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January 2017 Newsletter

Jan 19, 2017

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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.

BM – 01 31 2 1 0 0 0 34
BM – 02 24 6 4 4 1 0 39
BM – 03 3 13 8 2 1 3 30
BM – 04 0 0 0 1 1 0 2
BM – IP 0 6 11 4 10 6 37
TOTALS 58 27 24 11 13 9 142

The table below is the Apprentice training schedule for 2017.

Course Type Location Dates
Apprentice Level 4 Upgrade Joe Kiwior/Ivan Shook Training Centre January 3 to January 13
Apprentice Level 2 Upgrade BCIT January 9 to February 10
Apprentice Level 2 Upgrade Joe Kiwior/Ivan Shook Training Centre January 16 to February 17
Foundation Course BCIT February 2017 to August 2017
Apprentice Level 3 Upgrade BCIT February 14 to March 17
Apprentice Level 2 Upgrade BCIT October 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

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