A Proud Union of Professionals
Unions come in all shapes and sizes. All have the best interests of their members at heart, but beyond that there are often significant differences in philosophy and approach.
At IBEW Local 37, we like to feel, and have been repeatedly told, that we’re one of the most forward-thinking unions in the country, and beyond. It’s a reputation we’re proud of. We always strive to be at the leading edge of the labour movement. Today, Local 37 is one of the largest and most progressive IBEW locals in all of Canada. A lot of our success comes from the way we approach a challenge.
We work hard at building positive working relationships with our employers, but this isn’t to say we don’t have our disagreements. When we do, we have processes in place to work them out in an environment of professional respect.
The Code of Excellence (COE) is an IBEW initiative that started about 10 years ago primarily in the construction locals. However, at the 39th IBEW International Convention this past September, over 2000 delegates from across the IBEW voted unanimously to declare their commitment to the Code of Excellence – a commitment to hard work and integrity that sets us apart in the workplace. We’ve also discussed this extensively at the Local 37 Executive Board, and your E-Board members are 100% committed to the Code. This is why IBEW Local 37 has been working hard to ensure that its members are introduced to the Code of Excellence.
So, what exactly is the Code? To put it simply, the Code is a powerful statement of the most fundamental principles of our union: a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay and a commitment to excellence in everything we do.
Part of the Code includes SPARQ, which is a simple acronym that stands for the promise we make every day as we go to work. The values represented by SPARQ – a personal commitment to excellence in Safety, in Professionalism, in our Accountability to one another, in our Relationships and in the Quality of our work, represent the core values of the Code.
SPARQ is the heart of the Code of Excellence, and it highlights the shared values of all IBEW members. When we commit to these core principles, we strengthen the IBEW which in return benefits you, your families and your communities.
Now although we know what we do, there are many people – politicians, business leaders, the general public, who aren’t aware of the value we bring to the workplace, and sometimes they question how much we earn, or even whether it’s necessary to employ unionized workers at all.
The struggling economy means our customers are giving extra scrutiny to their power bills, and it also means the Utility Board is looking closely at all expenditures, and that makes promoting our professionalism more important then ever before.
It’s imperative that we, as members of the IBEW, make our value known. That we show the IBEW difference. We need to help people – employers, the public and our members, understand that choosing the IBEW is the right choice.
For most IBEW members, SPARQ, and the Code, exemplify what you already do. You show up on time and ready to work, you adhere to safety rules, you follow proper procedures and you provide excellent service in all that you do. In these instances, the Code is an effective way to sell our professionalism and commitment to excellence to our employer, to the government and to the people of New Brunswick. With SPARQ, we not only compete with our skills, we compete with our character.
The message is pretty straightforward – we’re the best, most professional and safest workforce, and we’re willing to put it in writing.
We ask that you to join us in adopting this formal commitment to excellence – because when we do our best, we are the best, and we want the whole world to know it.