossary

The following terms are important items to understand regarding unions:

Assessments – fees, fines, charges and penalties charged to employees by their unions, above monthly dues amounts. Assessments are sometimes discipline based, and other times may benefit a union initiative – such as for special programs or political contributions.

Authorization Cards – are cards circulated by union organizations seeking employee signatures, usually to demonstrate a basis for a secret-ballot election.

By-laws – are union procedures dictating how the organization will function and how its membership will conduct themselves. Violation of a union’s by-laws is often punishable by fines or other assessments.

Collective Bargaining – the process of offer and counter-offer in which parties, generally an employer and a union, attempt to reach agreement. If no agreement can be reached, it is said that the parties are at impasse, which can possibly lead to strikes. It also may include the internal negotiation that occurs within one of the parties during the negotiation process, such as between union representatives and their members.

Collective Bargaining Agreement – any forms of an agreement stemming from collective bargaining to establish the conditions of employment for a unit of union-represented employees, including dues withholding, grievance procedures and duration of the contract.

Collective Bargaining Unit – a group of employees designated for union representation.

Decertification –the process in which a group of unionized employees seeks to withdraw from union membership, usually based on the outcome of a secret-ballot election. The process begins with a petition to the National Labor Relations Act by the represented employees.  Management employees are prohibited from participating in any decertification efforts.

Dues– amounts paid to the union by union members, usually a regular monthly fee as well as a percentage of working wages. Union dues do not include additional assessments or fines the union may levy on members.

Excelsior list – a list the NLRB requires employers to file within two days after a union election has been directed stating the names and addresses of all eligible bargaining unit employees, as well as their home and cell phone numbers and personal email address if the Company has them.

Fines- are financial penalties charged by a union against its members for violating union by-laws or other rules, such as crossing a picket line to work.

Good Faith Bargaining– is the expectation that all parties will approach a collective bargaining process with the sincere resolve to reach a collective bargaining agreement. This includes the expectation to have adequate representation of authorized representatives, to negotiate on all relevant issues, to meet at reasonable times and places as frequently as possible, to avoid unnecessary delays or cancellations, and to provide necessary information in a timely manner.

Grievance– an official complaint against a unionized employee, their union or an employer relating to the employment of the employee, or the conduct of the individual, the union or the company.

LM-2 Report – is an annual report filed by each union to the federal government, detailing annual spending activities of the union including, but not limited to, salaries paid to union officials. LM-2 reports are available on-line at the U.S. Department of Labor website.

 Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative.  The agency also acts to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by employers and unions.

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) – also referred to as the Wagner Act, is a federal law passed in 1935 protecting the rights of employees in the private sector to engage in activity including creating labor unions, discussing workplace issues among coworkers, engaging in collective bargaining, and participating in labor strikes.

Right to work – is a designation by a state not to require compulsory unionization. Currently, there are 28 states (including Idaho) that recognize the right to work where union membership is not mandatory for employees.

Strike – an event, often following impasse in collective bargaining in which a union calls its represented members off the job, during which time employees do not receive paychecks or receive insurance benefits.

Unfair labor practice (ULP) – a violation of labor regulations by either an employer or a union. ULP “charges” are allegations filed with the NLRB. ULP “complaints” are charges that the NLRB has determined have merit for further proceedings.

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