2015-2019 Union Contract

THIS AGREEMENT, made this 21 day of November 21, 2015, by and between Pivotal Utility Holdings, Inc. dba ELIZABETHTOWN GAS, a corporation of the State of New Jersey, its successors and assigns, (hereinafter referred to as “the Company”), and Local 424 of the UTILITY WORKERS UNION OF AMERICA AFL-CIO (hereinafter referred to as “the Union”):

 

WITNESSETH:

 

WHEREAS, the parties hereto desire to establish a standard of conditions under which the employees of the Company shall work during the term of this AGREEMENT and desire to regulate the mutual relations between the parties hereto with a view to securing harmonious cooperation between the parties hereto,

 

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises and agreements of the parties hereto, the parties agree to and with each other as follows:

 

ARTICLE I

 

RECOGNITION AND UNION SECURITY

 

1.1 The Company recognizes the Union as the Sole and exclusive collective bargaining agency for all of its employees to whom this Agreement is applicable, including all hourly paid production, maintenance, meter reading and collection employees, but excluding all watchmen and guards, all supervisory and clerical employees, all other salaried employees, and those excluded by the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947, as amended and supplemented.

 

Whenever the term “employee” is used hereinafter in this Agreement, it shall be deemed to apply only to those employees of the Company who are included within the bargaining unit as above described.

 

1.2(a) The Union reserves unto itself at all times the right to pass upon applications for membership to its body and the right to have exclusive control over its members as far as their relations with the Union are concerned.

 

1.2(b) The Company agrees to notify the Secretary of the Union of each employee hired into, or terminated from, any bargaining unit job within seven (7) days of such action.

 

1.2(c)  Upon the Union’s request, but not more than four (4) times a year, the Company will supply the Union’s secretary with a list of active Local 424 U.W.U.A. employee names, addresses and phone numbers.

 

1.3  All employees on the thirtieth (30th) day following the date of execution of this Agreement, or on the thirtieth (30th) day following the date of employment, whichever is later, shall, as a condition of continued employment, be members of the Union in good standing in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws of the Union and the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947. All new employees hired to fill vacant U.W.U.A. positions covered by the collective bargaining agreement will be required to complete and return U.W.U.A. dues deduction authorization cards during the orientation process. The Company will have the sole right to discharge an employee until the one hundred and twentieth (120th) day of employment.  New employees will not have any rights to the grievance and arbitration provisions of the contract until their one hundred and twenty-first (121st) day of employment.  Benefits will be made available after thirty (30) days of employment.

 

 

1.4 The provisions of Section 1.3 shall be deemed to be inoperative and unenforceable unless there is full compliance with the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 and all amendments thereto and all other applicable laws.

 

1.5  Upon written authorization from an employee so to do, in a form approved by the Company and the Union, the Company will deduct from the earned wages of such employee and remit to the Union each week, an amount per week as directed by the Union in writing as dues of such employee.

 

The specific amount shall be deducted each week and shall be certified from time to time to the Company by the president and treasurer of the Union as the current dues of members.  Such deductions shall represent the dues of such employee for the current week, and it is understood and agreed that the right of the Union to receive such dues shall accrue to it each week.

 

1.5(a) Employees hired on a temporary basis for summer work and who perform bargaining unit jobs (as defined in separate memorandum) shall be required to pay union dues and such dues shall be deducted from their pay.

 

1.6 It is the intent of the Company to provide full time employment (not less than forty (40) hours per week) to its regular employees insofar as it is practical to do so.

 

1.6(a) The Company is authorized to use outside contractors but may not lay off any member of the bargaining unit for lack of work while the work normally performed by that employee is being performed by an outside contractor, except that the Company may use contractors to do collections work.  This does not preclude the contracting out of other work as set forth in existing letters of agreement. During the course of this contract, the Company will not reduce the total number of Meter Readers below nine (9); this supersedes all previous letters of agreement regarding staffing compliments for Meter Readers. The Company will not layoff any Meter Reader before November 21, 2006. If an employee currently in a Meter Reader position leaves his position for any reason, however, the Company may decide in its sole discretion whether to fill the newly vacant position.

 

1.6(b) It is the intent of the Company to limit the use of outside contractors to those functions normally sub-contracted prior to November 21, 1968.

 

1.6(c) This does not preclude the Company from contracting work to be accomplished by new scientific methods, techniques or devices which might replace those currently in use.  In the event this occurs, any employee(s) displaced as result thereof shall be transferred to other types of work with no loss of pay.

 

1.6(d) The Company agrees that in the event a new scientific method, technique or device is purchased or leased, members of the bargaining unit shall operate this equipment.  The Company shall negotiate with the Union as to the rates of pay and new jobs created.  It is mutually understood that the above scientific methods, techniques or devices refer to machines and not men.

 

1.6(e) “1.6(e) The Company may direct contractors who are performing general survey activity to make an initial attempt to conduct periodic survey work on inside service lines and meters in the grid they are surveying.  All repair work will be done by bargaining unit personnel.  To the extent the contractor does not obtain entry to particular accounts at that time, bargaining unit employees will be assigned subsequent field work associated with efforts to conduct any unfinished periodic survey work on inside service lines and meters under the Cannot Gain Entry (CGE) process.”

 

 

1.7(a) Contractors employed by the Company shall not perform work beyond the head of the service shutoff valve except when required to drill through the wall to install high pressure regulators inside the building, or as specified in the Letter of Agreement dated January 10, 1997.

 

1.7(b) Contractors will not be called out between 4:30 P.M. and 8:00 A.M. weekdays or at any time on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays to perform work which is normally performed by members of the Bargaining Unit.  This does not preclude contractors from continuing to work on jobs on an overtime basis which they have been performing during normal working hours.  (See separate Letter of Agreement dated November 21, 1979).

 

1.8  Except in cases of emergency, non-availability of Union personnel, or when it is done for the sole purpose of training employees, work normally performed by members of the Bargaining Unit will not be performed by employees who are not members of the Bargaining Unit.

 

ARTICLE II

 

WAGES

 

2.1  Effective November 21, 2015, and until November 20, 2016, wage rates shall be as set forth in Schedule A attached hereto and made a part hereof.

 

Effective November 21, 2016, and until November 20, 2017 wage rates shall be as set forth in Schedule B attached hereto and made a part hereof.

 

Effective November 21, 2017 and until November 20, 2018, wage rates shall be as set forth in Schedule C attached hereto and made a part hereof.

 

 

Said Schedules shall be incorporated by the Company in the printed Agreement and a copy thereof given to each employee.

 

2.2(a) Removed

 

2.3(a) It is agreed that, except to the extent provided in section (b) hereof, merit increases for employees within the rate ranges set forth in the attached Schedules shall be within the sole discretion of the Company.  In making such individual adjustments, the Company shall consider the improved quality or quantity of work performed by an employee.

 

2.3 (b) Employees, will be hired at the New Start rate.   Thereafter, provided that satisfactory performance is maintained as determined by the Company, an employee will be advanced to the top of the range with three (3) annual wage increases in accordance with the current Rate Schedule with future increases at the one (1) year, the two (2) year, and the three (3) year anniversary date.

 

2.4 The Company agrees that employees to whom this Agreement is applicable shall be paid weekly, by direct deposit with supporting payroll documentation mailed to the employee’s residence.

 

2.5  Employees assigned to work the second or third shift shall receive a premium of two dollars($2.00) per hour.  For the purpose of this clause, the second shift is any shift that includes more than one-half (1/2) of the scheduled hours between 4:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight, and the third shift is any shift that includes more than one-half (1/2) of the scheduled hours between 12:00 midnight and 8:00 a.m.

 

The day shift shall include all shifts on which more than one-half (1/2) of the scheduled hours occur between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

 

ARTICLE III

 

WORK WEEK AND OVERTIME PAY

 

3.1(a) The work week, for the purpose of compensation and premium pay, shall commence at 12:01 a.m. Monday and shall end at 12:00 midnight on the following Sunday.

 

3.1(b) The normal work week shall consist of five (5), eight (8) hour days, Monday to Friday inclusive, except for employees assigned to a staggered work week, in which case the normal work week shall consist of any five (5), eight (8) hour days, or four (4), ten (10) hour days, during the said work week established in the preceding paragraph.

 

3.1(c) Employees who have completed thirty (30) years of service with the Company, (Distribution Operations Department) except for Responders, shall normally be assigned work on the first shift only.  Temporary exceptions may be made in the event of emergency work.  Employees with thirty (30) years of service may elect to remain on the shift schedule on a year to year basis.  This shall not apply in the Northwest until the level of personnel assigned to shift work makes it practical.

 

3.1(e) Utility Work; Bargaining Unit employees will perform all utility work previously performed by the Appliance Service group.

 

Meter work including meter changes can be assigned to any qualified person(s) in the Utility Operations from the following families:  Meter Reading, Measurement & Regulation, Distribution Operations, and Field Services.

 

Overtime will continue to be equalized within the departments performing the work whenever meter work is assigned.  This will not change the Letter of agreements dated 3/6/91 and 2/2/93.

 

Pipe work / meter sets can be assigned to any qualified personnel in Utility Operations from the following families: Measurement & Regulation, Distribution Operations and Field Services.

 

3.1(f) Certain operating departments will work a 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. schedule, on a permanent basis, as follows:

 

  1. Distribution Operations Department (excluding Responders)
  2. Measurement & Regulation  Department
  3. Automotive Department

 

For the Warehouse, the shift schedule will be as follows:

Union Division – All year:          7:00 am to 3:30 pm or

7:30 am to 4:00 pm

 

 

3.1(g) For the Automotive Department:  the Company will institute one (1), six (6) day shift, Monday to Saturday, 7:00 AM to 3:30 pm from October 1 through March 31 to be rotated among all mechanics.  The remaining day shift positions along with the 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm shift positions will work Monday to Friday.

 

3.1(h) The Responder position will be staffed in accordance with a shift schedule that provides coverage around – the – clock, 365 days a year.  Responders will be assigned to a rotational schedule in Union Division and a rotating schedule in the Northwest.

 

3.1(i) The Distribution Operations (Street Department) 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. shift schedule will be as follows (the schedule will include fixed holidays, excluding Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, that are recognized between October 1st and March 31st) and takes effect on the Monday closest to the ‘From’ dates listed in the table:

 

 

From                     To               Crew         Days/Shift               Days

          1 Sep                31 May             1                  6                 Mon – Sat

1 Dec               31 Mar              1                  7                 Mon – Sun

1 Jun                31 Aug              1                   6                   Mon – Sat*

(*Mon-Sat 4 pm to 12 am)

 

 

          6 Day Shift   Mon – Sat:  4:00 p.m. – 12 a.m.   No Back Shift

7 Day Shift    Mon – Sun:  4:00 p.m. – 12 a.m.  Tues – Sat: 7:30 a.m. –  4:00 p.m.

 

3.2(a) An employee who works in excess of forty (40) hours in any one work week, or in excess of eight (8) hours in any normal work day, or in excess of ten (10) hours when working a four (4) day, ten (10) hour schedule shall be compensated for such excess work at the rate of one and one-half (1-1/2) times his regular rate of pay.

 

3.2(b)  An employee who works more than twelve (12) consecutive hours in any one work day, will be compensated for all work in excess of twelve (12) hours at the rate of two (2) times his regular rate of pay.

 

3.3  It is understood and agreed that the Company may institute and maintain staggered work weeks for employees assigned to the Distribution Operations Department under an arrangement which will provide an average work week of forty (40) hours for such employees.

 

3.3(a) All new employees hired into the Meter Reading Department after November 21, 1981, or any new employee hired after November 21, 1981, and subsequently transferred into the Meter Reading Department (except an employee who bumps directly into the Meter Reading Department as a result of a layoff) may be assigned to a staggered work week (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday).  Additionally, these employees may be assigned to an 11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. shift during the summer period.  The Company will implement a 10 am to 6 pm shift as a standard AMR shift.  Any additional shifts will be discussed with the union.

 

3.4 If an employee is required to perform work which (1) precedes his regular working hours by more than one (1) hour, without having been scheduled prior to the expiration of the employee’s last regular shift, or (2) does not follow his regular working hours without having been scheduled prior to the expiration of the employee’s last regular shift, or (3) occurs on a regularly scheduled day off without having been scheduled prior to the expiration of the employee’s last regular shift, such work shall be deemed “Callout Work”

 

3.4(a) In the event an employee performs any “callout work” as defined in 3.4 above, he shall be further compensated for all hours worked on callout work which are in excess of forty (40) hours in a given work week at the rate of one-half time.

 

3.4(b) Working time for “callout work” shall be considered as commencing when an employee leaves his residence and as being completed when he returns to his residence.  Any employee required to perform “callout work” pursuant to this paragraph shall receive a minimum of four (4) hours’ work, or four (4) hours’ pay at his regular hourly base rate, providing there is less than four (4) hours of work available. In addition, a meal allowance of ten dollars ($10.00) will be paid for any callout that extends beyond ten (10) consecutive hours.

 

          3.4(c) Employees inadvertently skipped for a call-out opportunity will be offered overtime equal to the skipped opportunity, to be taken within 90 days.  Any employee skipped three (3) or more times in a calendar year will be offered overtime equal to the amount of the last skip plus an additional two hours of pay at straight time.

 

3.5 One and one-half (1-1/2) times his regular rate of pay shall be paid to an employee for work performed on the sixth (6th) day worked in the work week and two (2) times his regular rate of pay for work performed on the seventh (7th) day worked in the work week.

 

Employees assigned to a staggered work week who are required to work on Sunday will be paid a premium of one dollar ($1.00) per hour for all such work performed on Sunday, providing it is not their seventh (7th) day of work.  This one dollar ($1.00) per hour premium is in addition to the base rate, but is not subject to pyramiding under any other terms of this contract.

 

3.5(a) Employees scheduled to work on the 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. shift on Sunday will be paid an additional two dollars ($2.00) per hour premium for all such work performed on that day.  This premium shall not apply when the Sunday worked is other than one of the employee’s regularly scheduled five days of work.

 

3.5(b) The employee meal allowance is  eleven dollars ($ 11.00) when they work more than two (2) hours beyond their regular quitting time and at four (4) hour intervals thereafter.  This meal allowance shall apply to all employees.  Employees will be allowed reasonable time to eat while on the job providing the work is not unduly interrupted.

 

3.6(a) Employees of the Distribution Operations Department who have the ability and qualifications for the job and desire to be considered as “standby personnel” shall apply to the Company to be so listed.  The Company may there upon designate one or more people from such list as “Standby Personnel”.  “Standby Personnel” shall be drawn from the ranks of employees covered by this Agreement.

 

3.6(b) A two-person standby crew within Distribution Operations in the Northwest and Union Divisions cover a seven-day period beginning 3:30 p.m. Monday.  The crew will be available on standby daily from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and on weekends from 3:30 p.m. on Friday to 7:00 a.m. on Monday.  In compensation for this standby duty, each employee so assigned will receive twenty-three (23) hours of pay at his regular base rate in addition to pay for actual hours worked.

 

3.6(c) Additional standby payments will be made when a holiday occurs during the work week when standby duty is required between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on the following basis:

 

  1. Union Division:

 

Four hours pay when no work crews are scheduled between 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

 

Two hours pay when less than four crews are scheduled in the divisions between 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

 

No pay will be granted when more than four crews are scheduled.  When four or more crews are scheduled the standby crew will be offered the opportunity to work, but no standby pay will be paid.

 

  1. Northwest Division

 

Four hours pay when no crews are scheduled.  Two hours pay when not more than two crews are scheduled.

 

No pay will be granted when more than two crews are scheduled.

 

3.6(d) Within  Field Services in the Northwest, two (2) Responders shall be assigned to standby duty on a seven-day basis,  Sunday through Sunday.  The assigned employee shall take home a Company vehicle when on standby.

 

Compensation in the amount of fifteen (15) hours pay at straight time rates shall be paid for such standby duty.

 

3.6(e)  Employees on standby will be given beepers and/or cell phones in the event they need to be contacted.  Employees with beepers and/or cell phones are expected to be within twenty-five (25) miles of their reporting division with the ability to report directly to work so as not to adversely impact response time.

 

Employees participating in C&M stand-by may elect to take an assigned construction vehicle (Crew Truck, small dump truck, or other vehicle) home and report directly to the job on a call out.  If both employees on stand-by elect to take a vehicle home, one vehicle must be the Crew Truck.

 

Employees that live within 35 miles of Green Lane may participate in stand-by with the understanding that employees that live beyond 25 miles must take a vehicle home as described above, in order to be eligible for stand-by.

 

Employees participating in this vehicle take home must remain within 35 miles of Green Lane with the ability to report directly to the job so as not to impact response time. All employees on stand-by must carry a Company supplied pager and / or cell phone.

 

Employees will be required to maintain this vehicle, perform minor repairs, and comply with the vehicle usage constraints per the existing Take Home Vehicle Policy.

 

 

 

Employees previously grandfathered by the Woodbridge/Rahway transfer of operations agreements will continue to be grandfathered with an additional ten (10) mile extension of eligibility under the terms of this agreement.

 

All such standby employees must respond to a page or phone call within five (5) minutes, otherwise the Company will go to the next person on the list.  The Company will not be held responsible for technology breakdowns or communication dead zones.

 

3.6(f) In the event that an employee is called out to perform any call out work he shall receive additional pay for one and one-half (1-1/2) times his regular rate for each hour worked on a day other than Sunday, and two (2) times the regular rate for each hour worked on Sunday. Working time for call out work shall be considered as commencing when the employee leaves his residence and as being completed when he returns to his residence.

 

3.6(g) Northwest Division:  One (1) employee shall be assigned to standby in the Measurement & Regulation Department of the Northwest Division, under the same conditions, hours and compensation as exist in the Distribution Operations Department.  This standby employee shall take their vehicle home.  A Responder can be utilized to assist the standby employee. Supervision shall not be used to assist in place of a bargaining unit employee.

 

3.6(h) All future employees entering the Measurement and Regulation department must be eligible to participate in M&R stand-by, overtime and call-out out, and meet the requirements for each.  Existing employees in the M&R department will continue to volunteer for M&R stand-by.  In the event there are no volunteers, or an unforeseen stand-by vacancy arises, the Company will force the junior employee of those employees who have worked the least amount of stand-by, in the calendar year to cover the opening.

 

3.6(i)  The Company will offer Trenching Machine (TM) standby in the Union Division, beginning the last week in November.   This standby will be open to TMOs and qualified ATMOs.  Each TMO will be eligible for four (4) standby weeks.  Each ATMO will be eligible for the remaining standby weeks, up to a maximum of four (4) standby weeks per ATMO.  TM standby will run for a minimum of 18 weeks up to a maximum of 21 weeks.  Standby will be under the same conditions, hours and compensation that exist in Distribution Operations.

 

To be eligible to be an ATMO the employee must reside within 25 miles of the division office.  (By separate agreement, TMOs are required to live within 25 miles of the Division office).

 

The TMO participating in the TM standby will not be eligible to sign for C&M standby for the same year.  The ATMO participating in the TM standby will not be eligible for C&M standby for each week that the ATMO is on TM standby.

 

 

In addition to paving and concrete work presently performed by outside vendors, all remaining surface restoration work will be outsourced at management’s discretion.  This includes, but is not limited to topsoil and seed, sod, seed only, etc.  This work will be outsourced without restrictions as may be currently contained in the Collective Bargaining Agreement or any other agreement and/or past practice.

 

The Company will maintain eight (8) ATMOs in the Union Division.  This position will be open to four (4) Street Mechanics and four (4) Crew Leaders (by seniority) in the Union Division who live within 25 miles of the Green Lane facility.  The position will be a back-up to the existing TMOs.  Trenching machine work will be distributed to the employees who are awarded and assigned to the ATMO.  Overtime and call-out work will be offered to the existing TMOs first and then offered to the ATMOs.  Work assigned to ATMO’s during normal working hours and continuation-of-day overtime will be paid at the employee’s normal contracted rate.  Scheduled overtime and call-out will also be paid at the employee’s normal contracted rate.  An Auxiliary Drip Pumper cannot be on the ATMO list and the ATMO employees cannot be on the Drip Pumper list.

 

To retain the right to be designated ATMO or TMO, each employee must participate in 15% of overtime and call-out out opportunities offered to them as ATMOs or TMOs during the contract year. 

 

 

3.6(j) The Company will maintain six (6) Auxiliary Drip Pumpers (ADP) in the Union Division.  This position will be open to four (4) Street Mechanics and two (2) Crew Leaders (by seniority) in the Union Division who live within 25 miles of the Green Lane facility.  The position will be a back-up to the existing Drip Pumper.  Drip pump work will be distributed to the employees who are awarded and assigned to the ADP.  Overtime and call-out work will be offered to the existing Drip Pumper first and then offered to the ADP’s.  Work assigned to ADP’s during normal working hours and continuation-of-day overtime will be paid at the employee’s normal contracted rate.  Scheduled overtime and call-out will also be paid at the employee’s normal contracted rate.  An Auxiliary Drip Pumper cannot be on the ATMO list and the ATMO employees cannot be on the Drip Pumper list.

 

To retain the right to be designated ADP, each employee must participate in 15% of overtime and call-out out opportunities offered to them as ADP’s during the contract year.

 

3.7  If the Company determines to make any change in the scheduling, it shall give the staff twelve (12) hours notice of such change, and in the event of a failure to do so, an employee required to do unscheduled work shall receive one and one-half (1-1/2) times his regular pay for such work.

 

3.8 Any employee assigned to the second or third shift or to a staggered work week who for any reason fails to report for work shall not be entitled to return to work until he has given his Company supervisor twelve (12) hours notice of his intention to do so.

 

3.9  The Company agrees that if an employee has been required to work longer than his normal work day on any particular day, it will not reduce  the working hours on any subsequent day during said work week in an effort to escape payment of overtime compensation.  However, any employee who has worked sixteen (16) hours during the twenty-four (24) hour period preceding their normal starting time, shall be replaced on their work assignment and shall not be required to return to work for a period of nine (9) hours.  Employees may work more than sixteen (16) hours up to a maximum of twenty-four (24) hours with management approval.  This nine (9) hour rest period shall start at the end of the employees paid time.  If any part of the rest period coincides with the employee’s scheduled work hours the employee shall receive the regular rate of pay for such hours.  After the rest period, the employee must report to work in order to receive a full day of pay at their regular rate, unless the rest period is more than six (6) hours into the employee’s scheduled work hours.

 

3.10 Unless laid off for lack of work or as a result of any act of God, members of the bargaining unit are guaranteed forty (40) hours work each week.  It is agreed that no employee shall lose a regular day’s pay or part thereof because of heavy rain or heavy snow.  Distribution Operations employees may be assigned to ride shotgun with Senior Meter Readers in inclement weather and upgrading will apply where applicable.

 

3.10(a) In the event of heavy rain or heavy snow, Distribution Operations crews shall not be required to work exposed to the elements except in an emergency.  These employees shall be required to work at any job to which assigned which protects them from the heavy rain or heavy snow.

 

3.11  Insofar as it is practical to do so, overtime will be distributed equally among the employees who normally perform such work at each work location.  If sufficient personnel are not available at a specific location or in a given job classification, the Company shall have the right to use other bargaining unit employees to perform the overtime in question on a voluntary basis.

 

3.12  The highest applicable premium rate will prevail in each instance but there shall not be any pyramiding of such premium rates.  Subject only to pyramiding agreed to an emergency call out in Paragraph 3.4(a).

 

ARTICLE IV

 

RATES ON TRANSFERS

 

4.1(a)  If an employee is transferred for a temporary period to a job which has a higher rate of pay than their regular job, they shall receive the higher rate of pay so long as they remain on the job to which they are transferred.  If the higher rated job has a rate range, the “higher rate of pay” mentioned in the preceding sentence shall be the minimum of such range.  If an employee is transferred to a job for which the rate of pay is lower than their regular rate, they shall receive their regular rate while working at such job.

 

4.1(b)  Whenever any job classification at any work location is filled for more than sixty (60) working days in any contract year by temporary promotions such job will then be posted and filled permanently.  However, temporary promotions made to replace employees who are absent from work or on vacation shall not be counted in computing the aforementioned sixty (60) days.

 

4.2 It is understood and agreed that where an employee, because of mechanical skill, experience and ability, receives a higher rate than any other employee performing similar tasks, the absence from work of such employee will not be the occasion for any lower rated employee to claim that during such absence the employee is entitled to receive the rate of pay of the higher rated employee.

 

ARTICLE V

 

HOLIDAYS

 

5.1  It is agreed that the following days shall be considered paid holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In addition, employees will have three (3) floating holidays.

 

5.2  To be eligible for payment for any holiday, the employee must have worked the full scheduled work day before and after the holiday, unless their absence has been excused in writing by the Company.  Absences caused by illness must be substantiated by a doctor’s certificate in order for the employee to qualify for holiday pay and/or sick pay.

 

5.3  If any employee is on their vacation when a holiday occurs for which they otherwise would be entitled to holiday pay, they shall receive eight (8) hours base pay as holiday compensation, and they shall be entitled to an additional day off on account of said holiday.  The additional day off may be taken on the employee’s next regularly scheduled work day following their vacation, or upon request of the employee, on another day approved by supervision.

 

5.4  If an employee is absent on sick leave and receiving sick leave benefits when a holiday occurs for which they otherwise would be entitled to holiday pay, they shall receive such holiday pay of eight (8) hours base pay and such holiday shall not be charged against their sick leave benefits.

 

5.5  If an employee works on any of said holidays, they shall receive time and one-half his regular rate of pay for all time worked on said day in addition to eight (8) hours holiday pay.  No employee shall be entitled to receive more than time and one-half (in addition to the holiday pay of eight (8) hours) for any work performed on any of said holidays regardless of the character of such work, except as provided by Paragraph 3.2(b) of this Agreement.

 

5.5(a) If an employee works on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Day, they shall receive double time pay for all hours worked plus eight (8) hours holiday pay at their regular rate.

 

5.6  An unworked holiday for which an employee receives eight (8) hours holiday pay shall be counted as time worked in the computation of weekly overtime.

 

5.7  Work performed before 12:01 a.m. on any said holidays shall not be regarded as holiday work.

 

5.8  If any of the above mentioned holidays  fall on Sunday, the following Monday shall be considered as the holiday and all the holiday provisions herein contained shall apply to such Monday rather than Sunday.

 

If any of the above mentioned holidays shall fall on Saturday, the preceding Friday shall be considered as the holiday and all the holiday provisions herein contained shall apply to such Friday rather than Saturday.

 

5.9   If an employee works on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, when such day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the employee shall receive one – half (1/2) pay in addition to the pay they would otherwise have received, the total of which shall not exceed double time pay.  An employee who works on Easter Sunday shall be compensated for such work at the rate of two (2) times his/her regular rate of pay, the total of which shall not exceed double time pay.

 

ARTICLE VI

 

VACATIONS

 

6.1  The vacation year shall be defined for the purpose of this title as the period beginning  January 1 of the year and continuing for fifty-two (52) consecutive weeks.

 

 

6.2  An employee on the active payroll on December 31 , of the current vacation year shall be entitled to vacation with pay at the basic rate of pay which the employee receives on his last regular pay day prior to taking his vacation.  If an employee is permanently assigned to either the second or third shift during the vacation year, his vacation pay shall also include the premium for that shift.

 

It is the intention of the Parties that no employee will lose or gain benefits as a result of the changes to this provision during the transition period.  To that end, the Parties agree to transition the vacation year to a calendar year by pro-rating the seven months from June 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016, as provided below:

Years of Service                                    Length of                                     Number of

Subsequent                                             Vacation                                     Hours of

Date of Employment                                                                                 Vacation Pay   

More than one year but less

than five years………….                           Six days                                       48

 

Five years but less

than fifteen years………                           Nine days                                    72

 

Fifteen years but

less than twenty-two years….                 Twelve days                                96

 

Twenty-two years

but less than thirty years…..                 Fifteen days                              120

 

Thirty years or more….                          Eighteen days                           144

 

6.3  The amount of vacation and vacation pay to which each employee is entitled will be determined on the basis of each employee’s total years of active service as provided below:

 

Years of Service                              Length of                                       Number of

Subsequent                                    Vacation                                          Hours of

        Date of Employment                                                                                 Vacation Pay   

More than one year but less

than five years………….                      Ten days                                    80

 

Five years but less

than fifteen years………                      Fifteen days                               120

 

Fifteen years but

less than twenty-two years….            Twenty days                               160

 

Twenty-two years..

but less than thirty years…..            Twenty-five days                       200

 

Thirty years or more….                       Thirty days                                240

 

 

6.4  A week’s vacation shall be defined to consist of seven (7) consecutive calendar days commencing on Monday and ending on Sunday.  For those on a shift longer than eight (8) hours, vacation time charged will be the number of hours the employee is scheduled to work.

 

6.5  The aggregate number of vacation days and floating holidays, (per Letter of Agreement dated February 10, 1999), for the Responders on any given day or week is limited to:

 

Division                 Sept – March                  April – August

Union                              8                                     11

Northwest                      3                                       4

 

 

6.6  It is expressly understood and agreed that all vacations shall be taken as scheduled by the Company but the Company agrees to respect the preferences of the employees insofar as it is practical to do so.

 

6.7  It is expressly understood and agreed that where an employee is entitled to more than one week of vacation, their entire vacation may not necessarily be consecutive weeks, but the Company shall have the right to schedule their vacation for non-consecutive weeks.  Employees having one or more weeks of vacation eligibility may schedule up to one week in single vacation days and those employees having three (3) or more weeks of vacation eligibility may schedule up to two (2) weeks in single vacation days.  Scheduling shall be subject to approval by supervision.  Employees eligible for four or more weeks of vacation may take one of these weeks in pay instead of time off.  This payment should be requested sufficiently in advance so that payroll can make payment on the date desired.

 

6.8(a) The company agrees that if, at the end of a vacation year, a disability has prevented an employee from taking his/her full vacation, they will be entitled to receive their vacation pay upon the employee’s return to work.

 

6.8(b)  An employee who has been on leave of absence (not sick leave) or in military service, so as to be away from their employment with the Company, must have performed at least two hundred (200) days work since their previous vacation or before their first vacation, to be eligible for a vacation.  Time worked by such employee since their previous vacation shall be credited towards the two hundred (200) days requirement.

 

ARTICLE VII

 

SICK LEAVE

 

  • An employee shall be entitled to sick leave benefits in the amount hereinafter set forth provided they do the following:  (1) notify the Company or a Company designated representative on each day of their illness at least thirty (30) minutes prior to the beginning of their assigned shift and inform the Company (or designated representative) that they are ill and unable to work or that they have been rendered unfit for work through an accident occurring in the normal course of living; they shall also inform the Company (or designated representative) of the nature of the illness or accident and of the name and address of their doctor, where they may be located if not at his/her home and the employee must notify the Company (or designated representative) of a probable return to work date; (2) upon returning to work, furnish the Company (or designated representative) with a certificate signed by their doctor and dated on the day in which the doctor has regular hours, nearest to the day the employee reports back to work, provided however, that a doctor’s certificate or notice to supervisor of doctor’s name and address, shall not be required for an absence of two (2) days or less due to illness or accident.

 

The certificate shall state the period during which the employee was treated and that the employee is able to return to work and the date they may return.

 

An employee who is ill for an extended period of time, (i.e. short-term disability) shall notify their supervisor (or designated representative) of their condition and progress at least once each seven (7) days, in order to remain eligible for continued sick benefits.

 

The Company reserves the right to investigate absences due to claimed illness.

 

7.1(a) Employees having completed five (5) but less than ten (10) years of service may be absent up to two (2) days [sixteen (16) hours] per  calendar year with pay for reasons of personal business.  Employees having completed ten (10) or more years of service may be absent three (3) days [twenty- four (24) hours] per contract year for reasons of personal business. Such absences shall be applied against the employee’s sick leave allowance and shall not be considered as time worked in the calculation of overtime; such time not to be taken in less than 4 – hour increments. These absences will be limited to the following reasons:

 

  1. Sickness in the immediate family.
  2. Legal matters, such as house closing, court appearances, etc.
  3. Death of a relative or member of the employee’s household not covered in Article XXV, or the death of a close personal friend.

 

When possible, employees should give supervision at least 24 hours notice of absence due to personal reasons, but in no case shall the notice be less than that applied to absences due to illness, as described in Paragraph 7.1 of this Agreement.

 

In the event of the death of a close personal friend, the employee must provide information concerning the funeral at least 24 hours in advance.  Such information shall be subject to review and approval by the supervisor.

 

No pay allowance shall be granted in any case where, because of distance or other cause, the employee does not attend the funeral of the deceased.

 

7.2 In no event shall both sick leave benefits and compensation under the Worker’s Compensation Act be paid to an employee for the same days of absence from work.  When an employee is absent from work because of an injury which appears to the Company to be compensable, they shall be paid compensation during such absence (including the first seven (7) days) in an amount determined by the Worker’s Compensation Act, provided that the total of such payments shall not exceed the amount of their sick leave benefits hereunder.  If it is subsequently determined that they had no compensation claim, and if the amount so paid to them is less than they would have been entitled to as sick leave benefits, the Company shall pay them the balance, and the total amount paid to them shall be charged against their sick leave benefits.   Payments made as compensation by the Company in such a case shall be without prejudice to a later claim by the Company that no injury compensable under the Worker’s Compensation Act has been incurred by the employee.

 

7.3  When an employee receives compensation under the Worker’s Compensation Act which does not cover the first seven (7) days of his absence from work, the compensation paid to them by the Company for such first seven (7) days shall be charged against their sick leave benefits.

 

7.3(a) In the case of absences of more than seven (7) days due to on the job injury, employees shall be entitled, in addition to Worker’s Compensation benefits, payments from the Company which when combined with the compensation benefits, shall equal 75% of gross pay, less any voluntary deductions.  In such cases, the absences in excess of seven days shall not be charged against sick leave allowances.

 

7.4  Sick leave benefits will not be paid for absences from work of less than four (4) hours.  Employees assigned to work schedules in excess of eight (8) hours will be charged sick time according to the number of hours scheduled to work.  In the event of absences from work of four (4) hours or more, the benefits will be paid as of the beginning of such absence, provided, however, that no benefits will commence until the employee complies with the applicable provisions of Section 7.1.  This shall also apply to employees scheduled as described in paragraph 3.1(e).

 

7.5  The Company may, in its sole and unlimited discretion, waive the requirement of a doctor’s certificate in any particular situation, but the waiving of such certificate in any case or cases shall not be deemed to constitute a waiver of the requirement that the said doctor’s certificate be furnished in any other case.

 

7.6   Sick leave benefits shall be as follows:

 

YEARS OF SERVICE                                                          AMOUNT OF

WITH THE COMPANY                                            SICK LEAVE AT REGULAR PAY

          More than one (1) year but

less than five (5) years                       Four (4) days or thirty-two (32) hours

Five (5) years or more but

less than ten (10) years                       Six (6) days or forty-eight (48) hours

          Ten (10) years or more but

less than twenty (20) years               Eight (8) days or sixty-four (64) hours

plus one (1) day or eight (8)

hours added to the employee’s

accumulated sick leave.

 

Twenty (20) years or more                             Twelve (12) days or ninety–six (96) hours

plus two (2) days or sixteen (16)

hours added to the employee’s

accumulated sick leave.

 

 

7.6 The Company shall pay the employee the difference between the daily benefit amount to which the employee may be entitled hereunder and the daily benefit to which the employee may be entitled by the terms of the temporary Disability Benefits Law of New Jersey.  In no event shall sick leave benefits be payable by the Company for more than the number of days specified herein.

 

  • Sick leave time not used by an employee in any one year’s period may be accumulated and carried over as a benefit into succeeding years, subject to the following limitations:

 

7.7(a)

 

“7.7(a) Accumulated sick leave may be applied, when an employee has exhausted all of their current year’s sick days and is absent for more than seven (7) consecutive calendar days of personal illness/injury excluding scheduled days off.”

 

 

7.7(b) There will be no further accumulation of sick leave for the purposes of payout at retirement after November 21,1994.  Existing sick leave accumulations will be allowed for the purposes of payout for employees fifty (50) years of age or over as of November 21, 1994.  All employees shall continue to accrue sick leave for purposes of sick in accordance with existing agreements.

 

7.7(c)  Employees shall commence to accumulate unused sick time as of January 1  next preceding the date on which they have completed five (5) years of continuous service with the Company.  Such employees upon completion of six (6) years of continuous service may use one-third (1/3) of their accumulated sick leave benefits, in addition to the current year’s sick leave benefits.  Upon official retirement, employees fifty (50) years of age or over as of November 21, 1994, shall receive one-third (1/3) of their existing accumulated sick leave time plus the unused current year’s sick leave time on a pro-rata basis.  This accumulated sick leave time may be taken as follows:

 

All may be taken in paid time off during the year immediately preceding their retirement date, or they may elect to take up to one-half (1/2) of this time in lump sum cash payment upon retirement and the remainder in paid time off as described above.

 

7.7(d)  Employees who have completed twenty (20) years of continuous service as of  January 1 of any year may use one-half (1/2) of their accumulated sick leave benefits, in addition to the current year’s sick leave benefits, but in no instance shall the total usable accumulated sick leave exceed six months.  Upon official retirement, employees fifty (50) years of age or over as of November 21, 1994,  shall receive one-half (1/2) of their existing accumulated sick leave time, plus the unused current year’s sick leave time on a pro-rata basis but together they shall not exceed a total of six (6) months.  This accumulated sick leave may be taken as follows:

 

All may be taken in paid time off during the year immediately preceding their retirement date, or they may elect to take up to one-half (1/2) of this time in lump sum cash payment upon retirement and the remainder in paid time off as described above.

 

7.7(e)  Employees who have completed forty (40) years of continuous service as of  January 1 of any year may use their entire accumulated sick leave benefits, in addition to the current year’s sick leave benefits, but in no instance shall the usable accumulated sick leave exceed six (6) months.  Upon official retirement employees age fifty (50) years of age or over as of November 21, 1994, shall receive their existing accumulated sick leave time, plus the unused current year’s sick leave time on a pro-rata basis but together they shall not exceed a total of six (6) months.  This accumulated sick leave may be taken as follows:

 

All may be taken in paid time off during the year immediately preceding their retirement date, or they may elect to take up to one-half (1/2) of this time in lump sum cash payment upon retirement and the remainder in paid time off as described above.

 

It is the intention of the Parties that no employee will lose or gain benefits as a result of the changes to this provision during the transition period.  To that end, the Parties agree to transition the sick leave benefit to a calendar year by pro-rating the 1 year and 40 days from November 21, 2015, through December 31, 2016, as provided below:

 

 

Pro-rated 1 Year & 40 Days
November 21, 2015 – December 31, 2016
Years of Service with the Company Amount of Sick Leave Days Number of Hours of Sick Leave
More than one (1) year but less than five (5) years 5 40
Five (5) years but less than ten (10) years 7 56
Ten (10) years or more but less than twenty (20) years 9 72
Twenty (20) years or more 13 104

 

7.8  The Company agrees that shortly after November 21 of each year, it will furnish to each eligible employee a record showing their accumulated sick leave time, and the amount available for their use in succeeding years.

 

7.9  It is agreed that “years of service” shall include time laid off (provided the employee has not been laid off for more than one year) and leaves of absences.  Employees laid off for more than one year, or employees whose seniority is terminated as hereinafter provided, shall, for the purpose of sick leave benefits, be regarded as new employees if they are subsequently re-employed.

 

  • Half days of sick leave shall be accumulated by employees. Employees may use accumulated half days of sick leave.

 

7.11(a) Short-term Disability (STD) benefits are paid by the Company at a rate of  70% of base pay, minus any other state or federal disability related income the employee may receive.   They are provided to an employee who is absent from work for more than five (5) consecutive workdays due to non-occupational illness or injury, after exhausting all sick leave and accumulated sick leave, for a period not to exceed  180 days from the onset of the disability.

 

7.11(b)

An employee who remains unable to return to work upon the exhaustion of STD will have up to 15 days to apply for Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits, during which time they will be placed on inactive status.  The Company will be responsible for providing notice of LTD benefits to employees who have been on STD leave for 120 days, and the 15-day application period described above will not begin until that information has been provided.  LTD benefits are paid to eligible employees beginning after 180 days from the onset of disability as defined by the LTD Plan, available to employees who are deemed disabled and have at least 180 days of service.  The benefit equals 60% of the employee’s base rate of pay at the time the employee became disabled, minus any offsets as defined by the LTD Plan, with a maximum monthly benefit of $5,000; however, employees annually will be permitted to opt for a 70% rate during open enrollment.

 

7.11(c)  .

 

Upon the effective commencement of LTD benefits the employee will remain on inactive status while on LTD for up to 24 months (“LTD Leave Period”).  The employee’s current medical, dental, and vision benefits and Company-provided group life insurance coverage shall continue during the LTD Leave Period as they would for similarly situated active covered employees.  While receiving LTD benefits employees are not eligible for holiday pay or vacation accrual.  If the inactive employee’s condition improves to the extent that they can resume regular work activities, the employee will be returned to the next available position in the job classification that they held when separated. If the employee’s previous position is not vacant, the employee will be considered for any other vacant position upon which they bid, for up to a period of one (1) year. The Company further reserves the right to transfer and/or downgrade employees to a position within their physical capabilities when they are physically incapable of carrying out the full scope of their regular assignment. Decisions of the Company are subject to grievance procedure.

 

 

7.11(d)

 

The Company further agrees that, unless otherwise provided in Article 7, such employee shall be entitled to holiday pay for the holidays occurring during their absence from work up to the date of their termination, if such is the case, and such employee shall be entitled to prorated vacation pay upon termination, if such is the case, based upon their service performed through the last day actually worked.”

 

 

7.11(e)  If, at the termination of an employee’s sick leave benefits, the Company determines that such employee is not able to return to and perform their regular job, and such employee will be able to so return within a reasonable time, or if such a determination may not be made at that time but it is not reasonably certain that such employee will be unable to so return within a reasonable time, the Company will, following the termination of such sick leave benefits, continue to cover such employee for the group life insurance and medical-surgical benefits as are provided for all other employees covered under this Agreement.

 

7.11(f) The Company further agrees that such employee shall be entitled to holiday pay for the holidays occurring during their absence from work up to the date of their termination, if such is the case, and such employee shall be entitled to prorated vacation pay upon termination, if such is the case, based upon their service performed through the last day actually worked.

ARTICLE VIII

 EMPLOYEE WELFARE

 

  • 1

 

 

 

 

“8.1(a) For calendar year 2016, the Company agrees to provide the following benefits to each covered employee who has been employed by the Company for a period of thirty (30) days (an “eligible Union employee”):

 

  • The dental plan described in a separate memorandum.
  • The basic vision plan described in a separate memorandum.
  • Employees shall contribute 25% of the total premium toward their medical benefits through pre-tax payroll deductions. The Company will provide the Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield High PPO or an equivalent ‘Company sponsored’ PPO with equivalent benefit levels, including vision coverage, to employees until December 31, 2016, as described in Exhibit “6.”
  • A flexible spending account for both pre-tax medical and dependent care.

 

8.1(b)   Effective January 1, 2017, and in lieu of the plans described in Section 8.1(a), the Company will provide to all eligible Union employees the same medical, prescription, dental, and vision plans that it is providing to similarly situated non-bargaining unit employees at the Company for calendar year 2016.  The Company will continue to provide these same plans to eligible Union employees for the term of this Agreement, unless the Union exercises its option to change plans under Section 8.1(c) below.  While the Company may not change plans made available to eligible Union employees during the term of this Agreement, the eligible Union employees’ contribution rates will be identical to those paid by similarly situated non-bargaining unit employees in comparable plans, and those contribution rates may change from one plan year to the next; provided, however, any such contribution rate increase for union employees will not increase by more than 10% from any one plan year to the next.  In the event the Company alters or discontinues one or more of these plans such that there are no comparable plan(s) for non-bargaining unit employees, the Company will set contribution rates for eligible Union employees in those plans each year consistent with standard rate development methodology.  In addition, for calendar year 2017 only, the Company will make an additional one-time contribution to HSAs for eligible Union employees who enroll in the High Deductible Plan in the amount of $500 for single coverage, and $1,000 for family coverage.

 

8.1(c)   Until November 21, 2019, the Union shall have a one-time option to change its benefits coverage as described further in this Section.  The Union through its President must make this request in writing, and it must be received by the Company President and the Director of Labor Relations no later than September 15th or within 10 days of the Company giving notice of any material plan changes (whichever is later); this change will become effective on January 1st of the following year, and it may not be revoked.  Once effective, in lieu of those benefits described in 8.1(b), the Company will provide eligible Union employees the same medical, prescription, dental, and vision benefits that it then provides to similarly situated non-bargaining unit employees at the Company.  The eligible Union employee’s contribution rates will be identical to those paid by similarly situated non-bargaining unit employees, and those contribution rates may change from one plan year to the next.  The terms and conditions of these health and welfare plan benefits may be revised from time to time at the Company’s discretion, and any such revisions would apply to eligible Union employees.  The Company agrees to meet with the Union Board each year to provide a preview of such changes before they go into effect.  Upon this request becoming effective, the benefits described in this Section 8.1(c) will be the only medical, prescription, dental, and vision benefits plans provided to Union employees, and the Company will cease providing medical, prescription, vision, and dental benefits plans and contributions as described in Section 8.1(a) or (b).

 

8.2 The Company agrees to provide the following welfare plans:

  • Life insurance and AD+D in the amount of 2x annual base wage rate (current annual rate of pay x 2080 hours), to each employee at no cost, upon completion of thirty (30) days of employment.
  • In the event of the death of an active employee, the Company will pay for the first six (6) months of COBRA, if requested, for their eligible covered dependents for medical, dental, and vision benefits. After that period of time, they will be eligible for the remaining COBRA coverage.
  • A Short Term Disability(STD) plan.
  • A Long Term Disability(LTD) plan.
  • A flexible spending account for both pre-tax medical and dependent care.
  • A voluntary term life insurance plan for the employee, spouse and dependent children.
  • A voluntary Legal Access Plan.
  • The Company shall provide health care benefits to retired employees to age 65, as per Letter of Agreement dated October 27, 1994.
  • A pension plan, known as “AGL Resources Inc. Retirement Plan” (AGLR Pension Plan); however, the AGLR Pension Plan will not be available to new employees hired after December 31, 2012, or to employees who are rehired by the Company following a separation of employment of more than 12 months.
  • A 401(k) savings plan for employees upon completion of thirty (30) days of   Employees may contribute up to 50% of base salary and the Company will match 65% of the employee’s contribution, up to a maximum of 8% of the employee’s annual base salary Subject to current tax law, employees age 50 and above may contribute an additional pre-tax contribution of $1,000 annually.  This amount will increase in $1,000 increments until it reaches $5,000 in the year 2006.  To be eligible for this additional pre-tax contribution the employee must either reach the maximum annual deferral limit or be contributing the maximum contribution (50%) throughout the year.
  • The AGLR Pension Plan will not be available to new employees hired after December 31, 2012. The AGLR Pension Plan also will not be available to employees who are rehired by the Company following a separation of employment of more than 12 months. Additionally, employees who are hired on or after January 1, 2013, or who are rehired more than 12 months after separation, will be eligible for enhanced 401(k) benefits (at the time of their eligibility as described in the plan) that include the following provisions:
  1. Automatic enrollment at 3% of covered compensation. Employees may elect to opt out of the Plan entirely, and may also elect to contribute more or less through automatic enrollment, as described in the plan.
  2. The first 3% of the employee contribution will be matched at 100% by the Company.
  3. The second 3% of the employee contribution will be matched at 75% by the Company.
  4. There is also a non-elective Company contribution, equal to 1.5% of covered compensation, for employees who are on the payroll on the last day of each year.
  5. Employees who choose to opt out of, and not contribute to, the 401(k) plan would still be eligible for the non-elective 1.5% contribution, if they are on the payroll at the end of each year.”

 

The Company will also provide on-site representative(s) to assist employees during the open enrollment period in 2016 for benefits beginning in the 2017 plan year.

 

 

8.3(a) Safety rules set up by the Company must be strictly adhered to by both employees and the Company.  The Safety Committee under the chairmanship of a Company representative shall meet not less than six (6) times annually to discuss the reasonableness of existing safety regulations, to investigate accidents and to suggest methods of improving safety.  The Union shall be represented on the Committee by four (4) permanent representatives who will serve for a minimum of one (1) year.

 

Such employees shall come from different departments.  Whenever the Safety Committee meetings involve a tour or study of a particular committee activity, the Union shall be entitled to appoint a temporary member from the area being studied or toured to participate in that particular committee meeting.  The Union shall have the right to replace the permanent members in the event they deem it necessary.

 

8.3(b)  At no time shall an employee be required to perform any hazardous task or one injurious to health without proper instruction, help and equipment.

 

8.4  The Company shall provide a first aid kit for each vehicle used for Company business.  The Company may demand the employee to produce these kits for inspection at any time.

 

ARTICLE IX

 

SENIORITY

 

9.1  There shall be two groups of family classification within the Company.  One group will be for the purpose of layoff and the second group will be for the purpose of promotion.  Exhibit “1” attached hereto and made a part hereof is the group of family classifications for lay-off purposes.  Exhibit “2” attached hereto and made a part hereof is the group of family classifications for purpose of promotion.

 

9.2  All employees in the bargaining unit shall have a seniority date commensurate  with the date they were last employed in the bargaining unit.  Exceptions are those employees, or groups of employees, who entered the bargaining unit through certification election or union consent.  Such employees shall have a seniority date commensurate with the date they last became employees of the Company.

 

9.2(a) Seniority rights of an employee shall not be acquired until he has been on the payroll of the company one hundred and twenty (120) days.  During said period the employee shall be deemed temporary and may be discharged at the will of the Company.  After said period an employee shall be considered as regular and cannot be discharged except for just cause, but at the expiration of said one hundred twenty (120) days the employee’s seniority rights shall date back to the date of employment.

 

9.3  In case of promotion, demotion, layoff and rehiring, the Company agrees to recognize the principle of seniority but due regard shall be given in all cases to ability, efficiency, skill, knowledge, training, physical condition and qualifications for the particular job.  Any disagreement by the Union with the Company’s application of seniority principles above set forth shall be considered to be a grievance and handled under the grievance procedure set forth in this Agreement.  Special promotional qualifications for personnel will be as outlined in Article X of this Agreement.

 

9.4  In the event of a vacancy in a job in the bargaining unit defined in Section 1.1, hereof,  the Company shall post a notice thereof in duplicate on the bulletin board at all reporting stations throughout the Company area for a period of five (5) days.  Employees desiring to fill such vacancy shall sign their names to both copies of said notice.  At the conclusion of five (5) days, the original copy of the notice will be kept by the Human Resources Department and a duplicate copy forwarded to the Union representative in each reporting station.  The vacancy thereafter shall be filled in accordance with Section 9.5 of this Article.

 

9.4(a)  Employees must be in present classification for at least one year before becoming eligible to bid on a job outside his or her family.

 

9.4 (b) An employee who signs a posting and is awarded the job is expected to take the position.  If twice within two (2) years, an employee either declines an awarded job or withdraws from a position for which they interviewed, the employee will forfeit the right to interview for any other positions for a period of one (1) year from the second (2nd) refusal or withdrawal date.  An employee awarded a posted position will receive the rate of the new position when assigned or within thirty (30) days if the assignment is delayed unless the employee bids for a position with a lower rate of pay.

 

9.5  For purposes of promotion, employees may be considered for job vacancies only within their assigned family group.  If there is no qualified candidate within a family, other interested employees from other families within the bargaining unit may be considered for transfer.  When there are no qualified employees within the bargaining unit, outside candidates shall next be considered.  All promotions shall be in accordance with Articles IX and X of this Agreement.

 

9.5(a)  Promotions – It is agreed that employees who are promoted to a higher rated job within their family group will receive the minimum of the higher rated job,  provided it is not less than they are currently earning.  If the minimum rate of the higher rated job is lower than they are currently earning, they shall move to the next step in the schedule that is equal to or greater than the current rate, not exceeding the third (3) year rate.

 

9.5(b)  Transfers – Employees transferring job families or moving to lower rated jobs within their family shall receive the one (1) year rate for the new job if their current pay rate is lower than the starting rate. They shall receive the three (3) year rate for the new job if their current pay rate is higher than the two (2) year rate.

 

9.6 In the event of a lay-off (reduction in work force) in any of the family groups, the least senior employee in the job affected shall exercise their seniority to “bump” through the lower rated jobs in that family. They shall “bump” the next employee with seniority less than their own; This process shall continue until the least senior employee is “bumped” out of that family.  An employee who is “bumped” out of their family shall then exercise their seniority rights to the pool.  The pool shall consist of the thirty least senior members of the bargaining unit at all times.

 

9.6(a)  In the event of a layoff an employee who is reduced in grade must accept any lower rated job to which they are “bumped” within their family or be terminated from the Company.

 

9.6(b)  Any employee who has five (5) or more years of seniority and who suffers a reduction in grade because of layoff shall not suffer any reduction in pay.  In the event, however, that their rate of pay is higher than the maximum rate for the job to which they are assigned, they shall not receive any further increases until such time as the maximum rate of their assigned job exceeds the rate they are being paid.

 

Employees with more than ten (10) years of service who are reduced in grade pursuant to this paragraph, shall continue to receive all general increases negotiated between the parties.

 

Employees with less than five (5) years of seniority who are reduced in grade through layoff shall receive the two (2) year rate of pay for the new job.

9.6(c) An employee who “bumps” from a family group into a pool and does not desire to accept the pool job may elect to be laid off and remain on recall under the recall provisions of this Agreement.  However, if a position outside the family is refused by an employee, recall to the Company shall be made only in positions in the employee’s family.

 

9.6(d)  Any member of the bargaining unit with service of one (1) year or more,  who is laid off and for whom there is no job in the Company, shall receive two (2) weeks’ (eighty (80) hours) severance pay for each full year of service at their then current base rate of pay.  For example, an employee who is laid off having ten full years of service receives 20 weeks of severance pay.

 

To lessen the impact of any potential future bumping, the Company will provide an additional one (1) week of severance for each ten (10) years of service to any employee, whose job is eliminated or is bumped by a more senior employee, that elects to accept a voluntary layoff rather than bump another junior employee.

 

Such severance pay is to be paid each week and not to be paid beyond the date the employee is recalled.  Any severance pay received under this provision shall reduce the total amount of severance pay to which an employee is entitled.  Employees who elect to be laid off under the provisions of 9.6(c) shall not be  entitled to severance pay.

 

9.6(e)  An employee who is terminated due to layoff shall have recall rights with restoration of full seniority benefits for  two (2) years  from the date of layoff.  If not recalled within two (2) years, the employee shall be terminated from employment.  Employees who are recalled to pool jobs not in their former promotional family may refuse recall and remain in layoff status. Severance pay benefits shall cease upon the date such recall is refused.  Vacation and sick leave benefits shall not accrue during a period of layoff.

 

9.6(f)  Employees who are laid off and for whom there is no job in the Company shall continue to be covered by medical benefits and group life insurance for a period equal to two (2) weeks for each year of service at the time of the layoff, but for a period of not less than eight (8) weeks nor more than twenty-six (26) weeks following layoff.

 

9.6(g)  Any employee covered by this agreement, who becomes elected or appointed to an office in the Union, requiring his/her absence from duty with the Company, shall be granted leave of absence without pay and shall continue to accumulate seniority with the Company throughout such term of office.  Upon termination of the leave of absence, the employee will be afforded their contractual rights in accordance with Article 9.6 of the Labor Agreement.

 

9.6(h) In the case of any serious emergency arising which necessitated the immediate temporary hiring of employees to cope with a situation, the seniority provisions of this Agreement governing the rehiring of employees shall not apply, but in any case any employees who have been laid off and whose seniority has not been terminated shall have the right to be rehired upon reporting to the Company for work.

 

9.7 Seniority of an employee shall be terminated for any one of the following reasons:

 

(a) Discharge

 

(b) Quitting

 

(c) Separation from the payroll for a period of twenty-four (24) months

 

(d) Failure to notify the Company of intention to return to work following a layoff within five (5) working days after notification by the Company to so return; or failure to report for work following the layoff within seven (7) days after such notice; provided, that the Company shall give notice to the Grievance Committee of the Union of the employee’s failure to give such notice at least twenty-four (24) hours before the expiration of the five (5) day period.

 

(e) Absence from work for three (3) days in any calendar year without offering satisfactory reason thereafter to the Company.

 

9.8(a) Employees may be assigned to work from home or other designated area during the course of any work day. Prior to assigning any such work, the Company will meet and discuss those changes with the Union.

 

In the event it becomes necessary to change an employee’s reporting station for operational needs, the least senior employee in the job classification involved shall be transferred to the new reporting station unless there is mutual agreement to the contrary.  Every effort will be made to give employees three (3) working days’ advance notice of any such change in reporting station.

 

The Company also has the ability to assign employees to report to any facility for Company meetings.  If the facility is more than 20 miles from the employees reporting station, all employees at that reporting station who attended the meeting, will be paid an hour at straight time.

 

9.8(b) The temporary transfer of personnel between districts in the Northwest Division will be accomplished as follows:

 

(1) The employee will report to their normal reporting station at their usual starting time and travel via company vehicle to the other assigned area, or

 

(2) The employee will report to their normal reporting station at an earlier hour determined by supervision and proceed via company vehicle to the other assigned area.

 

9.9  The Company shall supply the Union with a list of all covered employees showing the name of the employee, classification, rate of pay, work location and date of employment for purpose of seniority.  This shall be done annually on February 1st of each year.

 

ARTICLE X

 

PROMOTIONS

 

10.1  The Union and the Company agree that the selection of personnel to be promoted or transferred to skilled positions (see Exhibit 2A) will be on a competitive basis with due regard to seniority, experience and ability as outlined below.

 

10.1(a)  Each candidate for promotion shall take an examination to qualify for promotion.  The examination shall consist of both a written and practical section.  To qualify an employee must score a minimum of 65% on each, except for employees entering the Measurement and Regulation (M&R) Department, which requires a passing score of 80% on the M&R entry test.  The Company shall have the sole right to determine the content of examination.  It shall review the results with the Union. The Company will provide the Union forty-five (45) days advance notice prior to posting for the Instrumentation Technician position.

 

10.1(b) The Company will provide training which will enable employees to compete, on an impartial basis, for promotions, by means of the testing procedure described above.

 

10.1(c) The two (2) most recent performance reviews of each candidate shall be reviewed to determine if their prior performance merits promotion.

 

10.1(d) From among those candidates qualifying as described in paragraphs (a) and (c) above, the senior candidate shall be selected.

 

10.1(e) Promotion shall be made from among those qualified candidates within the department, regardless of the origin of the vacancy.

 

10.1(f)  Once an employee has passed a test, they do not have to be retested for that classification for a four year period.

 

10.2  The Company shall have the sole right to select employees for promotion or transfer to the positions shown in Exhibit 2B and such selection shall not be subject to the grievance procedure.

 

10.3  Any employee promoted in accordance with the above procedure shall be on probation for 90 days following promotion.

 

The Company shall return an employee to their former position if they fail to perform to the Company’s satisfaction during this probationary period, provided that the employee has a minimum of eight (8) years of service with the Company.  Employees with less service may be returned to their former positions or be reclassified to other positions at the discretion of the Company.  Any person not qualifying according to the above will be prevented from bidding on any positions for a one-year period.

 

10.4 Automotive Department employees’ training, testing, promotion and progression will be through the State administered Automotive Service Excellence program as defined in the 1998 Summary of Agreements and modified by specific joint agreements.

 

ARTICLE XI

 

WORKING AGREEMENT

 

11.1  Employees shall be entitled to help only when the job assignment or an unsafe condition clearly requires two employees as determined solely by supervision.

 

The following types of work shall be considered as two-employee jobs performed by Responders and/or C&M employees:

 

  1. Installing pipe having a diameter of 2″ or more when such pipe extends more than 3 feet from the meter.

 

  1. When performing work on live gas.

 

 

  1. Stripping, setting or resetting three or more sets, or when relocating meters ten feet or more.

 

The following work shall be performed by a Responder with a C&M employee or Meter Reader:

 

  1. When performing jobs requiring one employee to work on a ladder except gas leaks, turn-ons, turn-offs, relighting ceiling units, and oiling motors of unit heaters when such work can be performed on a ladder not to exceed 6 feet in height.

 

The following work shall be considered two-employee jobs performed by Responders and/or C&M employees, or a Meter Activation qualified Meter Reader as the second employee:

 

  1. Commercial meter changes for meter size AL 800 and above.

 

11.2  When new techniques or labor-saving devices become available, eliminating the need for a second person in any of the above categories, the Company reserves the right to introduce such techniques or labor-saving devices and to eliminate the use of such help.

 

11.3 Senior Meter Readers may review reports, analyze accounts and perform file processing and scheduling.  In absence of volunteers, the junior Senior Meter Reader will be assigned.  Senior Meter Readers will work one (1) hour overtime when assigned such duties for the day.

 

11.3(a) All classifications of meter readers can perform collection activities. For lead collection employees not at the senior meter reader rate, meter readers will be asked in seniority order, as is presently done, and will receive a temporary pay rate increase to the same rate as a senior meter reader.  In cases where two (2) people are assigned to collect together, the most senior person will get the top senior meter reader rate and the second person will receive a temporary pay rate increase of one (1) step.

 

11.3(b) Meter readers who have Company vehicles, assigned to collections, will be able to use tools and equipment to locate, uncover and cleanout curb valve boxes.

 

11.4 Meter work including meter changes can be assigned to any qualified person(s) in the Utility Operations from the following families:  Meter Reading, Measurement & Regulation, Distribution Operations and Field Services.

 

11.4(a) Overtime will continue to be equalized within the departments performing the work whenever meter work is assigned.  This will not change the Letter of agreements dated 3/6/91 and 2/2/93.

 

11.4(b) Pipe work/meter sets can be assigned to any qualified personnel in Utility Operations from the following families: Measurement & Regulation, Distribution Operations and Field Services

 

11.4(c)   When an employee is assigned and begins work on a customer turn on, the employee shall be paid a minimum of 4 hours at the responder rate. In such cases that the employee performs and completes turn on work in excess of 4 hours, they shall be paid at the responder rate for the entire day. If the responder job is a higher rated job, the rate of pay shall be the minimum of the responder rate range. If an employee is transferred to a job for which the rate of pay is lower than their regular rate, they shall receive their regular rate while working at such job. The terms of this subsection shall apply only when an employee outside the Responder classification is performing a customer turn on.  Only employees qualified to perform customer turn ons can be assigned work under this subsection. 

.

 

 

ARTICLE XII

 

GRIEVANCES

 

12.1  In the event that any difference arises between the Company and the Union or any member of the Union, or should any employee have any grievance, which involves the interpretation or meaning of any provision of the contract, the Union agrees that there shall be no suspension of work and the Company agrees that there shall be no lockout on account thereof.  All grievances shall be processed in accordance with the steps of the grievance procedure as outlined below:

 

Step 1 –  If an employee has a grievance, the employee and their Shop Steward shall take the matter up verbally with the Supervisor having jurisdiction over such employee.  Any grievance which is not satisfactorily settled in Step1 may be carried to Step 2.  The first step management representative must render a decision in not more than two (2) working days from the date of presentation.

 

Any grievance resulting from the suspension or discharge of an employee, will be referred directly to the third step and will not be considered in Step 1 or Step 2 of the grievance procedure.

 

Step 2 – The grievance shall be reduced to writing with reference to specific contract articles or agreements allegedly violated, and presented to the Manager having jurisdiction over the aggrieved employee or employees within fifteen (15) working days after the first step answer.  Grievances not reduced to writing as specified previously will be null and void.  Within five (5) working days after receipt of the written grievance, the Manager or appropriate designee, as the case may be, shall meet with not more than two designated members of the Union Grievance Committee, from the Division where the grievance occurred, and discuss the grievance.  Within five (5) working days following the meeting with the Grievance Committee, the Step 2 authority shall render their decision on the grievance in writing and submit it to the President of the Union.  Any grievance which is not satisfactorily settled in the second step may be carried to Step 3.

 

Step 3 – The written grievance along with the written Step 2 decision shall be submitted to the Human Resources Department Representative by the Union within eight (8) working days after receipt of the Step 2 decision.  Within eight (8) working days after receipt of the written grievance, the Human Resources Department Representative shall meet with the Union Grievance Committee, consisting of four (4) employees to be designated by the Union, to include the grievant and discuss the grievance.  Union officers attending such meetings that begin before their normal shift will be released early upon completion of their equivalent normal working hours.  Within eight (8) working days after meeting with the Grievance Committee, the Human Resources Department Representative shall render a decision on the grievance in writing. Any grievance which is not satisfactorily settled in the third step may be carried to Step 4.

 

Step 4 – Upon written stipulation from the Union, any arbitrable grievance which has not been satisfactorily settled in the previous steps shall be settled by arbitration pursuant to the rules of the New Jersey State Board of Mediation, and the parties agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator, or arbitrators, and to share equally the expense of such arbitration, such as the cost of the arbitrator and meeting rooms. The Company will not pay travel and any other expenses, except for the wages of two (2) union representatives, associated with an arbitration unless the presence of those employees is required by the Company.   Any arbitrable grievance may be individually presented and dealt with.

 

12.2  The grievance machinery set up by this Article shall not be utilized to settle any dispute over any general increase in wages which, during the term hereof, shall arise between the Company and the Union.

 

12.3  The members of the Grievance Committee shall be afforded such time off without pay as may be required to transact the business of such Committee; provided, however, that the members of the Committee shall give twenty-four (24) hours notice (one work day) to their supervisors when they desire to take time off.  The Company reserves the right to delay this time off for an additional twenty-four (24) hours if the absence of the committeemen would seriously hamper production.

 

Time off shall be limited to twenty-four (24) hours per member per month (non-cumulative).  Such time off restrictions shall not apply when time off is required to attend National Union conferences or conventions, subject to the approval of supervision.

 

12.4  For the purpose of this Agreement, the Grievance Committee of the Union shall be the agency of the Union for the settlement of all disputes arising during the course of employment and not specifically provided for herein.  The Secretary of the Union shall furnish the Company with a list of members of the Union, members of the Grievance Committee and the department each member represents, and in the event that such members are from time to time replaced by newly elected members, then the Secretary shall send the company a list of such changes.  Each member so named shall be the exclusive representative of their department.

 

12.5  The Company shall notify an employee’s shop steward, or if not available, any other shop steward or officer of the Union before disciplining or suspending such employee and shall cause the Union representative to be present when such action is taken.  This shall not preclude the supervisor from taking immediate action when a Union representative is not readily available.  In those cases where no representative is readily available the supervisor concerned will make every effort to carry out the intent of this clause and will arrange to meet with the employee concerned and a Union representative to discuss the action within 18 hours. If no Union representative is working in the Company by that time, the Company shall telephone the secretary of the Union and inform him of the meeting.

 

12.6(a)  No grievance shall be considered which is not presented to the Company within thirty (30) days after it has last occurred, and no arbitration award made hereunder shall be retroactive to a date more than thirty (30) days before the grievance was presented to the Company.  Any grievance which is not so presented shall conclusively be deemed to be settled.

 

12.6(b)  Any grievance which is not filed for arbitration within thirty (30) days following the issuance of a third step management decision, shall be deemed to be conclusively settled upon the basis of such third step decision.  This time limitation may be extended, by agreement in writing.

 

12.7  Members of the Grievance Committee limited to a maximum of four (4) persons shall receive their regular rate of pay for time spent attending step 3  grievance meetings held pursuant to Section 12.1 hereof during regular working hours.

 

ARTICLE XIII

 

MILITARY SERVICE

 

13.1  The re-employment of veterans honorably discharged from service in the armed forces of the United States who were formerly employed by the Company shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 43 of Part III, Title 38, U.S. Code, or any other statute in such case made and provided and by an official interpretation thereof and regulations issued there under.

 

ARTICLE XIV

 

MANAGEMENT

 

14.1  The Union recognizes and agrees that the supervision and control of all operations and the direction of all working forces are vested exclusively in the Company, and that the Company has the unqualified right to hire and discharge employees, to transfer employees from one position to another in the plant, to promote or advance employees, and for legitimate reasons to lay off, suspend, discipline, and otherwise relieve employees from work, subject to all other provisions of this Agreement.

 

 

ARTICLE XV

 

DISCRIMINATION

 

15.1(a) The Company agrees that there will be no discrimination, interference, restraint or coercion by it or any of its agents against the members of the Union because of membership or activity in the Union.

 

15.1(b) The Company and the Union mutually agree that they will not unlawfully discriminate against any employee with respect to hiring, promotions, compensation, or terms or conditions of employment because of such employee’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status; will not engage in any other discriminatory acts prohibited by federal, state, or local law; and will not tolerate harassment of any employee in the workplace based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.  The Company and the Union further agree that they will not retaliate against any employee for reporting, or for being involved with an investigation of, unlawful acts of discrimination in the workplace.

 

ARTICLE XVI

 

SOLICITATION OF MEMBERSHIP

 

16.1 The Union agrees that neither the Union nor any of its members or agents will intimidate or coerce employees of the Company or solicit membership on the Company’s time, nor will it or its members or agents collect Union dues on the Company’s time, and the Union further agrees that there will be no interference with the free right of any employee of the Company to enter and leave the plant property unmolested.

 

ARTICLE XVII

 

STRIKES AND LOCKOUTS

 

17.1  The Union agrees that during the term of this Agreement neither the Union nor any of its members or agents shall cause any suspension of work, slow-down, or interference with planned operations or engage in any strike of any kind against the Company and the Company agrees that there shall be no lockout or the equivalent thereof of employees in the bargaining unit, it being the desire of both parties to provide uninterrupted and continuous service to the public.  In the event of a wildcat strike, slow-down or interference of planned operations by any employees, the Union will immediately order the employees to cease and desist and will take all necessary action to ensure that the strike, slow-down or interference is ended.  There shall be no strike, suspension of work, slow-down or interference with the Company’s operations at any time by reason of a dispute or disagreement between either of the parties hereto and a third party.

 

ARTICLE XVIII

 

BULLETIN BOARDS

 

18.1  The Company agrees that the Union shall have the right to erect and maintain bulletin boards (of a size agreed to by the Company) for the posting of official Union notices; provided, however, that such notices shall be restricted to notices of meetings of the Union, notices of its elections, notices of its appointments to office and the results of its elections, notices of its social, educational and recreational affairs, and other notices reasonably related to its official functions; provided, however, that such notices shall contain nothing political or controversial or reflecting upon the Company or any of its employees.  The Company may refuse to permit the posting of notices or other material which would violate any of the provisions of this paragraph.  It is understood, however, that bulletin boards shall be limited to Green Lane, Erie Street, Flemington, New Village and Andover.

 

ARTICLE XIX

 

CHANGE IN LAWS

 

19.1 The Company shall have the right, notwithstanding anything herein contained, to make any changes which may be necessary in order to comply with any statutes or other governmental regulations which are applicable to the Company.  The Company will negotiate the impact of any such changes with the Union.

 

 

ARTICLE XX

 

ACCESS TO PLANT

 

20.1(a)  The President of the Union shall have access to Company areas, exclusive of the commercial and executive offices, providing at least four hours advance notice is given to the Director – Employee Relations or  a designated representative.

 

20.1(b)  Exclusive of time spent in grievance meetings, the Union President shall not be authorized to invoke the above clause for more than sixty (60) hours per contract year unless additional time is granted by the  Director – Employee Relations or  a  designated  representative.  When making these visitations the Union President is not authorized to disrupt the work of employees or supervisors except to discuss specific grievances.

 

ARTICLE XXI

 

COOPERATION BY UNION

 

21.1(a)  The Union agrees that its members will individually and collectively perform loyal and efficient work and service and will use their influence and best efforts to cooperate with the Company and the employees of all departments in promoting and advancing the welfare of the Company’s business and its service at all times.

 

21.1(b)  The Company agrees that it will cooperate with the Union in its efforts to promote harmony and efficiency among all the Company’s employees.

 

ARTICLE XXII

 

JURY DUTY

 

22.1  If an employee is notified that they are to report for jury duty, they shall promptly show such notification to their supervisor. On a scheduled workday, the employee will be entitled to their full straight time compensation in addition to any jury duty payment It is understood and agreed, however, that this paragraph shall not apply in the event an employee volunteers for jury duty.  It is further understood and agreed that such employees must report for work on the days on which they are excused from jury service, if such days are their regularly scheduled working days.

 

Time spent on jury duty for which an employee is compensated shall be counted as time worked for the purpose of determining entitlement to overtime pay.

 

ARTICLE XXIII

 

NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVES

 

23.1  An employee, upon written request, shall be granted a leave of absence for tours of duty not to exceed two (2) weeks or eighty (80) work hours in any calendar year with such recognized organizations as the National Guard, the Naval Reserve or the Officers’ Reserve.  If an employee upon their return from such tour of duty presents a written certification indicating the service pay which they received during such tour, they shall be paid by the Company the amount, if any, by which such service pay was less than the amount of wages the employee would have received from the Company at their straight time regular rate for the normal work week.  The taking of any such leave of absence shall not be considered to be in lieu of the vacation to which the employee may be entitled.

 

ARTICLE XXIV

 

TOOLS AND FOUL WEATHER GEAR

 

24.1  The Company shall furnish all employees with necessary tools and adequate foul weather gear.  In the Distribution Operations Department, the employees, on request, shall be furnished with rain suits.  Employees classified as Senior Meter Reader shall be furnished raincoats.

 

When tools and equipment are provided by the Company the employee receiving them shall be held responsible for their return in good condition, ordinary wear and tear excepted.  The Company shall provide a suitable and safe place for storing tools and equipment supplied to an employee.  Raincoats issued to meter readers and collectors will not be stored on Company premises.

 

It is agreed that an employee shall be responsible for lost or stolen tools unless it is shown that they have taken all reasonable precautions for the safety and protection of such tools.

 

24.2 The Company will provide to employees covered by this collective bargaining agreement with the exception of the garage employees an annual clothing credit of $500.00. The garage employees covered by this collective bargaining agreement will be provided an annual clothing credit of $ 350 per year for the term of this agreement ; however, such garage employees will continue to receive their uniform services for the term of this collective bargaining agreement.  Employees will be given a credit to be used at Flemington Department Store, Julian’s or any other company designated uniform provider.  All future credits, for the life of the contract, will be provided on or around August 15.  All orders must be placed within 30 days of the issuance of the store credit.  Unused credit is not carried over, nor is it paid out.

 

24.3   Employees may be required to wear safety glasses.  Employees who are required to wear safety glasses, (as defined by OSHA), who also have a need for prescription eyeglasses will be provided with prescription safety glasses every eighteen (18) months from a Company designated provider.  Employees must obtain a recent eye examination, and any necessary fitting and sizing at their own expense or through their health care plan.  The Company will cover the cost of frames and lenses.

 

 

ARTICLE XXV

 

DEATH IN THE FAMILY

 

Absences resulting from death in the family shall be paid as follows:

 

25.1(a) Immediate family (mother, father, spouse, child, sister, brother), an employee may be absent from work for up to four (4) consecutive working days, beginning with the date of death.

 

25.1(b) Grandparent, grandchild, mother-in-law, and father-in-law, an employee may be absent from work for up to two (2) days between the day of death and the day of burial.

 

25.1(c) Daughter-in-law and son-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, and nephew, an employee may be absent from work for one (1) day between the day of death and the day of burial.

 

25.1(d) Employees may be absent from work for a minimum of one (1) day  funeral leave between the day of death and the day of burial for significant others and step children, step parents, step grandchildren, step grandparents and step siblings.

 

25.1(e) The above excused absences shall be paid at the regular base rate, and such time and pay shall be considered as hours worked.

 

25.1(f)  No pay allowance shall be granted in any case where, because of distance or other cause, the employee does not attend the funeral of the deceased.

 

ARTICLE XXVI

 

MATERIAL CHANGES IN WORKING CONDITIONS

 

26.1 The Company agrees not to make any material changes in working conditions and not to post such material changes unless it first notifies the Union and discusses such changes with the Union.  The Union agrees to meet promptly with the Company following notification of such material changes and in the event the Union does not so meet with the Company within five (5) working days following notification, the Company may nevertheless place such changes in effect and post them.

 

This clause shall not prevent the Company from taking any immediate action it deems necessary in the case of an emergency, or pursuant to Article XIX hereof.

 

ARTICLE XXVII

 

PAY FOR CERTAIN LOST TIME

 

27.1  In the event that an employee is required to lose regular working time because of their having to testify before the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles in connection with an accident involving their operation or use of a Company vehicle, the employee shall be paid their regular rate for such lost time if it is determined by the Police report that the accident was not due to the fault or negligence of the employee. If there is no police report it will be decided by mutual agreement of a designated representative of the Company and the Union president or designated officer. The Union representative is not authorized to absent themself from work to attend the hearing.

 

ARTICLE XXVIII

 

PERSONAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE

 

28.1  Employees with two (2) or more years of service are eligible for a personal leave of absence without pay for up to four (4) weeks within a calendar year.  These leaves shall be granted without regard to seniority, and may be denied if the granting of such leave would be detrimental to the Company’s operation.

 

An employee requesting a personal leave of absence must do so in writing at least two (2) weeks in advance of the leave date; except in an emergency, stating the beginning and ending dates of the leave, the reason for the leave and such request must be signed by the employee.

 

A personal leave of absence will not be granted in order to allow an employee to work for another employer or pursue other employment during their normal working hours.  All violators will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

 

An employee who is on personal leave of absence will not be entitled to receive any paid sick leave or paid personal absence leave.

 

Failure to give the required notices or certifications or to return to work on time at the end of a leave of absence may be deemed to be a voluntary termination of employment.  Request for extension will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

 

An employee will be subject to immediate dismissal for falsifying any reasons given to the Company for a leave of absence.

 

Employee requests for leaves of absence for reasons specified under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will be considered in accordance with federal regulations governing FMLA.

 

ARTICLE XXIX

 

DURATION OF CONTRACT

 

29.1  This Agreement shall become effective as of November 21, 20 15, and shall remain in full force and effect until midnight November 20, 20 19, and from year to year thereafter, unless either party hereto shall notify the other more than sixty (60) days prior to the expiration date that it desires to terminate the same.

 

 

In addition to this Agreement, the parties agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of any related side agreement between the Company and the Independent Utilities Union, the predecessor labor organization, including items contained in the Letter of Agreement dated November 30, 2001.

 

29.2 The Company and Local 424 agree to meet within one (1) year from the contract signing date for the purpose of consolidating the Letters of Agreement Book and all separate Letters of Agreement.  The Company and Local Union 424 will each appoint four (4) attendees to participate in this process.  Either party may designate alternates based on the prearranged agenda.

 

During this review process outdated and inappropriate agreements will be deleted upon mutual agreement. Remaining valid agreements will be consolidated and indexed for future reference.

 

The duration of this process will be contingent on joint progress and it is understood that this process will continue as long as both Local Union 424 and the Company agree to each subsequent meeting.

 

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Pivotal Utility Holdings, Inc., dba ELIZABETHTOWN GAS has caused this Agreement to be executed by its duly authorized representatives and its corporate seal to be hereunto affixed and duly attested, and Local 424 of the UTILITY WORKERS UNION OF AMERICA AFL-CIO has caused this Agreement to be signed by its duly authorized representatives and its corporate seal to be hereunto affixed and duly attested, and the members of the Negotiating Committee of said Association have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.

 

 

Pivotal Utility Holdings, Inc.                                    THE UTILITY WORKER’S

dba ELIZABETHTOWN GAS                        UNION OF AMERICA

LOCAL #424 AFL-CIO

By:   Brian MacLean                                              By: Thomas DiFranco

Vice President Operations                                    President, Local 424

 

 

_________________________                        ________________________

 

ATTEST:  Joseph Detweiler

Secretary, Local 424

 

________________________

 

 

COMPANY                                                             UNION

NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE                                NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE

Pat Loftus                                                                             Thomas DiFranco

 

Bruce Jones                                                                       

Tony Pugliese                                                                     Daniel Palumbo

Adam McLaughlin

Nicola Saul Minott                                                             

                                                                                                Michael Powell

                                                                                                Michael Kelly

James Norton

Joseph Detweiler

Jeffrey Sylvester

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT 1

 

Family Classification for Purposes of Lay-Off

 

DISTRIBUTION OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT

 

Crew Leader

Street Tech.

Trenching Machine Operator

Mechanic Class 1 Senior

Mechanic Class 1

Locations/Facilities Inspector

Drip Pumper

Mechanic Class 2

Maintenance Mechanic Class 1

 

FIELD SERVICES DEPARTMENT

 

Master Responder/Responder

Warehouse Clerk

 

UTILITY DEPARTMENT

 

Senior Meter Reader

Meter Reader 1

Meter Reader 2

Meter Reader 3

 

AUTOMOTIVE DEPARTMENT

 

Master Truck Tech.

Master Automotive Tech.

Master Mechanic

Garage Mechanic

Garage Attendant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT 1

 

Family Classification for Purposes of Lay-Off (continued)

 

 

MEASUREMENT & REGULATION DEPARTMENT

 

Master Instrumentation Tech.

Distribution Mechanic Specialist

Distribution Mechanic Class 1

Instrumentation Tech.

Master Meter Mechanic

Meter Mechanic Tech.

Plant Maintenance Mechanic (Grandfathered)

Meter Mechanic Class 1

Distribution Mechanic Class 2

 

 

  • These jobs “bump” only through their respective trades and then directly into the pool.

 

 

POOL:  The 30 least senior members of the bargaining unit will comprise a pool for lay-off purposes.  Employees who are reduced in grade due to layoff, and who do not have sufficient seniority to remain in their family, will exercise their seniority in the pool.

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT 2

 

Family Classification for Promotion

 

 

METER READING DEPARTMENT

Meter Reader 3
Meter Reader 2

Meter Reader 1

Senior Meter Reader

 

 

DISTRIBUTION OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT

 

Mechanic Class 2

Maintenance Mechanic Class 1

Locations/Facilities Inspector

Mechanic Class 1 Senior

Mechanic Class 1

Trenching Machine Operator

Street Tech.

Crew Leader

 

FIELD SERVICES DEPARTMENT

 

Responder

Master Responder

 

 

AUTOMOTIVE DEPARTMENT

 

Garage Attendant

Garage Mechanic

Master Mechanic

Master Auto Tech.

Master Truck Tech.

 

 

 

EXHIBIT 2

 

Family Classification for Promotion (continued)

 

 

MEASUREMENT & REGULATION DEPARTMENT

 

 

Distribution Mechanic Class 2

Meter Mechanic Class 1

Meter Mechanic Tech.

Master Meter Mechanic

Instrumentation Tech

Distribution Mechanic Class 1

Distribution Mechanic Specialist

Master Instrumentation Tech.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT 2-A

All Below Skilled Positions Requiring Promotional Testing

(Paragraph 10.1)

 

 

DISTRIBUTION  OPERATIONS

 

Crew Leader

Trenching Machine Operator

General Maintenance Mechanic Class 1

**Street Mechanic Class 1 (Street Mechanic Class 2)

 

**Employees with a minimum of three (3) years in grade in the classification shown in parentheses shall be offered a promotional test at three-year intervals for the adjacent positions identified by two asterisks.  Those passing said test shall be promoted.

 

 

AUTOMOTIVE DEPARTMENT

 

Master Truck Tech.

Master Auto Tech.

Master Mechanic

Garage Mechanic

 

MEASUREMENT & REGULATION

 

Instrumentation Tech.

Plant Maintenance Mechanic (Grandfathered)

**Distribution Mechanic Class 1 (Distribution Mech. Cl. 2)

Distribution Mechanic Class 2

Meter Mechanic

Meter Mechanic Class 1

 

 

 

**Employees with a minimum of two (2) years in grade in the classification shown in parentheses shall be offered a promotional test at two-year intervals for the adjacent positions identified by two asterisks.  Those passing said test shall be promoted.

 

EXHIBIT 2-B

Skilled Positions

(Paragraph 10.2)

 

 

FIELD SERVICES DEPARTMENT

 

Master Responder

 

 

MEASUREMENT & REGULATION DEPARTMENT

 

Master Instrumentation Tech.*

Master Meter Mechanic

Distribution Mechanic Specialist*

 

 

 

*Promotion(s) to this classification is to be made from within the existing Measurement & Regulations Department.