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  • October 2017 Newsletter
    Updated On: Apr 26, 2018
    The Communicator
    Published by Local 44 of The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Located in Butte, Montana
                                                                    http://ibew44.org                                        1-406-723-3203


    Greetings, it is now definitely that special time of year.  In mid-September we had extreme fire danger warnings and winter storm warnings at the same time for the same area.  Doesn’t that beat all?  On the 15th of September we had lots of snow in the Butte area with 1 inch of moisture falling.  Because of those types of weather conditions there was a “discussion” and I overheard the whole conversation.  Whether the GF liked it or not the Hall was fortunate enough to listen in.  As it turned out we got butt dialed by a GF.  Ha!  You could hear it in his voice…. things weren’t going so well.  Rain was the forecast and help was in short supply, so the conversation went pretty much like this.  “I’ll pay you the two hours show up!  And the per diem!  But by ___ (gosh) you better use the time and money to go by some raingear, you’re going to need em!  He said, “I love every one of you guys, but we have deadlines and we have to get this done before snow flies.”  And he went on to say, “there ain’t no inclement weather clause in that contract.  You want off - they need it done!  I’m caught in the middle!  You have to help me out here!”  End of conversation.

    Well anyone who has ram rodded a job knows that situation well, he is correct.  Like it or not, it’s not there.  We have always taken care of our men by not working in dangerous or nonproductive conditions.  Our contractors have always respected and appreciated that.  If they decide that it is a poor day to work, they owe us two hours show up pay and/or per diem for the day.  Most every time they respect the decision of the crew when it is the guys making this call, so best we not abuse it.  It’s right now when the number of hands are in short supply, days are getting shorter and add to that snow is making elk easier to track, that tempers flare as jobs need to get done.  We all want a day off, so don’t abuse the time off.  A little planning helps out those that are running these jobs and keeps conditions good.

    Elsewhere, check your calendar for the Local Unit Meetings.  We have started having the meetings in Great Falls, Havre/Malta, Lewistown, Billings, Helena, Bozeman, Missoula, Butte and Outside Line.  Everyone at NWE, Construction, REA, Hydro, Mechanics, Locators, Tree Trimmers, Test and Treat, all of you are welcome at any and every meeting.  Take time to say thanks to all of those that help us get the jobs done every day and bring someone along to the next meeting in your area.

    The negotiations process has started with Asplundh Tree, and ELM Locators will commence soon.  We gather proposals and request to open the agreements.  So volunteer to sit on the committees!  It helps to make your voice heard.

    Check out the Local’s website at www.ibew44.org.  You can find it by simply typing IBEW 44.  Dwight at the hall is taking suggestions, and we look to have it continually changing and improving.

    In Brotherhood,



    One bit of information, you may have been hearing about for some months is the grievance we’ve had with Hill County/ Triangle Telephone.  It all started with negotiations and the new Manager dragging on.  In a huge compromise, we agreed to a night shift that would be established and utilized to do cutover and maintenance that could or would interrupt customer service.  It had always been done in the wee hours of the morning on an overtime basis.  With little effort in scheduling this could work well for all involved.  We agreed that with a week’s notice it could be scheduled, thinking everyone visualized it being scheduled a week at a time, or maybe a person could be put on it permanently depending on need.  The employee schedule would be compensated at a rate 10% higher than the normal rate.  Well, things were going along fine until the Manager decided he could split this shift any way he wanted.  He had an employee scheduled to work a few hours at night and then go home, rest and return to finish his shift later in the day on straight time.  He (the employee) did as he should and worked the hours he was assigned and submitted his time the way the contract reads.  We tried to reason with the Manager that shifts were either 8 or 10 consecutive hours as in the contract.  But alas he was determined to prove he was right, so a grievance was filed and the FMCS was contacted.  An arbitrator was selected and it was scheduled to a hearing the 10th of October.  Recently the Manager did offer to work with the Shop Steward toward resolving it.  The guys submitted a proposal to do that, one that would clarify language.  It was rejected.  So to a hearing we were bound.  At that time we asked our legal representation to take a look at it.  He did and he contacted the Co-Op’s attorney.  The Co-Op agreed to pay the full amount owed to the employee and the grievance was of course settled.  Good work on behalf of the Shop Steward and Karl Englund, our legal rep.  

    Thanks Guys!


    Greetings fellow Brothers and Sisters,

    It is my honor to be working with everyone here at IBEW 44.  I look forward to meeting everyone!  A little bit about me I am 3rd generation Union member.  I have been an IBEW union member for 22 years.  I graduated from the Inside program in May of 2000.  I became a Master Electrician in 2006.  I have served from E-Board to President of IBEW 233.  I was hired on staff by Duane Mellinger in 2007 as Membership and Employer Development.  It has been a privilege to make lives better and help people better themselves and their families.

    If you have not checked out your new web page please go to www.ibew44.org.  This page is and will always be a work in progress.  I will always appreciate any suggestions on content. Currently, if anyone has any pictures or videos that show Sisters and Brothers out working, at Lineman’s Rodeos, in school or training, I want to get those up on the page!  Please include who, where and at least when, and something that might explain what is going on in the photo as well.

    Please register for the website, after membership is verified you will have full access to the website.


    Dwight Rose





    Local 44 mourns the loss of Brother Glenn Logsdon, a retired member who passed away on September 13, 2017.  Glenn began his career as a Journeyman Lineman in 1956 for the Montana Power Company and retired as a Manager in 1988.  Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends.


    Local 44 would like to congratulate the following members for achieving Journeyman status:

    Michael Arnold – Journeyman Lineman

    Kory Boggess – Journeyman Lineman

    Coy Erwin – Journeyman Lineman

    Drew Hayes – Journeyman Lineman

    Donald Jones – Journeyman Gasman

    William Kipp – Journeyman Operator

    Josh Krzan – Journeyman Lineman

    Joseph Lindeman – Journeyman Operator

    Jeremy Shively – Journeyman Lineman

    Harlan Stewart Jr. – Journeyman Lineman

    Great job and best wishes for a great career!


    Local 44 would like to congratulate the following member who has retired from the trade:

    Mark Pappert – Journeyman Operator

    Best wishes for a long and happy retirement!


    By authority of President Bob Bandy, Casey McGowan has been appointed to the vacant Executive Board seat for the Helena unit.  He will be sworn in at the October Executive Board meeting.  We would like to thank him for stepping up and filling this important position.


    Great Falls                  Oct. 02, 2017              7:00 PM          Great Falls Labor Temple

    Havre                          Oct. 03, 2017              6:00 PM          MSU-N Brockmann Rm. 209

    Malta                           Oct. 04, 2017              5:30 PM          Stretch’s Pizza Restaurant      

    Billings                         Oct. 05, 2017              5:00 PM          NWE Service Center

    Helena                         Oct. 16, 2017              5:00 PM          NWE Service Center

    Bozeman                      Oct. 17, 2017              5:00 PM          Bozeman Labor Temple

    Missoula                       Oct. 18, 2017               6:00 PM          Missoula Labor Temple

    Butte                           Oct. 19, 2017               5:30 PM          Local 44 Office

    Line Construction          Oct. 28, 2017              10:00 AM       Local 233 Butte Office

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