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Old 12-05-2012, 08:57 AM   #21
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Contractors hire the CE/CW over the apprentice in an attempt to save money. Enrollment in classes past 2nd year has dropped to almost none. I have nothing against the electricians, its the program and the way it is implemented that sux.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:11 AM   #22
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Contractors hire the CE/CW over the apprentice in an attempt to save money. Enrollment in classes past 2nd year has dropped to almost none. I have nothing against the electricians, its the program and the way it is implemented that sux.
How is it that CW/CE Helpers are permitted to work on A Construction Jobs? CW/CE Journeymen are not permitted to work on A Construction...

I'm not understanding something here...are you saying that in your Local you have Apprentices entering the NJATC Program that aren't progressing beyond 1st Year? Since when do IBEW Apprentices "enroll" ...they're assigned to go to school and that's that. What is the wait time for a job for an Apprentice?

The CW/CE Program is a completely different animal and was not created to interweave or displace the Apprenticeship or hiring of Apprentices.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:45 PM   #23
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so how does one transfer from cw/ce into the apprenticeship? And what are the motivations of joining the apprenticeship if most of the A guys are sitting at home ?

If the trend has become such that the $42/hour "A" journeyman sits at home for a year, while the Construction Electrician works year round at $25/hour, then how and why would it make sense to tranfer? I dont know much yet, but it seems to me that at this particular moment, the only thing most A guys have in their hand is a useless card; while the hammer drill, rigid pipe and measuring tape are all in the hands on the Construction Electrician.

BOTTOM LINE: My family would be much better off if i was a CE guy WORKING ALL YEAR for $28/hour, than if i was a $42/hour "A" Journey sitting at home for the same length of time. I think anyone can see that. So thus my question"Where is the motivation for tranfer?". I already know the POTENTIAL benefits of going "A" (key word POTENTIAL, as in...if youre actually working), but where is the MOTIVATION?
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:48 PM   #24
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Why am I not surprised.

Yet another reason to stay the hell away from the IBEW.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:58 PM   #25
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so how does one transfer from cw/ce into the apprenticeship? And what are the motivations of joining the apprenticeship if most of the A guys are sitting at home ?

If the trend has become such that the $42/hour "A" journeyman sits at home for a year, while the Construction Electrician works year round at $25/hour, then how and why would it make sense to tranfer? I dont know much yet, but it seems to me that at this particular moment, the only thing most A guys have in their hand is a useless card; while the hammer drill, rigid pipe and measuring tape are all in the hands on the Construction Electrician.

BOTTOM LINE: My family would be much better off if i was a CE guy WORKING ALL YEAR for $28/hour, than if i was a $42/hour "A" Journey sitting at home for the same length of time. I think anyone can see that. So thus my question"Where is the motivation for tranfer?". I already know the POTENTIAL benefits of going "A" (key word POTENTIAL, as in...if youre actually working), but where is the MOTIVATION?
First of all you're working off complete misinformation. Our A Journeymen make $51/hr in the pocket and with the current benefit package it brings it up to $103/hr with annuities, etc.

Now onto what you think about most of the A guys sitting at home? That's a complete fallacy. We have almost 15,000 A Journeymen in Local 3's A Division. That's right 15,000 just in he A Division and there are currently 300 on the Bench. Prior to Hurricane Sandy there was 1800-2000 on the Bench. That is nowhere near MOST.

We do not HAVE a CW/CE Divison...we have had an M Division to bid against non union since the 1970's. As for migrating from the M Division to the A Division, there is no migration. What we have here in NYC is a completely different animal and it works out well for us. After 10yrs in the M Division that journeyman gets a raise up to A Rate and is now permitted to work on A Construction Jobs.

Why is it worth it? Hmmm lets do your math over...

$25/hr X a full year of work (2000 man hours) = $50000/year (this is NOT including any type of annuity, pension, medical, etc)

vs...

$51/hr X a HALF YEAR of work (which is guaranteed every A Journeyman will work MINIMUM) 1000 man hours = $51000/year. (This is not including a ridiculous medical, dental, optical, retirement, annuity, and education reimbursement package)

So...is it WORTH it...that choice is simple...of course it is. How we manage our electricians is not done in every Local...Locals 1, 5, 6 are similar to how we do things. All our M Division men look forward to the day they get A Money...and two years after they get the money...they are eligible to take the A Test to become full fledged A Division members (with a higher annuity than the M Division). There is no competition between the benefits to being in Local 3 and non union here in NYC. None at all.

I deal with a number of non union contractors every day and for all their bluster, not a single one of them can compete with the sheer volume of benefits our men receive.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:05 PM   #26
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Why am I not surprised.

Yet another reason to stay the hell away from the IBEW.
And that is your right. Each to their own. What we have here is not for everyone. It works for us though and we're damn proud of it. Is our system perfect? No, of course it isn't...however, no one...union OR non-union has THE perfect system.

This isn't about union OR non union bashing, this is about answering questions to those who are genuinely interested. I don't speak for the IBEW nor my Local...I speak from my own experience...as a former contractor, General Foreman, Project Manager and IBEW Instructor. You won't see me bashing your way of life, it's yours to live...as ours is within the Brotherhood.

It's about mindset...as I say to contractors and Apprentices...

It's a Brotherhood, not a neighborhood. It's your choice to see the difference.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:25 PM   #27
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How is it that CW/CE Helpers are permitted to work on A Construction Jobs? CW/CE Journeymen are not permitted to work on A Construction...
I hate to break this to you Brother Ice - but lots of locals use the CW/CE as a valued added labor source. Personally I find it reprehensible.

It works like this - Contractor A goes to the hall and says - 'Look, I want to win the bid on this job but the non union contractors are all hiring day laborers - what can you do to help me on this?'

The response usual involves some special concessions - higher apprentice ratios for example. Often, since the CW/CE wireman are somewhat skilled and inexpensive a few of them are offered as well. Usually that does not work out very well, but the contractors still appreciate the concession.

I am certain that there is a better way, but that is the way they do it.

In theory, the Small works - CW/CE program - whatever it is currently called is a great program. It gets to a different segment of the market, it adds to the union market share and when it is properly utilized, it provides steady work in areas we normally cannot compete.

The CW/CE's I have worked with have been good union members, and skilled in things that many A journeyman are not. What they lack is the A apprentice experience - which we all know is extremely valuable and impossible to recreate. While they have a longer road to A status, they are well regarded, at least in my local.

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:31 PM   #28
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Ah I understand what you mean bro. Explained like that it makes sense. Here in NYC there is no intermingling of A and M Divisions until the M guy gets A Rate. Then he is permitted on A Jobs and by then, he's learned what we're about. The same goes here for the most part, the MA's and A's get along fine without a problem. Here in NYC, since the M Division has been around for over 40yrs, it's not looked at as anything "different"...it just IS.

We have issues as you stated...about winning a bid, and asking for concessions...but here "usually" those are given in the means of using our MIJ's or 5th Year Apprentices in lieu of allowing M Division members on A Jobs.

Again, it's up to the local but thank you for pointing out my error in thinking bro! I stand corrected!

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:32 PM   #29
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Why am I not surprised.

Yet another reason to stay the hell away from the IBEW.
Thank you for making that choice.

I appreciate how difficult it must be to realize things, to explore one's inner self and face the harsh and cold truths that most avoid. Ah, the trials and tests of introspection.

Rest now weary traveler, rest.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:37 PM   #30
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Here in NYC, since the M Division has been around for over 40yrs, it's not looked at as anything "different"...it just IS.
We have had it under several names for 30 years here - Residential, Small Works, Small Commercial, CW/CE. It takes 7 years to get to A status - 3 years of apprenticeship, 4 years as a wireman. The main difference is they school at night, while our A apprentices school during the day ( paid ).

As a general rule, they come out of their program with a well rounded experience, minus the big job experience ( power plants, large things like big pipe and big pulls ), but with more jobbing and troubleshooting.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:43 PM   #31
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but where is the MOTIVATION?
You bring up an excellent set of points. In my local we have had horrendous A unemployment, but our CW/CE guys have been more steady.

Perhaps it is a lifestyle choice - I prefer to work on massive infrastructure projects where chaos is king - and that preference means I have to sit down the hall a bit more often. If I had kids at home, it would behoove me to make a steady check.

CW/CE tend to stay with a single shop for longer periods and many become specialists whereas A journeymen tend to move around a lot more.

Regardless of which program - everyone in my local receives the same health and welfare benefits. I believe the pension credits are very close, if not the same ( but I don't know for certain ).
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:44 PM   #32
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We have had it under several names for 30 years here - Residential, Small Works, Small Commercial, CW/CE. It takes 7 years to get to A status - 3 years of apprenticeship, 4 years as a wireman. The main difference is they school at night, while our A apprentices school during the day ( paid ).

As a general rule, they come out of their program with a well rounded experience, minus the big job experience ( power plants, large things like big pipe and big pulls ), but with more jobbing and troubleshooting.

Very similar...our M Division "can" go to school if they so choose, but it's not built into their Division. Our A Apprentices go to school at night, 2x a week...one night for electrical and one night for college classes (unpaid).

So after 4yrs they come out with an Associates in Labor Management then a year and a half later they get their A Card. We have a 5.5yr Apprenticeship here...but you get an Associates out of it. The background is the same...A Apprentices work on all mid to large scale project while the M "Helpers" as they are called, do smaller work and get more experience jobbing etc. Both bring a lot to the table. I have ran crews with almost 50% of the men were M at A Rate right along side A Journeymen and it's really REALLY good to see the exchanging of technique and method. It's much better than a decade ago when these same guys were frowned upon. It's taken 10yrs of intermingling for acceptance.

And...acceptance is good.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:47 PM   #33
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And that is your right. Each to their own. What we have here is not for everyone. It works for us though and we're damn proud of it. Is our system perfect? No, of course it isn't...however, no one...union OR non-union has THE perfect system.

This isn't about union OR non union bashing, this is about answering questions to those who are genuinely interested. I don't speak for the IBEW nor my Local...I speak from my own experience...as a former contractor, General Foreman, Project Manager and IBEW Instructor. You won't see me bashing your way of life, it's yours to live...as ours is within the Brotherhood.

It's about mindset...as I say to contractors and Apprentices...

It's a Brotherhood, not a neighborhood. It's your choice to see the difference.

Thanks for reading.
I'm not the one leaving leaflets on your windshield.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:49 PM   #34
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We have had it under several names for 30 years here - Residential, Small Works, Small Commercial, CW/CE. It takes 7 years to get to A status - 3 years of apprenticeship, 4 years as a wireman. The main difference is they school at night, while our A apprentices school during the day ( paid ).

As a general rule, they come out of their program with a well rounded experience, minus the big job experience ( power plants, large things like big pipe and big pulls ), but with more jobbing and troubleshooting.
Hahaha, big jobs and big pulls. Whoaaaaa. Only A-JIW's have the god given skills to do that!
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:57 PM   #35
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Hahaha, big jobs and big pulls. Whoaaaaa. Only A-JIW's have the god given skills to do that!
It comes down to experience and being surrounded by folks who have down these things before.

I rather doubt most A journeyman would know what to do working inside an old plastered home for example. It is outside their realm of experiences. It is not what we do.

The first time I had to pull 600mcm down 26 flights in an office building I was very thankful there were some old timers around to show me how to build a braking system for the wire.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:03 PM   #36
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First of all you're working off complete misinformation. Our A Journeymen make $51/hr in the pocket and with the current benefit package it brings it up to $103/hr with annuities, etc.

Now onto what you think about most of the A guys sitting at home? That's a complete fallacy. We have almost 15,000 A Journeymen in Local 3's A Division. That's right 15,000 just in he A Division and there are currently 300 on the Bench. Prior to Hurricane Sandy there was 1800-2000 on the Bench. That is nowhere near MOST.

We do not HAVE a CW/CE Divison...we have had an M Division to bid against non union since the 1970's. As for migrating from the M Division to the A Division, there is no migration. What we have here in NYC is a completely different animal and it works out well for us. After 10yrs in the M Division that journeyman gets a raise up to A Rate and is now permitted to work on A Construction Jobs.

Why is it worth it? Hmmm lets do your math over...

$25/hr X a full year of work (2000 man hours) = $50000/year (this is NOT including any type of annuity, pension, medical, etc)

vs...

$51/hr X a HALF YEAR of work (which is guaranteed every A Journeyman will work MINIMUM) 1000 man hours = $51000/year. (This is not including a ridiculous medical, dental, optical, retirement, annuity, and education reimbursement package)

So...is it WORTH it...that choice is simple...of course it is. How we manage our electricians is not done in every Local...Locals 1, 5, 6 are similar to how we do things. All our M Division men look forward to the day they get A Money...and two years after they get the money...they are eligible to take the A Test to become full fledged A Division members (with a higher annuity than the M Division). There is no competition between the benefits to being in Local 3 and non union here in NYC. None at all.

I deal with a number of non union contractors every day and for all their bluster, not a single one of them can compete with the sheer volume of benefits our men receive.

Thanks for reading.

Thanks steve. The only problem now is that most of us are NOT in local 3. I also heard that the average waiting period if ur on the bench right now is 2 years for local 3. And the journeymen in my local make $42/hr top salary not $50+.

But Whether it is $50/hour or $42/hour is irrellevant, the point remains the same. Most guys are on the bench much longer than half a year. There are guys in local 3 who were on the bench for close to 18 months. Similar for the A guys in my local who have been unemployed for over a year while the cw/ce guys are out building america. Why local 3 is so different is beyond me. Automatic upgrade after 10 years????? Yeah, my question definetely wouldnt make sense to anyone in local 3.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:22 PM   #37
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Thanks steve. The only problem now is that most of us are NOT in local 3. I also heard that the average waiting period if ur on the bench right now is 2 years for local 3. And the journeymen in my local make $42/hr top salary not $50+.

But Whether it is $50/hour or $42/hour is irrellevant, the point remains the same. Most guys are on the bench much longer than half a year. There are guys in local 3 who were on the bench for close to 18 months. Similar for the A guys in my local who have been unemployed for over a year while the cw/ce guys are out building america. Why local 3 is so different is beyond me. Automatic upgrade after 10 years????? Yeah, my question definetely wouldnt make sense to anyone in local 3.
There is no 2yr wait, nor has there been. At our worst there were guys out for almost a year...and many of them had "problems"....ie: bad layoff's, substance abuse, etc. We have a furlough plan in work since the 80's. Every Basic Man takes 10-12 Weeks off when unemployment is over a certain percentage. With that said, each "unemployed" member is given a Job Ticket for 6 Months Minimum. All 247 Contractors agree to this plan and have it enforced.

Again, we have 15K A Journeymen...at the absolute worst there was 3500 out. That's 1/4th of the A Journeymen...again...at the worst unemployment we've had in 30+ years. Every single year other than between 2009 and 2011 was under 25% unemployment. Also remember, this is without any overtime at all.

Lets address it like this...

2yr wait for a job. We have never had that, whoever informed you of this, is completely and utterly lying.

Most of the men are without a job. This also is completely untrue. See the numbers above.

Why is LU3 so different. Because we are...because we are the Bank of the IBEW, because we (unfortunately) closed ourselves off from the rest of the world since 1989 and refused to allow anyone from the outside into NYC to work. Because we are undoubtedly in one of the most union centric cities in the United States. Because we were the first IBEW Local to adopt a completely singular payment method and adopted a Joint Industry Board long before any other Local adopted a LMCC. The reasons go on.

This is why for decades it has been said...LU3 is the best gig in NYC, and it's the hardest to get into.

We protect what we have.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:38 PM   #38
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There is no 2yr wait, nor has there been. At our worst there were guys out for almost a year...and many of them had "problems"....ie: bad layoff's, substance abuse, etc. We have a furlough plan in work since the 80's. Every Basic Man takes 10-12 Weeks off when unemployment is over a certain percentage. With that said, each "unemployed" member is given a Job Ticket for 6 Months Minimum. All 247 Contractors agree to this plan and have it enforced.

Again, we have 15K A Journeymen...at the absolute worst there was 3500 out. That's 1/4th of the A Journeymen...again...at the worst unemployment we've had in 30+ years. Every single year other than between 2009 and 2011 was under 25% unemployment. Also remember, this is without any overtime at all.

Lets address it like this...

2yr wait for a job. We have never had that, whoever informed you of this, is completely and utterly lying.

Most of the men are without a job. This also is completely untrue. See the numbers above.

Why is LU3 so different. Because we are...because we are the Bank of the IBEW, because we (unfortunately) closed ourselves off from the rest of the world since 1989 and refused to allow anyone from the outside into NYC to work. Because we are undoubtedly in one of the most union centric cities in the United States. Because we were the first IBEW Local to adopt a completely singular payment method and adopted a Joint Industry Board long before any other Local adopted a LMCC. The reasons go on.

This is why for decades it has been said...LU3 is the best gig in NYC, and it's the hardest to get into.

We protect what we have.

Im glad to hear from u that the 2 year wait thing is a bunch of nonsense. I heard that from my former contractor who was trying to talk me out of going union. Of course i ignored it until i saw the same exact information on this forum somewhere. In any case, i wish there was a local 25 guy on this thread who knew our local the way that you know yours.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:57 PM   #39
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Im glad to hear from u that the 2 year wait thing is a bunch of nonsense. I heard that from my former contractor who was trying to talk me out of going union. Of course i ignored it until i saw the same exact information on this forum somewhere. In any case, i wish there was a local 25 guy on this thread who knew our local the way that you know yours.

No problem bro. There is...I just can't remember his screen name. There's another guy who's an instructor in 25 that I met while teaching out in Ann Arbor, Michigan who said he'd be coming on here. You have to understand, there is a lot of animosity between union and non union...I don't believe in making it worse, I think we can learn from each other. However, when outright lies are told, that I have a problem with. Hey...believe me, LU3 is no bed of roses man. There are guys who have this bullsh*t entitlement thing going on...I despise that. There are guys who think because they're related to someone, that they're "special"...I can't stand that either. It's a political arena where I removed myself from the ring. I teach...that's it. I teach. I have no...as in none...zilch...aspirations to anything other than running work and teaching...

The funny thing is...those that really ARE related to anyone important...AREN'T the ones acting entitled....LOL it's mind boggling.

So yeah...there is bad also...but how do you fight the bad...?

Well for me...it's making better electricians out of Apprentices and Helpers.

That's how I fight the bad.
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