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IBEW Local 396
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
 
 
April 20, 2019
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Jesse Newman                    Shannon Skinner

Business Manager/Financial Sec.                  President

What's New at IBEW 396
Godspeed Kevin Houck IBEW 396 VP

IN MEMORIAM

KEVIN  “Biggin” HOUCK IBEW 396 Vice President

Kevin Houck was born July 1969 and joined the IBEW in December of 1990 with IBEW Local 125 in Portland Oregon, evetunaly moving to Las Vegas in the spring of 1995 joining IBEW Local 396 as Journeman Linmeman for the then Nevada Power CO.

Kevin passed away unexpectedly March 19th in his home.

Kevin leaves a tremendous void.  He was the chairman of the Lines Safety Sub committee and he was Vice President at IBEW Local 396 Union Hall.  Kevin participated in many partnership activities and committees within the organization.  He also functioned as a union steward.  His presence in our lives will truly be missed by all those who knew him.  He was a “gentle giant.”

He loved Cabo San Lucas and his fishing trips, as well as his travels to Oregon.   He leaves behind his wife, Jennifer.

Services for Kevin will be held at Palm Mortuary at 6701 North Jones on Friday, March 29th at 5:00 p.m.  A gathering for friends and family is planned after the services.

IBEW 396 Receives The Edwin D. Hill Award

Two IBEW locals and their employer have won the inaugural Edwin D. Hill Award for their expansive efforts to protect good jobs and Nevada power customers, a campaign that led to the landslide defeat of a deceptive state ballot measure last November.

Las Vegas Local 396 and Vacaville, Calif, Local 1245, along with NV Energy, worked together to fight Question 3, a sweeping attempt at energy deregulation that threatened to cut jobs, raise costs and imperil Nevada’s power grid.

Tom Dalzell, Local 1245 business manager, speaks prior to the awards ceremony on a panel that also includes Local 396 President Sharon Skinner, at right.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our IBEW members and our friends at NV Energy for all the work they did to protect Nevada’s energy future,” International President Lonnie R. Stephenson said. “They proved in practice that when we work with our industry partners on behalf of our customers, we can make positive change happen.”

Named for the visionary IBEW president emeritus who died last December, the Hill Award recognizes union and industry leaders who advance issues at the state and local levels. It was presented March 11 in Washington, D.C., by the National Labor Management Public Affairs Committee (LAMPAC).

Under Hill’s leadership, the IBEW and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) launched LAMPAC in 2007 to help the union and electric companies jointly address the nation’s energy challenges.

EEI called Hill “a transformative trade unionist” who honored the IBEW’s history and traditions “while making key changes to modernize and preserve the IBEW’s influence as one of North America’s most powerful voices for working people.”

The first-ever Hill Award winners built a coalition of environmental groups, small and large businesses, local officials and other parties “dedicated to keeping energy prices low while increasing the amount of clean energy in Nevada,” EEI said.

NV Energy employs Local 396 members in southern Nevada and Local 1245 members in the north.

Recognizing the value of the IBEW’s experience in grassroots organizing and pro-worker political campaigns, the company asked the union “to run the ground game” on Question 3, said Local 396 Business Manager Jesse Newman.

Key to the locals’ strategy was an October door-knocking blitz in the Las Vegas area. On top of Locals 396 and 1245, the weeklong canvass drew members from 10 other IBEW locals in California and Nevada, some of them traveling hundreds of miles.

“This is truly unprecedented solidarity among the different IBEW locals, as well as remarkable labor-management cooperation, the likes of which are rarely seen in the United States.” Local 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell told them, kicking off the event.

“You can’t put a price tag on what we have in this room. Your honesty, and your truth, and your enthusiasm, and your passion, and your devotion and commitment … that’s what will win it.”

Newman believes that personal contact made all the difference, putting a human face on the confusing issue of energy deregulation, made worse by the onslaught of advertising across all media platforms.

“There was sensory overload,” he said. But by spending a few minutes at a doorstep, explaining what was at stake, “we were able to turn potential ‘yes’ voters into ‘no’ voters.”

The ability to work with NV Energy was essential, Newman said, noting that the partnership didn’t originate with the campaign.

“If we didn’t have the relationship we have through the Code of Excellence, I don’t think Question 3 would have been defeated,” he said.

EEI President Tom Kuhn said the winners “achieved an outcome that ultimately benefits electricity customers in Nevada. They were very successful, and they are all very deserving of this distinguished award.” 

The March 11 ceremony also honored the winners of LAMPAC’s 2019 John D. Dingell Award. Dingell, who died in February, served in Congress for 60 years, half of them as chair or ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

U.S. House Reps. Doug LaMalfa of California and Kurt Schrader of Oregon received the award for their bipartisan leadership passing the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act, which improves the safety and reliability of the energy grid on federal lands.

“When it comes to maintaining our energy security, partisanship should never come in the way,” Stephenson said. “Representatives LaMalfa and Schrader have shown – just like Congressman Dingell did throughout his career – that lawmakers can cross the aisle and work together to come u
p

IBEW 396 Receives The Edwin D. Hill Award
IBEW LOCAL UNION 396, IBEW LOCAL UNION 1245, AND NV ENERGY RECEIVE THE INAUGURAL EDWIN D. HILL AWARD

Washington, D.C. (March 11, 2019) – During a reception tonight, the inaugural Edwin D. Hill Award will be presented to International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 396, IBEW Local Union 1245, and NV Energy. The distinguished award recognizes advancement of state and local initiatives on behalf of the Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI’s) member electric companies and IBEW members.

IBEW Local Union 396, IBEW Local Union 1245, and NV Energy worked together to form a diverse coalition to educate customers in Nevada about their energy choices and NV Energy’s plan for providing customers with more clean energy. The coalition included environmental organizations, small and large business owners, local officials, and other organizations dedicated to keeping energy prices low while increasing the amount of clean energy in Nevada. Customers in Nevada overwhelmingly agreed with the coalition when they voted on Election Day.

“EEI’s member companies are committed to putting customers first, to maintaining reliability, and to keeping electricity prices low for all customers,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “IBEW Local Union 396, IBEW Local Union 1245, and NV Energy worked together to build a broad coalition to achieve an outcome that ultimately benefits electricity customers in Nevada. They were very successful, and they are all very deserving of this distinguished award.” 

“I couldn’t be prouder of the members of IBEW Locals 396 and 1245 and our friends at NV Energy for all the work they did to protect Nevada’s energy future,” said IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson. “They proved in practice that when we work with our industry partners on behalf of our customers, we can make positive change happen.”

EEI and the IBEW came together 12 years ago to create the National Labor Management Public Affairs Committee (National LAMPAC). National LAMPAC fosters collaboration and partnership among electric company executives and IBEW leaders to address the nation’s energy challenges. Through National LAMPAC, labor and management join together to achieve the common goals of running a well-managed, efficient business with a highly skilled workforce.

Named for IBEW International President Emeritus Edwin D. Hill, the award is presented to leaders who advance issues at the state and local levels. Hill, a transformative trade unionist who modernized and shepherded the IBEW through one of the deepest recessions in history, passed away in December 2018. During his tenure, the IBEW held fast to its history and traditions while making key changes to modernize and preserve the IBEW’s influence as one of North America’s most powerful voices for working people. It was also under Hill’s leadership that National LAMPAC was created.

Local 396 Fighting to Save Jobs

ill Las Vegas leave NV Energy? Debate continues

NV Energy Building Exterior

STEVE MARCUS

Exterior view of the NV Energy building Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, in Las Vegas.

The city of Las Vegas will continue to weigh leaving NV Energy in search of a better deal with another power provider, the City Council voted today.

The city is considering a path taken by a number of other major customers, including casino companies, that have parted ways with NV Energy.

The council authorized city staff to continue discussions with Omaha, Neb.-based energy company Tenaska about a possible agreement. But it also voted to start negotiations for a new contract with NV Energy, keeping all options on the table.

The city’s contract with NV Energy expires in December.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Mayor Pro Tem Lois Tarkanian and council members Stavros Anthony, Cedric Crear and Michele Fiore voted to continue nonbinding negotiations with both providers. Councilman Bob Coffin opposed the motion.

“Taking this next step commits us to nothing,” said Tom Perrigo, the city’s executive director of community development. “It’s simply fact-finding to get us more information.”

Perrigo will report back to the council on April 3 with more details from both utilities, including rate estimates. Both promise to continue the city’s 100 percent renewable energy commitment, which NV Energy helped the city reach in 2016.

City Manager Scott Adams said the city, facing an operating budget deficit, is also looking to reduce its costs under a new energy contract.

“We have an opportunity to save a significant amount of money in our operating budget that goes right to our bottom line,” he said.

David Brown, speaking for Tenaska, said the company could save the city 30 percent of its total energy costs, or $3 million, annually.

“You don’t have to believe either of us today. We are simply asking that you move this forward,” he said.

Tony Sanchez, a senior vice president at NV Energy, emphasized the public utility’s long-standing partnership with the city, its ability to offer low rates and its commitment to renewable energy. Council members agreed that the city has not been disappointed by NV Energy’s service.

“NV Energy is family to us,” Goodman said.

About a dozen lobbyists, union leaders and residents voiced opposition to the city leaving NV Energy, with some noting that leaving the public utility comes with an exit fee set by the Public Utility Commission. The fee, which is intended to cover any increases in costs as a result of an entity ending its contract with NV Energy, will not be announced for at least three months.

Others characterized NV Energy as a local company that gives back to the community, in contrast to out-of-state Tenaska.

Speaking for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 396, Jesse Newman questioned if the loss of large NV Energy customers could force the utility to lay off workers.

“I ask that you take them into consideration before choosing an out-of-state energy provider with no employees or assets in the city of Las Vegas,” he said.

In the last year, several NV Energy customers, such as the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, have filed exit applications. In response, NV Energy has rolled out a discounted renewable energy electricity rate for some of its major clients, the Nevada GreenEnergy Rider (NGR 2.0).

“We understand the city’s desire to stay 100 percent green, and the NGR 2.0 process is a great 

Commitment to Excellence
 

Jesse Newman believes in the Code of Excellence and that it’s a win-win situation for both IBEW members and employers.


But the Las Vegas Local 396 business manager happily admits he didn’t have to do any convincing when it came to NV Energy and Paul Caudill, its president and chief operating officer.

“He said many times, ‘I value this relationship,’ “Newman said. “We have to work together.”

Local 396 and NV Energy, which provides electrical power to most of Nevada, adopted a Commitment to Excellence proclamation earlier this year to “project a positive attitude about who we are and the work we perform, on or off the job, while maintaining a relationship of respect and accountability.”

“If someone from the outside looked at this, they would say, ‘Holy cow, that’s some dedication,’ “ said Local 396 President Shannon Skinner, a lead journeyman lineman for NV Energy.

The company also agreed to use IBEW members for all future contracted work, Ninth District Vice President John O’Rourke said. That likely means more work for Local 357, a construction local in Las Vegas.

“This is huge,” O’Rourke said. “They see the value of the IBEW’s professionalism, our expertise and the quality of our training. They know we’re going to get the work done on time and on budget.”

The proclamation sets standards for Local 396 members working at NV Energy and for company managers in the areas of customer service, commitment and excellence on the job, along with environmental, regulatory and financial matters. Workers are now wearing hard hats with stickers commemorating the partnership. Stickers also are affixed to NV Energy service trucks.

“NV Energy sees it as part of their business model,” Newman said. “Why fight with the union when we can work with them on the challenges we face?”

Added Skinner: “This company recognizes what the IBEW is about. They like our core values, they like our standards and they like our work ethic.”

Caudill said that “we all want to create a work environment that we can be proud of and allows all of my colleagues to feel good about working for the power company.”

“Local 396 leadership, including Jesse Newman and Shannon Skinner, should get most of the credit for creating this opportunity to continue this collaboration,” he added. “The Commitment to Excellence will result in continued positive efforts in the community and being able to best serve our customers. This is not the end --- but just another step along the way. We can only get better together.”

The Code of Excellence was rolled out on a national level in the construction branch in 2007 and it’s received positive reviews from members and signatory contractors ever since.

It has spread to other sectors in recent years. The agreement between Local 396 and NV Energy covers about 610 utility sector workers. It will be called the Commitment of Excellence as requested by NV Energy officials, who believe it better signifies the depth of the relationship.

“This is wonderful news not just for our members in Nevada, but throughout the country,” International President Lonnie R. Stephenson said. “The Code of Excellence is a reminder the IBEW has the best workforce anywhere and we back that up. To see an industry leader like NV Energy wholeheartedly embrace it is extremely gratifying and we hope convinces other utility companies to do the same.”  

NV Energy is known to most customers around Las Vegas as Nevada Power, the name of its subsidiary in the southern part of the state. The company was purchased in 2013 by Berkshire Hathaway, the multinational conglomerate made famous by Chairman Warren Buffett.

Local 396 had a difficult time developing a relationship with company management before that, said Ninth District International Representative Charlie Randall, Newman’s predecessor as business manager.

“It’s funny,” Newman said. “When Berkshire took over, we were pretty nervous. Obviously with Paul, it’s been a positive thing for us.”

Caudill was hired in late 2013. He took an interest in the Code of Excellence after hearing about an agreement the IBEW reached with Florida Power & Light to institute the code there, Newman said. Caudill also has visited Alabama Power, where the IBEW has had a particularly strong relationship with management for the last several years.

“He told us, ‘I want to be the gold standard,’“ Randall said.

Skinner has worked for the company for 22 years and has been part of the Local 396 contract negotiating team several times. She’s noticed a change for the better during the last two years.

“I think it’s mutual respect,” she said. “We work together and we have a common goal, to serve our customers here in Nevada in a productive manner. We’re professionals, they’re professionals. When we work together, it just doesn’t get any better.”

Last December, Randall and Tracy Prezeau, an international representative from the Education Department based in the Ninth District, led training sessions for both IBEW members and NV Energy management.

Prezeau said an executive from NV Energy approached asked during the training about steward training conducted by the IBEW.  She inquired about instituting some of those techniques into NV Energy’s training for its managers.

“In my seven years of doing this, I’ve never heard an employer suggest that’s something they would even consider,” she said. “I was amazed and I told them that.”

Newman said the agreement makes it easier for both sides to work together on important legislative issues, particularly ways to deal with the solar industry and the role public utilities might play in it.

“The most important work we’re doing together removes barriers to more effective communication and teamwork, which is helping us in a time of unprecedented change in the energy markets, including competition for our services,” Caudill said.

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The Henry Miller Story

Henry Miller, who died more than 110-years ago, was the founder, first president and driving force behind the first union of electrical workers in North America – the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Despite the key role he played in the history of the IBEW and the early labor movement, little is known about Miller’s life and career.

This short film from the IBEW Media Department sheds some light on the life and times of Brother Miller and the dawn of the IBEW. 

Please Click on the link to watch the Henry Miller Story


Download: The Henry Miller Story.msg
Member Acess

If you are a current member of Local 396 and still have not registered for member access you are missing out on valuable information. Once you have registered, you will have unrestricted access to things like negotiation updates, contracts, grievance request forms, the IBEW Constitution and much more. Furthermore, we will be able to send you emails and text messages regarding time sensitive issues.

 
To get started, you will need to go to the right of this page where it says “click here to sign up” make sure to fill the form out completely. Once you submit the registration form, your account will be activated upon successful verification. Generally it takes up to forty (48) hours for your account to become active, excluding weekends and holidays. If you have any questions or need help do not hesitate to contact us @702-457-3011.
 
Join Today!
 
In Solidarity,
Jesse Newman
Business Manager/Financial Sec.  
 
 
IBEW 396
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