Boilermakers Health and Welfare Plan – Important Changes Coming

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING UPCOMING CHANGES TO YOUR EXTENDED HEALTH CARE COVERAGE

January 18th, 2017

Effective February 1, 2017 your out of country / emergency travel accident insurance will be provided by Manulife through Allianz Global Assistance.  The coverage will remain the same, but in the event you have a claim, you will contact Allianz Global Assistance.  Contact phone numbers are provided below:

EMERGENCY TRAVEL ASSISTANCE

1-800-265-9977 CANADA/U.S.

00-1-800-514-3702 MEXICO

1-888-751-4403 RÉPUBLIQUE DOMINICAINE

Dialing Prefix + 800 9221-9221 INTERNATIONAL TOLL FREE

519-741-8450 in other countries, use operator to call collect

Effective April 1st, 2017, your extended health claims (ie. all prescription drugs, vision care, ambulance and paramedical services such as physiotherapy, chiropractic, and massage) will be submitted to Manulife for reimbursement.  Bilsland Griffith will no longer pay these extended health claims but will continue to pay your eligible dental claims.

Along with the change to Manulife, which will take effect on April 1st, 2017, the Trustees of your Plan are pleased to inform you that you will be provided with a pay direct drug card.  This means that when you are purchasing your prescription drugs from a pharmacy, the pharmacist will be able to verify coverage at the till and be reimbursed directly for the portion covered by your Plan.   You will only have to pay for the difference between the covered amount and the cost of the prescription.

Sometime in mid-March, you will receive your pay direct drug card from Manulife.  This card will also have all of the contact information provided above for your out of country coverage.  Please note that all eligible members of the Plan, including retirees who are currently enrolled for coverage, will receive a pay direct drug card.

Click here to view sample Drug Card

Please ensure that the Plan Administrator – Bilsland Griffith – has your correct mailing address so that you receive your pay direct drug card from Manulife.  In addition to the card, you will receive a new Plan booklet and a pamphlet for coverage details for the out of country / emergency travel benefits.

Click here to view Travel Bulletin Brochure

Reminder:  Manulife will take over this coverage on April 1, 2017.  Any claims you have for extended health that were incurred before April 1, 2017 will continue to be paid by Bilsland Griffith and should be submitted to their office at the address provided on this notice.

There will be a newsletter issued the last week of February with additional details regarding the move to Manulife.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact the Plan Administration office at:

1-877-926-4537

 Or

 boilermakers359@bgbenefitsadmin.com

2017 Boilermaker Scholarship Program

The 2017 Boilermaker Scholarship notification and application form have now been posted on the Membership Services page within the “Scholarships” pull down menu.

To be eligible, the applicant must be a son, daughter, legally adopted child or dependent of a member in good standing. Applications are limited to high school seniors who will be entering their first year of academic study at a degree-granting, accredited college or university within one year of the their high school graduation.

All members with eligible children are encouraged to take advantage of this program.

Lodge 359 Staff

Farrah Fights CDG

Boilermakers working at the Fort Nelson Spectra Energy site have reached out in support of the local community to assist with a great fundraising program for a young girl with a very rare congenital disorder known as CDG (Congenital Disorder of Glycosylation). Our members have organized a number of 50/50 card draws to help assist in the fundraising efforts. Lodge 359 was also contacted to determine if there were any other measures that could be taken to continue with the fundraising efforts. As a result, at our last monthly Union meeting a motion was put forward and unanimously approved to donate $4000.00 to the FOG or Foundation Glycosylation in Saint John, New Brunswick. The Foundation Glycosylation (the FoG) supports research for the development of therapies targeting CDG, helps raise awareness of the disorder, and advocates for individuals living with these rare enzyme deficiencies. 

A letter acknowledging the donation by 359’s membership will soon be hand delivered to the parents of Farrah by the crew members.

We sincerely wish the family well.

Lodge 359 Staff

September 2016 Newsletter

33rd Consolidated Convention Report

Our members elect local lodge officers and delegates to the Consolidated Convention held every five years. For this 33rd Consolidated Convention held on July 18th to July 21st, 2016 local 359 members were able to send 7 delegates; Dave French, Jordan Streng, Gord Weel, Jim Wymer, Palmer Allan, Ken Noga and by virtue of office Business Manager Martin Nicholson.

This Convention was held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas where the delegates set forth the rules and policies for the next 5 years, which is both a serious responsibility and a privilege.

Our first day started with a speech from International President Newton Jones on 3 gigantic screens that projected video footage and images of boilermakers at work comparing music to the boilermaker craft like a musician, the work, practice, sacrifice and dedication of a boilermaker often goes unseen”. This was followed by guest speakers which included topics about the United Mine Workers to the plight of the working class in a nation where unions are under attack, the middle class is shrinking and the divide between the ultra-rich and everyone else continues to grow. Retired U.S. navy seal Marcus Luttrell, the author of “Lone Survivor” the basis for the 2013 movie comparing the battle field to everyday life, reminding the delegates that “anything is possible if you just work hard at it”. Then we were given the officers report along with other documents to include a program of sessions and events, a directory of committees, a book of resolutions and supplemental reports that would be prepared during the convention as needed. All in all a very overwhelming experience for well over half of the delegates being their first time by show of hands. In the afternoon we held the first election for IP, won by Newton Jones with 87% of the vote to defeat Local 83 member Darryl Manroe. In the 3 other contested elections, International Secretary-Treasurer William Creeden received 86% of the vote to defeat local 104 Business manager Brian Opland, International Vice President for Canada, Joe Maloney received 89% of the vote to defeat local 359 Assistant Business Manager Ken Noga, and International Vice President for the Northeast Dave Haggerty Received 95% of the vote to defeat local 29 President Mike Hancock. Three International officers faced no opposition and were elected by acclamation, Larry McManamon – IVP Great Lakes, Tom Baca- IVP Western States, and Warren Fairley  IVP Southeast.

The second day Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) President Hassan Yussuff took the stage to update delegates on its recent gains and current battles which included a new Liberal party Prime Minister after nine and a half years of right wing torture and tormenting by a Conservative government. The Supreme Court ruling the fundamental right to strike, and declaring workers have the right to choose a union free of intervention. Yussuff spoke about several battles the CLC is engaged including Bill C-377, which passed just before the election of the new Prime Minister. The bill dictates onerous public reporting rules on union finances and political activities. Yussuff said unions would not provide financial information to our enemies, its an unjust, undemocratic law in our country. Another battle is over the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. “It’s destroying jobs” and must not be ratified in Canada. Other issues include a national ban of all asbestos mining and a favorable temporary worker program. The Constitution and Law Committee got off to a slow start with issues stretching out the debate and several roll call votes slowed the committee’s report. The Law Committee proposed raising the strike pay from $150 to $200 and finally a new motion was made and passed from the floor to $250. Other resolutions also met with vigorous debate:

  • A motion to withdraw delegates-at-large credentials was defeated, following discussions about the importance of experienced and knowledgeable International reps and other International staff having a voice at convention.
  • A motion to switch to electronic voting was withdrawn after discussions about cost, difficulties for those not familiar with electronic devices and the need for delegates to speak their minds on the floor rather than press a button.
  • A motion to require that International Vice Presidents be elected only by the members from their IVP section failed, following debate over whether that would divide the union.
  • A motion to require that International Officer vacancies be filled by an election of all members rather than being appointed was defeated, as delegates debated the issues of cost , delays in filling vacancies, and other issues. An amendment to that amendment also failed.
  • Also defeated were motions to require the election of International Representatives and reducing severance pay for International Officers.

The third day resumed its report from the Law Committee and once again delegates rose to voice their views, and in the only roll call vote of the day some delegates challenged a provision of Article 33-Salary Adjustments. This Article allows the Executive Council to increase the International Presidents salary (and therefor the salaries of other International officers, International Reps and other International staff by up to 5% per year, providing the union is in good financial health). An amendment was made to reduce the 5% to 2.5% followed by a roll call vote in which IP Jones cast his vote for the law Committees recommendation of the 5% saying that he would have abstained from voting had the proposed amendment not impacted staff. Other International officers echoed those sentiments as the roll call vote unfolded with strong support for the Law Committee recommendation and adopting the 5% before the vote was halted an the initiator of the resolution withdrawing his amendment. Various Convention Committees took the stage to deliver their reports to the delegates which wrapped up its work on renewing the International Brotherhood Constitution and resolving more than 100 resolutions submitted to them. Three guest speakers were also heard, Assistant General Secretary, Kemal Ozkan stressed the need to work together in protecting workers rights to form collective bargaining agreements, living wages and guarantee safe workplaces. President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, Robbie Hunter, with the help of construction trades passed Bill 54 which has improved safety at refineries for workers and the communities where the facilities were located. It also increased opportunities for trade workers, contractors and increased wages. The Chairman of North West Upgrading, Ian MacGregor spoke about his journey into clean energy, including the positive impact of carbon capture and storage with the first refinery to be built in Alberta, Canada in three decades at a cost of $8.5 billion. He said “Boilermakers are the logical leaders in this effort as you are on every project, you know the owners and you are well organized.”

Day four included the last guest speaker Michael Hayes, Director of the Office of Labour-Management Standards at the Department of Labour, addresses delegates on this final day of the convention regarding the DOLs new “Persuader Rule.” The rule requires employers who hire union-busting consultants, and the consultants themselves to file reports on their indirect activities. Hayes said that the main purpose of the rule was to give employees who are considering whether to join union information about any third party that has been hired to dissuade them from organizing. “We thought that it was right that [employees] should be able to access information about the anti-union messages that they are repeatedly hearing and seeing,” said Hayes. Opponents of unions are willing to spend a lot to bust unions and don’t have to report, but unions have to report dollars spent on organizing. This speech was followed by closing remarks and the adjournment of the 33rd Consolidated Convention. For more information on this event, you can visit the IBB website which includes films produced by the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and Wide Awake Films for the 33rd Consolidated Convention.

The elected 359 delegates chosen for this 33rd Consolidated Convention would like to thank all those who voted for them, and greatly appreciated the opportunity to represent this great local as a unified team.

Sincerely and fraternally yours,
Dave French
Vice President, Business Representative

WCB Appeals

As many of our members are aware, there were a series of unfortunate incidents that occurred during the Pine River Turnaround in July 2014. Included in these incidents, were 3 individuals who had initiated exposure claims, two from the day shift and one from the night shift. All of the claims were protested by the employer and subsequently denied by WCB. A very lengthy process was then undertaken and the appeals of these claims began.

Update – August 2016

The Union has now been able to successfully appeal the two day shift claims with the night shift claim unfortunately remaining unchanged. It was through the gathering of pertinent medical evidence at the time of injury that the two individuals were eventually able to succeed with their appeals. The night shift member unfortunately did not have the same evidence of exposure, and more importantly lacked the required medical information that would have possibly allowed the decision to be varied in the form of acceptance as well.

The Takeaway

This is a reminder to all members who may suffer an injury or suspect they have been exposed to a toxic substance to immediately report to on site first aid and your employer. Then if your situation warrants a trip to a local practitioner or hospital, ask for any testing you feel should be done. This means if you believe you have been exposed to a substance at a work site you should request blood tests immediately and if possible explain to the doctor what you think you may have been exposed to. If you find yourself in a position of being unsure of what to do, request that you have a job steward present or contact the Union and speak to a representative.

The worst thing a member can do is hope that an injury/illness gets better on its own and wait to report it. This tends to be the starting stages of what can be a very lengthy and frustrating appeal process should an employer decide to protest the claim being made. More often than not claims that are not reported at the time of the incident are contested by the employer and quite possibly denied by WCB.

Any member who feels intimidated or coerced by an employer or their representatives for reporting an injury should contact the Union immediately as this is a violation of the WCB Act.

Hurt Your Back at Work?  Here’s What You Should Know

Many of the appeals that can happen concern back injuries that either:

  1. Aren’t accepted as arising from the work accident or work activity;
  2. Were accepted for a strain/sprain and the WCB has told the worker that it has resolved, when it has not; or
  3. Is diagnosed as a strain/sprain when it is really something more.

These situations can be complex and very confusing but it is important to act quickly to deal with them as an un-appealed decision letter can mean that you will have a tough time getting anything accepted in future.

When someone goes to their doctor complaining of back pain (whether it’s low back, mid-back, or neck) the doctor is likely to diagnose a sprain/strain. Doctors will tell you that if they hear hoof beats in the woods, they will first assume it’s horses because in most cases it is. However if there are reasons to think it is not horses, thats when they start to consider whether it may be zebras or any other hooved creature.

The same goes for back injuries. You will likely be diagnosed as suffering from a strain/sprain and your doctor or physiotherapist will expect it to resolve within 6 to 8 weeks. If your back pain does not resolve as expected however, then you should be sent for the appropriate tests to figure out if it may be something more; for example, a herniated disc.

We often have appeals where the family physician has started to suspect that this is the case and has asked the WCB to approve a visit to a specialist. The WCB has a deal with specialists in most fields that will provide expedited appointments so you don’t have to wait so long.

Often the WCB refuses to approve a specialist appointment. We can appeal this, but in the meantime you should get your doctor to make a referral under the Medical Services Plan. Although it will take longer, at least you know you will be seen at some point. If you see a specialist and are diagnosed with a herniated disc or some other injury that you and your doctor feel is a result of your work activity, you will need to ask the WCB to accept that condition. If they say no, you should appeal.

It is always important to see a specialist when your condition is not resolving as expected. The WCB will often just cut you off and say, your sprain/strain should be healed by now so if you are still experiencing pain, it must be unrelated to your work injury and it’s not our problem. In this case, it is again crucial that you appeal the decision. If you have a herniated disc and the WCB says it doesn’t come from your accident or activities at work and you DON’T appeal, you will be stuck for the rest of your life with a pre-existing non-work-related herniated disc. We can sometimes get around that but it is not easy.

The moral of the story is this: back injuries can be simple strains or they can be very complicated. If you hurt your back at work, and the WCB is not accepting it as their responsibility, something is wrong. You need to address that right away. Get some advice, file an appeal, don’t just shrug and give up. It is your right to appeal and you should use it!

Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement

The Canadian Boilermaker Apprenticeship Awards Banquet was held in conjunction with the Boilermaker owners appreciation day on August 25th in Edmonton. The Banquet and awards ceremony was held to acknowledge the top graduating apprentices from across Canada. Ned Josic was selected as the top Apprentice from Lodge 359 for his in class marks, hard work and attitude.

A Boilermaker foundation class graduated from BCIT in August. Top student Mathew Perrin received $500 dollars for achieving the highest marks.

A forklift certification course was held on August 23rd with nine members receiving certification.

Probationary Journeyperson Program

Apprenticeship and Training is now looking after the Pro-Jo program. Pro-Jo inquiries and reports can be sent Gord Weel.

Coordinators Report

The table below represents 5 levels of Apprentice training achieved as compared to the total number of work hours for each level and the number of Apprentices which fall into each level.

BM 01 is Foundation, BM 02 is Level 2 Upgrade, BM 03 is Level 3 Upgrade, BM 04 is Level 4 Refresher Course, BM IP is Boilermaker Inter-Provincial Red Seal.

Training Levels0-1000
Hours
1-2000
Hours
2-3000
Hours
3-4000
Hours
4-5000
Hours
5000+
Hours
Total Apprentices
Totals57312712130140
BM - 01 291000030
BM - 022310630042
BM - 0326832021
BM - 041011104
BM - IP21412510043

The table below is the Apprentice training schedule for the remainder of 2016.

Fall 2016 Training Programs   
Course TypeLocationDates
Apprentice Level 2 UpgradeBCITOctober 17th - November 18th
Apprentice Level 3 UpgradeBCITNovember 21st - December 23rd
Aerial Platform CertificationJoe Kiwior/Ivan Shook Training CentreOctober
Forklift CertificationJoe Kiwior/Ivan Shook Training CentreNovember

John Hart Dam

Mark-up meeting on August 18, 2016 with SNC-Lavalin and Alstom for the Power house T&G portion (3 draft tubes and scroll casings), as the ship just left China with all the pre-fabricated components. Boilermakers to start beginning of January 2017 with back to back shifts for 5 to 6 months with manpower peeking out around 10 to 12 per shift. Canron is to hold a mark-up meeting October 4th for the 3 Bypass Penstocks and scrubbers, said earlier they would have 3-4 members on site possibly in November to start site prep for the January 2017 start. Also with back to back shifts for 6 months plus, and manpower peeking out around 10 to 12  per shift. There is a local hire provision on this job for members who have been a resident for a minimum period of 6 months and within 90 road kilometres of the work site. A copy of the John Hart Dam collective agreement in on our website under the membership tab.

Site C

Voith Hydro was awarded the Turbines & Generators contract on April 06th. The Penstocks have not been awarded at this point (but lets keep our fingers crossed that this work is awarded to a signatory contractor). The peak potential for manpower is estimated around 35 boilermakers per shift starting approximately mid 2018 for up to 5 years, again with local hire provisions.

Travel Carding

Local 128 is accepting applications for nuclear security clearances which can take 3-6 months to process for a lot work starting next year especially for welders, at the Bruce, Pickering and Darlington nuclear generation stations. For more information call 128 main office in Burlington.

Lodge 359 Staff

2016 Boilermakers Lodge 359 Golf Tournament

Lodge 359 would like to sincerely thank all those who generously contributed to this years golf tournament. We had a perfect golfing day unlike the previous year, the prizes and dinner this year were simply amazing. A special thanks goes out to the staff and management of Pagoda Ridge Golf Coursefor hosting the tournament.

IMG_0335 IMG_0334 IMG_0333 IMG_0332 IMG_0331
This years 50/50 draw was in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Boilermaker Mark Oake won the draw in the amount of $955.00, a cheque for the same amount has now been forwarded to the Foundation.

2016 Winning Team
Cecil Scott – Craig Gab – June Rogers – Chris McCain

IMG_0391

Most Honest Team
Martin Nicholson – Gord Weel – Rob Kappel – Al Dingwall

IMG_0345

Ladie’s Long Drive
June Rogers

IMG_0388

Men’s Long Drive
Dan Mudrie

IMG_0389

Ladie’s Closest To The Pin
Maxine Smalley

IMG_0387

Men’s Closest To The Pin
Lyle Smith – No Photo Available

The Foursome’s

IMG_0372 IMG_0371 IMG_0369 IMG_0367 IMG_0365 IMG_0362 IMG_0360 IMG_0358 IMG_0356 IMG_0355 IMG_0354 IMG_0352 IMG_0350 IMG_0349 IMG_0345 IMG_0343 IMG_0340 IMG_0386 IMG_0384 IMG_0382 IMG_0374 IMG_0373

April 2016 Newsletter

Merritt and Ft. St. James Biomass Boiler Updates

The following bullet point presentation and photos of the TVE jobs at Merritt and Ft. St. James were provided by Matt Beauregard. We would like to sincerely thank him for taking time from his schedule to help out with our newsletter.

TV BM Cover

  • Summer of 2014 TVE approached FSE and Iberdrola about seeking the opportunity of bidding work on their project, at that time we were told the project would not entertain Union labour , the door was shut closed.
  • First Quarter of 2015 TVE approached the same group, again TVE was denied any opportunity.
  • Summer of 2015 we heard grumblings that project wasn’t going as fast as they would like it, they were not at the stage of erecting the boiler yet but parts were coming in.
  • Non Union Contractor PQC who has been on site from the start was asked to entertain taking the work on but said they couldn’t handle the expertise to do the work as they’re skill set was structural and some mechanical.
  • August 2015 old FSE manager left site, a Canadian manager from Montreal was hired, TVE stopped by, Wally Cousins and I discussed our capabilities, we left company references, resumes, ect.
  • Over the next few weeks we completed negotiations and were only contracted to do the pressure part welding on the water walls, a start date was confirmed October 26, 2016 small 6 man crew, at the start I was the Foreman and Wally was a Rigger/Fitter on tools.
  • November 26  30 days later TVE was awarded the Gen Bank install in 2016, crew size bumped up to about 10 as we were in full swing doing pre-assembly of the water walls at the lay down yard site.
  • Mid December, TVE was awarded the insulation and cladding work.
  • January 2016  TVE back in after holiday break, crew size bumped up a few more and pre-assembly continued, also awarded the refractory work for both Ft. St. James and Merritt , as well the Insulation and Cladding at Ft. St. James.
  • March TVE in full swing, all boiler pressure parts awarded as well as the over and under fire air handling system, lower furnace work, penthouse enclosure, etc. Also awarded piping for the entire boiler building. TVE was asked to bring Boilerrmakers up to Ft. St. James to assist client in doing a bunch of rework on the boiler water walls and super-heaters, approximately 16 Boilermakers on site and picking up more work as we go.
  • Present, running approximately 27 Boilermakers on days and 25 on nights, expect to bump up another 10% to 20% possibly, all water walls are in place, Gen Bank, 30% done, super-heaters just getting started as well as working on the air ducting.
  • In summary great support from Lodge 359 administration, crews, ect. Team effort all around, customer FSE, Prime Iberdrola and owner Veolia very impressed with TVE and the union labour.
  • Expect to have most of the pressure work completed by early summer, probably have a small contingency of Boilermakers doing small stuff through the summer, all other TVE trade work Pipefitters, Insulators, Sheet Metal Workers, Bricklayers, Instrumentation and controls will work through the summer and into the early fall.

Bullnose hanging IMG_1831 IMG_1506

South Wall Header IMG_0955 IMG_0960

Continued on welding wall joints on North wall , approx 13 joints left to complete by tomorrow (2) IMG_1774

Letter From Merritt/TVE Job Steward Trevor Hunter

Well Brothers and Sisters of Boilermakers 359, this is Trevor Hunter writing this letter from out here in Merritt B.C. giving you guys an update and I guess a bit of a play by play as to what has gone on since we have showed up.

We started here at the end of October 2015 with the understanding we were coming in for a very short time to handle a few of the specialty areas when it comes to the boiler being built. We were told 5 -10’s for 3 to 4 weeks. The crew started off doing some odds and ends, lots of grinding and buffing and really just assessing the situation at hand. A small crew of guys on a strictly non-union site, for a very short period of time. I would like to thank Matt Beauregard and Wally Cousins for their work getting us in here and cracking that door open.

We are now sitting halfway through April on a 12 on 2 off schedule. The hard work, dedication and pure craftsmanship of the Union Boilermakers on site has guaranteed us this entire boiler. All pressure and non pressure parts that go with it. TVE has also picked up the piping coming off this boiler, the insulation and cladding wrapping it and some mechanical parts involved.

This work is all going to Union tradesmen and supporting each and every one of their families. I would like to thank every person involved with this job. It has truly been an eye opener for me in more ways than one. The Union skill here on site has really kicked down that door that was cracked open for us, hopefully solidifying this work to us in the future.

So thank you again to all Brothers and Sisters involved and to any who haven’t made it here, I hope to see you on the next one.

Sincerely and Fraternally yours,

Trevor Hunter

Site C Turbine and Generator Contract Announcement

On April 6, 2016 Business Manager Martin D. Nicholson attended the BC Legislature for the announcement of the Site C Dam Turbine and Generator contract award. Voith Hydro Inc. was the successful proponent and one of three Union affiliated contractors that were short listed by BC Hydro for the project. The other two contractors were Alstom Renewable Power Canada Inc. and Andritz Hydro Canada.

It is projected that there will be approximately 150 unionized tradespeople employed during the construction of the turbines and generators portion of the project, including Boilermakers, Millwrights, Pipefitters, Electricians and other trades.

The Bargaining Council of British Columbia Building Trades Unions and Construction Labour Relations Association of BC have negotiated a Special Project Needs Agreement (SPNA) to cover the scope of work of this project, we will not be working under the AHC/CHC Agreement. The SPNA includes participation from 10 Building Trades Unions for the installation of the turbines and generators only.

BC Hydro has posted a a preliminary construction schedule and it is available by clicking here.

SiteCDam_Rendition

Aldergrove Braves Pee Wee Baseball Team Sponsorship

Boilermakers Lodge 359 is very proud to be able to support the community of Aldergrove and on January 5, 2016 a motion was passed at the general membership meeting to sponsor the Aldergrove Braves Baseball Team in the amount of $2,000.00. The team is in their first year of Pee Wee division, playing in Aldergrove, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission. The Boilermakers Lodge 359 sponsorship provided that all of the players on the team received full uniforms, these young men feel like professionals on the field this year.

Aldergrove Minor Baseball Association also received a $350.00 signage sponsor from the Apprenticeship & Trade Advancement Committee, a 4 x 4 sign with the Boilermaker logo is displayed at the Aldergrove Athletic Park. The Aldergrove Braves would like to thank the membership for your generosity.

Lodge 359 wishes all the best for the team during their 2016 season.

IMG_0269 IMG_0179

IMG_0211 IMG_0219

IMG_0235 IMG_0214
Election of Delegates to the 33rd Consolidated Convention

The election results of Delegates to the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers 33rd Consolidated Convention are as follows;

Ballots Mailed: 1008
Ballots Returned: 289
Ballots Spoiled: 7

Delegate by Virtue of Office

Martin D. Nicholson, Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer

Elected Delegates

Jim Wymer 168
Palmer Allen 161
Dave French 149
Jordan Streng 141
Ken Noga 141
Sat Chatta 140

Alternate Delegates

J’onn Giese 121
Gord Weel 120
Chris Paige 116
Peter Parkinson 83
Les Liszicsan 46
Kyle Lepitre 35

We would like to thank election committee Chairman Alan Dingwall and committee members Sandy McKimmie, Robert McCormack, Kent Summers, Craig Dunnett and Shan Hendy for volunteering their time to assist in the ballot count.

MemberLink Update

We are pleased to announce that at the time this newsletter was produced, 443 members of Lodge 359 have registered on MemberLink, the members only portion of the Unions website. This number includes both active and retired members. By all accounts MemberLink has been well received offering many services previously unavailable to the membership.

The development of the online posting module attached to MemberLink is nearing completion and is now under testing by UnionWare. The next step in this process will be for UnionWare to deploy the module onto our test server so that we can perform internal testing. Once we are satisfied that online posting is performing as expected it will be launched for your use. Tentative launch date for online posting is the first of June.

Below is a screenshot of Memberlink Administration, it will show number of members registered as well as a few other statistics.

UW_MLAdminPage

Joe Kiwior – Ivan Shook Training Centre

In March of this year instructor Sheldon Frank was hired to assist in welder training and is available on Monday and Tuesday of each week. Sheldon is a certified welding instructor who has worked at both the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). Any member wanting to come in on one or both of those days is asked to first contact Tranining Coordinator Gord Weel. Please give Gord at least two or more days notice prior to coming in so that coupons can be prepared and your time will be spent in the welding booth and not doing prep work.

Prior to work commencing at Covanta a few weeks ago Sheldon assisted a group of Probationary Journeymen to get up to speed welding Inconel. This was key to successfully manning this job for Lodge 359 as the welders list was near empty due to the current work picture.

Apprenticeship & Trade Advancement Committee (ATAC)

Two of the four Union ATAC Trustees recently became Pensioners and have resigned from the committee, Brothers Greg Pierce and Bill Rogers. Lodge 359 would like to sincerely thank each for their service and wish them a long, safe and happy life as retirees. The Lodge Executive Board has since filled these two positions by appointing Brothers Palmer Allen and Sat Chatta, good luck to both, the future of our Apprentices are now in your capable hands.

The ATAC committee has made the decision to only run one Foundation class in 2016 due to a low projection of man hours and the number of Apprentices currently in the system. The committee will continue to closely monitor the number of Apprentices and adjust accordingly the number of future intakes.

The table below represents 5 levels of Apprentice training achieved as compared to the total number of work hours for each level and the number of Apprentices which fall into each level.

BM 01 is Foundation, BM 02 is Level 2 Upgrade, BM 03 is Level 3 Upgrade, BM 04 is Level 4 Refresher Course, BM IP is Boilermaker Inter-Provincial Red Seal.

Training Levels0-1000
Hours
1-2000
Hours
2-3000
Hours
3-4000
Hours
4-5000
Hours
5000+
Hours
Total Apprentices
Totals66242711126146
BM - 01 332000035
BM - 023113520051
BM - 0326742223
BM - 040030003
BM - IP0312510434

The table below is the Apprentice training schedule for the remainder of 2016.

2016 Training Programs   
Course TypeLocationDates
Foundation CourseBCITMarch - August
Apprentice Level 3 UpgradeJoe Kiwior - Ivan Shook Training CentreJune 27th - July 29th
Apprentice Level 2 UpgradeBCITOctober 17th - November 18th
Apprentice Level 3 UpgradeBCITNovember 21st - December 23rd

Annual BBQ and Golf Tournament

Once again this year a BBQ featuring food provided by Smoke & Bones will be held the day before the Golf Tournament. The BBQ will be held on Thursday July 14th starting at 12 noon, all active and retired members are welcomed. Over the past two years approximately 150 have attended each of the two BBQ’s.

On the day after the BBQ, Friday July 15th, Lodge 359’s Golf Tournament will kick off, we will be returning to the Pagoda Ridge Golf Course in Langley. Even though it rained as hard as it could at last years event everyone had a great day, let’s hope for better weather this year.

Please mark these dates on your calendar.

Fraternally, Lodge 359 Staff

Tilbury LNG Project

Boilermakers Lodge 359 crew working for Bantrel Constructors at the Fortis LNG Tank on Tilbury Island. This photo was taken the day of the roof air raise in October of 2015.

BM Photo 017

January 2016 Newsletter

UnionWare Office Software

During the week of January 11th through the 15th UnionWare trainers and technical support attended the offices of Lodge 359 in order to first train and then go live with the Boilermakers new office system software. UnionWare Enterprise Core module which controls the membership data base and Dispatch are the first two modules of four that have been launched. MemberLink and TransferLink modules should both be available in early February.

Enterprise Core and Dispatch are very powerful programs with many functions that were previously unavailable to the Lodge. We ask that you please be patient over the next few months as it will certainly take some time for the staff to become confident and comfortable using the systems.

One change that would have been noticed by anyone who has posted during the last few days are the questions asked by the Posting Operator. You now need to provide two new pieces of information when you call the posting line. The Operator will ask what date you were laid off, you also will be asked to provide the time of your last paid hour (shift end time). For example, if you were working a 10 hour day shift with a start time of 8:00 am and a shift end time of 6:30 pm, you would inform the operator that your last paid hour at lay off was 6:30 pm. You must always post by stating the last paid hour of the day you were laid off. Your last paid hour at lay off can certainly vary depending on the circumstances evolving from you last shift, it is your responsibility to know what hours you are to be paid in accordance with the collective agreement that you are working under .

The new posting procedure completely does away with weekend posting as you will now be posted back onto the out of work list based on the date and time of your lay off, which works for every day of the week, not just weekends. This is a vast improvement over past procedures which did not use the time of lay off factor. You will always be grouped with people who were laid off on the same day at the same time.

MemberLink will bring the next improvement that will serve and benefit the membership. From your own secure online user account many functions will be available to you, among the new services will be online posting, view board position, tag out, check dues status, pay dues and assessments and more. Online posting to the out of work lists will be available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Once you submit your online request to post, you will be instantly back on the list and available for dispatch.

TransferLink will be a secure online portal available to contractors and will be used to upload remittance reports. This module can also be used by the contractor to upload copies of any safety certifications as well as tickets such as Aerial Lift or Forklift that you have obtained while in their employment.

One of many new features that the Dispatch module provides for the members is the ability to email job details directly to you on the same day as you are dispatched. It is recommended that you contact the general office either by email or phone and have your email attached to your member record. You can email memberservices@boilermakers359.org and request that your email address be added.

The staff would like to sincerely thank Natalie, Bill and Marcel from UnionWare and Joey our IT provider for the excellent service that Lodge 359 received during training and go live.

The Cody Brothers Apprenticeship Award

Brother Rick Cody spoke at the Christmas meeting about the importance of the Boilermaker trade and the pride he and his brothers have had as members of Lodge 359. Rick presented a cheque to the Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement Committee on behalf of himself and his brothers Bryan, Terry, and Rodney to recognize hard working Apprentices and not necessarily those with the highest training scores as the top student of each Foundation class is already rewarded with a $500.00 honorarium from the Union.

The winner of the first Cody Brothers Apprenticeship award was given to Michael Valliere for his hard work, reliability and dedication to the trade.

Training

A Level 04 Apprenticeship refresher course was held January 4th through January 15th at the Joe Kiwior – Ivan Shook Training Centre. The 9 apprentices attending wrote their Red Seal on January 15th, results of the exams are expected to be returned within the next two weeks.

2016 Training Programs   
Course TypeLocationDates
Apprentice Level 2 UpgradeBCITJanuary 4th - February 6th
Apprentice Level 2 UpgradeJoe Kiwior - Ivan Shook Training CentreJanuary 18th - February 19th
Apprentice Level 3 UpgradeBCITFebruary 9th - March 11th
Foundation CourseBCITMarch - August
Apprentice Level 3 UpgradeJoe Kiwior - Ivan Shook Training CentreTBA
Apprentice Level 2 UpgradeBCITOctober 17th - November 18th
Apprentice Level 3 UpgradeBCITNovember 21st - December 23rd

West Kootenay Mechanical

A grievance was served upon West Kootenay Mechanical on Friday January the 15th. The complaint is in regards to a violation of Article 6 of the CLR Collective Agreement. In the statement of claim the Union alleges that the employer failed to provide a pre-job conference to the Trades in order to establish jurisdictional claims. The membership will be updated as the process unfolds.

Canron

An arbitration date has now been set to deal with a grievance filed against Canron late in 2015. The issue at hand is a dispute over Working Foreman, in particular Article 3.03 of the CLR Collective Agreement which states; In case of hiring members of the Union, the Employer shall retain the right to name request all Foremen and General Foremen and, in addition, name request fifty percent (50%) of the crew as follows: Employer the first (odd) number; Union the first even and second odd number; then Employer even number, Union odd number, and thereafter on a 50/50 basis.

The employer (Canron) feels that it is their right to hire as many Working Foreman as they see fit outside of the name request ratio. The Union contends that if a Working Foreman is to be used then that person must be hired within the 50/50 ratio and that any Foreman or General Foreman hired outside of the ratio are strictly non-workers. The membership will be updated once an arbitration award is released.

33rd Boilermaker Consolidated Convention

2016 will be the year of the next Boilermaker Convention, this event occurs only once every 5 years. The purpose of Convention is to review and amend the articles of the Brotherhoods Constitution as well as elect the International President, Secretary Treasurer and Vice Presidents, these are the Officers who will represent the United States and Canada.

During the February General Membership meeting an announcement will be made notifying the membership of the Convention delegate nomination meeting. Our elected delegates will be responsible to represent the entire membership of Lodge 359 and cast their votes accordingly for both Constitutional resolutions and the election of International Officers. Convention will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada convening on July 18, 2016. Lodge 359 is allotted 7 delegates, Business Manager Martin Nicholson is automatically seated by virtue of his current office, the other 6 will be elected from those members who are nominated at the special called meeting.

Fraternally,

Lodge 359 Staff

September 2015 Newsletter

For this newsletter Lodge 359 staff would like to provide the membership with an overview of important events spanning over the past few years.

The Move

The largest single most important event to happen for Lodge 359 in decades was the sale of Dawson Street and subsequent purchase of our property in Langley. The end goal was to provide members with a new home which included a training facility and in turn was also a step towards less dependence on third party providers.

At the October 2012 general membership meeting a motion was passed requesting the sale of Dawson Street in conjunction with acquiring a replacement property in the Fraser Valley. The motion was followed up by the issuance of an all-mail ballot to the entire membership for their acceptance or rejection. Forward to November 2012 the ballot was returned and tabulated, 83% voted in favour of the proposal. International headquarters then gave final approval to proceed.

In December of 2012 Dawson Street was listed for sale. A search then began for a property suitable to fit the memberships needs, one with enough space for offices, storage, meeting rooms, a classroom, and of course the training centre shop. By late January of 2012 the Union had accepted an offer on Dawson Street and a short time later placed an offer on 5510 268th Street, Langley. The sale of Burnaby closed at the end of March 2013, the purchase of Langley closed April 30th.

DSC_0575 (1200x798) DSC_0572 (1200x798)

For the next approximate five and a half months renovations took place on the new building and by mid-September we were ready to make the move in. The unpacking and setup of all individual offices took about a month before everyone was comfortably settled in, all this was done while continuing to run the daily affairs of the Union.

DSC_0250 (1200x798)

Once the dust had settled from the move, final planning began for the next phase of the project, the construction of the training centre. Contracts were awarded and suppliers chosen by mid-January of 2014, the physical work began on February 3rd. Tool and monetary donations for the training centre were solicited from contractors prior to opening, we would like to thank IST Boiler, CESSCO Fabrication and Engineering Ltd, West Kootenay Mechanical and CIMS Ltd Partnership for their generosity.

DSC01334 (1200x900) DSC01422 (1200x900)

The conversion of the warehouse to training centre was completed with final inspections conducted on May 14, 2014, but it wasn’t quite ready to open just yet. Gord Weel spent the next several weeks in between his regular duties constructing six steel fabrication tables that our Apprentices would eventually use during their upgrades.

DSC01509 (1200x900) DSC01508 (1200x900)

DSC01510 (1200x900) DSC01512 (1200x900)

The Grand Opening

Once the shop was completed arrangements were made to hold a grand opening for not only the shop but to also showcase the office side of the building. Both active and retired members and their families were invited to a chicken and ribs barbecue. We fortunately had a nice hot summer day with about 150+ in attendance. It’s safe to say that everyone had a great time sharing the day and having a bite to eat.

20140626_121839 (1200x900) 20140626_121723 (1200x900)

20140626_121746 (900x1200) 20140626_122311 (900x1200)

Training Centre Dedication

In February of 2015 two motions were made at the general membership meeting. The first was to dedicate and name Lodge 359’s new training centre in honour of two long standing members who made significant contributions to the Boilermaker apprenticeship and training programs, Joe Kiwior and Ivan Shook. The motion unanimously passed. The second motion was to purchase a sign which was to be wall mounted above the entrance to the classroom and shop, this motion also unanimously passed. The sign was installed on April 18th.

DSC01954 (1200x900)

On July the 25th Joe, Ivan and all 359 members were invited to attend a dedication ceremony and barbecue in order to officially open the training centre, once again we had over 150 guests. Gord Weel provided all with a brief speech followed by the call for Joe and Ivan to cut the ceremonial danger tape ribbon, truly a classic Boilermaker moment. Both Joe and Ivan were accompanied by family members and you could easily tell by the looks on their faces that this was a very special moment in time for both men.

DSC01953 (1200x900)

Apprenticeship and Training

Prior to opening the doors for the first Level 02 Apprenticeship class upgrade Coordinator Gord Weel had to apply for a provisional designation through the Industry Training Authority (ITA), this was granted on May 14, 2014. Having this designation provides permission for a group such as the Boilermakers to officially instruct the Level 02 program. The first Level 02 pilot program took place June 16ththrough July 18th. During this first class the ITA sent a training designation adviser to observe a day of instruction and inspect the facility. Unfortunately after completing the first Level 02 upgrade accreditation was denied as one component of the program was missing, rigging and hoisting (swinging of a jib).

A second attempt at Level 02 accreditation was made starting January 19th of 2015. In order to add the previous missing component from the first class Lodge 359 partnered with the Operating Engineers to provide a crane and certified operator at their training centre in Maple Ridge. The addition of the rigging and hoisting component demonstrated to the ITA that we had met all of the requirements of Level 02 Boilermaker apprenticeship training. On March 25, 2015 Lodge 359 was recognized as an ITA Designated Training provider for Level 02.

Training Coordinator Weel then applied for a provisional designation for Level 03 training and on March 6, 2015 it was granted by the ITA. A Level 03 program was then scheduled and took place from June 22 through July 24, 2015. Once again the ITA sent their training designation adviser to observe this session. As there were no issues during this class and all necessary components were instructed, the Boilermakers received a Level 03 apprentice training accreditation on August 10, 2015.

The addition of the training centre has now provided the membership with the opportunity to receive instruction and certification for Forklift operator and welder training. In November of 2014 twelve members attended forklift training and were certified. This was followed by two, one week flux core wire feed courses held in December. In January of 2015 a Level 04 upgrade was instructed for apprentices to prepare them to write their Red Seal exams.

Bantrel Constructors was the first employer to make a request to use the welding booths for weld testing. From February 17th through the 20th those members who were on the first hire spent the week in the shop preparing for the job, testing both on carbon steel and 9% nickel.

Also in February of this year the latest Job Steward and Boilermaker history courses were held. Plans for the next Steward class are currently in the works and tentatively scheduled for early next year.

Lastly, Deputy Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Athana Mentzelopoulas, Assistant Deputy Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training D. Scott MacDonald and Industry Training Authority Chief Executive Officer Gary Herman were invited to attend a meeting at Lodge 359’s office on August 27, 2015 to discuss possible funding for a sponsored CWB welding program. Gord Weel provided the group with a detailed Trade description on what a Boilermaker is and what our duties are. Also discussed at the meeting was the need for an accredited safety program in order to have one standard for the whole Province. The group toured both the office and shop before the meeting closed. Business Manager Martin Nicholson reported that the meeting was well received and it is expected that a follow up meeting will be scheduled by the Deputy Minister in the near future.

Workers Compensation Advocates

On behalf of the membership and staff of Lodge 359 we would like to thank Mike Swetlikoff for his hard work representing the members with their WCB appeals over the years. This representative role has now been moved to within the office and as such we look forward to assisting our members with any WCB matters that may arise. Rob Kappel, Jordan Streng and Dave French have accepted the roles of assisting the members with appeal issues, Rob handling the shops, Jordan handling the field, and Dave assisting with both.

Rob, Jordan and Dave recently attended the Canadian Labour Congress Winter School 2015 and completed a Level 1 course for WCB advocacy roles as well as completing a few courses in the past few months pertaining to updates and legislative changes with regards to WorkSafeBC. These representatives will continue to educate themselves as training courses become available to ensure that they can offer the best advice when assisting our members.

A reminder to all members that the most important detail is to report ALL injuries as soon as practical to ensure that any possible claim will be started in the most effective manner with the least chances of being denied because of untimely reporting. Any member concerned or unsure with what steps they should take is encouraged to contact the general office and speak with Rob, Jordan or Dave. Another reminder is that modified or transitional duties are there to help injured workers reintegrate themselves back into the workplace and are not to be used as a means of suppressing claims. It is important that prior to agreeing to these duties, the member consults with a physician to develop this plan to ensure limitations and restrictions are outlined and that the member isn’t put back into the work environment too soon, risking further aggravation to their injury.

The Kitimat Projects

In early 2008 the Building Trade Unions of British Columbia were invited to meet with Bechtel Canada Co. in an attempt to negotiate a collective agreement that would encompass all Trades who would eventually work during the construction of a new aluminum smelter in Kitimat. The lead negotiator for the Boilermakers was Business Manager Carl Ellsworth assisted by Business Representative Ken Noga, for Bechtel it was Jeffrey Teather and Patrick Casey. A few months after the start of negotiations the Kitimat Modernization Project, Project Labour Agreement was created. Also known as the KMP PLA

It was approximately four years later that work would begin for the Boilermakers at KMP, but first crews were dispatched to a related project at Kemano. To insure that Rio Tinto Alcan had an uninterrupted supply of electricity to power the new smelter they first had to construct a back-up tunnel and Penstock in Kemano as the original installation was approximately 60 years old. Lodge 359 Boilermakers constructed the new Penstock and completed both tie-ins, the duration of the project was approximately one year.

359-Boilermakers-Kemano (1200x699)

In August of 2013 work finally began at KMP for the Boilermakers. Bantrel Constructors, HB Construction Company Ltd. and CIMS Ltd. Partnership were the three Boilermaker contractors hired as subs by project manager Bechtel. Over the term of the project Lodge 359 dispatched over 400 workers, the majority were Local Lodge members but we also had Travel Cards from across Canada assist us in manning the call-outs.

KMP is one of the largest industrial projects to be built in British Columbia and it is expected to double the plants aluminum production. In the 1950’s Lodge 359 members had the opportunity to take part in the construction of the original smelter, as such, we were very pleased and thankful to have played a key role in the modernization project. The new smelter was erected on the same property as the old. The final Boilermaker left the job in June of 2015, the first hot metal was produced shortly after.

Photos of KMP courtesy of Don Ritchie, Bechtel.

20150226 - Kitimat Modernisation Project (1200x933)

General Office Operations

Provided in the May newsletter was information in regards to the replacement of all the software which is currently used to operate the dispatch and membership data bases. UnionWare is hard at work customizing their system software to accommodate our specifications as well as importing data. Weekly conferences are held between UnionWare and designated Lodge staff which continually updates the status of the project. Administrative staff in the office have begun testing completed portions of the system and provided feedback to UnionWare. The project is on track to be implemented early next year.

A very important part of this project will be the change on how the current posting system will work for each field member. More information will soon be provided both by mail and posted on the website.

As a small part of the office system upgrades it was necessary to also upgrade Lodge 359’s website. The upgrade includes a Members Only section, it is in this area that members will be able to check their board position, post their names after completing jobs, pay their dues etc. The members only section will hopefully go live in February 2016.

Fortis LNG Tank

Bantrel Constructors began civil work on the newest LNG Tank project for Fortis BC on Tilbury Island during the second half of 2014. Lodge 359 Boilermakers were dispatched to start work February 10, 2015 with five members on the initial hire. This project was the first to utilize the new Tank Letter provision in the BCA collective agreement. There have been several different hire dates throughout this year steadily increasing the crew size which now stands at thirty five, this includes Fitter/Riggers, Welders and Apprentices.

Bantrel conducts regular Labour Management meetings on site similar to what Bechtel had in place for the Rio Tinto Alcan Project. These meetings provide Fortis BC, Bantrel Constructors and the Building Trade Unions with the opportunity to discuss the progression of work, safety and any other issues that may arise.

After only seven short months the tank is nearing the point that the outer roof will soon be raised, tentatively scheduled for late October. In anticipation of this move a nightshift was recently added to assist in completing the construction of the roof before it is air lifted. Fortis BC and Bantrel Constructors have graciously agreed to release a few photos of the tank to be used in our newsletter, we sincerely thank both for their assistance.

Approximate dimensions are 155 feet in diameter and 145 feet in height. Once the outer roof is in place work will commence on the inner 9% nickel tank.

Photos of Fortis LNG courtesy of Lynn Gould and Danny Benvegnu, Bantrel Constructors.

Collective Bargaining Review

In the fall of 2013 we asked for field member proposals to address the upcoming expiry of the 2011-2014 BCA Collective Agreement. We had members send proposals via fax, mail, and also use the designated email account we had set up specifically for this purpose. The Business Manager then struck a bargaining committee including both office staff and field members. We then met with the BCA in January of 2014 to outline the rules of bargaining and to set dates, times, and locations of bargaining.

In parallel to this we also had collective bargaining going on with 4 different Boilermaker shops throughout the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014, with four different bargaining committees comprising of our Union staff, Shop Stewards, and employees depending on the shop size.

After bargaining through January, February and March of 2014 we had a tentative agreement with the BCA. The Business Manager and BCA Bargaining Committee then travelled throughout BC to discuss the agreement with the membership. An all-mail ballot followed and we were successful in ratifying an industry leading six year term with increases that have been well above our industry standard. This agreement was then used not only by us, but also by other building trade unions as a basis for increases to the CLR agreements that followed. No one in the office is quite sure of the last time we were able to negotiate an agreement with our BCA contractor group before the CLR contractor group, and be the Trade to lead the industry in setting wages and benefits. We do not however believe that this not has been accomplished within the last two decades.

The CLR agreement was also due in 2014 and a deal was struck between all the Building Trades (the Bargaining Council) and CLR to bargain a two year extension with only the wage package and the Heritage Day holiday on the table. We couldn’t reach an agreement that we felt the Union could recommend to our membership and this triggered an arbitration clause for the Boilermakers. In the arbitration we were successful in getting the same hourly rate increase as the BCA agreement for the two year period, but were unsuccessful keeping the Heritage Day Holiday in the CLR agreement. We fought the Heritage Day issue at a subsequent arbitration hearing and were again unsuccessful in our attempt to claim the Heritage Day should remain as it did in the BCA negotiations. We will be back to the CLR bargaining table soon for another round with this contractor group in 2016.

We were also successfully obtaining increases and improvements for the four shops in the spring and into the summer of 2014, and have since ratified another shop agreement in 2015 after a first vote was rejected and some further improvements and changes to the company Health &Welfare Plan were bargained. We will have two shop agreement due in 2016, four in 2017, and another two in 2018, then it all begins again.

The Quality Control Council of Canada began bargaining with the NDTMA contractor group in the winter and spring of 2015. We jointly administer this agreement with the UA170 Pipefitter Union in the Pacific Region. Each Union has a regional representative from British Columbia that is part of the bargaining committee. This is a National agreement across Canada, with a regional component that involves wages, travel, overtime and some other monetary and non-monetary items that are specific to each region and the industries they service. Member proposals were sought in the fall of 2014, with bargaining committee members meeting to decide which proposals were a national item, a regional item, and what increases we would be looking for in each region. Unfortunately, during the early rounds of bargaining with the contractor group the bottom fell out of the oil industry and this affected bargaining across the country. We managed to gain modest increases in the Pacific Region and had some priority items for our membership addressed, but only ratified the Pacific Region by a very close margin. The Central and Atlantic Regions were both voted down at first, then passed at a second vote in which they received some slight gains over the original proposals. The Prairie Region, which was hit hardest by the drop in oil prices, had to bargain at the same time that the building trade unions in the region were taking cuts or just maintaining what they already have. They have voted down 2 proposals to date, and are entering into mediation to try and resolve their differences there.

We would like to extend our appreciation and our thanks to all those Shop Stewards, bargaining committee members, and membership who get involved submitting proposals, sitting at negotiations, informing and educating the membership, and who often put in many hours of their own time to make sure that their Brothers and Sisters benefit from collective bargaining.

Grievances and Arbitrations

Without going into any great detail there were a significant number of grievances processed over the past few years for both field and shop members. The most difficult came out of the two projects in the Kitimat area. Settlements on the most part have been concluded on a without prejudice basis which means the details must be kept strictly confidential between the parties involved. For information purposes only the following is a bullet point list of actions since 2012.

  • Kemano; group grievance regarding Employer use of non-bargaining unit employees to perform work which was within the jurisdiction of the bargaining group; settled prior to arbitration in favour of the Boilermakers.
  • Kitimat; termination grievance; withdrawn by the Union after investigation, determination was without merit.
  • Kitimat; termination grievance; proceeded to arbitration and was settled in favour of the Boilermakers.
  • Kitimat; termination grievance; settled prior to arbitration in favour of the Boilermakers.
  • Kitimat; termination grievance; withdrawn by the Union after investigation, determination was without merit.
  • Kitimat; group grievance regarding travel expenses; settled prior to arbitration in favour of the Boilermakers.
  • Kitimat; group overtime grievance; settled prior to arbitration in favour of the Boilermakers.
  • Kitimat; group turnaround grievance; settled prior to arbitration in favour of the Boilermakers.
  • Chetwynd; group turnaround grievance; settled prior to arbitration in favour of the Boilermakers.
  • Chetwynd; discharge grievance; settled during mediation in favour of the Boilermakers.
  • Langley; application of the timing of a wage increase grievance; settled prior to arbitration in favour of the Boilermakers.
  • Penticton; termination grievance, withdrawn by the Union after investigation, determination was without merit.
  • Penticton; employee recall rights grievance; withdrawn by the Union after investigation, determination was without merit.
  • Penticton; attendance management policy grievance; settled prior to arbitration in favour of the Boilermakers.

Fraternally, Lodge 359 Staff

May 2015 Newsletter

Over the past few years members have been requesting that they be provided new and improved ways of accessing information and services with the Union, and as our current membership and dispatch software systems are not as stable as they once were it is time to act.

A little over a year ago two software providers (UnionWare and QTrades) were approached to demonstrate their systems and provide a quote to Lodge 359, both providershave excellent products that can be tailored to suit our needs. Once the Lodge staff made the decision to accept one vendor over the other then the next step was to seek membership approval. A motion was put on the floor of the March membership meeting to make the purchase, the motion was accepted and subsequently approved by International headquarters.

On Thursday April 30, 2015 Lodge 359 signed a contract with software developer UnionWare (www.unionware.com) to provide the Boilermakers with UnionWare Enterprise Core, Dispatch Module, Memberlink Module, Transferlink Module and Online Dues Payment Module. These will be the programs that run the Lodge 359’s membership database, our target is to go live with the software change on February 1, 2016.

Although all of the components listed above are integral to the operations of the Union office, the module that will be of most interest to members is Memberlink, a web based portal accessible from any device with internet connectivity. For those members without internet connectivity you will still be able to post through the Posting line and perform any other business as you do now. Memberlink will be built into the 359 website which will also be redesigned this year and hopefully launched by the end of September.

Below is a summary of Memberlink’s features.

  • Memberlink is secure and encrypted, using industry standard security protocols.
  • Member link handles all aspects of registering for a new account,logging in,changing your password, retrieving a lost user name, and retrieving a lost password.
  • Members can see what information the union has on file for them : name, address, phone numbers, email addresses, registration number, status, etc.
  • Members can request an address change.
  • Members can change their phone numbers and email addresses.If an email address is provided, dispatch information for jobs accepted will be emailed directly to the member once the member is dispatched.
  • Members can see their work history.
  • The union can target any type of content (news, forms, FAQs) to the entire membership or to a specific membership group.
  • Members (Field and Shop) will be able to post their names to the out of work list on line. They will have to specify;
  • Which board they want to post onto;
  • What day they were laid off;
  • What shift they were working when they were laid off;
  • Whether or not they worked 40 hours or more.
  • The dispatcher will be informed of all members who post in online; allowing the dispatcher toreview the postings for accuracy and compliance, any member found posting before they have finished their job will be subject to established disciplinary procedures.
  • Members will be able to see their position on the out of work list and whether or not they are currently tagged out, you will not be able to see other members on the list.
  • A member will be able to tag out sick or on vacation. In order to remove the tag, the member must call the general office posting line.
  • Members will be able to view open job opportunities.
  • Members will be able to see their payment history and how much they owe (if any).
  • Members will be able to make payments on line using their credit card.

Members will be able to upload a picture of themselves for the union’s records.This is another large undertaking similar to the opening of our new building. A step into the future providing better service and interactive tools for the entire membership of Lodge 359. With any change there will be bumps in the road, we expect that it will take some time for the members and staff to become comfortable with the new systems, but fully believe that all will served well by making this move.

Fraternally, Lodge 359 Staff