Important Information Regarding The BCA of BC

Attention all Lodge 359 Field Members

It has come to the attention of the Union that further to the July 30th enablement request by the BCA of BC, and the subsequent decision by CIMS Limited Partnership to give notice to the BCA of BC to withdraw from the BCA of BC, we learned late last week that the BCA of BC is now holding a vote to dissolve the BCA of BC, as per a recommendation made by their Board of Directors. Please click here to view the BCA letter. They are holding a special called meeting to discuss and vote on that proposal this Friday, November the 8th.

The Union has since been in contact with many of our BCA contractors over the weekend, and have also sent a letter with our position on this vote and its possible ramifications, which we have attached here for your information, please click here to view the Union letter.

Please be assured that we are continuing to do whatever is necessary to protect the rights of the Union, and of the membership, and will update you again once we have further information on this evolving situation. We want you to know there are actions being taken by the Union, but we do not wish to discuss these in a public forum at this time.

Fraternally yours,

Jordan Streng
Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer
Boilermakers Lodge 359

September 2019 Newsletter

WCB Op-Ed

Below is an email that was received from Sarah O’Leary, who is a long time lawyer and representative for both workers and unions. I asked her if we could publish the email which succinctly sums up the state of affairs that we are facing in an even broader picture today. That the employers think that they are the only ones capable of making good decisions, and if you don’t do what they want you to, it will all end in disaster…its bull**it.

Fraternally, Rob Kappel

Hi Folks:  You’ve probably heard that the Employer’s Forum has been kicking up a fuss about the government’s WCB review, conducted by Janet Patterson.  They have said that they are pulling out of the process.

 The Employer’s Forum has announced that Janet can’t provide an impartial review because in 2009 she did a paper, together with Stan Guenther, and me, for the BC Fed.  This paper, Insult to Injury, assessed the impact on workers of the Liberals’ changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act in 2002/03.

 Now for those of you who may not be as long in the tooth as some of us, let me give you a brief history.

 In 1996, the NDP government of the day established a Royal Commission to study Workers’ Compensation.  The report of that commission was presented to the government in 1999.  Not long afterwards, the government changed when the Liberals were elected in 2001.  Nothing much ever came of the Royal Commission recommendations.

 The “Employer’s Coordinating Group,” a large group of activist employers (and many of the same people involved in the pull-out yesterday), retained Alan Winter from Harris and Company, a big downtown employer-side law firm, to present their submission to the commission.

 Mr. Winter was very well-placed, then, to provide his recommendations to the Liberal government when they took power in 2001.  Having provided the employers’ perspective on Workers’ Compensation reform to the Royal Commission, the Liberals thought he would be the perfect man to recommend a new Workers’ Compensation Act for them. The Winter Report was presented in March 2002 and subsequently mostly passed into law in 2002/03 with Bills 49 and 63.

 My point is this: the employer groups doth protest too much.  They got their leading employer-side lawyer to rewrite the Workers’ Compensation Act in 2002; that is the system we have in place today.  They had no qualms about whether it was a fair process for workers.

 But ask a lawyer who is NOT employer-side, and they yell and scream bloody murder.

 I have never understood why more employers do not have as their primary interest, the health and well-being of their employees. There are some that do.  But many of the big employers have been so used to having complete control, as they did during the Liberal tenure, that they are not prepared to even engage with a process of review if there is an appearance of concern for workers’ welfare.  It’s “my way or the highway” as far as these employer groups are concerned.

 Shame on them!  The protection and welfare of workers should be a shared concern to all in the realm of Workers’ Compensation. The fact that they aren’t willing to even engage in a fair and impartial review reflects exactly where they stand.  They aren’t interested in any revision of the WCB unless it is dictated entirely by their interests. Disgraceful.

 Sarah O’Leary

Apprenticeship and Trade Advancement

Horton CBI weld testing is continuing to take place at the Boilermaker Training Centre members are testing for the Pembina Spherical tanks in Prince Rupert. We have the weld procedure for anyone wishing to practice or review. Sheldon is available for anyone wishing to practice or upgrade.

Tank and Blueprint reading was held June 17th through June 21st at the Boilermaker Training Centre. The course covered Tank classification and Design, Tank Erection, proper procedures, tools and techniques to gain the correct alignment for fitting shell plates, floor plates and roof plates.

There will be a Forklift Certification course scheduled to be held October 23rd at the Boilermaker Training Centre Members will receive Forklift Operator Certification.

A combination Aerial boom and Scissor Lift course is scheduled to be held October 24th. Members will receive certification on both Scissor Lift and Aerial Boom Lift.

The latest Boilermaker Foundation class graduated from BCIT on Aug. 30th. The top student from the Foundation class is Adrian Santos. Adrian will receive $1000 for being the top student.

Industry Award of Excellence

As part of the Tripartite conference Joe Kiwior was awarded the Industry award of Excellence. The Trustees took the opportunity to acknowledge Joe for his commitment, dedication and support of apprenticeship training.  Chris Kiwior was there to except the award on behalf of Joe. Below Chris is pictured with Dustin and members of the National Training Trust Fund (NTTF).

Apprenticeship Awards Banquet

The 2019 Boilermaker Annual Apprentice Awards Banquet and Tripartite Conference was held this year in New Brunswick Aug. 12th through Aug. 16th. The 2019 top student that attended the tripartite conference and Apprentice Banquet was Dustin Cable. Dustin represented 359 as the top apprentice for 2019.

Lodge 359 Shop Update

BM&M: We are currently working with BM&M on establishing an Attendance Policy for the shop. There has been good communication between the union and the employer and we hope to have the policy agreed to and in place very soon.

IST Boiler: Is currently looking for B Pressure (or higher) Welder to start ASAP for approximately 3-4 weeks. The shop is located at 6425 River Rd in Delta and there will be an onsite weld test for the shop procedure.  If you are interested in the position, please call Glen Martel @ 604-952-1344.

Peerless: Unfortunately due to the decline in the lumber industry, Peerless had to lay off a significant portion of its members recently. It is important for those members who were laid off, that wish to stay on the shop recall list, that they maintain their dues in order to remain in good standing.

Peerless is holding a Poker Bike Run on September 14th. The route will include stops in Keremeos, Osoyoos and Penticton. Members who wish to participate must bring $20 to enter and meet at Peerless prior to 11 am. For further information regarding the bike run, contact Marty Robertson @ 250-859-2796.

Inter Kraft and Valmont: Current collective agreements for both shops expire at the end of December. Bargaining for these agreements will commence in the coming months. Requests for proposals from the members at the respective shops will be sent out prior to bargaining.

Allied Infrastructure and Related Construction Council (AIRCC)

In July 2018, British Columbia’s government signed an agreement called the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with a group called the Allied Infrastructure and Related Construction Council (AIRCC), which represents many of BC’s building trade unions and their members.

The agreement provides the Building Trade Unions with all provincially funded infrastructure work for the foreseeable future (under the Provincial NDP Government). A newly formed Crown Corporation called BC Benefits Infrastructure Inc. (BCIB), will act as the “signatory and employer entity” under the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). AIRCC’s mandate is to provide the labour workforce for the construction of selected public sector infrastructure, delivered in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Community Benefits Agreement. The BCIB will act as a hiring hall for all workers involved in provincially-funded projects undertaken through the CBA.

This agreement requires any Contractor and their workers who are not affiliated with the building trades unions who wish to qualify for work, will have to accept BTU workers provided through BCIB. Infrastructure projects that are subject to the CBA will require employees on those projects to join specified trade unions.

The new NDP government claims that the CBA is intended to increase the use of apprentices, address existing and future skill deficiencies, to achieve a wage alignment with prevailing industry rates for all employees. To encourage priority hiring of individuals living in proximity to projects being built or developed with government funding and to increase hiring and training of Indigenous persons and women and youth around the province in construction and related allied trades.

The first infrastructure projects that will be subject to the CBA are the Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project and the Trans-Canada Highway 1 Kamloops to Alberta Border Four‐Laning Project. The CBA will apply to other projects, as agreed to between the Government of B.C. and the Allied Infrastructure and Related Construction Council of British Columbia (AIRCC).

To view the Community benefits Agreement between BC Infrastructure Benefits Inc. and Allied Infrastructure and Related Construction Council of British Columbia, click on the following link:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/driving-and-transportation/transportation-infrastructure/projects/hwy1-kamloops-alberta/aircc-bcici-cba-and-errata.pdf

Dispatch Report

Long Term Projects

Site C Turbine and Generator currently has 15 Boilermakers on site between 2 shifts.  They will continue building the scroll case pieces in the shop they have set up on site.  No definitive date have been given as to when the installation of the scroll case will begin.

Site C Penstock currently has 51 Boilermakers on site between 2 shifts.  We are seeing small bump up orders coming in for this job.  The peak manpower number is not known at this time.  As the work scope increases they will continue hiring Boilermakers to meet those needs.

The Horton job in Prince Rupert currently has 59 Boilermakers on site.  The construction of the three spheres should take another 6 – 7 months approximately.  We would like to thank those members and travel cards that are working hard and doing quality work representing the Boilermakers.

Horton is performing the civil work in regards to the tanks in Richmond. There are 6 tanks starting late September on a 5 – 10s schedule for 30 Boilermakers.  There are 2 more tanks starting in January at YVR on a 5 – 10s schedule for 12 – 15 Boilermakers.

Shutdowns

In regards to Shutdown work we should start seeing orders coming in late August early September and go through until early November.  Kamloops, Prince George, Castlegar, Port Mellon, Crofton, Covanta and Port Albernie are all set to have shutdowns this fall.  We do not have exact dates or manpower numbers as of yet.  The contractors are still working out the finer details with clients in regards to these issues.

Melloy has recently started bidding jobs in our province and will be going into Parkland, formerly Chevron.  They have a small crew of 2 right now for prep and will be increasing their numbers slowly.  The shutdown is scheduled for late January early February and should last 4 – 6 weeks.  This will be one of the biggest shutdowns that Parkland has ever had.

 

2019 Industry Award of Excellence

Our very own Joe Kiwior is being recognized by the Boilermakers National Training Trust Fund, the IBB and the BCA as he will receive the 2019 Industry Award of Excellence. This award is given to an individual who has been a strong supporter of apprenticeship training. Joe has played an integral part in developing Lodge 359 apprentices over the years as an instructor and Training Coordinator. He will be recognized at the 2019 Industry Tripartite being held in St. Andrews, New Brunswick in August.

Important Message From The Business Manager

On Tuesday July 30th, 2019, I received a telephone call from the BCA’s Director of Labor Relations Marty Albright, informing Lodge 359 that a discussion had taken place a day earlier with one of its main BCA contractors, CIMS Limited Partnership, who was now seeking parity with not just the recently imposed amendments on the CLRA Agreement by the Labour Relation Board, but parity with all Articles deemed by the employer to be more beneficial than the BCA Agreement. The discussion that took place revolved around the concept of Lodge 359 essentially enabling the remainder of its 2014-2020 BCA Collective Agreement to achieve this parity, otherwise this contractor would be serving notice to the parties (The Boilermakers Lodge 359 and the BCA of B.C.) of its intentions to leave the Boiler Contractors Association (BCA) and to join the Construction Labor Relations Association (CLRA) to represent them for the Boilermakers.

On the evening of July 30th, 2019 I received an enabling request (click here) from the BCA outlining the relief it was seeking on behalf of its contractor(s). From the position of Lodge 359 this request was out of touch with the intent of the “Article 26.01 Enabling Clause”, and that all articles advantageous to the employer of the BCA agreement be enabled (is this not bargaining?) for the entirety of the province of British Columbia. In our view this was not, and has never been, the intent of the terms in the Article “for a particular project”, and for a “specific geographical location.” See BCA Agreement Article 26.01 below:

ARTICLE 26 – ENABLING CLAUSE

26.01

Where a particular Article or Articles of this Collective Agreement is or are found to work a hardship for a particular project or specific geographical area, the terms and conditions of this agreement for that project or specific geographical area, may be modified by the mutual consent of the Union and the Boilermaker Contractors’ Association of B.C. when they deem it prudent. It is understood and agreed that where mutual agreement for such change cannot be achieved, the request shall not be subject to either grievance or arbitration.

The following day, I made a telephone call to the VP of Business Development of CIMS to learn more about why such a request (Demand/Threat?) was being sought. Through the conversation it had been explained to myself that this contractor found itself in an apparent hardship situation due to the recently imposed CLRA agreement and needed relief in order to compete in the same market. When I questioned CIMS to produce any proof that it had lost any form of work in the last 30 days since the recently imposed CLRA agreement, it was stated that going forward is where the concern was. They required an answer about the BCA enablement request ASAP by Lodge 359, which gave us a day to digest all this before their notice to leave the BCA of BC was to be given.

Immediately after the conclusion of the telephone call an email was sent to myself (click here) regarding CIMS notice to leave the BCA of BC, and they feel that will allow them to also sever their connection to the BCA-BM359 Collective Agreement at the end of its term in 2020 and begin a relationship with the CLRA for the Boilermakers, and what it deems to be a more advantageous agreement.

To bring the members up to speed, we have deemed the enablement request as being an attempt to force us into mirroring the CLRA agreement by threat and intimidation of having our biggest contractor leave the BCA and possibly have the remaining BCA of BC employers follow. We have decided that since these are major changes being sought, and that bargaining was to begin soon anyways, and the length of time that it took to get through the CLR bargaining, we have sent a notice to begin bargaining to the BCA of BC to begin this process (click here). It is apparent that the terms and conditions that are being sought are inevitably going to take some time to work through. The BCA responded that Lodge 359 is 5 months premature in its request to bargain, and that the BCA is prepared to continue mutually agreeable discussions on the topics it’s raised, through means of enabling (click here).

We kindly reminded the BCA that this membership opened its collective agreement once prior in the current agreement to assist its contractors, in what at that time was a down economy. We’ve since reinforced that at no time now, or prior to the expiration of the current collective agreement, will this Lodge do the same again, as the economy before us is anything but hurting. We have contractors that have secured work all over the Province at the current Collective Agreement rates and conditions, and to enable cuts to the Collective Agreement now makes the allocation of where those monies might end up ever so questionable. We are fortunately in a position now where the membership is privy to some of the obvious requests that will be sought in the upcoming round of bargaining with the BCA, which I feel potentially every member understood to be the case after the imposed CLRA agreement. In my opinion, it is a sad day when any contractor attempts to skirt around the collective bargaining processes and undermines the foundational relationship it has built over the years with its labour partner.

To ensure the markets in which we have built our livelihoods on, are going to continue to be built and maintained by highly trained and skilled Boilermakers, we have at times accepted reductions to our already negotiated terms and conditions.  To now have a principal contractor attempt to withdraw from its commitment to the enabled deal, after we have completed our part, is in my opinion just plain sad.

There are many questions that are currently unanswered at this point, and we are working through them and will keep the membership informed and updated as we get answers. Lodge 359 will continue fighting to ensure all contractors that have agreed to work under the terms of the BCA-BM359 Collective Agreement will continue to do so, whether they are currently a  member of the Boiler Contractor Association or not.

Fraternally,

Boilermakers Lodge 359
Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer

Jordan Streng

Site C Dam

Lodge 359 Boilermakers are building and assembling 84 of these sections over the next few years to create the six penstocks for the Site C generating station. (Photo taken May 2019)

After moving individual sections from a fabrication shop in Fort St. John, Boilermakers assemble the penstocks on site. This is one of six transition pieces which will funnel water from the river into each individual penstock. (Photo taken May 2019)

Once operational, water enters turbines through large spiral-shaped pipes known as spiral cases or scroll casings that are made of formed and welded steel plates. The bottom section of a spiral case is welded by a robot at the on-site manufacturing shop. (Photo taken February 2019)

A Boilermaker welder works on part of the spiral case in the on-site Turbines and Generators manufacturing facility. (Photo taken January 2019)

Overhead cranes in the work shop in Fort St. John where Penstock section parts are assembled. Penstocks are 8 meters in diameter and move water from the river intakes to the turbines. (Photo taken January 2019)

A thrust-ring half section that was fabricated in our on-site Turbines and Generators manufacturing facility that was rigged onto a flatbed trailer will be transported to the lay down area for future installation between the penstock and spiral case. (Photo taken June 2019)

 

Children’s Heart Weekend

Larry and Lester Cousins are frequent visitors at our lodge (Critter Cove) and members of the Boilermakers, and were gracious enough to request that the 359 Boilermakers donate to our annual charity event the Children’s Heart Weekend. We thought you guys may want to see the photos from last years event. We will also send the ones from this year once we upload them all.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/brent_reid/albums/72157670837895438

Thanks again – Bryce

2019 Boilermaker Golf Tournament Update

Lodge 359 is pleased to announce that the 2019 Boilermaker Golf Tournament registration is now closed and fully booked to capacity.

We are hoping for another good weather day for golf and festivities for all.

 

Business Managers Update – 2019 BCBCBTU/CLRA Bargaining

On Monday June the 3rd, the Chair of the BC Labour Relations Board (LRB) imposed her decision to conclude the 2019 round of bargaining between the CLRA and the BCBCBTU (British Columbia Building and Construction Trades Council) which unfortunately contains some unfavorable results for the council affiliates.

Due to there being an industry wide bargaining “Protocol Agreement” in place, and the CLRA’s inability to bargain in what can only be described as anything but good faith, the Bargaining Council was not afforded the opportunity to ratify the agreement by way of a membership vote.

The Chair of the Labor Relations Board has imposed a binding settlement utilizing a mediators recommendation, as well as some of the agreed upon items by the Bargaining Council and the CLRA. The key area that the will impact all Industrial Agreements within the BCBCBTU, is the elimination of the double time (2x) on Saturdays which has been reduced to time and one half (1.5x) for the first 10 hours. This will take effect July 01, 2019 with all other changes effective June 17, 2019.

In early 2015, the LRB made a decision requiring a “Protocol Agreement” for each future round of bargaining, because of the long delays that had occurred in previous rounds of bargaining.  A Protocol Agreement contains rules for how bargaining is conducted.  In my opinion, it became quite apparent that the CLRA’s position was to try and force this round of bargaining into Interest Binding Arbitration at some point under the guidelines of the protocol.

The CLRA had proposed many concessionary items to each affiliates agreements which the Council had argued against vehemently, but the one item that worried everyone was a proposal called Favored Nations. This item was extremely nefarious in its core and would undermine all bargaining going forward had it been allowed into the collective agreements.

The Bargaining Council sought to take a strike vote and withdrew all of its proposals for the 2019 round of bargaining other than wages, and had informed the CLRA that we would be rejecting all proposals sought by the CLRA other than term. We had a unanimous vote by the Council in favor of strike and informed the LRB of this decision in late January.

The Protocol was then extended by the LRB to allow the parties more time to continue to bargain which inevitably led to additional extensions of time and also included the use of a Board appointed mediator.  The CLRA broke off bargaining many times and insisted that the Board rule in favor of sending the matter before an arbitrator to be decided.

By the end of May the Council had a mediator recommendation brought forward in an attempt to try and settle negotiations which neither party could agree too, which then ultimately led bargaining to one of two options.

The first was to send the councils final best offer proposal and the CLRA’s final best offer proposal to an unknown arbitrator for what is called “final offer selection” in which one parties proposal would be selected. This is an extremely unfavorable option in my opinion as the outcome could be devastating should the CLRA’s proposal offer be the one selected.

The second and final option to conclude bargaining was to have the chair of the LRB make a decision on how to conclude bargaining through an imposed decision which ultimately was what took place. On June 3rd the decision by the Labour Relations Board was issued and this round of bargaining concluded with the elimination of Saturday’s double time.

We will be attending upcoming job site’s to inform the membership of all of the details and to answer as best as we can any and all questions you may have regarding the final outcome of this round of bargaining.

We encourage all members to call and speak with a representative should questions of uncertainty or clarity be requested. I have added three documents for your reference regarding the process and settlement, please take the time to read each.

Background to the Settlement of the 2019-2023 Collective Agreement: please click here

Mediator’s Recommendations for the Renewal of the 2016 – 2019 Collective Agreement: please click here

LRB Decision Concluding Collective Bargaining: Case No. 71918: please click here

Fraternally,

Jordan Streng
Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer

Workers Compensation Board Review

Please visit the link below, and also read this announcement letter ( click here ) regarding a WCB Review that is being undertaken by the British Columbia provincial government.

In addition to our Union’s submission to the review, it is important that injured workers stories are heard. It is of utmost importance that we try our hardest to reverse what the previous government has done to the WCB since 2003. https://engage.gov.bc.ca/workerscompensationreview/

Important Message From The Training Coordinator

Technical Safety BC and the Industry Training Authority (ITA) have provided the Union with the following email regarding changes to the pressure welding program.

As these changes will affect a majority of our member welders I cannot stress how important that it is for you to read the email which includes several important links and to provide your feedback to Meryl Howell-Fellows of Technical Safety BC.

From: Technical Safety BC Stakeholder Engagement [mailto:engage@technicalsafetybc.ca]
Sent: May 21, 2019 4:10 PM
To: ‘gweel@boilermakers359.org’
Subject: Feedback on new pressure welder program

Good afternoon, Gordon:

Technical Safety BC invites you and your members to comment on the new pressure welder program and associated fees, which will be introduced in December 2019. Please forward this information to your members, who may be interested in the upcoming changes.

Read details on the new program.

The changes are designed to align with ITABC’s new red seal program for welders. As part of the new program:

  • Three new classes of pressure welder certificates of qualification are introduced:
    • Class A can perform registered pressure welds on any pressure equipment in BC. Pressure welders already working in the industry can apply to transition for a Class A pressure welder certificate of qualification, with no application or evaluation fee, provided they meet all transition criteria. Read the detailed transition requirements. Class A pressure welders will also need to complete a practical test every three years to renew their certificate.
    • Class R can perform a limited scope of pressure welding work on specific equipment or sites.
    • Class IT can perform pressure welds as an apprentice under supervision, which allows apprentice welders to obtain practical experience welding on regulated pressure equipment that previously was not possible.
  • New applicants for the Class A, Class R, and Class IT classes of pressure welding certificate of qualification will need to complete a practical test for their certification at a facility that can accommodate these tests; and
  • Recognized testing administrators will be responsible for recording the successful completion of welding performance qualification tests in welders’ logbooks.

Throughout May to July, we will be gathering industry feedback on the new program and the associated fees. If the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers is interested, we would like to meet with you to get your thoughts on whether the new pressure welder program works for your members, whether you think the proposed fees are reasonable, suggested improvements to the program, and the reasons behind your opinions. You are also welcome to complete the online feedback form or attend an upcoming online meeting, and please let us know if you think an in-person meeting in your area would be well attended.

Please contact me at engage@technicalsafetybc.ca and we can arrange a meeting date at your convenience, either via video conference or in person. Thank you for your interest and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kindest regards,

Meryl Howell-Fellows

 

Meryl Howell-Fellows | Business Partner, Stakeholder Engagement

TECHNICAL SAFETY BC | Safe technical systems. Everywhere.

Toll-free: 1 866 566 7233

Suite 600 – 2889 East 12th Avenue, Vancouver, BC  V5M 4T5

technicalsafetybc.ca