Seniority and Promotions

SECTION 1. Seniority, as used herein, is defined as the status
accruing from the date of last hiring by the Company. New
employees shall be regarded as probationary employees
until they have been in the employ of the Company for six (6)
months during which time they will have no seniority status.
The employee from a seniority standpoint will become a regular
employee and his/her seniority status will start from date of
hiring, except in cases where an employee is hired for a special
project or assignment which is known to be temporary at the
time of hiring. Written notice of temporary hiring will be given
to the Union, prior to hiring, with a description of work to be
performed, name of employee and employee number, and
probable duration.

The Company agrees that when vacancies occur, meter
representative areas and meter reader duties will be assigned
by seniority. As practical, seniority will be recognized when
initially assigning one person fitting work. After January 1, 1996,
the Company is willing to discuss the fitter rotation schedule,
on request of the Union. The Company agrees to recognize
seniority as the primary method when selecting employees
for satellite location assignments. Distribution crews will rotate
Distribution Supervisors once every two years beginning April 1,

SECTION 2. The procedure to be followed in the event the
Company determines that a layoff or transfer is anticipated:

STEP 1. The only employee eligible to exercise seniority for
“bumping” purposes will be the employee directly affected with
the layoff.

STEP 2. That employee would bump the last employee hired
under the Agreement in his or her Department as long as that
employee is qualified and able to perform the job.

STEP 3. The employee who is bumped under Step 2 would then
bump the last employee hired under the agreement to take
his/her place in the layoff procedure, as long as that employee is
qualified and able to perform the job.

STEP 4. If the employee is not qualified and able to perform the
work of the last employee hired, they will move up the seniority
list in order to find a job which they are qualified and able to
perform and have more seniority than the employee presently
doing the job.

If there is a layoff the Company will discuss subcontracting
under Article XV, Section 1 with the Union.

Whenever any layoff or transfer is anticipated, the Union will be
notified ten (10) working days prior to said layoff/transfer, to the
extent known, of the number of employees to be laid off and
their respective sections, divisions and departments. A list of all
positions currently open or reasonably expected to be open will
also be provided by the Company.

Transferred employees will retain their rate of pay, will receive
all general increases and will be eligible for merit increases
if below the top of the rate of the position to which they are

Laid off employees are all employees who are left without
a position after all bumping and transfers have taken place.
Employees will be eligible for recall, by seniority, for thirty (30)
months from the date of layoff. An employee in the recall pool
may elect early retirement option at any time within the thirty
(30) month recall period. Notification of recall will be by certified
mail, return receipt requested, to the employee’s last known
address. It will be the responsibility of the employee to notify
the Company of any change of address. Recalled employees
who fail to respond within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of
notice of recall will be considered as having waived their right
to recall. Recalled employees who were at the top of their rate
will return to work at the top of the current rate range. Similarly,
recalled employees who were below the top of the rate range
will return at the same percentage of the current rate range as
the percent of the rate range they had achieved when they were
laid off.

*A full-time employee exercising his “bumping” rights cannot
be forced to accept a part-time position. Union officers and
stewards will have preferential seniority for layoff purposes as
long as such application does not violate State or Federal laws.
SECTION 3. There shall be available for examination by the
Union a list or file of the employees to whom this Agreement
applies in order of their seniority. The Company further agrees
to keep this list up-to-date including employee addresses, and
make it available every six (6) months.

SECTION 4. Whenever the words “continuously” or “continuous”
are used in this contract in relation to an employee’s service
with the Company, it shall apply to the period of employment
since the date of last hiring.

SECTION 5. Seniority shall prevail whenever there is an
advancement or promotion, provided the employees can meet
the following qualifications:

(a) Knowledge, training, and efficiency.
(b) Physical condition and general health.

The Company recognizes that length of service should be
given important consideration in advancing employees to better
paying work and will give it every consideration possible in all
cases of advancement.

Union Sections, Divisions, and Departments

1. Customer Service Department
A. Customer Service Division
1. Service Representatives;
2. Record Center section;
3. Meter Representative Section
4. Dispatch section
B. Meter Shop Division
C. Garage Division
D. Store Division
E. Meter Reading Division
2. Distribution (Street) and Production Department
A. Production Division
1. Production section
2. LNG Plant section.
B. Distribution Division
1. Office section;
2. Engineering section;
3. Installation and maintenance section
4. Regulator section
C. Fitter Division
1. Installation and Maintenance section
2. Regulator Section
3. Customer Accounting Department
1. Customer Billing and Accounting
2. Credit and Collections
3. Customer Relations
4. Building Services Department
1. Building Services

Whenever the qualifications of two (2) or more employees are
relatively equal, the Company will make such advancement
on a seniority basis. The right to determine who are to hold
supervisory positions is vested exclusively in the Company.

SECTION 6. The Company will discuss with the Union any
changes in job descriptions that affect the job duties, skills or
qualifications in advance of posting a vacancy. The Company
will electronically and manually post on bulletin boards notices
of vacancies, including job descriptions, for positions in the
occupations and classifications of employees represented
by the Union, and the Company will consider applications
of employees for such positions if the applications are
presented electronically in writing, including a statement of the
qualifications of the applicant, within five (5) working days after
such notice of vacancy was posted. Notice of vacancies posted
shall be sent electronically to workers out sick. Employees
may contact their HR Generalist for assistance with applying
electronically for a Union position. Bidding instructions will
be provided at the posting location on bulletin boards, and
within the electronic posting of the job description. In case of
emergency, the Company may fill the vacancy for a period not to
exceed fifteen (15) working days.

Before a position is permanently filled and notice thereof is
posted on the bulletin board, the Union will be notified and
shall meet the Company representatives for the purpose of
discussing the qualifications of all persons bidding on the job.

The Company shall then make a selection, subject to grievance
and arbitration. In any event, such vacancy shall be filled within
twenty (20) working days of date of posting for a temporary
period of twenty (20) working days and the transfer shall take
place no more than twenty (20) working days after the selection
is made unless discussed with the Union. The employee will
begin department seniority and receive the new rate of pay as
of the twenty (20) working day expiration, or if the new rate is
lower, when transfer is made. When an employee transfers by
bid from one division to another and chooses to return to
his/her prior job during the twenty (20) working day period, the
employee will not be accepted on any job in another division for
the next sixty (60) calendar days.

Seniority shall be broken by:
1. Voluntary quit from the bargaining unit.
2. Discharge.
3. Missing three (3) consecutive work days without
notification in so far as practicable to do so.
4. Failure to respond to notice of recall as specified in
this Article for regular work fifteen (15) consecutive
working days after receiving notice. It is the employee’s
responsibility to keep the Company informed of his/her
mailing address.
5. Any employee who is absent because of proven illness
shall maintain his/her seniority.
6. Employees who take supervisory positions relinquish
their seniority under this Agreement, except for ERISA
and legal requirements.

Seniority shall not be broken by temporary assignment (on a
voluntary basis) to non-supervising, non-bargaining unit work or
on layoff up to thirty (30) months from the date of layoff.