INDUSTRY RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PANDEMIC

COVID-19 Precautions

UNION NOTICE


To All Local #1 Members working under a contract with NECA, working under a contract that has IBEW Local #1 Health & Welfare Benefits and Retirees with IBEW Local #1 H&W Retiree Coverage, all or some of this information will pertain to you.


Please see the link below to the letter to see what emergency changes the Trustees have made to address our current situation with the Coronavirus. Your health and safety are our greatest concern. If needed, please use these benefits to take care of yourself and your family.
A copy of this letter will be mailed to all participants.

DOWNLOAD THE LETTER


In Solidarity,
Frank Jacobs
Business Manager
IBEW, Local #1

 

TO: ALL CONTRACTORS SIGNATORY TO A LOCAL UNION NO. 1, IBEW AGREEMENT WITH THE ST. LOUIS CHAPTER, NECA and ALL LOCAL UNION NO. 1, IBEW MEMBERS WORKING UNDER THOSE AGREEMENTS

RE: INDUSTRY RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PANDEMIC

Dear Contractor and Local #1 Member:

     In just a few days, it has become evident that our industry contractors and workforce are experiencing the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. The leadership of Local Union #1 and St. Louis Chapter, NECA, along with the Trustees of the Benefit Funds, immediately began work to make certain that we utilize our joint resources to assist our contractors and workers to cope with pandemic concerns and make prudent decisions to safe guard the health of our industry members and community. This letter is being distributed jointly to communicate several proactive steps already implemented to assist our mutual memberships to address this extraordinary situation. Our joint and primary concern is that our IBEW workforce and contractors remain healthy and capable of weathering the impact of the pandemic.

Income Security Fund Temporary Extended SUB Benefit (TES) (This benefit is applicable to Workersworking under the Inside Agreement and the Local 1 Addendum to the Missouri Voice, Data, Video/SecurityAgreement).

     Two Local Union No. 1, IBEW/St. Louis Chapter, NECA Agreements include the Income Security Fund to provide supplemental unemployment benefits. One of those benefits is the Temporary Extended SUB Benefit (TES), which was created to provide funds to unemployed Local 1 workers during times of significant industry unemployment. The Trustees of the Income Security Fund have implemented a joint temporary resolution to make TES benefits (currently $325 per week) available to our workforce in two distinct circumstances that may arise, due to the pandemic:

  • "Displaced Participant" - We have already experienced situations where customers have closed jobsites in response to Coronavirus concerns. It appears likely that in some circumstances, Local 1 workers will be denied access to assignments on these projects and experience unemployment strictly because of the customer's reaction to the pandemic and the absence of alternative jobsites requiring The Trustees have resolved to make available TES weekly benefits to those participants who are displaced from work when the Employer certifies that the participant was denied work, due to customer reaction to the pandemic. Requirements that the displaced participant be laid off, demonstrate unemployment by registering at the Hiring Hall and applying for State Unemployment Benefits (normally applicable to TES) have been waived for participants displaced from work, due to the pandemic.
  • “Exposed Active Participant” – To provide as much flexibility as possible, Trustees have modified requirements to assure that participants exposed to the Coronavirus or in quarantine have access to TES weekly benefits. A TES eligible participant in quarantine because of that individual’s possible exposure to the Coronavirus, or the possible exposure to the Coronavirus of a family member with whom the participant resides will have access to the TES benefit, during the period of quarantine, without being required to be laid off by the Employer, register at the Hiring Hall or sign up for State Unemployment Benefits. The TES benefit is also available to participants receiving medical treatment for COVID-19.

IBEW Local 1 Health and Welfare Fund Disability/Accident and Sickness Weekly Income Benefit (A&S Benefit)

The Trustees of the Local 1 Health and Welfare Fund encourage participants and their family members to act responsibly regarding symptoms of the Coronavirus or quarantine, due to potential exposure. A&S Benefit restrictions have been temporarily modified to increase flexibility for participants coping with Coronavirus illness, exposure or quarantine. These benefit modifications include:

  1. An active participant in quarantine, because of their possible exposure or the possible exposure of family with whom the participant resides, will be deemed to have an illness for purposes of qualification for the A&S Benefit (currently $455 per week).
  2. The seven-day waiting period for A&S Benefits will not apply to active participants in connection with the Coronavirus or quarantine related to the Coronavirus.
  3. To be eligible for any of the temporary modifications, an active participant must present a statement from a medical professional (physician or public health official) indicating that the participant has tested positive for the Coronavirus or should be in quarantine.
  4. All participants and qualifying dependents, upon a diagnosis of COVID-19, in-network and certain out-of-network benefits will be paid at 100%, waiving deductibles and copay requirements.

Mandatory Layoff Terms Not Applicable to Displaced Participants

     Some Agreements between Local Union No. 1, IBEW and the St. Louis Chapter, NECA contain requirements that employees not actively employed due to lack of work for a period of time be laid off. These mandatory layoff provisions are not applicable to workers displaced by customer reactions to the pandemic.

Vacation Benefits

     Benefits available to participants in the Local 1, IBEW Vacation Fund may be utilized during any period of unemployment caused by the pandemic. Participants may take vacation while drawing these special benefits. Vacations must be approved by the Employer during times of inactivity caused by the Coronavirus. It is clear that during this unpredictable time, our industry should maximize our ability to assign qualified workers to projects when our customers make that work available.

Important Information Concerning the Coronavirus Pandemic and Availability of Benefits

     Local Union No. 1, IBEW and the St. Louis Chapter, NECA are committed to communicate reliableand timely information to our respective memberships to understand the Coronavirus pandemic and safeguard the health of every member and their families. The IBEW-NECA Service Center intends tomonitor the most up-to-date information concerning the pandemic and make it available on the public section of the Service Center website for all participants and Employers. The link to that information is www.svcctr.org (please see COVD-19 tab across top of the landing page). Useful information concerning the virus and appropriate ways to safeguard your health is available from the Center for Disease Control and can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. The vast majority of Missouri counties have already posted information concerning procedures to secure testing for theCoronavirus, referral to resources for support and requirements for quarantine. Members are encouraged to visit their county’s website or call the local Health Department to secure specific resources.

     The Trustees have approved joint temporary resolutions that specify the specific terms of the benefit modifications that Trustees to the IBEW, Local No. 1 Welfare Fund and Electricians Income Security Fund have implemented. These documents are available on the Service Center website, www.svcctr.org or by request at the Service Center. Please refer to these documents to secure more detailed information in regard to the modified requirements to make benefits available to fund participants and their families.

     A major strength of our NECA-IBEW partnership is our mutual commitment to the health and well-being of our respective memberships. During challenging times, such as this pandemic, the leadership of both Local Union No. 1, IBEW and the St. Louis Chapter, NECA are committed to providing the best resources available. We encourage signatory contractors and Local 1, IBEW members to report to our respective organizations any concerns or unanticipated future problems that result from the pandemic and our community’s response.

     During stressful times like this, our partnership has a tremendous capacity to assist our respective memberships to minimize disruption, maximize communication and work together to secure the health and safety of all of our members and their families. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and mutual commitment to work together, during these unsettled times.

Respectfully,

Frank D. Jacobs
Business Manager
Local 1, IBEW


Douglas R. Martin
Executive Vice President
St. Louis Chapter, NECA