Central Maine Power line worker Matt Beeler reconnects the service cable to a home in Bucksport in this Dec. 27, 2013, file photo. Credit: Gabor Degre

Central Maine Power Co. and its largest union said Friday that they have agreed to extend their staffing agreement and increase the number of workers by 60.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1837 announced the staffing plan, which it said was submitted to the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

IBEW 1837 business manager Dick Rogers said he has been advocating for increased staffing for several years in discussions with CMP and the Office of the Public Advocate. He also testified before the PUC and the Legislature’s energy committee.

Rogers said that he signed an extension to the staffing plan Thursday.

After the plan is fully implemented, it will improve restoration efforts, new construction, customer service and safety, Rogers said.

The plan calls for the minimum number of union employees at CMP to increase from 546 to 606.

That includes 12 new line apprentices and four new station apprentices.

CMP and the union also established a minimum number of line workers, effective immediately.

By 2024, the minimum staffing number will be 665.

There currently are 219 line workers at CMP with no minimum number.

Under the new agreement, the minimum for 2019 will be 231. It will increase annually until it reaches 270, providing that the staffing portion of the PUC rate case is approved.

The anticipated addition of 51 line workers is the equivalent of 25 new bucket trucks serving CMP ratepayers, according to Rogers.

The contract with CMP covers field and support workers in its line, meters and substations departments as well as customer service representatives, area and systems dispatchers, engineers, programmers, support staff, and the communications center and field offices, according to the IBEW 1837 website.