Lodge 359 Summer BBQ

Please click here to view the details of this years summer BBQ.

To date there has been a very low RRSP response. If not enough members and family register, the event may be cancelled. Please contact the general office as soon as possible if you plan on attending.

Lodge 359 Staff

April 2017 Newsletter

The Liberals are Throwing Injured Workers Under the Bus (Again)

You may have heard that Christy Clark has proposed new legislation that promises employers they will receive millions of dollars earmarked for injured workers.

The way the compensation system works is that employers pay an assessment per $100 of payroll into an “Accident Fund”. In return for this, workers give up the right to sue their employers but are supposed to be guaranteed benefits if they are injured on the job. Employers like this system; it keeps them safe from multi-million dollar lawsuits for negligent operation or dangerous workplaces.

After the Liberals came to power in 2001, they immediately attacked the Workers Compensation system. They took away many rights for injured workers and saved the employers hundreds of millions of dollars by reducing injured worker benefits. They even renamed it WorkSafeBC (rather than SafeworkBC) to shift the emphasis for safety to workers and away from employers.

Just a few of the changes that Christy Clark and the Liberals made:

  • No more pensions for life, just to age 65.
  • Benefits changed from 75% of gross to 90% of net!
  • Those most seriously disabled and living on their WCB pensions had the cost of living increase limited to 1% BELOW the cost of living and never more than 4% no matter how high inflation goes.
  • Canada Pension Plan-Disability is now clawed back by 50%
  • Loss of earnings pensions were made very difficult to get, again for those who are so disabled by injury or occupational disease that they have to live on their WCB pensions, and a loss of income of 25% or less is deemed too insignificant to compensate!

Under the Liberals they even made a policy that employers who won their appeals would get interest on their awards but injured workers who had been living in poverty for years while they fought their appeals would get no interest at all when they finally won!

Now they have done it again. In blatant pandering to the business community Christy Clark and the Liberals have promised that if re-elected they will give even more to employers. The WCB has created surpluses by denying benefits to workers and reducing the benefits that they do get even if accepted. Now there is no room improving those benefits.

Stan Guenther of our office put it this way in a recent povnet post:

The WCB can manage the Accident Fund, including any surplus, in a way that might directly benefit injured workers, i.e. by easing some of the more draconian policies, by paying interest on retroactive entitlements, etc. etc. However, since 2002, the goal has been to ease the burden on employers, a goal well-achieved by the WCB. By forcing the WCB to refund surplus to employers, that power to revise policy to the benefit of injured workers will be limited, and in that regard, clearly the amendment will affect the benefits payable to injured workers. Again.

In 1986 the Socred government of Bill Bennett made a one-time payout to the employers of $99 million from the Accident Fund. There was such a huge uproar from the Labour Community and the NDP that the premier had to set up a Commission of Enquiry about the WCB. The result of this commission was a complete restructuring of the WCB so that it was fairer to workers.

Now they are proposing not a “one-time” payback, but a payback every year! We should all be screaming bloody murder about this outrageous transfer of wealth from workers to employers as a result of whittling down the compensation system.

We all need to remember this: only a change in provincial government will carry with it the possibility of the broad and significant steps required to protect injured workers.

By Sarah O’Leary

2017 Skookumchuck Outage

Late in 2016 Paper Excellence (Skookumchuck) contacted several building trades Unions regarding their 2017 April/May outage. Paper Excellence Representative Mr. Pat Widmeyer stressed how important it was to them that they try to condense their outage as much as possible. Both Union and non-union employers were invited to bid the major work which is a new economizer for the Recovery Boiler.

The Boilermakers agreed to cooperate with the request in order to do what was necessary to insure our work. A revised break schedule similar to what has been tried on other projects was provided. Two half hours breaks, all hours paid will be taken on each workday, please click here to view the Paper Excellence letter. LML was the successful bidder.

Boilermakers Support Local BMX Racer

Boilermakers Lodge 359 along with the Canadian International have sponsored local British Colombia BMX Racer Adicus Bird.

The Comox Valley newspaper has written a article about this talented young lady, the story can be read by clicking here.

Shortly after receiving her sponsorship Adicus sent the Union the following message;

Dear Boilermakers,

My race season is just starting up now and I will be attending the spring nationals from May 12th to May 14th in Chilliwack. I’d like to invite any of your members to come out to see me race on Sunday the 14th. Since the weather hasn’t been good lately (mostly rain), I have training nearly every day at the gym or indoors on my race bike. Also I am working on my website now and it should be up in the next few weeks

Thank you all very much for the donation and the banner!!!

Adicus Bird

Information Regarding Jurisdictional Disputes

 As we are all aware there have been times while working on a specific job site for a signatory contractor when it has been discovered that work in which appears to belong to the jurisdiction of the Boilermakers is being performed by another trade. We have all heard of this scenario or witnessed this ourselves and all thought that something needs to be done to address the situation.

Contained in Article 6.00 of both the CLRA and BCA Standard Provincial Agreements are the processes in which assignments of work are awarded, as well as how adjudication of disputes regarding improper assignments of work are handled.

This process has been utilized many times in the past and has had great success with ensuring our trade boundaries are protected and adhered to. However, there have been instances in which aspects of this Article have not been complied with or simply ignored and the start of a jurisdictional dispute is then created.

In British Columbia since 1978 The Jurisdictional Assignment Plan of the British Columbia Construction Industry or JAPlan has been the forum utilized by the trades for adjudication of jurisdictional disputes. Where there is a disagreement between two or more unions relating to a contractor’s assignment of specific work, application can be made to the JAPlan for a determination as to the appropriate work assignment.

In brief, the intent of creating the JAPlan was to ensure that there was a mechanism to address disputes over work assignments without strikes and work stoppages on the job site, and to eliminate the unnecessary delays and expenses that can occur from such disputes.

Maintenance disputes however are not adjudicated using the JAPlan. For issues that arise regarding jurisdictional disputes in maintenance, the only course of action that can properly address the concern is the grievance procedure outlined in our collective agreements, which unfortunately can take a long time and most certainly the work which was in dispute has most likely been completed.

Something we all need to be mindful of when it comes to a dispute regarding our jurisdiction is how we conduct ourselves on the job while waiting for a decision. It can be very easy to become consumed with the thought of simply taking the work back through whatever means possible, or slowing or impeding parts of our other work until we are satisfied that our concerns are being addressed. Unfortunately taking actions such as these creates further barriers and difficulties with our clients who ultimately pay the price.

It is imperative that we respect the processes which are in place to ensure that we don’t create an even bigger issue than the jurisdictional dispute and to show our clients that we are worth hiring every step of the way. In other words, we need to continue working as though nothing has happened and let the process take it’s course.

Actions to Take When Confronted With a Possible Dispute Over Jurisdiction:

  • Talk to your Job Steward and identify the work that is considered in dispute. (often there are mark-up documents that can address certain concerns)
  • Contact the Union to ensure the administration is aware so that if required, an application can be filled out to the JAPlan to request a hearing. Timing is crucial as an Umpire will not hear matters regarding work that has been completed (on occasion certain disputes may be remedied through a phone call).
  • Be patient. It can sometimes feel as though nothing is happening or materializing fast enough. There is a lot going on behind the scenes to have disputes heard and hopefully awarded in our favor.

Ensuring Trade boundaries are respected has always been somewhat of a struggle but nonetheless is one of the most important aspects that must be undertaken to ensure future employment opportunities for Boilermakers.

Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement

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 catagory.

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
Totals52272671113136
BM - 01 170000017
BM - 02318440047
BM - 034101010429
BM - 040200103
BM - IP0712210940
2017 Apprenticeship Training Programs
Course TypeLocationDates
Apprentice Level 2 UpgradeBCITOctober 16 to November 17
Apprentice Level 2 UpgradeBCITNovember 20 to December 22

Site C Update

Voith Hydro Canada was awarded the $470-millon Site C Turbines & Generators contract on April 6, 2017. Voith will design, supply and install six vertical turbines, six generators, plus associated equipment. About one hundred fifty workers will be on site during the peak of installation, all Trades included.

In 2015 Voith Hydro Canada negotiated a labour agreement with the Bargaining Council of British Columbia Building Trades Unions (BCBCBTU). The BCBCBTU represents construction craft unions in BC. A copy of the collective agreement can be viewed or downloaded on the “Membership” page of our website.

Business Representatives Jordan Streng and Dave French visited the work site Monday April 3rd as Voith prepared to start constructing a temporary fabrication shop. The shop is to be completed by the end of August. Eight to twelve Boilermakers are expected to be on site as early as September of this year for up to two years of fabrication before the powerhouse installation begins.

The procurement, fabrication and erection of six penstocks each 10 meters in diameter and 80 meters in length have not been awarded at this point. Aecon, Bechtel, Kiewit and Peace River Hydro Partners are all on the short list of bidders.

Lodge 359 Staff

Manulife Direct Pay

A few issues have been identified regarding the new Manulife direct pay system. Please click here to read how these issues have been addressed.

If you have any concerns please contact the administrators office immediately, 1.877.926.4537

Lodge 359 Staff

Extended Health Care Claims Moving To Manulife

If you have any questions regarding the extended health care claims conversion to Manulife, please call the Plan Administrators office at 1-877-926-4537 (Bilsland Griffith).

Please click here to view the letter mailed to members regarding the conversion.

Please click here to view the Manulife brochure.

Lodge 359 Staff

2017 Boilermakers Lodge 359 Golf Tournament

Please click here for information on the 2017 golf tournament.

Executive Board Nomination and Election Notice – Recording Secretary

Notice to all members:

Please be advised of the upcoming nomination and election for Executive Board Officer, Recording Secretary.

Nominations will be held during the April 5th general membership meeting in Langley between 7 and 9 pm.

The election will be held during the May 3rd general membership meeting in Langley between 7 and 9 pm.

Lodge 359 President

BCA Enabling Proposal Ballot Count

The BCA enabling proposal ballot count was tallied today, the result is as follows;

343 ballots were returned.

211 accepted the proposal.

128 rejected the proposal.

4 ballots were spoiled.

The enabling proposal has been accepted. The tentative date for enacting the proposal is March 5, 2017

Thank you to the balloting committee, Ross Kirkpatrick, Jim Wymer, Christine Hoffmann, Maureen Hellmann and Ken Noga.

Welder Performance Qualification Testing

On February 20, 2017 Boilermakers Lodge 359 received it’s Certificate of Recognition from the BC Safety Authority.

What does this mean? It means that Lodge 359 can now provide qualification performance pressure weld testing for our members at the Joe Kiwior – Ivan Shook Training Centre.

Any Lodge 359 member that wants to upgrade their welders log book and test should make arrangements through Gord Weel or his assistant Jamie White by calling the general office during regular business hours, 778.369.3590.

Lodge 359 Apprenticeship and Training

Boilermakers Support Local BMX Racer

Boilermakers Lodge 359 along with the Canadian International have sponsored local British Colombia BMX Racer Adicus Bird.

The Comox Valley newspaper has written a article about this talented young lady, the story can be read by clicking here.

Lodge 359 Staff

January 2017 Newsletter

Helping Out The Luyt Family

On December 31st, 2016 I was in contact with my neighbours the Gotro family in Kamloops who had lost their 12 year old Grandson in November of 2016. Kai Gotro was a special needs child who passed away at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. From my understanding, Jean Gotro was somehow in contact with the Luyt family in Mission. The Luyt’s have a 2 1/2 year old daughter named Leila who is also special needs. The Gotro family donated their medical bed to the Luyt family but were facing a few obstacles in getting the bed to Mission from Kamloops. Some local cartage outfits were called to price out a delivery and the least expensive was approximately $800.00. I contacted Jim Wymer and discussed this situation which was followed by Jim’s usual reply, “set everything up with the families, I’ll find a trailer to fit the job”. The Gotro family was concerned about the care of this $7500 bed, stating that it has 2 electric motors to work the raising/tilting functions, and they wanted to make sure that the bed would not be out in the elements.  Jim sourced out an enclosed trailer from his ice racing friends, who gladly donated the use of the trailer for this cause.

We then reached out on Boilermaker social media sites looking for some volunteer manpower to help out loading and unloading the trailer, and it wasn’t long before we had enough Boilermakers willing to help. From Kamloops, we had Brothers Shawn Rohatyn, Jim Wymer, my 2 son’s Cale Giese (UA 170 Steamfitter Apprentice) and Andrew Giese (Electrician). From the Mission/Abbotsford area, Brothers Craig Dunnett, Mark Buss and Sat Chatta.

Next was a phone called to Gord Weel to see if we could store the trailer in the 359 shop until we could deliver the bed, and with no questions asked the trailer had a temporary home overnight. The bed was now set to be delivered the day after the January regular monthly Union meeting. The delivery in Mission was a little trickier than the loading in Kamloops due to the amount of stairs that had to be maneuvered, but we managed to get the job done without scuffing any walls…lol. It’s always nice to help out in communities where families are in need and all who contributed were happy to do so. A special thank you goes out to all involved in assisting the Luyt family in securing this bed for their daughter.

   

   

Sincerely and fraternally,

J’onn Giese

Boilermakers Lodge 359 Sponsorship

The Langley Lightning Girls Atom C Hockey Team would like to thank the Boilermakers Union and their members for the generous donation of $500.00 to the league this year.

The money donated paid for practice jersey’s for each girl, displaying Boilermakers Lodge 359 on the their backs.

The donation also supported the team’s attendance to the “Angel’s on Ice” Winter Tournament.

The team is very appreciative and wear their jersey’s proudly.

     

Information Regarding Jurisdictional Disputes

 As we are all aware there have been times while working on a specific job site for a signatory contractor when it has been discovered that work in which appears to belong to the jurisdiction of the Boilermakers is being performed by another trade. We have all heard of this scenario or witnessed this ourselves and all thought that something needs to be done to address the situation.

Contained in Article 6.00 of both the CLRA and BCA Standard Provincial Agreements are the processes in which assignments of work are awarded, as well as how adjudication of disputes regarding improper assignments of work are handled.

This process has been utilized many times in the past and has had great success with ensuring our trade boundaries are protected and adhered to. However, there have been instances in which aspects of this Article have not been complied with or simply ignored and the start of a jurisdictional dispute is then created.

In British Columbia since 1978 The Jurisdictional Assignment Plan of the British Columbia Construction Industry or JAPlan has been the forum utilized by the trades for adjudication of jurisdictional disputes. Where there is a disagreement between two or more unions relating to a contractor’s assignment of specific work, application can be made to the JAPlan for a determination as to the appropriate work assignment.

In brief, the intent of creating the JAPlan was to ensure that there was a mechanism to address disputes over work assignments without strikes and work stoppages on the job site, and to eliminate the unnecessary delays and expenses that can occur from such disputes.

Maintenance disputes however are not adjudicated using the JAPlan. For issues that arise regarding jurisdictional disputes in maintenance, the only course of action that can properly address the concern is the grievance procedure outlined in our collective agreements, which unfortunately can take a long time and most certainly the work which was in dispute has most likely been completed.

Something we all need to be mindful of when it comes to a dispute regarding our jurisdiction is how we conduct ourselves on the job while waiting for a decision. It can be very easy to become consumed with the thought of simply taking the work back through whatever means possible, or slowing or impeding parts of our other work until we are satisfied that our concerns are being addressed. Unfortunately taking actions such as these creates further barriers and difficulties with our clients who ultimately pay the price.

It is imperative that we respect the processes which are in place to ensure that we don’t create an even bigger issue than the jurisdictional dispute and to show our clients that we are worth hiring every step of the way. In other words, we need to continue working as though nothing has happened and let the process take it’s course.

Actions to Take When Confronted With a Possible Dispute Over Jurisdiction:

    • Talk to your Job Steward and identify the work that is considered in dispute. (often there are mark-up documents that can address certain concerns)
    • Contact the Union to ensure the administration is aware so that if required, an application can be filled out to the JAPlan to request a hearing. Timing is crucial as an Umpire will not hear matters regarding work that has been completed. (on occasion certain disputes may be remedied through a phone call)
    • Be patient. It can sometimes feel as though nothing is happening or materializing fast enough. There is a lot going on behind the scenes to have disputes heard and hopefully awarded in our favor.

Ensuring Trade boundaries are respected has always been somewhat of a struggle but nonetheless is one of the most important aspects that must be undertaken to ensure future employment opportunities for Boilermakers.

Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement

The Boilermakers annual Christmas meeting was held December 7th at the Cascades Casino in Langley. During the meeting the second annual Cody Brothers Bursary award of $400 was presented to Kyle Jenkins by Brother Rick Cody on behalf of his brothers,. The award is intended to recognize an individuals commitment to the apprenticeship program.

Brothers Bill Rogers and Greg Pierce were also thanked for their service as Trustees on the Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement Committee. Brother Bill Rogers receiving a plaque and jacket at the Christmas meeting and Brother Greg Pierce receiving a plaque and jacket at the pension dinner in September.

An Aerial Boom Lift course was held October 19th with 5 members receiving certification on both Scissor Lift and Aerial Boom Lift.

   

   

   

   

A Forklift Certification course was held November 19th with 11 members receiving Forklift Certification

Probationary Journeyperson Program

Apprenticeship and Training is now overseeing 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 catagory.

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
Totals58272411139142
BM - 01 312100034
BM - 02246441039
BM - 03313821330
BM - 040001102
BM - IP0611410637

The table below is the Apprentice training schedule for 2017.

2017 Apprenticeship Training Programs
Course TypeLocationDates
Apprentice Level 4 UpgradeJoe Kiwior/Ivan Shook Training CentreJanuary 3 to January 13
Apprentice Level 2 UpgradeBCITJanuary 9 to February 10
Apprentice Level 2 UpgradeJoe Kiwior/Ivan Shook Training CentreJanuary 16 to February 17
Foundation CourseBCITFebruary 2017 to August 2017
Apprentice Level 3 UpgradeBCITFebruary 14 to March 17
Apprentice Level 2 UpgradeBCITOctober 16 to November 17

My Old WCB(*1) Injury is So Bad I Can`t Work

What do I do now?

If you have an old work-related injury that you are receiving a WCB pension for, and you are continuing to work, the pension you are getting is likely a PFI (permanent functional impairment) pension and it is meant to compensate you for the odd day here and there that you may miss due to the injury.

The WCB calls this “normal fluctuations” of the condition.

So for example if you have a 5% pension for a back injury you had some years ago, you would not go back to the WCB to seek wage loss benefits if you missed two days from work due to a minor flare-up.

If however your back gets so bad that you are off for the next 3 months, or if it gets so bad that you will never work again, this is called a “reopening.” In this case you need to see your doctor FIRST. You need to have the support of your doctor in order to get a reopening.

Your doctor should be prepared to use the magic WCB words, that there has been a “significant change” in your condition; that is, that it is something beyond the normal fluctuations to be expected, and for which you got your PFI pension.

Here’s an example:

Shirley has a 2.5% PFI pension for chronic pain in her right arm. She got modified duties at work and while she does suffer with pain and takes pain medications, she has managed to continue working for the last 4 years.

Over a few weeks however Shirley’s arm has started aching more than usual. If it is just sore for a day or two, that will not get her a reopening, but Shirley needs to keep working and her arm gets worse and worse. She goes to her family physician who says she needs to take two weeks off to rest the arm and get physiotherapy.

At the end of two weeks her arm is no better and her doctor sends in a Physician’s Progress Report saying that Shirley needs to see a specialist and asking the WCB to expedite an appointment.

(*1) Legally, it’s still the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). In 2002, sweeping changes were made to the
workers’ compensation system (see our paper: Insult to Injury), which significantly reduced benefits for
injured workers. It was at that time the WCB rebranded itself to be “WorkSafeBC”, which is a marketing
name, not a legal name. For us, “WorkSafeBC” represents the erosion of benefits for injured workers and
the name, in our opinion, puts an onus on workers to ‘work safe’ rather than on employers to provide
safe work. So for us, it remains the WCB.

At this point the WCB will need to adjudicate whether Shirley is entitled to a reopening. Hopefully, with her doctor’s support, she will get one and will receive wage loss benefits for the period of time that she is off work.

(This is a totally different situation than one where Shirley had a new injury to her already sore arm; this would be a new claim, not a reopening.)

Here’s an important point: if your pension is just for chronic pain, the WCB may often say that “pain is pain” and so it’s “just a fluctuation.” This is just plain wrong, and it is NOT their official policy. If you have pain that is bothersome but you are able to continue working, and then it eventually gets so bad that you can no longer work, that is a “significant change” and you should get a reopening. We have to argue these appeals all the time. Remember, don’t take no for an answer. If your condition has become disabling and they won’t give you a reopening, appeal it!

One other warning however: if you have a WCB condition, for example a bad back, and you do something outside of the workplace that aggravates it, like picking up your 25 lb. dog, the WCB will say that is not their responsibility. Even though you could pick up your 25 lb. dog without hurting yourself before you got injured on the job, if the activity that irritates it happens away from work, the WCB will not cover it. So be careful!

News Story Courtesy of;
Rush Crane Guenther, Barristers & Solicitors