Announcements

The Board of Directors of the Association have appointed Mr. Arthur Corey, Jr. to the position of Associate Director of Contract Management. Arthur brings with him many years of solid and professional negotiating skills. We are very proud to have Arthur on board!

After several attempts by our Executive Board to precipitate contract talks with MHD officials pertaining to our next contract we are still being met with resistance from MHD officials including Chief Engineer John Blundo. John Slattery, general counsel has sent correspondence to the Chief Engineer’s office outlining the position of the Board of Directors. Please click on the link in the announcements column of our home page to review these letters. DO YOUR PART TODAY! Make it clear to MHD officials that you will only work under a fair, and well balanced contract that is negotiated with the MSICA- your voice! Any other contract will be met with the same ressitance as the two consecutive agreements that were rejected in the fall of 2003!  

(12/14/05) After recieving numerous calls from contractors state wide President Matt Frazier reached out to MHD officials in regards to non-payment of fuel surcharge. MHD has acknowledged that some contractors have recieved payment for snow and ice services but have not been paid for the fuel surcharge as agreed with our Association. MHD advises that the fuel surcharge will be paid to these contractors in a separate check in a matter of days’. As for future fuel surcharge payments, all MHD depots will be outfitted this week with printers connected to the computers in the pit and new computer generated PV’s with the fuel surcharge calculated on the PV will be printed at the pit and ready for review and signiture at the appointed time.

(10/21/05) New deal reached with MassHighway over fuel adjustment for winter season ’05-’06:

On Friday October 21, 2005 President Matthew Frazier reached another tentative deal with Chief Engineer John Blundo in regards to a fuel adjustment clause for all hired equipment. The actual formula is shown below. The fact that MassHighway has come to the table to broker this deal is another milestone in the advancement of this Association as the bargaining unit for all MassHighway hired equipment. Chief Blundo, after realizing the abundently clear need for wing plows during highway snow fighting operations agreed that a multiplier of 1.75 be used when calculating the fuel surcharge for all equipment with a wing attachment. Clearly we all understand the abundently clear need for wings operating during and after a storm, as well as the money they save the state in post storm clean up costs. The Chief appears to understand this and agrees.

Please review the example formula shown below.                                     

$2.89    –   $1.91      =     .98                                   

FUEL INDEX                   AGREED BENCH                      DIFFERENCE                               

PRICE AS OF OCT ’05      MARK AS OF SEPT’04                IN cost=”DELTA”

Large six wheeler and over:  .98   X   6.75     =    $6.62                                          

DELTA               GAL.PER. HR.                HOURLY SURCHARGE                                                                 

CONSUMPTION                    FOR OCT. ’05

Pick-up & small 6 wheeler:    .98   X    5.5      =    $5.39                                         

DELTA               GAL.PER.HR.                 HOURLY SURCHARGE                                                                

CONSUMPTION                  FOR OCT. ’05

All equipment with wing:    $6.62  X   1.75    =    $11.59                              

HOURLY SURCHARGE          WING                      TRUCK WITH WING                                    

FOR OCT. ’05           MULTIPLIER               SURCHARGE FOR OCT.’05                              

Some numbers must be assumed, after carefull consideration. It is agreed that all pick-ups and small six wheelers consume on average 5.5 gallons of fuel per hour, and that all other larger hired equipment on average 6.75 gallons per hour. It is also agreed that the bench mark fuel cost for this formula be set at $1.98 cents per gallon, the New England average as of August 2004, just prior to the ratification of our current contract. While the benchmark fuel cost will remain unchanged, the average cost of fuel does. Therefor the benchmark cost in August ’04 will be subtracted from the current fuel cost thus giving you the delta- or difference in cost. We simply then multiply the delta, or difference in cost by the consumption rate of the equipment and your fuel surcharge for that month is derived. For equipment with wings, the fuel surcharge is then multiplied by 1.75 and you have the adjusted fuel surcharge for all equipment with a wing attachment. The prevailing fuel index shall be the Energy Information Administration, a division of the US Department of Energy. The fuel cost index shall be adjusted monthly throughout the coming winter season, and your fuel surcharge shall be listed as a separate line item on both payment vouchers, as well as check stubs.

Please be mindfull, the surcharge is just that- a surcharge and not an increase in the hourly rates of any equipment. For more information on the national fuel index please visit www.eia.doe.gov.

(10/22/05) Fuel surcharge formula ratified by membership!

With hundreds of members in attendance at the anual meeting of the MSICA, the fuel adjustment formula and surcharge were ratified and addopted by the general membership of the MSICA.

After spending more than a year under the microscope the by laws of the organization were also amended and approved.

A nine member board of directors were also elected at this general membership with two new faces added to the Board. The new Directors are Fred Palladino of Hyde Park, and Brad Ness of Stoughton. We welcome the opportunity new blood brings to the Board as we move forward improving the working conditions for all Mass Highway hired equipment owners and operators.

The Board will now reorganize within fourteen days of the election, stay tuned for more!!                 

(10/20/05)  A tentative deal, brokered by President Matt Frazier and Director David Colter, regarding a fuel surcharge this winter has fallen apart!

On Thursday, Oct. 6th, a tentative deal had been arranged to provide all hired equipment with a fuel surcharge across the board.  Equipment having wing plow attachments would have received a fuel surcharge multiplied by 1.5. The deal has fallen appart! Mass Highway is now offering a two tiered system with small and medium trucks receiving a lesser fuel surcharge than larger trucks, and the multiplier of 1.5 for wings is now completely off the table.

Recently, the MSICA reached out to over 2,700 state wide contractors to let all of you know that the real story behind our negotiating with MassHighway was the fuel surcharge.

Our position has not changed!

Untill MassHighway comes to the table with a real offer, you are all instructed to do the following:

*    Do not sign anything unless it is endorsed by MSICA on this web site!

*    Under no circumstances are any contractors to receive or sign for GPS units until this situation is resolved.

In the fall of ’03 we gained the strength to refuse two consecutive contract offers, with MassHighway wasting thousands of dollars in printing and postage.

We have the power! Our numbers have only grown since then.  Hundreds of additional contractors have joined this Association since October of ’03.

There is only one way to combat MassHighway’s irrational, unprofessional behavior- and that is to remain united and not stoop to their level! We will remain strong, we will remain professional and we will fight for what we believe in.

MassHighway obviously learned nothing from the Blizzard of ’03 when on December 5th and 6th they were short nearly 1,000 pieces of equipment.

Let us also remember the morning of December 2nd. While hundreds of contractors were protesting in front of the State House prior

to the Legislative Hearing in the Gardner Auditorium, MassHighway was experiencing the worst icing situation in years.  The

commute that morning was said to be the worst ever recorded in the history of Massachusetts, even AAA got in on the story.

MassHighway needs to get real! MassHighway needs the contractors more than the contractors need MassHighway.

Follow the lead of your Association, the group that has been fighting for you for more than two years.                                   

At the District 4 snow and ice open house in Arlington this summer Chief Engineer John Blundo made it abundently clear after hearing from numerous contractors who were upset about the $10 per hour wing rate that some changes needed to be made prior to the winter season ’05-’06. The Chief at that meeting stated that “the wing plows save us money”, and that “we need to keep them and take care of them”. The Chief suggested, while making eye contact with MSICA President Matthew Frazier that the Department would re visit the wing plow rate and attach some sort of addendum to the contract going into this winter. Chief Engineer Blundo, through his Leutenant-Mr. Tom Laughlin has refused to discuss the matter with MSICA officials.

The MSICA is now calling for the removal of all wing plow attachments state wide!

Wing plows save the Commonwealth hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Without wing plows pushing back breakdown lanes and ramp systems MassHighway will now have to spend millions per season hiring loaders for post storm clean up. Loaders will take day’s to replace what wing plows can do in a matter of hours during or just after a storm.  

(10/7/05)Board of Directors reach tentative deal with MassHighway!

A fuel surcharge subcomitee comprised of members of the MSICA Board of Directors have reached a tentatve deal with MassHighway officials over the implamentation of a fuel surcharge this winter. While the details of the deal can not be revealed at this time due to ongoing negotiations, we are confident that this situation will be resolved by 10/15/05 at which time a complete overview of the plan will be unvailed on this web site.   

(9/25/05)A negotiating Team comprised of members of the Board Of Directors of the MSICA have met with senior level MassHighway officials at the Boston Headquarters in an attempt to negotiate and implement a fuel surcharge for the winter season ’05-’06.

On Sept 15 your Fuel Surcharge Team (FST) delivered a proposal to MassHighway Officials. After several hours discussing the merrits of the fuel surcharge proposal we left Boston empty handed!

While both sides have agreed to additional meetings, the Board of Directors of the MSICA are extremely fearfull that history could repeat itself.

Remember the two consecutive letters all contractors recieved from the Highway Commissioner promising free Snow and Ice registrations the first year the new snow and ice plate was implemented?

OUR POINT: History has proven that MassHighway tends to be careless with the facts!

Our concern at this point is that MassHighway will be sending out contract documents any time now to your mailbax. Perhaps attached will ba a promiss to all contractors of a fuel surcharge tied to some sort of a fuel index.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! 

The Directors of the MSICA recommend that once recieved- no paper work is to be turned in to MassHighway personel unless you recieve notification from this Association that an agreement has been reached. Also:

* Refuse to take GPS Equipment until notified by the MSICA that a deal has been reached.

* Refuse to sign a GPS handset agreement unless you are notified that a deal has been reached.

* Refuse to sign or submit any documents to MassHighway!

Submission of any documents to MassHighway may bind you to the Department with or with out a fuel surcharge. Fuel costs have increased more than 33% since this time last year! 

The only fair fuel surcharge is one that is tied directly to the National Fuel Index-New England Region. We must have an impartial organization such as the Energy Information Administration who publishes and adjusts the index weekly be the watchdog of any agreement we forge with MassHighway officials.

To agree to a fuel surcharge not tied to the National Index would not be fair to either the snow and ice contractors or the Taxpayers of the Commonwealth!

Watch your mail for additional information from this Association- the Association that is working for you year round!

This web site will be updated regularly, please stay tuned.          

In October of 2003 the founders of this Association met with senior level Mass Highway officials at the Taunton District 5 office with hopes of discussing many issues surrounding the then recent contract mailed to us all, as well as the implementation of GPS. One of many topics discussed at that meeting was the need for a pre season meet and greet, as well as a post season critique of each winters activities. Recently Appointed Chief Engineer John Blundo is making it happen! A post winter critique is scheduled in District 1 and 2, with additional dates for the three remaining Districts to follow.

District One:

Tuesday May 10, 2005- 7:00 PM Being held at MassHighway District One Headquarters 270 Main Street Lenox, Massachusetts.

District Two:

Thursday May 12, 2005- 7:00 PM Being held at MassHighway District Two Hheadquarters 811 North King Street Northhampton, Massachusetts.

District Three:

Wednesday June 15, 2005- 7:00 PM Being held at MassHighway District Three Headquarters 403 Belmont Street Worcester, Massachusetts.

District 5:

Thursday June 16, 2005- 5:30 PM Being held at MassHighway District 5 Headquarters 1000 County Street Taunton, Massachusetts

District 4:

Thursday June 30, 2005- 7:00 PM Being held at MassHighway District 4 Headquarters 519 Appleton Street Arlington, MA      

Nava, Lalicata and Frazier to meet with Chief Engineer John Blundo:

Seen as a continuance of prior meetings with the Chief Engineers office, Matt Frazier, Fred Nava and Bob Lalicata will be meeting with Chief Engineer John Blundo and his staff on Tuesday May 10th.

While no formal agenda has been set, your Directors will continue talks relative to improved relations between contractors and the Department, further discusions relative a new computerized time keeping system, fraud prevention, and payments to contractors- just to list a few items.

Directors meet with Murray! 

Bob Lalicata-Arlington Pit, David Colter-Cohaset Pit, Fred Nava-Duxbury Pit, and Matt Frazier- Orleans Pit met with Senator Therese Murray(D) Chair of Senate Ways and Means recently and discussed many issues surrounding Snow and Ice Contractors, our Association, and our future!

We are very pleased with the warm reception shown to us by the Honerable Senator and we look forward to future meeting and discussions with her in the near future.   

GPS RETURN:

If you have not turned in your GPS Unit(s) at this time, please do so very soon. Please make certain that all chargers and batteries are turned in as well. And don’t forget- get a reciept!

Remember, you run the risk of having your last payment held so long as you have GPS equipment still outstanding.

We are currently tracking Bill #2602 which contains funding for final payment to snow and ice contractors State wide.

PLEASE!! Contact your legislator today and seek their support for quick passage of the funding package!

 
MASNOWFIGHTERS