MEUW Weekly :: May 26, 2020

PSC rules are still suspended as “new normal” begins: Despite the lifting of many restrictions enacted as a result of the public health emergency, administrative rules that were temporarily suspended by the Public Service Commission in late March remain suspended. That means that utilities continue to be prohibited from disconnecting any customers for nonpayment. The PSC has another Open Meeting on Thursday, May 28, and the Commissioners may use the forum to discuss plans to “unwind” the temporary requirements. Stakeholders were asked to provide feedback to the PSC through data requests that were due May 15. MEUW is continuing to monitor the PSC’s action in the COVID-19 docket and will communicate updates as decisions are made.

PSC Annual Report filing due June 1: In light of the challenges associated with responding to the pandemic, the PSC extended the filing deadline for the 2019 PSC Annual Reports to June 1, 2020, for all utilities (the usual deadline is April 1). Those with questions about the annual reporting process are encouraged to reference the WEGS Help Document or call the PSC’s Annual Report Help Desk at (608) 266-0699.

Management Training Program session moving online: With continuing uncertainty surrounding travel restrictions and to support social distancing, we have decided to move the June 3 Management Training Program to an online training. The subject matter will be taught in two parts in order to focus learning in the new format. Part one of the training will occur from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 3; part two will be scheduled for a later date and time. Participating virtually will still count toward the certification. This is Session E in the six-part series and focuses on managing personnel matters. The registration deadline is 10 a.m. on Monday, June 1. Those who register will receive log-in instructions prior to the session. Please contact Mallory Conradt at (608) 469-6009 for more information.

MEUW’s Annual Business Meeting was held via Zoom conference on May 15 in accordance with the association’s Bylaws. The minutes of the meeting are available here.

MEUW’s annual Wage & Benefits Survey kicks off next week: Every year, MEUW collects information about the pay and perks provided to public power employees across the state. We know that many members rely on the information for their planning and budgeting. This year’s data collection will happen in the month of June and is moving completely online.

Based on feedback, we’re retiring the spreadsheets that have been used in the past and opting instead for an easier-to-use web-based form to gather the data. Those who are responsible to enter the data will have flexibility to save and re-start at anytime while the system is open for data collection. The tool also has built-in logic that helps to decrease the number of questions that need to be answered. While the new approach is designed to simplify the collection process and improve the quality and consistency of the data, it also will help to reduce the time needed to report the final results.

At this time, we are gathering member input about any new questions that should be added to this year’s survey. As reference, the current set of questions is available here. Suggestions for new questions should be emailed to by end of day on Monday, June 1.

The link to the data collection site will be emailed to key contacts at each utility during the week of June 1. Replies are requested by June 30. As a reminder, only the utilities that provide information for the survey will receive a copy of the results. Last year, 56 of 80 eligible utilities (70%) responded.