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  • August 2018 Newsletter
    Posted On: Aug 06, 2018


    Hi Brothers and Sisters, the summer is slipping away fast.  We have had a couple of General Unit Meetings this summer, one in June at Shelby and one in July at Ryan Dam.  This month we will be in Lewistown at the Fergus Electric shop.  These meetings are open to the entire membership and we would like to see you there.

    On another note, I just saw where my old friends Vern Langille and George Tregear are retiring.  Once again, I am sad to see them go while at the same time I am jealous of their retirement.  I am proud that I got to work with them and proud I can call them my friends!  Good Luck in all your endeavors George and Vern, hope your retirement is long and enjoyable!

    I was fortunate enough to attend a school this summer called the Grace Carroll Rocky Mountain Labor School.  It was held in Moscow, Idaho for one week.  I have to say, it was the best conference or school I have ever attended.  I hope to convince your Executive Board to send as many people as we can to the next one.  It will be held in Wyoming in July of next year.  If you would like to understand your Union and its operations, this is the place to go.  On the way back to Butte, I stopped by the Hecla mine in Mullen, Idaho.  Those United Steel Workers have been out on strike for more than 500 days.  The Union proposed binding arbitration some time ago and the company agreed, but only if they wrote the topics that could be arbitrated.  The Union could not accept those conditions.  If you are traveling this summer, stop by the town of Mullen and show them your support.  It seems that modern day corporations are intent on stifling your right to have a voice.  We see that right here at home when the bosses sit in their comfy office and send their minions out to do the dirty work.  They are only caring that they please the stockholders.  This seems to be the trend.  Corporations, including some of the ones we have agreements with, have elected to become decidedly anti-worker in their attempts to be pro-stockholder.  They like to think they can get away with it, and they do for a time.  By hiring minions to do all their dirty work of maximizing profits, they don’t have to look you in the eye as they unfairly reduce your benefits and working conditions.  This tactic only works for a short time because pretty soon this becomes an infection in the morale of the employees.  Bad attitude kills productivity.  Even if you make every effort to be the great employee the production and safety suffer.  Attitude suffers and problems compound.  The old adage “the beatings will continue until attitudes improve” is in full play, but it doesn’t work.

    I didn’t hear from Mr. Buhl, our fishing reporter, this month, but I am sure Rob will turn a report in soon and I will have it on the web site.  If he fails to turn one in, I will post his phone number so you can call him directly.

    If you know any lineman sitting around, tell them to get on the books because work is picking up.

    Keep the faith,



    On a brighter note, NECA with our partnership through the MSLCAT program, we have started building the new training center here in Montana.  It is a multi-million dollar investment in the future.  Another project we are kicking off is a link you will be able to have on your phone that will allow you to have all your required certifications on your phone.  It will be secure where it is “non-writeable” but viewable for any contractor to look at.  One other benefit of this will be that it will light up each certificate as they get close to needing updating.


    Local 44 would like to congratulate the following members who have retired from the trade:

    Michael Evans – Journeyman Lineman

    George Tolliver – Journeyman Lineman

    Best wishes for a long and happy retirement!


    Local 44 would like to congratulate Nathan Hunt for achieving Journeyman status.  Great job and best wishes for a great career!


    Thank you to the Climbers for volunteering to hang our lanterns for the Fallen Lineworker’s Honoree Ceremony at the Lineman’s Rodeo on July 21, 2018.  Very much appreciated!


    Fallen Lineworker’s                         Climber

    Gus Aaberg                                         Andy Newman

    Bill Abt                                               Ben Clark

    Gene Bicknell                                     Daniel Dahlen

    Ted Jorgenson                                    Tom Wind

    Justin Kropp                                       Barry Kropp

    Glenn Logsdon                                   Andy Newman

    Lars Olesen                                         Bob Stewart

    Heine Richardson                               Vance Forsman

    Jim Umber                                          Cody Grande

    Stephen Wilcox                                  Cody Wilcox



    On Friday July 20th RENEW for IBEW 44 elected their officers, they are as follows:

    Shane Bykonen Chair

    Tanner Jossi Vice Chair

    Trevor Taylor Secretary – Treasurer

    Rustin Kraenzel Sargent at Arms

    Spencer Petersen Member at Large

    Austin Higgins Member at Large

    Congratulations to those members for being the inaugural officers for RENEW IBEW 44!

    RENEW still needs one Member at large, if interested let one of the officers know or send an email to renew@ibew44.org.

    The 26th Annual Montana Lineman’s Rodeo was Saturday the 21st of July, 2018.  This was my first rodeo & I learned a lot and had a great time!  Congratulations to the Teams of Bob Bandy, Carson Merkel and Myles Kelly - NorthWestern Energy and the Overall Utility team winners go to the team of Tanner Jossi, Rustin Kraenzel and Josh Krzan - NorthWestern Energy.  Good Luck in Kansas City!


    Authorization cards have been sent out to construction members.  If you received one in the mail please fill out the authorization card and mail it back in the self-addressed stamped envelope.  This is an in-house record update, so please get those authorization cards back to the Local as soon as you can.  As of July 16, we have mailed out 137 cards and have received back only 27 cards.

    The difference in membership type is as follows.  “A” members will receive a pension from the IBEW at retirement.  The normal retirement benefit at age 65 is computed at $4.50 per month times your years of service.  For an example 30 years of service equals $4.50 x 30 to receive $135 per month.  Currently the IO pension amount from the dues is $18 per month, take that times 12 which is $216 a year, times that by 30 years and it is $6,480 that an “A” member will pay into the pension (PBF Fund).  While this may not seem like a whole lot, it only takes 48 months to get back what you put into the PBF fund.  “A” members also have a death benefit which is $6,250 and if accidental $12,500 payable to their beneficiary.  A retiree that has been receiving a pension amount should receive no less than $3,000* (please review Article 11 Pension Benefit Fund of the IO Constitution for full details.)

    “BA” Members do not receive a pension or death benefit.  If you are planning on retiring from your current work place and remain an IBEW member, for the amount you will payout it will be well worth the investment to choose an “A” membership over the “BA” membership.  Contact the office to change your membership.

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

    We have social media accounts all have been activated. Please visit the web page to access the social media accounts and PLEASE feel free to add content, appropriate content please!


    Dwight Rose





    Lewistown                  August 7, 2018                       5:00 PM          Fergus Electric Shop

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