Business Manager Don Daley added that “Local 1049 urges that there be no rush to judgment on supporting any plan

We Power Long Island

Any plan with workforce synergy savings  is the best model for the future of LIPA Business Manager Don Daley of IBEW  1049 warns political and community leaders that the current plan will  keep over a thousand utility workers home during the next major storm

Hauppauge At their Union Hall, the leadership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1049,  led by Business Manager Don Daley held a town hall style Q&A with  key elected officials and representatives from the State, County and  Town government to explain in detail staffing and management issues   with the future LIPA operating services agreement (OSA) which  essentially splits up the storm restoration workforce.  Over 60 people  attended the meeting with community leaders and ratepayer advocates.

An informative power point outlined hard truths that the  current LIPA model keeps all the electric and gas utility workers  available for storm response. When a storm hits, National Grid utilizes  all employees in the restoration effort.  A gas mechanic who  traditionally works on the gas pipeline is also trained and qualified to  install residential electric lines during emergency response. Daley’s  presentation showed exactly how gas and electric ratepayers benefit from  daily workforce synergies and how many Long Island workers will be  staying home in the next storm.

 “We have been communicating our concerns with this OSA for  15 months now, even before Hurricane Sandy hit us”, said Daley. “There  will be less people who are cross trained to respond during storm  restoration when the next major storm hits, whether that storm is big or  small. The future plan will even make small storm response difficult  and expensive for the ratepayer. We will have to rely on off-island out  of state utility crews.”

A point was raised by a community activist that PSEG, the  new owner of the OSA, should be required to increase staffing levels to  meet storm restoration needs. Daley responded to the question by stating  that if PSEG was required to increase staffing levels, that would be  one way to address the dangers of being understaffed during the next  storm response , but that it may not make economic sense.

Graphs during the presentation showed that the future OSA  will essentially split the workforce in half. One graph showed that in  the next storm, over 1,800 trained utility professionals will be staying  back. The presentation also explained in detail how synergy savings  work in departments like human resources, billing and collections. The  new OSA will essentially split up the workforce, creating unnecessary  overhead which will be passed onto the already overburdened ratepayer.

Business Manager Don Daley added that “Local 1049 urges that  there be no rush to judgment on supporting any plan, whether it be  privatization, making LIPA a full municipality, or a public-private  partnership. This decision had implications for the provision of  essential utility services to millions of customers. Our Long Island  neighbors depend on this essential service to provide safety and  comfort. We consider this to be the highest priority and IBEW 1049 needs  to be at the table.”


About lipaoversight

LIPA Oversight Committee was created to analyze the rates and practices to determine if it is working in the best interests of the Suffolk County ratepayers
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