January ’15 Labor Citizen

Brothers and sisters:

While New Year’s is traditionally a season for making promises to ourselves and loved ones on self-improvement issues we know in or hearts we will never keep, there is another way of looking at those resolutions that can result in actually making progress to personal improvement.

Anyone that has worked with me in the last three years has heard me repeatedly use these two phrases: first things first and this job is only hard if we make it hard. The two phrases go hand in hand to remind the listener that every large job is really many small jobs that when strung together give a large result.

Think about the hotel going up next to the convention center. The project relies daily on hundreds of tasks, both large and small, being completed in a craftsman like fashion and timely manner. When the job is complete the city will have a 32-floor jewel in the heart of downtown all because every tradesman put first things first and made each job as easy as they could.
Next time you are on a job that at first glance looks impossible, remember first things first and the job is only hard if you make it hard. I’ll bet things go far easier than you’d otherwise expect.

Learning a new skill is a lot like building a structure, it takes time, focus and determination to master. IUEC Local 17 has several continuing education opportunities on-tap for our members. There are welding, scaffolding and hydraulic controller and troubleshooting classes all available through NEIEP. Each one of these classes are highly recommended to become a more well-rounded constructor. For information on openings call Business Manager Tim Moennich at 216-431-8088 or email him at TMoennich@iueclocal17.org.

As of January 1 there were many changes to dollar and cent related issues for the IUEC. First, the IRS millage rate increased to 57.5 cents per mile for business use of a vehicle. Second, every IUEC member received an increase in the amount paid as part of their defined benefits plan. Mechanics received 75 cents in the check and $1.60 in employer paid benefit contributions. All assistant mechanics, apprentices and probationary apprentices received a raise based on the 75 cents given to the mechanics. If you have any questions about what your rate should be, please call Tim at the hall.

The third and most important change was that the Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Pension Plan voted to increase the benefit rate from $98 per credit year to $103 per credit year for all hours worked through June 30, 2015. Every hour worked after that date will be credited at $110 per credit year. One credit year equals 1700 hours worked. Someone retiring between January 1 and June 30 with 30 years worked at 2000 hours a year will have a defined benefit of $3529 per month. Someone with 15 working years at $103 per credit and 15 working years at $110 per credit will have a defined benefit of $3758 per month.

Also, every retiree received an increase of between one and three percent depending on when they retired from the trade.
On the organizing front, Business Manager Tim Moennich and International Organizer Jim Lowery have a meeting with Gable Elevator later this month. The most recent rumor that Florida-based non-signatory Oracle Elevator was purchasing Gable turned out to be false. As of now, Oracle has passed on purchasing Gable.

Operating Engineers Local 18 is using non-union contractor CT Taylor to build their new hall on Triplett Boulevard in Akron. The operators are refusing to hire union laborers, finishers and iron workers for their new hall construction. It was not that long ago that they attempted to have an out-of-state non-signatory elevator company install a car in their current building on Prospect. It was quick work on the local’s part that turned that job around and had it finished by Local 17 members. The phone number of the Operating Engineer’s International General President James Callahan is 202-429-9100. Call him and let him know what you think about the situation.

As of this writing there are 18 mechanics and two apprentices on the bench.