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Does your local have residential guys at a residential rate? Is the $52 an hour the total package? So maybe the guy makes $30 an hour and tier 2 health care, small annuity and the same pension?
 

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36th year apprentice & Floor Sweeper
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nope, most in the local are commercial nimrods and if benched, benched for a reason. its gonna be 90ish for their package.
I can’t see one of our local contractors doing single family homes with “A” guys. They would never get the job. Priced way out of the market for that type of track work. But my local has always had a “B” rate for small works. The rate is always around half in the check, same pension but reduced health and annuity. That type of work is right up their alley. I spent a few of my “B” years doing track work.
 

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Never heard of a second class union electrician. The only time they work for less is when salting. Then the hall gives them a pass on the book. Several halls got spanked for that. Remember, the union is for the whole, not for a select few. When you say they are priced out, you are right. Non union shops are building these houses.
That’s funny you say that. You never heard of a second class electrician, but yet that’s what your calling them. There’s all sorts of nicknames. Residential retread was always my favorite. It’s more of a badge of honor though. Most Retreads run circles around JWs, and don’t even break a sweat. Some JWs are clueless as to what a struggle life could be, or how good they got it, or even how to do residential service work.

The area I live in is mostly residential and retail. Not much industry. It’s where people go to get away from the industrial part of the state. So we’ve had a residential division from the start of the charter. There used to be shops that were all “B” guys. They never did work that required “A” guys. They just did resi new and old work and commercial under a certain value. Over time the residential rate became too much to do any type of new construction track work. It’s always been a race to the bottom.

The program isn’t for everyone. If you’ve been in the trade for a while, and don’t want to start out as a first year apprentice, it’s not a bad route. Right now I think it adds one year, but probably isn’t a cut in pay from where they were working before. So you would do three years of school as a “B” guy, and then switch over, and do third, fourth and fifth year as an “A” apprentice. You have to do the school or you will never change over. I know it’s a different mind set, but NJ doesn’t have a requirement for an apprenticeship. So it doesn’t matter what type of school you had before, you have to go through theirs.

When they started the CE/CW classification nationally, we were forced to change our “B” program into the CE/CW program. Some things got better, somethings got worse. Up until then, we were the only local in the state that had a residential program. The way it is now, if you get in as a CE/CW because you have experience, they test you for pay scale. You get paid one of the CE/CW rates based on the test, but you still have to do the three years of CE school. Don’t do the school, never change over. But because they do the school, they move into third year “A” when they’re done with CE school. They aren’t considered apprentice’s as a CW, so there’s no reason to work with a journeyman. So a CW guy is usually running work just like any other electrician, and getting paid over CW scale. So how can that be? A second class electrician doing strip malls and small tenant fit outs? Because the guy probably already has his state electrical contractors license, and would rather work towards getting his “A” ticket than going into Buisness. When I changed over we only had to do fourth and fifth year. It was at the time they just changed to a five year apprenticeship, and they didn’t add the extra year to the change over guys yet. When I started it was a four year, by the time I changed over, it was five. Every retread In my apprenticeship class already had their state license. All had at least ten years experience by the time they went into fourth year. On guy was in his late 50s and I think he was doing this his whole life. He wasn’t just getting paid “B”rate. Some guys don’t want to change over. They are happy getting whatever they worked out with their employer. I was getting “B” foreman rate for half the time I was a “B” guy. But I never intended to stay in that program. One day I wanted to be a “real” electrician!:LOL:

I know, I know. I’ll get there someday!
 

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36th year apprentice & Floor Sweeper
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I’ve worked for some non-union companies owned by former union members. Why non-union, you ask? Only because the union position was the owners of a company cannot work on the tools. So from the get-go the company needs enough work for minimum 5-6 JW’s to carry the “office”. Great way to expand union influence and power. Have things changed?
I’ve read that on here also. Our local never had that restriction. Doesn’t matter if the company has a single owner or several owners, if they have ticket, they can work with the tools. They have to pay into their retirement and health/welfare. If they don’t have a ticket, or shelved it, they are allowed to designate one officer of the company to work in the field. I don’t think they have to pay into the plan at that point, but obviously can’t collect on it either.

I’ve heard from travelers that their locals allow service company owners to work with the tools.
 

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I did tract houses in CA for 10 years. I got out (thank God) when the economy crashed in 08. I did work for Pardee, DR Horton, William Lyons, Griffen, Lennar, etc. They will chew you up and spit you out. Payment schedules suck. You bill monthly, so let's say you start on Feb 1. You bill 30 days later. Then they have 30 days to pay you. Best case scenario, they will send the checks out on April 1. If your supplier releases and all your paperwork have one T that isn't crossed, they will wait the 30 days, then kick it back to you, which means you've missed the boat and have to hope your paperwork is straight when you resubmit so that you will get paid on the next cycle, 30 more days later. If your paperwork is perfect, you should get paid 60 days after you start, so you will need deep pockets to pay for your labor, ins., fuel, etc. until you get paid. Trust me, they will find a reason to not pay you on time and won't give a damn if your kids don't get to eat. The only way you will make money with the bid you gave them is if the sales team sells a ton of options. You have to price your options high. If recessed lights and ceiling fans are included in every bedroom, you will not make money, you will lose. You have to be able to sell these options to make any profit. The big builders often hire new contractors, knowing that they can't do the job for the bid given. They will squeeze you until you pop, then replace you with the next sucker.

Something sounds fishy in your OP. If you are the sole contractor for 2 companies, how is it that they only want 4 houses per month? My company was doing 4 houses (4000sq ft) per day back in the day, just for 1 builder.

Be careful.
A little graft goes a long way. They’re all crooks.
 

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36th year apprentice & Floor Sweeper
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It used to be that in my local you just received greater retirement benefits if you paid the A dues as opposed to the B dues. I opted to stay as a B and put the extra money in my 401k. It was not that much more to be an A Journeyman and most of the B's made fun of them for feeling superior. "I'm a Journeyman A so you get your scrub ass out of the shop and get to work. I got paperwork to do." lmao
Your talking about “A” and “BA” membership. Our old “B” program was the residential program. I don’t remember what the official wording was on the dues receipt. Residential inside wireman? What we called a “B guy” was considered an “A” membership as far as the international pension plan. There is also no difference with the local pension. In other words, the residential guys get the same pension as the commercial/industrial guys.

 

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U realize there was jw A and jw B licenses right?
Not exactly. I don’t think they are called journeymen at all. And the B apprentice (2 year class at the time) was called a residential trainee, not apprentice. I think the distinction is made like that because they can’t be used on PW jobs. Journeymen is only after the full apprenticeship.

It‘s the same today with the CE/CW. They are not considered journeymen or apprentice until they enter third year school (change over) or complete it. All the things I’m talking about are completely separate from whatever state licensing there is.

I never saved dues receipts, so I’m not sure what the official trade classification was. I’m almost positive it was residential wireman and residential trainee. Both were member type A as far as the pension and voting.
 

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