January ’21 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

Happy New Year to everyone in the trades.  We have all been working through an extraordinary time in our collective history and all have stories to tell.  The trades in Cleveland have been fortunate versus those in other areas or states.  Our jobs were considered essential and many of us lost no or very little time during this year.  Keep in mind those of your friends, family, Brothers and Sisters who lost loved ones and were denied the opportunity to hold them before they passed.  The voids left in their souls are hard to fill but, the passage of time will eventually give comfort and dull the sharp ache of loss.  Peace comes in time.

Congratulations to Brothers and Sister  Brian Bond, Matt Carlton, Bob Connelly, Felix DeJesus, Matt Herbold, Dave Horner, Pat Kelly, Andrea Rodriguez, Ernie Rodriguez, John Smith, and Dan Varga on passing the Mechanics Exam and receiving their journeyman card..  There are an additional eight apprentices eligible for the exam once they pass their last finals.

IUEC Local 17 has 20 apprentices still engaged in the educational program.  Those apprentices who finished 700 will advance to 800 and those from 600 will now be in 200.

The December mandatory meeting featured voting for the Local delegates to the International convention scheduled for August in San Diego.  Brothers Bill Lynsky, Tim Narowitz and John Patton with accompany Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. as delegates.  Due to COVID, it is unclear at this time whether the convention will be in person, virtual or some mixture of the two.

The Cleveland City Planning Commission  gave approval to several projects that will keep constructors working for a long time.  One is an eleven-story, 207 unit apartment building above the Cleveland Library MLK branch that is called Library lofts.  The second is a 24-story, 250 foot tall apartment building planned with 289 units.  The building will sit at the corner of East 106th and Chester and will dwarf One University Circle by fifteen feet.

If you are on a job that requires a flu shot prior to entry, know that receiving one is a personal preference.  The situation falls under the same requirements as background checks or mandatory drug testing.  The company has to first look for volunteers with no discharge, disciple or layoff due to refusal.  The company may, however, layoff an employee if there is insufficient work.  Check with your doctor about possible reactions to the shot if you are being asked to take one.

Those who were hired into the trade in 2015 will be receiving an increase in their vacation checks from six percent to eight percent on their industry hire date.  If you have a question about this or what your amount should be contact Business manger John Driscoll Jr at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.

As of this writing there are two mechanics and one apprentice on the bench.

January ’21 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

Happy New Year!  Raise your hand if you’re sad to see 2020 go?  I didn’t think so.  Here’s what’s going on in Local 17…

As of this writing work in Cleveland is strong with Schindler holding the lions share of new construction and modernization.  The other majors are holding their own and keeping as many employed as possible.  

Congratulations go out to Brothers Matt Carlton and Felix DeJesus and Sister Andrea Rodriguez for passing their Mechanics Exam.  This is that only unbiased evaluation of your knowledge as an elevator constructor you will every have.  Congratulations on your achievement and good luck to the remaining eight apprentices awaiting the exam.  

The Local 17 School Board has asked NEIEP to extend their apprentice list through September 2021.  The extension request is due to the ongoing pandemic.  During the time this list has been active, 12 new apprentices have started work in Local 17.

The Elevator Licensing Bill is once again making its way through the state legislature and is coming up for a committee vote.  If it passes out of the committee it will have to pass the State House and Senate before going to the Governor for his signature.  The bill would require the licensing of elevator constructors in the State of Ohio in a similar way that other trades are regulated by the state. 

The Children’s Christmas Party normally scheduled for the second Saturday of December was cancelled due to COVID-19.  

As of this writing the United Irish Society of Greater Cleveland, the sponsors of the annual Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade, are planning for the return of the event for 2021.  Local 17 is slated to march if the event is held

It was reported at the November meeting that the Local had as of that time five members off work for COVID or COVID-related exposure.  All members are encouraged to use masking, social distancing and hand washing as preventive measures as well as limiting exposure to others in group gatherings.

At the November nominations meeting, five members were nominated to attend the IUEC International Convention in San Diego this August.  The election will be held at the December meeting but, as of this writing it is questionable whether an in person gathering will be allowed by Laborers 310 whose hall we use for meetings.  All other officers were nominated without opposition except Conductor where Brother Al Jerson stepped aside in favor of Brother Chris Sipos.  

The 2021 wage rate sheets are out and available from Business Manager John Driscoll Jr by contacting him at the hall at 216-431-8088 or emailing him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.  A mechanic will see a $1.76 raise in the check which is a 3.28% increase in our total package.

The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to the family of Brother Josh Mitchell who passed away November 13.

As of this writing there are one mechanic and one apprentice on the bench.

Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don

DKnapik@windstream.net

December ’20 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

Congratulations go out to Brothers Matt Carlton and Felix DeJesus and Sister Andrea Rodriguez for passing their Mechanics Exam.  Good luck to the remaining eight apprentices awaiting the exam.

December 11 is the final day apprentices will have access to their unit exams through NEIEP’s distance learning portal.  Those who do not complete their exams with a passing grade will not be eligible to take their final exam the following week.  Apprentices must also have all their OJT hours submitted on time to continue to remain eligible to continue in the program.

The Local 17 School Board has asked NEIEP to extend their apprentice list through September 2021.  The extension request is due to the ongoing pandemic.  During the time this list has been active, 12 new apprentices have started work in Local 17.

The Elevator Licensing Bill is once again making its way through the state legislature and is coming up for a committee vote.  If it passes out of the committee it will have to pass the State House and Senate before going to the Governor for his signature.  The bill would require the licensing of elevator constructors in the State of Ohio in a similar way that other trades are regulated by the state. 

The Children’s Christmas Party normally scheduled for the second Saturday of December has been cancelled due to COVID-19.  

It was reported at the November meeting that the Local had as of that time five members off work for COVID or COVID related exposure.  All members are encouraged to use masking, social distancing and hand washing as preventive measures as well as limiting exposure to others in group gatherings.

As of this writing the United Irish Society of Greater Cleveland, the sponsors of the annual Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade, are planning for the return of the event for 2021.  IUEC Local 17 is slated to march if the event is held. 

The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to the family of Brother Josh Mitchell who passed away November 13.

As of this writing there are one mechanic and one apprentice on the bench.

December ’20 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

There’s a lot going on so let’s get to it…

For the first time since the announcement of the pandemic by the World Health Organization, Local 17 held a members meeting at the hall October 9.  Seating was spread out in accordance with CDC recommendations and face masks were mandatory.    This was also the first opportunity to swear in probationary apprentices and five new brothers took advantage of it.  Four of them had been previously sworn in at Executive Board meetings.

By the time the reaches your mailbox at the beginning of December the fall semester will be drawing to a close.  All apprentices should be working on the last few units of their modules and preparing for the final exams.  Do not fall behind on this work.  

Advancement in the trade depends on the timely completion of school work.  Given the special nature of the pandemic restrictions, this may be especially hard on those who learn best from in-person or hands-on instruction.  Keep working hard and ask questions of your mechanic and instructors.  There are many in the trade who are more than willing to share their knowledge.

If you are interested in taking a forklift class, NEIEP is willing to pay for online instruction since there are no plans for face-to-face instruction.  For information of how this works, contact Business Manager John Driscoll Jr. at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org or calling the hall at 216-431-8088.

For those taking callbacks at Thyssen, Local 17 has placed Bluestone Apartments, 25450 Euclid Ave on their list of two-man calls. 

The Trustees of the Elevator Constructors 401(k) and annuity plan have extended the COVID-19 distributions through December 15.

The December 13, 2020 and January 8, 2021 meetings are mandatory meetings for the election and installation of officers.  Fines will be levied for non-attendance.

The Children’s Christmas Party has been cancelled due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Where are they working?

Al Ward and Deven Shields doing a mod at the Federal Reserve for Otis,

Craig Nolty and Dan Koprowski at Astrup installing a four-stop for Otis,

John Logue and Pat Pollock at Fairview Village Apartments doing a mod for Otis,

Matt Pinchot and Andrea Rodriguez at the Federal Reserve doing a mod for Otis,

Bob Meyer, Dion Yatsko, Matt Ramser and three mechanics from Houston installing 14 cars at MetroGeneral Hospital for Schindler,

Shaun Yatsko and Chris Boggess at St. Clair Place doing a mod for Schindler,

Gary Thompson and Jason Mays at Penton Media finishing a 15-car mod for Schindler,

Pat McCann and Ric Supinski doing a door mod at UH Bishop for Schindler,

Ryan Todd And Brian Seither doing a four-car mod at Winton Place for Schindler,

Matt Weingart and Lucas Janke doing a mod at UH Bishop for Schindler,

Joe Simcic and Jay Schaffer at Great Lakes Cheese Shop in Hiram installing two two-stops for Schindler,

Tom Peska and Brian Seither installing one car at NASA for Schindler,

Brendan Hyland and Russell Barrows installing a five-stop at Grosvenor Place in Tremont for Kone,

Drew Williams and Jakob Mullett doing escalator clean downs at Browns Stadium for Kone,

Joe Gauker and James Hirz at the Quarter on Detroit installing two five-stop cars for Kone,

Kevin Thomas and Sebastian Ricco installing one car for Thyssen,

Jim Ehrbar and Wing Lui doing a mod at 5565 Erieview for Gable,

Brian Owens and Herb Fouts at 7007 Pleasant Valley Road installing a four-stop for Schindler.

The Brothers and Sisters of Local 17 send their condolences to the families of Brother Greg Seaman who lost his son Anthony and retired Brother John Lopiccolo, Sr. who passed away.

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

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don

DKnapik@windstream.net  

November ’20 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

As you read this in the second week of November, the IUEC Local 17 apprentices are nearing the end of the fall semester.  Since NEIEP has instituted distance learning, it is even more important to keep up on their studies.  The Joint Apprenticeship Committee receives regular reports on the status of apprentices advancement through the program.  If an apprentice falls behind the average of one unit per week, they run the risk of being asked to attend a JAC meeting.  

NEIEP has been receiving requests to hold a forklift class.  Since there is no face-to-face instruction, NEIEP will pay for an online course.  If you are interested in finding a  class, contact Business Manager John Driscoll Jr. at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org or call 216-431-8088.

Local 17 has placed Bluestone Apartments, 25450 Euclid Avenue on its list of two-man callbacks.  Bluestone is currently serviced by Thyssen-Krupp.  This list is compiled by the Local and distributed to signatories to represent jobs that may pose a safety risk to our members.

The trustees of the IUEC 401(k) and annuity plan have extended the COVID-19 related distribution eligibility to December 15.  This is the third extension of the program.

In the November issue of the Elevator Constructor, the IUEC monthly journal, the International Safety Committee used its space to discuss the topic of mental health awareness and suicide prevention.  This is an especially timely subject given the stresses placed on society by the pandemic and a time of year known to intensify depression and loneliness.  To counter this trend the IUEC offers the Members Assistance Program through Beacon Health.  It is covered by the Benefits Plan as are most mental health services.  If you know someone who is in crisis or you are yourself, you can call 800-331-4824.  The number is manned 24/7 and can give help on a number of topics.  There is also a link on the IUEC Local 17 website, iueclocal17.org

The December 13, 2020 and January 8, 2021 meetings are mandatory meetings for the election and installation of officers.  Fines will be levied for non-attendance.

The Brothers and Sisters of IUEC Local 17 send their condolences to the families of Brother Greg Seaman who lost his son Anthony and retired Brother John Lopiccolo Sr. who passed away.

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

November ’20 Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

As I write this, the Cleveland Fire Department is extinguishing the hot spots from the fire at the Samson Pavilion of the Heath Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic left by the conflagration between President Trump and former Vice President Biden.  

The only words I have for what took place on camera are ummm… Wow.  Really?  Wow.

The bright spots took place off stage and behind the scenes.  The protests were peaceful, with only four arrests for minor offenses noted.  The City of Cleveland took the occasion to show the rest of the country how a professional event of this importance is to be staged. From the venue to the support services and the highest level of security yet for an election event this cycle pulled off with pride and to perfection. 

Readers from other cities note that I can be a bit of a “homer” but, I am proud of my home town and the tremendous progress it has made over the years transforming itself from a heavy industrial city to one that boasts three of the best health care systems in the country within its borders:  The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and MetroHealth.  I have family and friends that work and have been cared for in all three systems and am extremely grateful for the professionalism and cutting edge treatments they offer Northeast Ohio and the rest of the world.

Cleveland has once again set the bar high giving other host cities a standard to attain.  Let’s hope the rest of America takes this cue and holds our leaders to the same standard of excellence.

The fall semester started August 31 and is again online due to the COVID-19 concerns.  NEIEP is offering two instructors locally to assist apprentices with the course work as well as other instructors from around the country available online.  All other standards for distance learning are in place.  The school work must be completed by December 11 to be eligible for the finals during the week of December 14.

Local 17 has eleven apprentices eligible for the mechanics exam but due to the lockdown NEIEP is not paying for in person instruction for the exam.  Rick Meyers is donating his time setting up online meetings to review the material he has put together through his career.

All apprentices should have received raises in the first check in September.  Check your paystub and if you have any questions about your rate contact Business Manager john Driscoll Jr. at 216-431-8088 or email him at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org.

Congratulations to Brother Joel Reyes on passing the mechanics exam.

The November 13, 2020, December 11, 2020 and January 8, 2021 meetings are mandatory for the nomination, election and installation of officers.  Failure to attend will result in fines being levied by the Executive Board.

Remember to report to the hall when you are on a job that will last for more than two days.

If you or your family had a life event (birth, death, marriage, etc.), moved or changed your phone number or insurance beneficiary, take a few minutes and update your contact information with the hall.  You can call or email John at the numbers above.  

As of this writing there are two mechanics and one probationary apprentice on the bench.

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don

DKnapik@windstream.net

October ’20 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

Laborers Local 310, in compliance with all safety recommendations in force since the March announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic, restricted access to the meeting hall out of concern for social distancing and possible transmission risks.  While the pandemic has limited the ability of IUEC Local 17 to hold regular member meetings, the officers met to conduct the normal business of the Local.  The first regular member meeting since March will be held October 13 at the hall.  All members are encouraged to attend and to keep in mind the need for masking and distance at the event.  This will be true for all meetings for the foreseeable future.

The November 13, 2020, December 11, 2020 and January 8, 2021 Local 17 meetings are mandatory for the nomination, election and installation of officers.  Fines will be levied by the Executive Board for non-attendance.

Apprentices started back to a virtual class experience on August 31.  Since NEIEP would not allow face-to-face instruction, Brothers Jerry Reitz and Tim Narowitz are available on Monday and Tuesday to answer questions about material.  NEIEP has also made available mentoring sessions with instructors around the country.  Students are reminded that they are required to keep on pace to be completed with their classwork by December 11 with finals week beginning December 14.

There are eleven apprentices eligible to take the Mechanics Exam.  Rick Myers is running a review class over Webex using the material he has accumulated over the years.  

Congratulations go out to Brother Joel Reyes on the accomplishment of passing the Mechanics Exam.

When this article reaches your door, there will be less than 30 days left before election day.  Whether you have chosen to vote by mail or will be going to the polls in person, you will be letting your voice be heard above the cacophony we have endured.  Be proud of your vote and remember those who fight in the trenches and the courts to maintain this obligation that is so fragile when practiced individually and so strong when practiced together.

As of this writing there are two mechanics and one probationary apprentice on the bench.

Until next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety

Don

Dknapik@windsttream.net

October ’20 Constructor

Brothers and Sisters:

This morning I was listening to NPR’s Morning Edition as host Noel King interviewed book editor Ilan Stavans about his anthology And We Came Outside And Saw The Stars Again.  According to Stavans the book is a combination of poetry and prose about living in times of radical change like the world is experiencing with the Covid-19 pandemic and the upheaval of society being felt across America and around the world.

King brought up three interesting points worth commenting on:  two about the content and a third about the title. 

The first point focused on one of the pieces written by a contributor from India.  The poem is about her first day in quarantine.  After bringing in the morning paper she noticed an ant crawling on the pillow where she placed the paper.  Her mission for that day, even if she did nothing more, was to find that ant and return it to the outside.  King and Stavans agreed the poet used the action as a metaphor for kindness as the ant was introduced into the home within the newspaper containing the dysfunction of the world.  The confinement of the poet to her home made it impossible to accomplish anything society would otherwise deem worthy but, by freeing this ant something good would be accomplished that day.

The second observation was that most anthologies, whether poetry or prose, focus exclusively on one form to the exclusion of the other.  Stavans made the point that  European bookstores do not make a distinction between fiction and non-fiction, poetry or prose.  Instead books are jumbled together in a randomness that would drive librarians and those with OCD to madness.  His point being there is a beauty to this entropy and it is based on the understanding of time in both a scientific and religious context.

There is an agreement between science and religion, and that basis grows greater with research into the true nature of time, that the concept of time as perceived by humans as linear is false.  Instead, time is as an ocean where all events, like droplets of rain, are in a state of simultaneous existence and one droplet becomes indistinguishable from the next.  Our perception of time as a linear progression of discrete events exists because our mental abilities are incapable of seeing the whole of existence as simultaneous.

This is a mind blowing concept and one FAR outside the space allotted to even begin to scratch.  

The last point, the title of the work, attempts to give perspective to the struggle of existence.   The line “and we came outside and saw the stars again.” is the last line of Dante Aligheri’s The Divine Comedy.  The line, and thus the overarching message of both Dante’s masterpiece and the Stavans anthology, is that through all the struggles of the individual and collective hell we face, there is an end.  

We will find the end.  

We will find the light.

For those looking for assistance, IUEC Local 17 has a web page dedicated to mental health, financial and substance abuse resources for members, non-members, friends and family.  The page is available on the Health and Wellness tab at the Local’s website, iueclocal17.org.  There are no trackers or cookies on the site so access is entirely anonymous.

By the time you read this, there will be about four weeks before the election.  Local 17 has a link to the Ohio Secretary of State voter website as well as the IUEC site created in conjunction with the North American Building and Construction Trades.  These are important sites for voter information.

No matter what your political persuasion, if you don’t vote, don’t complain.

Until next month…

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don

DKnapik@windstream.net

September ’20 Labor-Citizen

Brothers and Sisters:

The National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) has decided that all apprentice classes will be held virtually for the Fall 2020 semester with no in-person instruction.  

All apprentices should have received notification through Business Manager John Driscoll, Jr. and their NEIEP email on which classes they are enrolled in as well as instructions on how to access educational material.

Starting September 8, Brothers Jerry Reitz and Tim Narowitz are available Mondays and Tuesdays through Microsoft Teams to answer questions on course material.  Apprentices are expected to have read and reviewed the material prior to accessing Teams.  These sessions are encouraged but not required.

If you have any questions regarding your class assignment, you can contact John at JEDriscoll@iueclocal17.org or 216-431-8088.  For questions on technical issues with class laptops, software or access to material email NEIEP at support@neiep.org.

The International in conjunction with the North American Building Trades Union (NABTU) have established a voting information website for IUEC members.  The site, elevatorconstructorsvote.org, has tabs to allow the user to check their registration, register to vote and request a mail-in ballot.  This one-stop shop is designed to make the voting experience as easy as possible given the procedural uncertainties presented by the continued Covid-19 pandemic.  Look for this and other voter registration links on the IUEC Local 17 website, iueclocal17.org.  

The deadline to register for the November 3rd general election is October 5.

The next scheduled membership meeting is Friday, September 11. This is dependent on the availability of the hall by Laborers Local 310.  

VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION

Brothers and Sisters:

Below is a link developed in conjunction with NABTU customized for the IUEC Membership.

This site is now live!  https://elevatorconstructorsvote.org/

This link has three (3) tabs:  CHECK YOUR REGISTRATION, REGISTER TO VOTE and REQUEST A MAIL-IN BALLOT

For those who wish to see what their Congressman and Senators voting percentage are on issues important to unions and working families, follow this link to  www.aflcio.org/legislative-scorecard

This information is made available through the AFL-CIO.

Here is a link to the Ohio Secretary of State office for all Ohio voting related issues.