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2022 Year End Newsletter & Business Managers Report

Dec 21, 2022

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Business Manager Report

Looking back over the last year, it’s incredible to see just how many accomplishments the Boilermakers of Lodge 359 have achieved, along with the incredible patience and pride that were shown by the members through all of the very challenging moments that were encountered along the way.

The challenge with the surprise dissolution of the Boilermakers principal contract association in early 2020, and the uncertainty that had carried on for almost 2 years at the labor board had finally come to its conclusion in 2022. The patience of this Lodge’s members and the professionalism that was continually shown during the uncertain times awaiting a final decision ultimately contributed and resulted in the reconstitution of the BC BCA. Not only did the Boilermakers of Lodge 359 earn back its preferred contract association and most of the existing contractors represented by it, we watched a number of contractors previously represented by the CLRA make a decision to move over to the newly reconstituted BC BCA as well.

The Boilermakers of Lodge 359 gained a third industrial collective agreement which is outside of the BCBCBTU bargaining structure and protocols and resides at the CLRA as a secondary boilermaker agreement. This new agreement comes from the unsuccessful attempts of trying to consolidate our two industrial agreements into just one, using a “buy and between protocol” contained within the CLRA and its BCBCBTU agreements. In the end, the LRB found the efforts of the parties actions amounted to an unreasonable attempt to abrogate the labor code and ultimately denied their application and many appeals in favor of the Boilermakers.

The Bargaining committee this year was successful in securing a deal with the CLRA and then ratifying the deal with our members, resulting in one of the most favorable rounds of bargaining to be put before this membership for vote in a very long time. This led into the round of negotiations with the BCA which went very quickly and achieved the same results and improvements which the membership had so patiently and professionally showcased they are deserving of.

The employment picture this past year, has provided the members of Lodge 359 with an abundant and incredible amount of work opportunities, and continues to be forecast as looking as busy going into the year 2023. Many of these ongoing projects continue to offer new opportunities for members going into the New Year, which we aim to successfully provide for each and every project, all of our skilled and professional tradespeople that may be required.

With this opportunistic outlook I would like to share a few areas that are in my opinion, in need of improvement and continue to be brought forward as the talking points in every trades meetings.

  • Let’s start with absenteeism and the detrimental impact that occurs to not the just members who may be abusing the scheduled shifts, but each and every single member that is out working alongside our brothers and sisters who may choose to be missing more time than explainable. First off, it should be reminded that the actions of one of us on a jobsite is not restricted to only impacting and affecting that individual. It impacts all of us regardless of our attendance, as the tracking and managing of these records eventually becomes shared and brought into everything from bargaining future terms of our agreements, to the employer’s ability to successfully bid projects against our alternative labour. We should consider the effort of trying to police ourselves a bit better on the jobsites. Encourage those who may be struggling or having issues with absenteeism reminding them that when they choose to be away for inexcusable times, the remaining members not only have to take on the extra work load that may be created, they also have the task of trying to prevent the Boilermakers image from becoming viewed as unreliable or not as valuable and worth the risk for future projects.

 

  • The way we carry ourselves when we are guests in other communities, and housed in company supplied accommodations seems to be a reoccurring talking piece for every contractor and every trade over the years. As the Business Manager of Lodge 359, I have been afforded some very unusual and uncomfortable opportunities when having to make embarrassing apologies or offer my most sincere regrets and even having to ensure that some places are made monetarily satisfied. Pride is something we shouldn’t carry with us on the way to work and initiate once we swipe in at the gate, only to put away after the shift is complete. Pride is something a Boilermaker should remind themselves we carry and display as the reason we are the best. Pride of the Boilermakers is a reason we are not only called back to a facility over and again to repair, but should be reminded as the reason to be welcomed and looked forward to as having back, in all of the communities that we visit and offer our tremendous skills to when called upon. When I have to call hotels to express the apologies as I have, or to ensure that the damages are covered, I can only imagine or wonder how these stories are shared amongst the local communities and the image that becomes attached to the Boilermakers afterwards. So I am encouraging all of us to take some time and remind ourselves that we should not only be as proud as I know all of us are inside as tradespeople, we should showcase the pride in every way we carry ourselves as ordinary citizens, who may be temporarily placed in the towns we are called to work in, or in the communities we call home.

 

It’s hard to believe that nearly 5 years has somehow managed to have already passed by, and that we as Lodge 359 Boilermakers have experienced more challenges and opportunities to grow than I can ever remember as a Boilermaker of Lodge 359.  To the incredible and dedicated members of this Lodge, I wanted to first let you know the immense gratitude and appreciation I have for having the opportunity to experience such an honored role and electing me into the position of your Business Manger nearly 5 years ago. This has been one of the most honored and humbling opportunities I have been afforded though my years as a Boilermaker of Lodge 359 and just wanted to say thank you to everyone who found themselves trusting myself worthy of such an opportunity to begin with. 2023 is going to be another election year and will provide the members of Lodge 359, the opportunity to get involved and decide what they are needing as leadership for the future years and who they want to have represent them for the future. With so much work coming up and the times being unprecedented in man hour opportunities, I wanted to make sure that you, the members, take the time to stay involved in your union and to participate in all the incredible things it can offer.

I would like to take the year end to address a topic that so many members have now experienced firsthand, or have been witness to another member having to experience themselves. The Drug and Alcohol Policy and how it is to be applied. This year alone has afforded a number of grievances which many are still ongoing in respect of the application of our policy that is specific to British Columbia and its members. We have a policy in place that contains specific information on how everything from incident testing to pre access is to be undertaken. It also stipulates the processes in which the members are to have afforded to them prior to being requested to undertake any sort of testing. I would encourage all members to start familiarizing themselves with the policy in order to ensure you know what rights you and the employer have with respect to the policy. Remember that if any member is unsure of their rights, they have the right to contact the Union or its reps to request clarification. This does not mean the Union is in a position to tell the members whether they should or should not accept a test that may be requested. It does however, ensure that each member is afforded the same opportunity and not being denied certain information.

Lastly, I would like to take the opportunity to address the staff of Lodge 359 and the incredible amount of hard work and dedication that each of them puts in every day, to ensure that the Boilermakers we have been afforded the opportunity to represent, receive nothing but the best. The Staff of Lodge 359 is saying goodbye to one of its long standing and most dedicated reps over the years, Mr. Rob Kappel. I first would like to offer Rob Kappel the opportunity to know how incredibly important and appreciated his time with in the office, and specifically while assisting me each and every day has been. For those who may not personally know Rob I would like to just say, that his presence and experience which he has contributed to the membership over the years will be greatly missed.  Having the mentorship and guidance that he has provided in some of the biggest undertakings this Lodge has been faced with overcoming, will honestly leave me eternally grateful for the incredible hard work and assistance Rob has provided me and the membership. Thank you Rob Kappel for your years of amazing dedication and hard work you gave every day, and thank you for being a great teacher, mentor, and friend. Best of luck in all of your future endeavours.

I know it can be difficult to imagine the daily undertakings that the staff of your Lodge 359 may encounter when so few people have been afforded the opportunity to truly experience the efforts that have to go in every moment in order to stay ahead of the changing times. I wanted to just let all of the members of Lodge 359 know that for your support and allowing me the most incredible and honorable opportunity in representing you as Business Manager, without the support from each person in this office there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the accomplishments we have enjoyed over the last little while would never have occurred.

It is with the patience and professionalism of all of the members of Lodge 359 that we are continuing to see our opportunities grow and the membership see its numbers expand. Looking into 2023 I hope we all find something we want to go after that makes us better, stronger, smarter and just overall more proud that we belong to one of the most respected unions of all, the Boilermakers of Lodge 359.

On behalf of the staff of Lodge 359 I wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a safe and wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year. 2023 is going to be even busier in 2023 so get the rest while you can as work is coming soon.

Fraternally,

Brother Jordan Streng

Business Manager

Executive Board update

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

One of the main goals of the Executive Board is maintaining a culture for our membership that prides itself on professionalism. Over the past year we’ve seen an increase in members having to appear before the Executive Board for disciplinary reasons. It’s a troubling trend that needs to be addressed. Our professionalism should be held to the highest standards, not only towards our work but also with respect to our conduct away from the job sites while we temporarily reside in communities across British Columbia. When we visit various municipalities and work within their jurisdiction, the eyes of the community are on us. It is no secret amongst those who permanently live there, that trades people are in town. Everyone knows when a shutdown is happening and the last thing we want to do is be a burden during our stay. The statement “one bad apple spoils the bunch” holds true in this situation; one loud night in a hotel, one mishap in a restaurant can impinge on the Boilermakers name within a community. We need to do our best to eliminate the type of mishaps that paint the Boilermakers in bad light. It only takes a little effort to make a big difference and there are many things we can do while away at work to leave a positive lasting image of the Boilermakers. On several occasions, crews have raised money for a local charities, hospitals, food bank by running a card draw, 50-50, collect all the recyclables from the job site and donate all the deposit money. These are the lasting impressions we need to leave a community with. We should be welcomed not unwelcomed.

We are a proud Union and one that strives for success in all aspects of our craft. Let’s continue to set the bar high and be leaders amongst our peers. Let’s live the Boilermaker Code each day and create a culture that exemplifies our excellence.

On behalf of the Executive Board, I would like to wish all of our brothers and sisters a safe, healthy and happy holidays.

Fraternally,

Brother Jeremy Kwok

President

The Boilermaker Code:

I am a Boilermaker.

I am a skilled craftsperson and a team member.

I work for my family, my crew, my union and my employer.

I am part of a Brotherhood with a legacy of more than 130 years.

I honour my mentors, who came before me.

I honour their struggle to give me a union opportunity.

I respect their knowledge, leadership and integrity.

I show up on time and ready to work.

I provide quality work for quality pay.

I honour our negotiated contract and let my stewards and union representatives do their jobs.

I am responsible and accountable for my actions.

I do things right the first time.

I am an excellent problem solver.

I am a guest at job sites and conduct myself accordingly.

I am constantly learning and sharing my knowledge.

I always work safely and demand the same from those around me.

I am a guardian of my trade and the union way of life.

I AM A BOILERMAKER.

Deck the Union Hall with Boughs of Holly!

The Annual Boilermakers lodge 359 Children’s Christmas Party was held once again on December 3rd after a 2 year hiatus. The party started off at noon with members and their kids filing into the meeting room filled with balloons and Christmas decorations. Kids were also able to experience wonderful face painting and balloon art provided by the talented ladies from A-Star Art Parlour. Not long after the kids were full of pizza and decorating their own gingerbread men, Santa Clause made an appearance much to the delight of the children. He made his rounds taking pictures with everyone along with plenty of Ho Ho Ho’s. He then settled in on the couch next to Christmas tree so he could hand out presents. One by one the children were called up to meet Santa and receive their gift. As the children left the stage, they immediately tore open the wrapping paper to see what Santa had brought them. By mid-afternoon all parents and children were exhausted from all the fun and started to head home. Every child left with a big smile, a new toy and a stocking full of goodies. I would like to thank Jamie, Sat and other admin staff who helped make this event possible. Thank you to everyone who attended the event, we hope you enjoyed the experience and look forward to seeing everyone next year!

Pension – Reciprocal Agreements

With a large number of Travel Cards working in British Columbia we’ve received a number of calls from Travel Card members with concerns that the pension amount they’ve received doesn’t equal the amount that has been contributed on their behalf. The answer is, there is a Reciprocal Agreement between Boilermakers Lodge 359 Pension Plan and the Boilermakers National Pension Plan (Canada). Reciprocal agreements are special arrangements made between pension plans to allow members to have their service recognized in their ‘home’ plan and consolidate their pension. Both plans have a calculation that determines how much money is held back and stays with that plan based on its current funding and since each plan is different, the amount held back differs. This is also not applied arbitrarily, when Lodge 359 members work anywhere outside of B.C., they do not receive the full amount of contributions either. It is important that anytime you work outside of your home province that you keep a good record of the hours you worked so you can compare them to the hours contributed by the employer, not just for Pension but for Health and Welfare too.  If you have any questions regarding reciprocal agreements, contributions or any other inquiries regarding your plan, you should contact your plan administrator.

Lodge 359 Shop update

We are pleased to announce that during the year of 2022 Boilermakers Lodge 359 were able to ratify new Collective agreements with Farr Fabricating ltd and Valmont West Coast Engineering.  Valmont WCE and Farr Fabricating have been long standing supporters of Lodge 359 members and we look forward to the continued relationship with both employers.

There is a shortage of skilled workers everywhere, and the fabrication industry is no different. Some of our shops in the Lower Mainland and Okanagan could see an increase in job opportunities in the New Year. Fabricators, pressure and non-pressure welders and even helpers are all in high demand in the fabrication industry. If you or anyone you know is looking for a new job or fresh start, call the General Office and ask to speak with Jeremy about possible shop work opportunities.

Fraternally,

Brother Jeremy Kwok

Business Representative

BC Hydro Site C Clean Energy Hydro Dam Project Update

Groupe LAR Penstock:

The December 2022 status for the completion of Penstocks units 1 through 6 to the powerhouse are complete except for the expansion couplers, which will be the focus for the start of the New Year as Groupe Lar will be removing the Expansion Coupler sections from the penstock as there is a change in the design style with 6 months’ work on each, working 2 units in parallel. Groupe Lar will be re-using the OSS shop to fabricate these units with a completion date well into 2024, along with the continuation on the Trash Racks Guides & Gates. The spring of 2023 will also add a critical scope of additional work involving one of the Diversion Tunnels, Lar is planning to send a crew to Quebec for training as we will also be installing the 4 orifice sections inside 1 of the Diversion Tunnels, which should take us until late summer 2023 running 24 hours a day.

Contractor Groupe LAR has expressed multiple times how they are continually impressed with the skills and abilities of the Boilermakers and the relationship they have built together.

Voith Hydro Powerhouse Installation of Turbines & Generators:

Voith Hydro’s installation and assembly of the units 1 through 6 Scroll Case components in the powerhouse are nearly complete, with the focus for the New Year being the installation of the expansion couplers from the Penstocks entering the Power House Chambers to the Scrolls. This work will continue through 2023 and will follow with a composite crew of Boilermakers and Millwrights up to the point of commissioning.

Both the above contractors have aided in the training of Members to utilise robotic welding technology procedures for these components as the procedures are similar in scope. This opportunity has also attributed to mentoring, with respect to Welding, Rigging, Fitting and Metal Fabrication along with the opportunity to experience Supervisory rolls.

We would like to take this opportunity to recognise the Members and Travel Cards on this particular project for their dedication and exceptional skills and abilities that in turn help secure the possibility of additional scopes of work at this site.

Health & Wellness:

Some office members have been involved with Mental Health Awareness seminars through CIRP as well as in person training with the guidance of International Health & Safety Representative Jason McInnis. These educational courses are crucial to the importance and understanding of the growing need around Mental Health Awareness and it’s relation to the Trades as being the most effected.

We know for some member this is a stressful time of year for them & their families and if they are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to your employer and/or Union Employee Family Assistance Programs. Please take the time to enjoy the Christmas break, ensuring your safe return to this project.

Fraternally,

Brother Dave French

Business Representative

Apprentice Coordinators Report

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the membership of Lodge 359.  2022 was an extremely busy year. I would like to thank the membership of Lodge 359 for all of their hard work through many challenging conditions throughout the year.

In 2022 we had 2 classes finish the Entry Level Trades Training (ELTT) program. In January and February there were Level 2 and Level 3 classes.  Then in October and November we did another Level 2 and Level 3.  All upgrades and ELTT classes were held at BCIT.

As of today we have 116 indentured apprentices and 26 pre apprentices.  All pre apps are registered to attend ELTT at BCIT in either March or September 2023. The March class is full, however, we do have a few spots left in the September Class. There will be a Level 2 class from January 9 to February 10 2023, followed by a Level 3 that will run from February 21 to March 24 2023 at BCIT.  The Union Hall will be hosting a Level 4 upgrade for those apprentices who need to write the Interprovincial Red Seal exam.  Brother Dave French will be teaching this class at the Union Hall starting January 30 to February 10 2023.

Due to Covid 19 it had been very difficult / impossible to host any training at the hall.  With Covid 19 in the rear-view we will continue put on training courses throughout the year.  Brother Richard MacIntosh will be here at the Hall for a 1 day shop stewards course on Monday, January 17 2023.  During the course of the year we will be hosting Forklift, Scissor Lift and Aerial Work Platform training.  The Union Hall has purchased a Telehandler which should arrive sometime in 2023 and we look forward to training our membership on that equipment. All information regarding registration for training courses will be posted on the nightly callout and on our website under the Membership heading.

The Boilermakers Lodge 359 will be converting the existing caretaker suite into a classroom. Construction on this project will begin in January and should take 6 – 8 weeks to complete.  Once complete we will have the ability to hold welding, rigging and layout courses at the hall.

Class A renewals can be performed at the Union Hall.  Members have a 6 month window from their birth month in which they will need to perform a PWP procedure.  The Union Hall has the ability to test and enter PWP procedures in the members log books.  Any members that wish to test at the hall can call me at the General Office number and book a date and time for the test.  Please allow 3 – 5 days’ notice so that we can ensure the shop is available for use.

Fraternally,

Brother Sat Chatta

Apprentice Coordinator

Assistant Business Managers report

Notice to bargain under the Labour Relations Code with the CLRA/BCBCBTU (BC Bargaining Council of Building Trades Unions) is currently taking place. Notice to bargain is deemed to have been served on June 1, 2022. The Council and the CLR met on June 1, 2022 and exchanged bargaining proposals. The objective of the Parties is to conclude Bargaining be April 30, 2023.

If main table bargaining has not concluded by February 1, 2023, the Labour Relations Board will appoint a mediator to assist the Parties to conclude bargaining. If no agreement is reached through the mediation process, the mediator will provide non-binding recommendations for settlement no later than April 30,2023.

If both Parties agree to the recommendations, bargaining is concluded, and the tentative overall memorandum of settlement shall be recommended for acceptance in accordance with each Party’s internal ratification process, either Party may exercise their rights under the code.

The CLRA/BCBCBTU agreement is set to expire in 2023, and with the sunset clause regarding the overtime on Saturdays also set to expire, the BCBCBTU is confident that every member that lost their double time on Saturdays will see it reinstated at the expiration of the current CLRA agreement

November 22,2022 Brother Dave French and I attended the Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan Forum.

The Construction Industry, Union Representatives, and policy makers joined together to help tackle and address the impact of the opioid epidemic on workers in the construction industry.

As the opioid epidemic continues to impact the construction industry disproportionately, this work has never been more important. I would like to thank the BC Building Trades Council and the Construction Labour Relations Association for organizing this important event, as well as the Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan for providing critical mental health and substance abuse programs for the Construction industry.

The Boilermakers Lodge 359 is a member of the Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan, call 604-521-8611 to reach a member of the CIRP team who will be able to answer any questions you may have as well as set up an intake to help you get the help you need

We are looking forward to our annual Christmas Union Meeting this year. The 2022 Pensioners Banquet and the Golf Tournament were also held this year. We have re-booked everything for 2023 and look forward to holding these events as they are enjoyed be everyone.

We also want to pass along our sympathies to those sisters and Brothers that we lost this year, including many that left us before their time. Our thoughts go out to the families and friends of all of them at this time of year, and we have included them below.

And so, we chant the sweet refrain, goodbye, till morning comes again.
In loving memory of our Brothers and Sisters that have gone before us.
Goodbye, ‘til morning comes again; we part, but not in hopeless pain.
The night is short, and hope is sweet, it fills our hearts and speeds our feet.
And so we chant the sweet refrain, goodbye, ‘til morning comes again.

2022

Raymond Gosse, Charles Hilderbrandt, David Novak, Andrew McCreadie, Floyd Joyal, Stephen Penny, John Spink, Samantha Meyer, Michael Sapach, David March, William A. Evans, Gordon Carlysle-Smith, Mervin Noble, Jamieson Anderson, Peter Poohkay, John Younger, Greg Grierson.

On behalf of all the staff in the office, including our admin staff of Laura, Wanda, Jamie, and Yanic we want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Fraternally,

Brother Gord Weel

Assistant Business Manager

Dispatchers Report

2022 has been an extremely busy year. Here’s a breakdown of the major ongoing long term projects:

  • (16+) Storage Tanks with Horton CBI in the lower mainland
  • (1) Storage tank in Sumas with Ganotec,
  • (1) Double walled LNG Storage tank in Kitimat with Lorneville mechanical
  • Site C Penstock & Scroll case in Fort St John w/ Group Lar + Voith
  • LNG Process facility w/ Fluor in Kitimat.
  • WKM Ducting work in Trail

A few notable large scale shutdowns this year were:

  • Northwood w/ CIMS
  • Teck Acid plant/ Roaster / Kivcet w/ CIMS
  • Alstom / Farr Installations at Canfor
  • Harmac w/ CIMS.

 

There have been countless Emergency repair callouts this year, Clients have expressed how they’re grateful for the dedication and professionalism that the membership have shown them in regards to getting these jobs accomplished in a Safe & Efficient manner.

The Contractor group and Union hall also greatly appreciate all of our members who have dropped everything last minute to get these emergency calls done, often working very long hours.

The ability for us to supply manpower to these types of jobs on such short notice gives us a great advantage in securing this type of work over the Non-Union sector.

2023’s rumor list work scope (Shutdowns):

  • {Early – Mid year} Crofton, Kamloops, Parkland, Covanta, Skookumchuck, Cariboo pulp, Howe sound, Harmac , Canfor PG
  • {Mid – Late year} Chemtrade, Howe sound, Crofton, Mackenzie, Northwood, Celgar, Covanta, Port Alberni, Seaspan, Rogers sugar
  • Many more

2023’s rumor list New construction projects:

  • HCBI Tanks & Ganotec Sumas tank will be slowly wrapping up
  • Site C & Kitimat projects will both be doing an aggressive hiring (150-200+ Boilermakers) as their work scopes have all expanded greatly.
  • End of 2023 or in 2024 If secured by our contractors: Tilbury LNG Phase II, Woodfibre LNG, Parkland Expansion

There are a few items I would like to remind the members of:

  1. Update your Beneficiary Cards, at the Union and at BG Benefits.
  2. Make sure we have your correct phone number, email and address on file.
  3. Send in any welding or JRD safety tickets / certifications that you have so we can update your file and keep a copy on record in case you lose your ticket.
  4. If any of your job ready dispatch tickets or Class A Pressure ticket are expiring in 2023 it would be wise to get them renewed in January before the work scope takes off

 

In closing I’d like to mention that it’s been an honor to serve the Membership in my new role as the Dispatcher and as we look ahead to the New Year, I’m confident that Local 359 will continue to build on the successes of this year and reach even greater heights. Thank you again for all of your hard work and dedication.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Fraternally,

Brother Collin Robertson
Dispatcher

 

To All the Members and Staff of Boilermakers Lodge 359

Maybe not everyone knows it yet, but I am finishing up my longest job ever at years end! I just wanted to use this space to thank the entire membership for the privilege to contribute my small part to Lodge 359’s ongoing success, and to express my gratitude for the opportunities I was given by Business Managers Phil Halley, Martin Nicholson, and now Jordan Streng to be able to do so. All the staff in the office that I’ve worked alongside for past 12 ½ years have been awesome and I appreciate everything you do supporting the membership each and every day. It’s been an honor to work with all of you, and especially to serve the Boilermakers and Lodge 359.

Cheers, and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years!!!

Fraternally,

Brother Rob Kappel

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