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Old 08-20-2008, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default Aspiring electrician who wants to join IBEW, but cant afford apprenticeship.

Hello everyone, I am currently employed by a major telecom carrier and have been for almost 10 years now. I work mostly on data center wiring, network installations. I work a long side a lot of IBEW electricians, since my company uses them to run wire sometimes. I have been trying to get into the IBEW Local # 3 in NYC for a few years now. I applied for apprenticeship and made it through the application, test and interview processes. The only problem is that there has been a pay cut for apprentices and I am unable to support myself at that salary. I would be making 1/3 of my current salary. A few years ago at the original 1st year rate was doable, but now things in my life have changed and I have more responsibilities. I am taking care of my mom and paying a mortgage. This made it impossible to take that kind of a pay cut.

I have a lot of friends in IBEW and I really am impressed at the way they are trained and treated by the union. The salary is very good and job security as well, especially in NYC where most large jobs are bid on by IBEW contractors. Also I am ready for a change.

The reason why I am posting here is because I am hoping maybe someone can give me direction on how to join the IBEW other than the normal apprenticeship route? I would love to go through it from start to finish and gain the knowledge and respect, but just cant afford it. I know this is a long shot, but I am willing to go to school at night for a few years if it would increase my scale. Or possibly use my current experience of 10 years in telecom to start me higher. I am currently in CWA and would love to continue my career in telecommunications with IBEW. I have written to IBEW.org and they instructed me to contact the local. I wrote the local a letter with my resume and am waiting to hear back. I hope I dont sound like I am trying to beat the system, because I am not. Would just like to know if there are any other options for a 30 year old to get into the union who cant afford it at the apprenticeship rate.

Thank you for your time and attention and I greatly apologize for the long post.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:29 PM   #2
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Cool Welcome to the forum

I hope you find what you need.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!

I hope you can work something out.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:13 PM   #4
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I'm not familar with local 3 so I must ask you; do they have a video-data-voice (VDV) (or telecomm or some other term) division in their local? Are you looking to become a wireman or stay in the VDV field?
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:08 PM   #5
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whats the starting pay for an A apprentice in NYC? Here is Local 26 pay scale, the pay raises are not in there is a $1 raise in Nov.

http://www.ibewlocal26.org/wage%20pa...ates6_08aj.pdf

by contrast here is Teledata

http://www.ibewlocal26.org/pdfs/rates11_07td.pdf

In class tonight my instructor was telling us of his trip to Tenn. for a national meeting and that alot of other locals said we had it good and that it was real hard to get in "3"

welcome and good luck.
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:04 AM   #6
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Welcome to the site! I would recommend calling them up or going down there one day and explaining the situation. I'm sure if there is a way they will have some ideas or suggestions.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I'm not familar with local 3 so I must ask you; do they have a video-data-voice (VDV) (or telecomm or some other term) division in their local? Are you looking to become a wireman or stay in the VDV field?

They do not have a VDV division. Seems like most locals do, but this one does not. All the Telecom workers I worked with where in "A" construction. They pretty much do the exact same work I do. Install racks, run structured cabling, rack equipment. They even have similar certifications as me(cisco, nortel, etc). I would love to learn the trade from both angles, wireman and telecom. My strong point is definitely telecom, but I have done basic electrical work with no problem, including renovating my house.

I appreciate all the responses so far, and I guess the best thing would be to get in touch with someone at the hall and try to meet with them. Im just not sure who I should really speak too. Which department.

As far as Local 26 pay scale, you start much higher in 1st year. in NYC its $11 an hour and $2 raises per year for 4 years. Then you have MIJ and "A" J in your 6th. So you guys do have it pretty good. Although we top out a little higher after 6 years, your 1st year is much better and would def work for me.

It's pretty upsetting, because I REALLY want to join and am willing to do whatever I have to as far as schooling and putting my time in. I want to learn and I hate it that the starting salary is stopping me. It's all very upsetting to me
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:07 PM   #8
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I would thin NYC apprenticeship would pay pretty good. Whats percentage of JW scale is the first year? If you were accepted, I would not turn it down, you might not get another chance.

There are no shortcuts. many people come on this board looking for one. Not saying you are.

Sometimes it's just not in the cards but if you are really pasionate about doing it, I have two options.

1) Check neighboring locals like25, 363, they may pay more.

2) Find a part time job. I know several older apprentices who have done that.


Good luck
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:19 PM   #9
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Our local is decent to apprentices, you sign up and can go to work that day (as a "R" worker). many locals send the aspiring apprentice home to sit on his tushie or continue delivering Pizzas, something I never understood. Especially after they have been accepted into the program.
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Old 08-23-2008, 01:44 AM   #10
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Our local is decent to apprentices, you sign up and can go to work that day (as a "R" worker). many locals send the aspiring apprentice home to sit on his tushie or continue delivering Pizzas, something I never understood. Especially after they have been accepted into the program.
That is not the problem at this moment. There is work for apprentices.

Daddymack, thanks for the advice. I have begun to look into other locals. Looks like 25 has a higher starting salary and a VDV apprenticeship as well. I have to contact them and make sure I dont have to live in the Nassau Suffolk area to apply.

You have all been very helpful with your advice. I appreciate that. Definitely keep it coming. I am very determined to make this happen for me. Now or in the future.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:20 AM   #11
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Telecomm,
Local 3 is very hard to get into, especially since you have no real electrical background. Though we do have a significant communications division.
Your best bet to assure yourself a position in the union is to try to organize your shop. Bring the entire force in at once. If you take a vote, and a majority of your fellow employees decide to join, your employer is obligated to enter into signatory contract with Local 3.
Just call 718 591-4000, and tell the operator that you're interested in organizing your shop. She will then put you in touch with the organizers, whom will promptly help you and coach you on how to organize. Do fear retaliation from your employer, they cannot by law retaliate or threaten you in anyway either. The local will definitely back you on that one.
During the organization procedures, mention to your organizers that you might be interested in become a shop Stewart as well. (The benefits and prestige are worth it), because your efforts in the organization will surely help you in that capacity.
Hope this helps. Remember, don't wait or ask for things to happen. Make them happen.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcupine63
Telecomm,
Local 3 is very hard to get into, especially since you have no real electrical background. Though we do have a significant communications division.
Your best bet to assure yourself a position in the union is to try to organize your shop. Bring the entire force in at once. If you take a vote, and a majority of your fellow employees decide to join, your employer is obligated to enter into signatory contract with Local 3.
Just call 718 591-4000, and tell the operator that you're interested in organizing your shop. She will then put you in touch with the organizers, whom will promptly help you and coach you on how to organize. Do fear retaliation from your employer, they cannot by law retaliate or threaten you in anyway either. The local will definitely back you on that one.
During the organization procedures, mention to your organizers that you might be interested in become a shop Stewart as well. (The benefits and prestige are worth it), because your efforts in the organization will surely help you in that capacity.
Hope this helps. Remember, don't wait or ask for things to happen. Make them happen.
Why would he organize his shop, he's making more money non union. This is terrible advice. Did u even read his post or are you just trying to push your agenda through. He has a family to support. Stop being so selfish
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcupine63
Telecomm,
Local 3 is very hard to get into, especially since you have no real electrical background. Though we do have a significant communications division.
Your best bet to assure yourself a position in the union is to try to organize your shop. Bring the entire force in at once. If you take a vote, and a majority of your fellow employees decide to join, your employer is obligated to enter into signatory contract with Local 3.
Just call 718 591-4000, and tell the operator that you're interested in organizing your shop. She will then put you in touch with the organizers, whom will promptly help you and coach you on how to organize. Do fear retaliation from your employer, they cannot by law retaliate or threaten you in anyway either. The local will definitely back you on that one.
During the organization procedures, mention to your organizers that you might be interested in become a shop Stewart as well. (The benefits and prestige are worth it), because your efforts in the organization will surely help you in that capacity.
Hope this helps. Remember, don't wait or ask for things to happen. Make them happen.
Yeah the unions did great for DETROIT jack wagon
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:02 PM   #14
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You guys do realize that this thread is almost 5 years old and somehow the OP was banned with so few posts?
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:12 PM   #15
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Why would he organize his shop, he's making more money non union. This is terrible advice. Did u even read his post or are you just trying to push your agenda through. He has a family to support. Stop being so selfish
Listen numb nut, if he has a chance to get into local 3, he should jump all over it and not look back at his dead end job.
You have not a clue. Jack wagon!
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:07 PM   #16
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I dunno, I guess because I made $152,000 last year and $178,000 the year before. My family is barely scraping by on this, but we manage. As for telecomm, I'm sure his (and your) annual income completely obliterate mine, but we DO have the ability to proudly say, "I am a member of IBEW" it's really neat, and the lower pay (compared to the non-union electricians), the only 10% employer 401k contribution, full medical, dental etc..., are worth it.
Woe is me........
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:27 PM   #17
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Spoken like true union sheep, i call bullchit all the union guys I know havent worked in forever, more then 68 percent on the bench. Pathetic
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:45 PM   #18
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I call BS on those earnings. 2500-3000 hours. I don't think so, Tim. And if your family is barely scraping by on that income, I don't really think you are in much of a position to be giving advice.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:42 PM   #19
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Spoken like true union sheep, i call bullchit all the union guys I know havent worked in forever, more then 68 percent on the bench. Pathetic
I'll bet you have just heard things and don't know anything first hand.
We don't need people like you on this forum so just lurk for now, ok.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:18 AM   #20
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I dunno, I guess because I made $152,000 last year and $178,000 the year before. My family is barely scraping by on this, but we manage. .
You should look into a good accountant..
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