December 2019 Newsletter

Update: Regarding the dissolution of the BCA of BC

We have had zero communication from the BCA regarding the dissolution of the BCA of BC despite many attempts on the Union’s part. The Union has nevertheless learned that the BCA of BC Board of Directors and employers have voted in favour of dissolving the association in BC. We have also learned that they have now taken the further step of recommending to their contractors that they should join the CLRA of BC.

We are working with our legal counsel to ensure that our members rights are protected to every extent possible, and the members have passed a motion to fund the legal costs enabling us to do that at the November meeting. The International President and the VP of Canada have also approved the funding of these legal costs. Our objective now is to follow all possible avenues in order to maintain our current industry standard Collective Agreement and to fight the unwarranted and unjust position taken by the BCA of BC and its member contractors to try and circumvent the very fundamentals of the collective bargaining process.

The Union has already filed one unfair labour practice at the BC Labour Relations Board, and we foresee others in the near future. We continue discussing the potential benefits of signing a renewed agreement as independents with individual contractors, but are also confident that the BCA Agreement as we know it can remain the industry standard agreement for the majority of our Boilermaker work no matter who the contractor’s bargaining agent may be, and this is our main focus at this time.

As more information becomes available in the new year, we will continue to provide updates.

Lower Mainland Tank Work, Site C Dam, Pembina Prince Rupert Propane Spheres

We are already experiencing issues supplying manpower to these projects. We need the membership to rethink where their pay cheques may be coming from for the next few years, and to start looking beyond the maintenance shutdowns that we are familiar with here in BC, and start planning around longer term jobs like the ones above. Although we are actively seeking to have these jobs filled by current members, the reality is that if members continue to refuse these jobs, they will have to be filled by others including travel cards, projos, retirees, and permits. The worst case scenario is that if our contractors can’t fill manpower requirements, the owner/client community may look elsewhere to fill the void.

The Union is now looking at a welder apprenticeship program that will fit in with the changes to the new Technical Safety BC welder program, and can assist in supplying welders to these projects. We are also actively recruiting at the welding colleges and trade shows, and have advertisements and pamphlets being utilized in various areas.

There are still spaces in the March BCIT Foundations Program also, if anyone knows of a good Boilermaker Red Seal candidate they can contact Gord Weel at our office, or BCIT directly.

Lower Mainland Tanks- over 20 tanks awarded over the next two years, with 6 in Richmond already started, North Van and YVR tanks beginning soon, and approximately 14 tanks at Burnaby Mountain scheduled for a summer of 2020 start.

Site C Dam- two contracts at Site C. The Penstocks and the Turbine/Generator are both ongoing and will continue to ramp up and be ongoing for the next few years.

Pembina Spheres – Ongoing work here and will continue through most of 2020.

Health & Welfare Plan Improvements

The Trustees of the Health and Welfare Plan have been hearing from many members regarding the phase out of provincial MSP premiums, and are inquiring how that effects the H&W Plan. It certainly does help the plan to defer increases to the premiums due to the increasing cost of healthcare, but there is also opportunity for improvements in the plan.

We are happy to report that the Trustees have recently voted on and passed improvements to the plan and our plan administrator, Bilsland Griffith Benefit Administrators will be sending out a detailed information package directly to plan members on these improvements.

Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Objections

Members who filed notices of objections with the CRA after their re-assessments regarding travel, overtime meals, etc.., have been receiving letters from the CRA asking for certain further information. We recommend reading your letter carefully and supplying the additional information that was not supplied originally. If you require your work history, it is available to you through your MemberLink account, and if you cannot access it there we can help you with that if you call the general office. Our Collective Agreements are all on our website and can be downloaded and then Articles cut and pasted if you require copies of any specific Articles that they are requiring.

We remain committed to following up with new and/or amended Collective Agreement language to assist the membership and our contractors in being compliant with the CRA, but until we get some understand from the CRA about what that compliance actually is, we are limited in what’s available to us other than just throwing darts at a board.

Until that time, and we suggest that going forward on every job, please track all of your expenses diligently. There are many apps available out there now that can assist greatly with this, otherwise keep everything and write down everything in a log book.

Boilermakers Lodge 359 Sticker Contest

Send us your designs and we’ll pick a winner (or winners!) in February and have some new decals made soon after.

STICKER CONTEST RULES AND REGULATIONS

  1. All artwork MUST be submitted to memberservices@boilermakers359.org by February 1, 2020.
  2. Artwork should be kept to a standard sticker size, which is roughly 2.5”x2.5”.
  3. Once submitted, all copyrights are with Lodge 359 and may be produced by us as Lodge 359 promotional materials such as stickers, clothing, window decals, hats, etc. at our exclusive discretion.
  4. All artwork submitted MUST be an original of the contest participant and have no copyrights attached.
  5. This contest is open to all Lodge 359 members or their relatives, and to all ages.
  6. Lodge 359 has the right to modify any artwork that is submitted.
  7. The winner, or winners, will be contacted and asked to come to Lodge 359 to pick up their prize.  If the winner is unable to pick up their prize then Lodge 359 will mail the prize to the winner.

Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement

The new pressure welder program is now open for applications. Members who are currently working as pressure welders and meet certification requirements can transition to this program without fees before December 3, 2020. New graduates, apprentices, and pressure welders from outside of BC can apply for a certificate without fees before January 3, 2020. Members requiring assistance can send copies of the required documentation to the Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement office and Lodge 359 will submit the application to Technical Safety B.C.

Learn more about the program and how to apply.

Pressure welders in British Columbia are required to hold this certificate of qualification. This nationally recognized program assesses a welder’s skills and abilities, ensuring all pressure welders in BC are working to the relevant codes and standards.

Link:

  1. Complete and submit the application form for Transition to Class A: https://portal.technicalsafetybc.ca/forms/FRM1692

Step 1:

Pressure welders currently working in BC can transition to a class A certificate of qualification without fees, provided they meet the below requirements and apply to transition before December 3, 2020.

If you do not apply to transition to a class A certificate of qualification by December 3, 2020, you will need to apply for a new certificate of qualification and pay the appropriate fees.

To be eligible to transition to a class A pressure welder certificate of qualification, you must:

  • have successfully completed one of the following welding performance qualification tests:
    • SMAW process using E6010 and E7018 electrodes
    • GTAW & SMAW processes using ER70S and E7018 filler metals
  • provide a copy of the appropriate pages in your logbook or other evidence demonstrating that you have welded to this procedure at least once every six months since the welding performance qualification test (View Example). Please note: if you cannot prove continuity, you will need to either contact your previous or current employer(s) to enter all related continuity dates or you can retake the welding performance qualification tests.

And provide one of the following:

  • A welder certificate of qualification with Red Seal Endorsement issued by Industry Training Authority (ITA)
  • A welder level B or A certificate of qualification with or without Red Seal Endorsement issued by ITA
  • A welder trade qualification with or without a Red Seal Endorsement issued by an apprenticeship authority in another jurisdiction of Canada
  • A Canadian credential authorizing the holder to perform pressure welding in another Canadian jurisdiction. This should be equivalent to the regulated work of a pressure welder’s certificate of qualification authorized to perform under the Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation

If you have welded to the procedures required but do not have the welding qualifications required for transition, contact Industry Training Authority BC to challenge the red seal exam. If you have a replacement logbook from the ITA, we can enter all welding performance qualification tests taken before December 3, 2019, for a fee. Any tests taken after December 3, 2019, must be entered by the Recognized Test Administrator you took the test with. To enter all related continuity dates, contact your previous or current employer(s).

Step 2:

You need to provide proof (colour photocopies) that you meet all the eligibility requirements, listed in step 1, for the certificate class you are applying for. When you submit your documents please block out any personally identifiable information such as SIN, birth date, and picture. Your full name, if applicable, should be visible on any uploaded documents.

Step 3:

You will need to complete and submit your application form for your respective class along with documents that prove you meet the minimum requirements. Submit your application online below:

Members requiring assistance with the application form please call the Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement Office and we will provide assistance to facilitate the transition. Please let me know if you have any questions or require any further information.

Boilermakers Shop Update

The shops have been steady throughout the year with limited fluctuation in the amount of members working. Peerless had disappointing summer with the uncertainty in the forest industry but are still employing over 90 members. The remaining shops have stayed status quo and look to continue the pace in 2020. We are currently in the process of bargaining with Valmont and InterKraft which are two long time valued fabrication shops of the Boilermakers Lodge 359. We are hopeful that we’ll have new collective agreements in place to start the New Year.

Lodge 359 Apparel

We have some new items available for our members to show off their Lodge 359 pride. We recently updated our hats which have received great reviews from the members so far.  We also have 4 new styles of t-shirts in all sizes along with plenty of stock from the collection that was released in spring of this year such as hoodies, long sleeves and Tough Duck jackets. Stop in at the General Office and purchase your new swag today!

On behalf of all the staff we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years, and we will see you all in 2020!!

2019 Children’s Christmas Party

On December the 7th the Children’s Christmas Party was held at the Union’s meeting hall. A special thank you goes out to Santa’s helpers Emily, Lauren and Genevieve.