Field Member Health & Welfare Self Pay Subsidy

This news article is very important to all construction field members, please take the time to read it and share it with your Union Brothers and Sisters.

Our Field Member Health & Welfare Plan is highly subsidized, in essence, those who contribute the greater number of man hours to the Plan help to defer the costs of those who contribute a lesser amount of man hours. Both active, retired and disabled members are entitled to subsidies under certain conditions. Our retired field members receive a higher subsidy than the actives and I think you will agree that they deserve it.

When a members hour bank is insufficient to cover the monthly cost of benefits, he or she will receive a self pay notice in the mail. The member is asked two questions on which type of payment to choose in order for benefits to continue. Question one is regarding Subsidized Self-Payment, question two is regarding Unsubsidized Self-Payment.

If your choice is Subsidized Self-Payment you must sign and date the declaration certifying that “During the work month of   XXXX  I was not employed or, if I was, it was only with an employer required to make contributions on your behalf to the Boilermakers Lodge 359 Health & Welfare Fund.”

The Subsidized Self-Payment certification then goes on to say that “A false statement will result in having to make full retroactive restitution of premiums at the higher rate shown below and may result in my coverage being terminated.

Each month, the Plan’s Administrator, Bilsland Griffith, sends copies of the self pay notices to the Union. One Union Representative who is normally a Trustee to the Plans reviews the signed self pay notices and checks individual member dispatch records in order to see if they worked during the self pay month, or to question whether the member was entitled to a subsidized self payment. If the Representative has reason to believe that the member was working outside of the Trade, that member will be contacted by the Representative and questioned about their employment history outside of the Union.

As you can imagine it is very difficult to accurately police subsidized self pays. The Plan has always relied on its members to be truthful and claim their self pay accordingly. In essence, short of requiring each member to supply a copy of their Income Tax Statements and their T4’s to the Plan there is no full proof means to insure 100% compliance. The last thing that the Plans Trustees would ever want to do is eliminate the subsidies, so the next time you sign and date the self pay notice, keep in mind that your decision to choose subsidized or unsubsidized self payments is of paramount importance.

There are two reasons why this news article is being posted on the website at this time, one is for the general information of our field members, the other is because one of our members was just confronted about claiming the subsidy when not entitled to it.

The member that was confronted will remain unnamed, but it is very important to note that the member said that they were unaware of the rules surrounding subsidized self pays. Just as was described above, this member did receive a self pay notice, either chose to read the terms or not, and then selfishly claimed the subsidy. The member also felt that it was unfair that he/she would now be charged the full unsubsidized rate retroactively for the months that he/she was employed with an employer that was NOT required to make contributions on his/her behalf to the Boilermakers Lodge 359 Health & Welfare Fund. I think that you will agree that this member not only cheated the Plan, but has placed the subsidized system for all members in jeopardy.

During the month of June each year, the Health & Welfare Trustees receive a report from the administrator, the report is the annual cost of benefits analysis for the previous year and projections for the current year. Below are a list of facts regarding subsidies from the report for your review.

2016 Self Payment Subsidy For Active Field Members
Plan A - SubsidizedPlan B SubsidizedPlan A UnsubsidizedPlan B UnsubsidizedOption E-Disabled
Total Cost of Benefits$292.90$217.29$292.90$217.29$212.80
Monthly Self Pay Amount$200.00$168.00$413.00$343.00$0.00
Average Number of Members Enrolled8762013
Annual Subsidy of Self Pay Option$96,992.00$3,549.00-$2,882.00$0.00$33,197.00

A footnote to the table above;

  • Using an average of 137 hours per month, the 2016 cost per hour is $2.12, including Plan management costs.
  •  The Hourly contribution rate is $3.49 (since November 1, 2002). Accordingly, $1.37 per hour is used to offset the cost of the subsidies for Field Pensioners, Self Paying Actives and Disabled members.
  • Based on 137 hours, a Field Member contributed $155.36 per month to the cost of the subsidies in 2016.
2016 Self Payment Subsidy For Field Pensioners
Plan A - SubsidizedPlan B SubsidizedPlan A UnsubsidizedPlan B Unsubsidized$2000.00 Life Only
Total Cost of Benefits$288.85$232.19$320.05$0.00$4.80
Monthly Self Pay Amount$135.00$111.00$182.00$0.00$0.00
Average Number of Members Enrolled391152036
Annual Subsidy of Self Pay Option$721,885.00$21,815.00$3,313.00$0.00$2,074.00


Ken Noga
Assistant Business Manager

January 2018 Newsletter

2017 Children’s Christmas Party

For the first time since 2010 the Lodge held a Christmas Party for the kids complete with our very own Sandy McKimmie in the role of Santa Clause. There was food, gifts and crafts for all to enjoy. Special thank you to Sat Chatta, Kyle Lepitre and Jordan Streng for setting up and putting together the whole event.





















December 2017 Monthly Meeting

The Christmas membership meeting was once again held at the Cascades Casino Hotel & Convention Centre located in Langley. This years meeting was slightly smaller than most with only about 65 members in attendance. As per past practice service pins were handed out to those members with 25 or more continuous years in the Union.

2018 Taxable Travel

It has come to the Attention of Lodge 359 that employers may have started taxing members’ Initial/Terminal travel fares starting January 2018. It should be noted that this is being done in a manner that is now consistent with the Income Tax Act, and unfortunately there was no information passed along by our employer groups identifying that this would be the practice going into 2018.  We encourage all members to keep a detailed mileage record for each job they attend as well as fuel and travel related expense receipts for their personal records. We also encourage all members to ask their income tax providers what costs will be deductible in respect to this new taxation so that all relateable expense receipts can be submitted come tax time. It is our intention during the next round of bargaining to engage in talks with the employer associations and discuss the possibility of changing the language relating to travel expenses to more accurately reflect the current Income Tax Act language.


All members are advised to either call the general office or log onto their MemberLink accounts and make sure that they are posted and that dispatch has their current phone number. Although there is no rumour list available yet, by all accounts 2018 looks like a busy year starting with a large outage at the Chevron Refinery in Burnaby.

Health & Welfare/Pension Plan Trustee in Training

The Health & Welfare/Pension Plan Trustees are looking for one new Trustee in Training. The Trustees would like to thank Jesse Lilburn for his interest but unfortunately Jesse has decided to relinquish the position. The Trustees request that any Field member whom may be interested in the position to call the Boilermakers general office 778.369.3590. Names will be taken up until the 5th of March.


The AHC annual general meeting was held at the IBEW 213 Hall on Tuesday January 9th 2018. Part of the agenda was discussing AHC/CHC’s negotiations with the current NDP government that reaffirmed any new projects with BC Hydro will be using the John Hart PLA as a standard agreement over the AHC/CHC agreement. As you may be aware of, the current AHC/CHC agreement will expire with the completion of Revelstoke 6 which is on the table for the near future. BC Hydro also divulged that over the next 10 years they will be spending 10 billion dollars in the power generation sector alone, which would exclude Site C. This money would be allocated mainly for refurbishing and upgrading current hydro facilities. On a good note for the BC Building Trades, the NDP also said that CLAC has had a 16 year run and it was now time for the Building Trades.

John Hart Dam

The first quarterly meeting at the John Hart Hydro Generating Station in Campbell River on January 11, 2018. The updated schedule shows the winding down  and completion around summertime 2018 with the current 6 Boilermakers on site to be wrapping up in the next couple months. When the Boilermakers put forward the question as to who would be doing the demolition once the project received final commissioning, the answer was they would follow the John Hart Agreement and were in finalizing negotiations with FMI as the contractor. The demolition would be scheduled for approximately a year from now.

Site C

Since the approval of the continuation for the Site C project in mid December 2017 we have seen a return of Boilermakers working on the fabrication of the turbine and generation components. The contractor, Group LAR will most likely be increasing manpower on the day shift to facilitate 10 to 12 members by summer 2018.

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.

A reminder to all Welders, we have an instructor at the training centre two days per week, Mondays and Tuesdays. Our instructor can provide weld performance testing in accordance with CSA B51 and ASME Section IX. Any member wishing to practice or upgrade their skills are welcome to come in any day of the week, but please call first and speak to Gord or Jamie to book a both.

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
Total Apprentices
BM - 01 220000022
BM - 021514524141
BM - 03112731428
BM - 040100001
BM - IP039410531
2017 Apprenticeship Training Programs
Course TypeLocationDates
Apprentice Level 4 UpgradeJoe Kiwior - Ivan Shook Training CentreJanuary 2018
Apprentice Level 2 UpgradeBCITJanuary 8 to February 9, 2018
Apprentice Level 3 UpgradeBCITFebruary 19 to March 23, 2018
Boilermaker FoundationBCITMarch 26 to August 31, 2018
Apprentice Level 2 UpgradeBCITOctober 9 to November 9, 2018
Apprentice Level 3 UpgradeBCITNovember 19 to December 21, 2018