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February 10, 2021
February 2021 Newsletter

REPORT TO THE MEMBERS

By Richard E. Dalton, Business Manager

Winter weather has arrived in Ohio. Now is the time to upgrade your certifications at one of the regional training centers. Applications for the 2021 apprenticeship class have been postponed until further notice, due to concerns over COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has some light at the end of the tunnel, with multiple vaccines being approved by the FDA. However, it will take several months until enough doses are available for everyone. Don’t let your guard down, continue to social distance, wear masks, wash hands frequently, and sanitize equipment before use. If we continue to have good hygiene habits, we will get this pandemic under control in the coming months.

2021 should be a decent work season despite all the hurdles put before us. It is anticipated that ODOT will award a similar amount of total dollars in jobs for 2021 as it did in 2020. They have indicated that they will not do megaprojects, but will instead do more projects with smaller dollar values. ODOT wants to create an environment that will allow more contractor participation by performing smaller dollar projects.

The Local 18 statewide Highway Heavy Agreement and the statewide Building Agreement both expire at the end of April. Proposals were submitted last year and have been kept on file for these negotiations. If you have any other proposals of interest, please send them to your District Representative to be considered.

We will be starting Labor History classes this month with limited seating capacity. The apprentices will have priority since it is a required part of the curriculum for all first-year people; after that, new members will be invited to fill in the class space.

A one-night steward refresher class will be conducted in each district starting in March. If you are interested in attending the class in your district, please contact the district office. The steward class is highly informative on proper grievance handling and processing.

The Equipment Shops have been steady in the winter months, preparing equipment for the spring work season kickoff. Most shops have retained all the mechanics during the winter to perform the needed maintenance.

The Stationary Department has faced some challenging times in the public sector. Many government facilities have been shut down since the pandemic’s onset, resulting in numerous layoffs of our Stationary members. The remote workforce stifles maintenance and repair sectors of workers. Since very few are working from an office, there is no need for repairs and maintenance crews. This is impacting our Stationary and Hoisting & Portable, with no indoor building HVAC to maintain, and no parking lot repavement or building additions to perform.

To all of our Local 18 Retirees, please stay safe during these winter months. If you need assistance, reach out to a neighbor or friend, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Once the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us, we will resume our retiree lunches; until then, don’t let the weather get you down.

For our ailing members, we hope for a speedy recovery. To all who have lost loved ones, you have our deepest sympathy.

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