The storms of 2022/2023 have been some of the most intense we have experienced since 1995/1996. The work and dedication shown by ESC members can make us all proud.
This is the first storm season where LOA 22-08, requires the employer to pay double time for select classifications who work prearranged overtime during EOC activations in preparation for a weather-related event that is anticipated to cause an impact on electric reliability and/or customer outages, has been applied from the outset of the weather event instead of retroactively.
This practice raises many issues that the Union is working to resolve, mostly around ensuring equal distribution of overtime.
While ESC is working to ensure that opportunities to earn additional income are equally distributed, it is a good time to reflect on our duties and obligations under the labor contract and as PG&E employees.
The work that we perform is vital to the residents & businesses of Northern & Central California, not unlike water, sewer, healthcare, and other crucial public services. This is highlighted in Title 2 of our contract, which states, “The Company is engaged in rendering public utility services to the public, and the Union and the Company recognize that there is an obligation on each party for the continuous rendition and availability of such services.” It goes on to note that employees have an obligation and role “ in preserving the continuity of its services to the public at all times”
This means our services can be required beyond our normal work hours if they are required for the continuity of public utility services to the public.
The Union position is that we don’t have an obligation to work outside of our normal work schedule for working down a backlog or attaining a metric or other non-emergency work. There are also questions about what headquarters or location one can report to, or if this obligation applies to work that may be potentially required for the rendition of service (such as pre-arranged work for emergencies). However, if you are called, are fit for duty and the work you do is needed for the continuity or restoration of service you can be required to stay at work or report to work.
I am proud of our labor contract and its acknowledgment that our work is a vital public service. I am proud to be a part of the work to continue and restore that service when I am asked. The Union strongly urges members to understand and embrace their obligation, and to volunteer if able. Especially given that after eight years PG&E has finally agreed to implement the provisions of LOA 22-08.
Please join me in wishing for the swift and safe restoration of PG&E’s service to the public and appreciation of all PG&E workers’ efforts to accomplish that restoration.
President of the Engineers and Scientists of California, IFTPE Local 20