Thank you to everyone who came out to the Chuck Austin Memorial Golf Tournament. The day was a huge success which couldn’t be possible without your participation. Also, a special thanks to everyone who helped run the event- Ray Silvestri, Jen Silvestri, Becky Barbieri, Cindy Silva, Kelly San Souci, Lisa Stravinsky and Joe Stravinsky. Thank you!

Changes to Dependent Care Reimbursement and Summer Camp

Dependent Care:

Effective May 1, 2013
· Total Household income increased from $150,000 to $175,000
· Increase in reimbursement amounts as follows:
Under $125,000 will be $20.00 per work day
$125,000-$175,000 will be $10.00 per work day

Summer Camp:

Effective June 16-Aug.31st 2013
· Total Household income increased from $150,000 to $175,000

January 1st-June 30th 2013
July 1st-December 31st 2013
· Up to $100.00 for each 6 months

Please review guidelines for full program details. You can access these Applications by going to

Chuck Austin Family Fund

Sisters & Brothers:

Sadly, it has been several weeks now since Brother Austin’s untimely passing, in an on the job accident. We wanted to share the information for a fund that has been established for his two young daughters.

The overwhelming support for his family has been tremendous. Please keep Brother Austin’s family in your thoughts & prayers.

1200 Main Street
Wyoming, RI 02898
“Austin Girls Scholarship Fund”
Attention: Esta Kieon

Obituary for Charles J. Austin

Charles J. “Chuck” Austin, 41, of Spring St. Hope Valley, RI, died unexpectedly on Saturday, March 23, 2013, from the results of injuries sustained from a work related accident. He was the beloved husband of Christine L. (Hafer) Austin and devoted loving father of Coral Lee Austin, 4 and Carlie Jo Austin, 2.

Born in Ticonderoga, NY, on September 7, 1971, he was the son of Joseph “Chuck” Austin of Richmond, RI, and Shirley Austin-Hargraves of West Kingston, RI, and stepson of Marsha Austin and the late Norman Hargraves. Chuck was also the proud uncle of numerous nieces and nephews.

Chuck was a splice service technician “pole monkey” for Verizon for 14 years. He was a proud member of the IBEW local 2323.

He was a communicant of St. Thomas Moore Church in Alton.

Chuck graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1995 with a BS Degree, while attending URI he was a member of Theta Delta Chi and played on the rugby team all 4 years.

In addition, he loved spending time with his family and dogs. Chuck enjoyed hiking, fishing, skiing, playing golf and going to the beach with his family.

Besides his wife, children and parents he is survived by his sisters; Donna Shaw of West Greenwich, RI, Theresa Bader of Groton, CT, Wendy Fortin of Moosup, CT, step brother of Dawn Cervone of Hopkinton, RI, Mary Wilkes of Richmond, RI and Steven Haberek of Richmond, RI. He was predeceased by his sisters Tracy Paul, Debbie Foreman and stepbrother Michael Haberek.

Visitation will be Thursday, March 28th from 3-7 PM at the S.R. Avery Funeral Home, 3A Bank St., Hope Valley RI. Memorial service will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Washington Trust Company “Austin Girls Scholarship Fund”.


ON-SITE College Course Offerings for members of IBEW 99 and IBEW 2323

Are you interested in completing your college degree on site in your union facility?

Since 2009, The Institute for Labor Studies and Research has been partnering with several higher education institutions to provide the opportunity for union members to take college credit classes leading to a degree with other members of their union at several union facilities around the state.

We have members of UA Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51 taking classes at their facility, leading to associate degree in either Construction Management or Business Management and members of SEIU 1199 who recently completed courses in Allied Health at their conference room in Providence. After meeting with your union leadership we have decided to offer the same opportunity to members of IBEW 99 and 2323. Our next step is to determine if there is enough interest on the part of the members.

We will begin with course offerings leading to an associate degree in Construction Management or Business Management. We are also interested in providing the opportunity for those members with an associate degree to start a program of studies leading to a bachelor degree in either Construction Management or Business as well.

If you are interested in participating in on site evening face to face traditional instructor led classes or on-line classes that require you to meet briefly each week as a cohort with others in your class and meet with a facilitator who will help keep you on track and ensure that you are given all the support you need to be successful please let us know ASAP. We want to start classes in March.

If you are interested or need more information contact either Jim Jackson from Local 99 or Steve Murphy from Local 2323 and give them your name. We will schedule an information session at the union hall during the week of February 11th.

It is with a deep heart that we announce the untimely passing of our brother Michael Doran, Mike was an OPT from the Apponaug garage, whose easy smile will be dearly missed by those of us who had the opportunity to know him.
Besides always being the first to participate or donate to a good cause, Mike was always ready to get people together and recognized the importance of spending time with others, not always as coworkers or union members, but as friends.
Mike was the de facto leader of our mobile picketers, who named themselves the Quick Response Force during the strike of 2011. He brought a charge of energy to many exhausted picket lines with his band of fellow bikers, and was the first to be waiting for the scabs to rise and shine at their hotel rooms and report their locations once they set-up so the rest of the gang could join him.
His selfless ways were epitomized when he rushed to the aid of departed brother Joseph Allard when his bucket truck made electrical contact. Mike did what many of us hope we had the courage to do if placed in that position and he is certainly owed an eternal debt of gratitude for placing himself in harm’s way to give aid to another.
Beneath that tough façade was a truly gentle soul that found a way to smile at adversity on oh so many occasions, especially when the deck seemed to be stacked against him. Mike was a stand-up guy who we should all be proud to have called our brother.
Please keep Mike and his family in your thoughts and prayers
Calling hours will be Thursday from 4-8 at the Waring-Sullivan Home, 178 Winter St. in Fall River
His Funeral will be Friday at 9am followed by a mass in the Holy Name Church, 709 Hanover St in Fall River.

Good Day Everyone:

As we all prepare to celebrate the New Year, reflect upon 2012 and welcome in 2013, we wonder what the New Year will bring for the IBEW and the labor movement. To recap the past year I personally am discouraged and concerned with the attitude of the public toward “Unionization of the Workforce”. My concern is that working men and women are forgetting that people suffered to gain the conditions that we work under today. These are the same conditions that are on the chopping block presently and I am afraid that this attitude will escalate into 2013 and beyond. We all should look at what is at stake in 2013: attack on Pensions, attack of working conditions, attack on a living wage and a union wage, and an attack on what some believe to be “entitlements”. Entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, things that our taxes paid for, money that was paid into protecting these “entitlements” as part of our fair wages while giving a fair days work.

Brothers and Sisters, we are the last defense against the abuses that working men and women endured in the past and those that will eventually come our way in the future. We have to be vigilant in protecting the very lifestyle that we enjoy because of our membership in this “Union” the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. I want to thank you for all of the work that you have done in the past and now join me in this continued quest for a better future for working men and women into the coming New Year.

“Every person working in each of the branches that we represent deserves to be a member of the IBEW. Let’s all work toward that Goal in 2013, a goal that will strengthen our resolve for a better working life for all working men and women.”

I wish for you all a prosperous and Happy New Year.

Ed Hill Sam Chilia
President IBEW Secretary-Treasurer, IBEW

Local 2323 now has a Member Assistance Program, which in conjunction with Local 2222’s assistance is second to none. Members and their families who are having difficulty with any number of issues can get the resources and help they need by contacting the local office. MAP programs are similar in structure to the company’s own Employee Assistance Program (or EAP), with the intent being that we as a brotherhood could be proactive in lending a hand to one another in a proactive way, rather than with our member’s more common reactionary involvement with Verizon EAP, usually resulting from discipline. Any member who is interested in getting involved is asked to contact the union office.

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Over the past month, Local 2323 has been extremely proactive in many aspects, rather than being reactive which is the nature of the business we are in. We have entered into a partnership with management, to establish a Safety Committee in all of our I&M locations, as well as, entering into a trial where our SST’s will be performing the door to door canvassing of fiber migrations. While we continue to think outside the box to create work, find jobs, and maintain a level of safety in which each and every one of our members goes home each night, the reactive work continues to pile up.

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