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TVA cements 10-year union contract extension

The workers represented by the TVA Trades and Labor Council are the backbone of TVA and our ability to serve the people of the Tennessee Valley.

Jeff Lyash, TVA president and CEO

Representatives from both the TVA and labor unions further their partnership with a 10-year contract extension. Left of the sign, front row from l. to r., Megan Flynn and Mike Skaggs. Back row l. to r. David Tolley, UA; Brandon Bishop, administrator Hourly Council; Curtis Sharpe, IBEW; David Beckler, administrator Annual Council and Jeff Lyash, TVA. Right of the sign, front row, Sue Collins, TVA. Back row l. to r., IR Dusty Garmon; Mark Holt, Laborers; Will Trumm, TVA; Keith McFarland, Machinists and Chip Shotts, Operating Engineers.

Boilermakers, along with five other union trades in the Trades and Labor Council for Annual Employees at the Tennessee Valley Authority, signed a 10-year contract extension with the company in August. The self-renewing agreement usually extends the union contract every five years, which makes the 10-year extension unusual and especially beneficial for workers.

“We’ve built such a great relationship with the TVA, so instead of five years, it’s 10,” said IR Dusty Garmon. “Our guys run their tails off. Not just Boilermakers; it’s all the trades.”

The signing, which took place on Thursday, Aug. 20, extends the agreement through April 29, 2032.

The labor council consists of the Electricians, Machinists, Boilermakers, UA Steamfitters, Laborers and Operating Engineers. Skilled workers represented by the council’s six unions perform essential jobs that keep TVA power facilities and one of the nation’s largest electric grids running every day of the year.

“The workers represented by the TVA Trades and Labor Council are the backbone of TVA and our ability to serve the people of the Tennessee Valley,” said Jeff Lyash, TVA president and CEO. “The work of these employees enables TVA to keep power costs low and to deliver energy to customers across our seven-state region with 99.999% reliability.”

According to Garmon, pushing the contract renewal to 10 years is due to a year-old “Code of Excellence” implemented by the labor council and also a decrease in grievances.

“Boilermakers had few grievances, but there were a lot from other trades. We settled every one of them,” he said. “We wiped out all grievances so we didn’t have any. And now, the TVA has an ambassador at every plant that comes out of the trades. These people sit with management and settle a grievance at the plant, putting a new layer into the grievance process.”

Head of the labor council, Dave Beckler, said the group intentionally worked to build a stronger and more positive relationship with the TVA, “one built on mutual respect and a desire to excel in the services we provide.”

Lyash said the contract extension is a testament of TVA’s commitment to the trades, labor leadership and employees.

“This renewal and extension allow us to build on the foundation of eight decades of success and starts the next chapter in our history.”

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.