Monday, June 28, 2010

NB Power's restructuring of Transmission, Distribution and Customer Service.

On June 8, NB Power started telling workers about a restructuring within Transmission and Distribution and Customer Service ("T and D"). Since then, some members have asked if the reorganisation within "T and D" violates or changes our Collective Agreements and whether or not NB Power needs the Union’s permission to make these changes.

The answer is that NB Power has the right to reorganise and restructure their business – they don’t need the Union’s approval. They are also allowed to reassign staff, which is why we have negotiated wage protection provisions in our collective agreements. Many of you probably remember previous reorganisations.

In addition, the reorganisation does not violate or change the existing Collective Agreements. Members who were assigned to Transmission before will continue to operate under the Transmission Agreement, even if they are now reporting to a Customer Service region.

Likewise, the proposed combining of the operating companies and the proposal to take NB Power back to a single company will have no impact on the current Collective Agreements (including seniority rules) that are in place. If the proposal to recombine NB Power goes forward, it will not be much different than pre-2004. At that time NB Power was one company, with four different Collective Agreements, just as it is today.

When changes like this occur, it can create a lot of confusion and uncertainty. There are many questions about the future structure of NB Power. Some of those questions we have answers for and there others that we don’t at this time. As this continues to evolve, we’ll all get a better picture of the impacts of the changes as well as any steps we may need to take to deal with emerging issues.

Although times of change can be frustrating, I do believe that by working together we can successfully deal with any issues that arise.

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