By Anthony Capkun
May 30, 2014 – Yesterday, Nova Scotia Power informed IBEW Local 1928 and employees of the results of two RFPs under consideration “to save money for customers”. Translation? Areas of work that will be targeted for potential outsourcing.
In October 2013, NS Power says it announced an RFP process for qualified vendors interested in providing certain services. Through that process, it has determined that it can save money for customers by contracting out transmission and distribution line inspections, which could potentially impact up to 10 positions. The company also informed the IBEW and employees that it intends to continue contracting out transmission and distribution capital work. This work is currently outsourced, explains NS power, so there won’t be any employee impacts related to this decision.
NS Power met with the IBEW to review the results of NS Power’s RFP analysis. The company and union will meet again in the coming weeks to discuss the decisions in greater detail, potential employee impacts and the union’s response.
“We have undertaken a complex process, and we are confident that these are the right decisions for our customers,” said Bob Hanf, president and CEO, NS Power. “We have an obligation to our customers to do everything we can to reduce costs while maintaining safety, customer service and reliability. Every part of Nova Scotia Power is being examined for potential savings. Investigating outsourcing options is part of that work.”
NS Power has signed letters of intent with the suppliers. Formal contracts wouldn’t be entered into until after the IBEW has had an opportunity to respond. The company will continue to follow the process of the collective agreement and will work to minimize the impact to employees.
Decisions on other areas of work being reviewed for potential outsourcing are expected in the coming months. Nova Scotia Power has previously contracted out functions including: line work, tree trimming, boiler and turbine work, information technology, printing services, billing services, coal handling, and various aspects of capital construction and infrastructure maintenance.