The Mid-Central Illinois Regional Council of Carpenters has undergone a mass consolidation that takes Local 904 in Jacksonville and adds it with five other local branches to the new Local 270 in Springfield. Locals in Quincy, Decatur, Litchfield and Springfield are also part of that consolidation.
Regional Council of Carpenters executive secretary and treasurer Steve Heckwine says the merger will not change the wage structure for workers.
“The wage rate that was known as ‘Jacksonville Local 904 Wage Rate’ will simply turn into right now what we’re calling probably a ‘zone.’ The pension will remain the same, the annuity will remain the same,” he says. “Health insurance costs and hourly-wage rates will continue to remain the same in the old local union areas.”
Heckwine says the move will open up more opportunities to union members.
“Members in Jacksonville may or may not have been able to procure work in, say, Springfield or Decatur or surrounding communities due to, maybe, the work restrictions that each local would have established,” says Heckwine. “This will give more of a uniform work rule and allow those members to reach outside of Jacksonville and have more opportunities to secure work and put more chances for them to find employment out there.”
As of January 1st, the former Jacksonville Local 904 represented 230 members. Heckwine says the consolidation will create a total membership for Local 270 of over 1,300 union carpenters.
In addition, Locals 63, 183 and 2189 are now based in Peoria as Local 237. The new Local 243 in Champaign is comprised of Locals 44 and 347.
Heckwine says the regional staff of the consolidated offices will retain their jobs.