Highlights of PWU President Mel Hyatt’s Report to the Council of Chief Stewards September 27, 2017
Mel Hyatt, President of the Power Workers’ Union (PWU) addressed the Council of Chief Stewards on September 27, 2017. In his inaugural President’s Report to Council, he articulated the tremendous honour he feels in representing the PWU as President. He then spoke to the Council about the PWU’s past, present and future.
He began by thanking former President Don MacKinnon, former Sector 1 Vice President Bob Walker and former Sector 2 Vice President Brad Carnduff, for their service to the PWU and all they had accomplished for the Union throughout their careers. On behalf of all PWU members, he wished them all the very best in retirement.
Next, Mel Hyatt spoke about the present state of the PWU. He welcomed the three newest Chief Stewards representing PWU members from Alectra and acknowledged that there were 15 new Chief Stewards in attendance since last year’s Council. He discussed the new PWU Executive Committee, which is now comprised of Andrew Clunis Vice President Sector 1, Jeff Parnell Vice President Sector 2, and Tom Chessell Vice President Sector 3. He expressed his confidence in the PWU Executive Committee’s ability to use their experience as leaders and work together towards overcoming all challenges.
Mel Hyatt then reported that the PWU has recently experienced some tremendous successes:
- Merging 900 members from CUPE Local One who voted 92% in favour of joining the PWU in October of last year.
- Acquiring more than 650 new members and retaining 340 more from the Alectra merger and subsequent representation vote where 69.4% of all voters provided the PWU a first ballot majority.
- Repatriating customer service employees full circle from Hydro One to Vertex to Inergi-CSO and now back to Hydro One.
He explained that the PWU Staff resources have grown in balance with the influx of new PWU members who now work in 60 separate bargaining units.
Mel Hyatt’s report then shifted to the future. He described the work and resources that have gone into advising the current Ontario government on the best options for Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) which is expected to be released any day now.
The PWU anticipates Ontario’s LTEP will lean heavily on nuclear generation, committing to the complete refurbishment of the Bruce Power and OPG Darlington stations, as well as continued operations at OPG Pickering through to 2024. He also explained that more Local Distribution Company (LDC) mergers are on the horizon. A representation vote is scheduled on October 19, 2017 for Energy+, a merger of Brant County Power Inc., Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro Inc. A similar situation exists in Durham region with Whitby Hydro Energy Corporation and Veridian Corporation having taken steps towards consolidating the two utilities.
PWU President Mel Hyatt then spoke of the bargaining that the PWU will be engaged in throughout the coming year. Ontario’s five largest electricity sector bargaining units, Bruce Power, Hydro One, OPG, Alectra and Toronto Hydro are all scheduled to commence collective bargaining before the end of March 2018.
The President concluded his report with a sincere thank-you to all of the PWU’s representatives for the meaningful work they do.