Working with Our Unions


Number of state-certified apprenticeship programs offered by PG&E, providing training to eligible union-represented employees

Approximately two-thirds of PG&E’s employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements with three labor unions: the IBEW Local 1245, the Engineers and Scientists of California (ESC) IFPTE Local 20 and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Service Workers West.

These employees support a range of areas that are critical for our business, including gas and electric operations, customer services, power generation, environmental and land services, telecommunications and shared services.

We continue to work with our labor unions to meet the challenges facing our business in our shared effort to improve service, deploy new technologies and strengthen PG&E’s safety culture.

Key Activities and Highlights

PG&E and the unions continue to work together in many important areas, such as enhancing technical training programs, fostering health and wellness, building career pathways and implementing numerous initiatives to promote a stronger culture of safety.

For each of our three unions, a negotiated labor agreement establishes the working rules and other terms and conditions of employment. Last year, PG&E collaborated with its unions on a new medical plan for active employees that emphasizes preventive care and incents annual health screenings and smoking cessation. The plan will go into effect for IBEW-, ESC- and SEIU-represented employees in January 2014.

In addition, union-represented employees are taking many steps to support a strengthened safety commitment—from holding safety discussions at quarterly IBEW health and safety meetings to grassroots safety efforts designed to foster a safety-first environment. The unions are also playing a key role in implementing an expanded near hit program, which is key to encouraging employees to share safety incidents and encourage a culture where employees look out for one another.

Workforce Development and Training

We offer an apprenticeship system for a variety of career paths for our union-represented employees. Our 35 state-certified apprenticeship training programs provide specialized, on-the-job and academic training to eligible union-represented employees who want to become certified in a certain trade. Examples of these trades include lineman, electrician and welder. At the end of 2012, there were 600 PG&E apprentices. A number of the programs are being updated to reflect the evolving needs of our industry. For more information about apprenticeships in California, visit the Department of Industrial Relations—Division of Apprentice Standards.

Pre-apprentice line workers learn proper pole-climbing techniques at PG&E’s Livermore Training and Qualification Center.

Pre-apprentice line workers learn proper pole-climbing techniques at PG&E’s Livermore Training and Qualification Center.

We also worked closely with the IBEW to launch a complementary effort—the one-year pre-apprentice line worker program—in which candidates receive formal training and assessments to prepare them for a 48-month lineman apprenticeship. We expect to hire up to 60 new pre-apprentice linemen in 2013.

More broadly, we continue to assess our future hiring needs among union-represented employees, considering a number of important factors such as expected retirements and other attrition, as well as changing technologies that require new skill sets. Our future plans include significant hiring in our gas and electric field operations, contact centers and a new meter position responsible for maintenance of SmartMeter™ devices. Due to expected retirements, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and IBEW have established targets for filling hundreds of key apprentice and journeymen positions between 2013 and 2016.