Many electrical contractors who do not belong to the Electrical Contractors´ Association are not aware of the many services that the Association provides. The Electrical Contractors´ Association is the Chicago and Cook County Chapter of NECA. Every penny that the Association receives is spent with only one real objective: to improve the climate of business and to bring increased profitability to the electrical contractor. The following paragraphs will briefly explain the advantages and services that the Association can provide, and if properly used, save your firm much more than the cost of membership.
Unemployment Compensation Claims
One tangible benefit which is made available to every Association member is that of the Gibbens Company. The Gibbens Company will serve as your representative should your company desire to contest an unemployment compensation claim. The Association will pay for the cost no matter how many appearances the Gibbens Company makes on your behalf.
In addition, your firm immediately becomes a member of such organizations as the Construction Employers' Association (a party to the Joint Conference Board), the Electric Association, and the Illinois Mechanical Specialty & Contractors Association (IMSCA). These groups are constantly lobbying and striving to protect your interests at all levels of local, state, and federal governments. Just a few of the past accomplishments of these organizations were the Workers Compensation Insurance rebate and the development of the "Guidelines of Engineers and Contractor Responsibilities" booklet. The Electrical Contractors´ Association was also instrumental in removing fire alarm contractor registration from the Private Detective and Private Security Act which was passed by the Illinois Legislature in 1986. Most recently, the Association participated in efforts to repeal the Scaffold Act, and was successful through IMSCA in attaining passage of a bill which will allow courts to award Contractors´ attorney's fees for filing liens in Illinois. We are constantly monitoring Utility Deregulation legislation to ensure a level playing field for all electrical contractors. These organizations can also provide valuable contacts for your firm in the construction industry.
Collective Bargaining Agreement
The Association also negotiates and administers the collective bargaining agreement of which your firm is signatory. Should a grievance ever occur, the Association will present your position, represent you at Joint Arbitration Board hearings, and answer any questions you may have concerning the agreement. The Association can also provide assistance in regards to any affirmative action or OSHA problems your firm may have. The Chapter has developed an OSHA kit applicable to all job sites and has developed a model affirmative action plan. The Chapter also developed the Safety and Loss Control Manual: a Guide for Electrical Contractors. The Association also provides a liaison with Commonwealth Edison, the Bureau of Electrical Inspection, and the Fire Prevention Bureau in regard to code problems or violations.
Another major asset is that of the Chapter's affiliation with National NECA, in that NECA Premier Sponsor, Federated Insurance provides all types of business insurance, from the largest contractors to the smallest. Many NECA member firms have realized substantial savings from this program. Further information is available upon your approved membership.
The Association has also provided legal service to those contractors involved in what is considered by the Executive Committee to be an industry problem. This has been the case with a few National Labor Relations Board issues such as employer's right to transfer personnel to different job sites. The Association receives the top professional and legal assistance in regards to all industry and financial matters. This is to ensure that all members of the Association receive the correct advice and attain the proper information.
The Association also keeps the names of its members prominent. We mail several membership directories to various construction users and marketers. The Association can also provide valuable contacts when a member is seeking to attain or attains a job outside of the Chicago and Cook County jurisdiction.
The Association also regularly mails information to the membership on all important and pertinent subjects. Mailings such as the Analysis of Labor Costs, new OSHA regulations, and notices on Association activities are examples.
National and District Conventions
Once each year, contractors from all parts of the country meet at the NECA National Convention and Electrical Exposition. The convention consists of many workshops on topics of interest to the electrical contractors, as well as the largest exposition of tools, products, and services for the electrical contracting industry; many speakers of national prominence, and outstanding social events. The Chicago Chapter has a nationwide reputation for making the convention week the best of any chapter in the country. Also once each year, each district of NECA has a meeting. The Chicago Chapter is in District IV, which consists of the States of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. The primary purpose of this meeting is a communication and information exchange.
The Association has initiated a money-back guarantee policy. Your money will be refunded, within the first six months of membership, if you're not satisfied with the benefits of participating with the Electrical Contractors´ Association. Please fill out the application forms for the Electrical Contractors´ Association, as well as for NECA. A $500 Initiation Fee is required with the completed application forms ($200 of the Initiation Fee is credited to your overall ECA dues.) Your check is to be made payable to the Electrical Contractors´ Association of City of Chicago.
Request application forms
Monthly Membership Meetings
Perhaps the most valuable service to the individual is that of knowing others in the industry. The Association schedules monthly membership meetings which provide a forum for the individual contractor to discuss his/her views and feelings affecting the electrical industry in Cook County. Association members have made many valuable contacts over the years by attending these meetings.
Employee Assistance Program
The Association has recently initiated an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for members' non-bargaining unit employees. This value-added service is available to all Association members. Examples of areas the EAP can assist with include alcohol and drug abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, financial concerns, marital relations, day care, and depression. Again, this benefit is paid for by the Association on behalf of its members.
In essence, membership in the Association can help your business if, and only if, you choose to participate in the services offered. The Association is only as strong as its members' commitment, and each electrical contractor is an essential part of the industry. We need additional support, representation, and involvement to become stronger. Association members now employ approximately 68% of the Union workforce in Chicago and Cook County. Becoming a member will enable the Association to meet and decisively act upon the issues that affect the electrical industry. It will also create a better business climate and, as stated above, help to increase your firm's profitability.
We hope that you will make the investment in the industry and join our Association.
If you have any questions, please contact the Association office:
Phone: (708) 531-0022
Fax: (708) 531-0071
Thank you for your consideration.
Please visit the ECA Contact Us page to request information regarding association membership.