What's at Stake for Excel Employees

What is at Stake for Xcel Employees During the Xcel Negotiations?

Xcel Energy has taken an extremely aggressive stance at the bargaining table during their current negotiation process. They have put forward a proposal seeking major concessions that will irreversibly damage our active and retired member’s compensation and benefits. Xcel is trying to fundamentally change the collective bargaining relationship and strip away basic union rights and worker protections that have existed in our labor/management relationship for decades.

Xcel is seeking these four main concessions and IBEW Local 111 Xcel Employees are fighting back.

Breaking their Commitment on Retiree Healthcare

Xcel wants to end the retiree healthcare benefits that its employees have earned by their decades of service. These benefits are critical:  Hard physical work forces most to retire before they become Medicare eligible at age 65, and contribute to medical needs that drive up their healthcare costs even once they hit 65. These cuts could force workers to stay on the job past the point of reasonable health and safety, and deprive retirees of benefits that have already been paid for by Colorado ratepayers. 

Seeking Drastic Cuts to Employee Pensions and Wages

Xcel Energy is seeking to replace the bargaining unit’s current pension with a cash balance plan for new employees that would drastically reduce benefits for future workers when they retire, accompanied by a dramatic reduction in the bargaining unit’s 401 (k) Plan. Xcel’s proposal would not allow retirees a dignified retirement. Indeed, Xcel’s own people have described their plan as providing a lower benefit value than is provided by other public utilities, even though Colorado is one of the richest states in the nation.

 Proposing Dangerous New Work Rules

Xcel Energy is seeking to force the Line Department, Gas Department and Substations to accept 90% of callouts to cover emergency and weather related work. This is being forced upon workers who are already working a tremendous amount of callout hours annually.  This is dangerous work and overworking those that do this type of work will impact the safety of the public and employees.

 Attempting to Strip Union Rights

Xcel Energy wants to strip binding, interest arbitration that has existed for decades from our collective bargaining agreement.  This feature has been used in the past to fairly resolve contract disputes and to avoid strikes that could have disrupted services to consumers.  Xcel is also trying to remove union security clauses (weakening the union for the future) and shorten the renewal of   the contract to force further concessions by creating a negotiating crisis every 12-18 months.

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Thursday, June 22

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    Colorado AFL-CIO Lobby Corps

    Coloradans face two more years of a split legislature and a national movement to roll back 20 years of worker protections. Building our grassroots political power is vital to preventing bad legislation, passing good legislation and ensuring Colorado is insulated from national attacks.

    Our collective effort last fall helped elect many pro-working family legislators, but our work cannot stop there. Now is the time for us to support those legislators and hold them accountable in making the best choices for Colorado’s working families.  

    Constituents-- rank and file members-- are our most powerful messengers to legislators. Member’s voices and member’s stories are  the best way to combat the swarm of corporate lobbyists roaming the halls every day.

    The Lobby Corps will:

    • Train members on the process to pass working families legislation

    • Build relationships with a variety of locals across the state and forge partnerships

    • Build relationships with their legislator to make the labor movement more impactful

    • Develop relationships with community partners

    • Increase the power we have as a movement through people power

    • Develop skills members can use to work with their local governments

    The Colorado AFL-CIO will be starting this program on February 21, 2017.  It is the goal of each CLC and the State Federation to work with the affiliate locals to recruit 1-2 unique members from each CLC region (regardless of the local) per week to come to the capitol for 3 consecutive days during the session.  The last week of the program is April 24th.  

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