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Lodge 359 Staff Year End Newsletter

Dec 20, 2023

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Business Managers Report

Our membership remains strong and continues to grow. This growth is a testament to our collective commitment to fostering a strong and supportive community within our Lodge. I am honored and it is a privilege to be able to serve the Boilermakers as the Business Manager. I look forward to the upcoming opportunities the Boilermakers have now and into the future.

Our financial health remains robust. The lodge’s financials indicate an increase in revenue compared to the same period last year. Prudent financial management and cost-control measures have contributed to this positive outcome.

The Boilermakers Lodge 359 continue to actively participate in Community outreach programs. Most recently, we donated $10,000 to Canuck Place through our annual Golf Tournament.

The Bargaining Committee was successful this year in Bargaining a collective agreement with the CLRA resulting in one the best rounds of bargaining we have seen in a long time.

The Reciprocity Agreement between the Trustees of the Boilermakers National Pension Fund (Canada) has been amended.

Where the Boilermakers National Pension Plan (Canada) is the Transferring Fund, the Contribution which shall be paid to the Home Fund, effective with the work month of January 2023, shall be 100% of the amount on behalf of the applicable member. Where the Boilermakers Pension Trust Fund is the Transferring Fund, the contribution which shall be paid to Home Fund, effective with the work month of January 2023, shall be 100% of the amount paid on behalf of the applicable member.

We have had significant improvements to the pension plan a letter was sent out outlining the improvements.

  • A 10% increase to benefits accrued for hours worked between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2018 for all members
  • An 11% increase to benefits accrued for all hours worked up to December 31st 2023 for all members
  • An increase to future benefit accruals for all hours worked after January 1st 2024, including a temporary benefit improvement in effect until December 31, 2026, as described in Appendix A of the December 31, 2022 valuation report.

The JRD program has been updated with a signed letter of understanding as discussed at the recent Liaison Committee meeting.

  1. Complete housekeeping updates (amending to BC BCA new name, utilizing consistent names throughout the document and removing irrelevant information that is related to the set-up of the program).
  2. Updating names of providers from OSSA to Energy Safety Canada and Worksafe BC
  3. Adding Qualitative fit testing
  4. Adding language that the initial certification for fall arrest and confined space are to be completed in person.

I want to express my gratitude to our dedicated members for their hard work and commitment. Together, we have achieved remarkable progress over the past year. I am confident that, with our collective efforts, we will continue to thrive and serve the best interest of our members our clients and the community.

Fraternally,

Brother Gord Weel

Business Manager

 

 

Assistant Business Managers Report

We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every member for their devotion, professionalism and hard work towards another successful year. We would also like to express our gratitude to those travel cards who accepted the opportunity to work within the district of Lodge 359. We regularly hear feedback regarding the camaraderie that other locals admire when visiting our Province, which may contribute to the necessary filling of dispatch orders as Canadian Boilermakers have experienced an increase in work opportunities.

The sharing of knowledge and experience is vital to the sustainability and growth of our organization, members are encouraged to become involved at any level. This helps in the development of supervisor and steward training, mentoring apprentices, health and safety education, greater equality, pension and health benefits along with higher wages.

This has been a record year regarding bargaining, the reconstitution of the BCA, the ratification of the CLRA and the full pension reciprocal between our plan and the National plan that became retroactive January 1st 2023.

All of the above would have been extremely difficult to achieve if not for the hard diligent work of this administration, in particular our previous manager Jordan Streng, who spent countless hours in front and behind the scenes throughout the negotiations, all the while building bridges. Just when you think the storm had passed, we were dealt with an organizational change which led to the removal of the International President and some other International Representatives. It was through this change that a Western Representative position was offered to our manager Jordan Streng. Knowing that this was a chance to be involved in the restructuring of the organization and make some necessary improvements for all members, Jordan graciously accepted the position and will be interacting with the three Western Provinces to provide his bargaining experience and broaden governance.

We need to continually address the impact of the opioid epidemic on workers in the construction industry, as this work has never been more important. The Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan provides critical mental health and substance abuse programs for the Construction Industry. Please 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 schedule the help you need.

If you’re not sure if you’re having suicidal thoughts, or if what you’re going through is related to suicide, or you’re worried about someone else, we want to help. Call or text 9-8-8 toll free, any time — lines are open 24/7/365 which is the new Canadian hotline and a responder will be there to talk things through with you.

With the continued success of our Pensioners Banquet and Golf Tournament held this year. We have re-booked the venues for 2024 and look forward to holding these events as they are enjoyed by everyone.

We also want to pass along our deepest sympathies to those Brothers and Sisters 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, especially 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.

2023

Rick Clark, Wayne Alcock, David Paterson, Gordon Bruggeman, Fred Hoffer, William Tallas, Paul Glowatski, Brian Leonard, Pompeu Setas, Mike Hastings, Mathew Keen, Roy Buckberry, Cliff Holland, Emil Garay, Keith Ferlin, Barry Dobrensky, Christian Freiburghaus, Mike Tookey, Joseph Garofano and Peter Bell.

On behalf of all of us here, including our Move-Up Administration Staff of Laura, Wanda, Jamie and Yanic, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Fraternally,

Brother Dave French

Assistant Business Manager

 

 

Lodge 359’s Presidents Report

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Boilermaker Lodge 359,

As we gather to celebrate the close of another year, it is with great warmth and gratitude that we extend our heartfelt greetings to each one of you. This year has brought its fair share of challenges and triumphs, and through it all, our union has stood strong. Your unwavering support and dedication have been the cornerstone of our success and we are excited to carry the momentum into the New Year.

Lodge 359 Shops

It was another positive year for our industrial sector. We were able to successfully agree to a new 3 year collective agreement with Inter-Kraft Contracting Ltd. The custom fabrication shop in Nanaimo has been a constant with Lodge 359 and we are excited to continue our relationship. BM&M Screening Solutions had a very successful year, exceeding its production milestones despite some changes in management and having some integral members retire. Peerless Ltd. had some up and downs throughout the year including an unfortunate fire which took a couple buildings out of order for a few months but they have since recovered and are still continuing to add the 15 plus Union members they have hired in 2023. FARR Fabricating are ending the year on a high note as they were able to acquire a substantial contract for an oil sands project which led to some shop expansion, additional hours and will lead to hiring more union members in 2024. Our industrial sector continues to be an integral part of this Union and we thank all of our shop members for their consistent efforts day in and day out that contribute to the overall success of Boilermakers Lodge 359.

LNG Canada

In the past year, the LNG Canada project has made remarkable progress. A lot of that progress can be attributed to the Boilermakers commitment to safety, hard work and professionalism. Members who are working at LNG Canada continue to exhibit the excellence that is required to execute such a major project.

In the latest project update, the Boilermakers have achieved significant milestones in the installation process, most notably, successfully handling a colossal 18 million tons of steel! With precision and expertise, Boilermakers seamlessly executed the rigging and setting of all the modules, completed the Waste Heat Recovery Units and meticulously dressed the pre-cooler exchangers, ensuring each component meets the highest standards of quality and functionality.

This remarkable progress underscores our dedication to delivering top-tier results in complex industrial projects. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to push the boundaries of construction excellence.

Executive Board

I would first like to congratulate the newly elected Executive Board members. Your dedication, leadership skills and respect from your peers have earned you these positions and I’m certain you will contribute significantly to the success of your roles. A special thank you to all the nominees for your willingness to want to take on a larger role within the Union and our hope is you continue to put your name forward when other opportunities emerge.

This year was marked by a number of successful union events; The Golf Tournament, Fishing Derby, Island Picnic, Pension Banquet and the Kids Christmas party. The Executive Board would like to thank all the members for approving and participating in these enjoyable events. These annual Boilermakers Lodge 359 events collectively contribute to provide great memories and a sense of community within our membership. Special thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers who help fund and facilitate these events, they would not be possible without your help.

In 2024 let’s continue to focus on staying true to the core principles and values of a union as it is crucial for maintaining solidarity and strength. This involves promoting unity among members, advocating for workers’ rights, and actively participating in union activities.

Let’s work on improving mentorship within the union, fostering open communication, establishing clear expectations, and providing ongoing support. Encouraging experienced members to share their knowledge with newer ones can enhance mentorship. It’s essential to create an environment where both mentor and mentee feel valued and supported in their union journey. We need to recognize that being a good, respectful union member also means respecting the rights and opinions of fellow members, staying informed about union policies, and contributing to the overall goals of the union.

As we look back on the past year and eagerly anticipate the future, we want to take a moment to express our appreciation for your trust and collaboration. Together, we have achieved great things, and we’re excited for the opportunities that the next year will bring.

Thank you for being an essential part of our union family. We wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and a prosperous new year.

Fraternally,

Brother Jeremy Kwok

President and Business Representative

 

 

Apprentice Coordinators Report 2023

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the membership of Lodge 359.  2023 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.

The Boilermakers Lodge 359 has 80 indentured apprentices at various levels and 24 pre apprentices.  All pre apprentices must complete the Job Ready Dispatch requirements and be registered to attend the Boilermaker Foundations course at BCIT.

BCIT holds 2 Boilermaker Foundations courses per year. The first class starts in March and the second starts in September of each year. The current September 2023 Foundations class is set to graduate the first week of February 2024. The March 2024 Foundations class is full and BCIT is accepting names for the September 2024 class.

The Level 2 and 3 upgrades are held twice a year. These classes are held in the months of January and February and then October and November of each year. All Level 2 and Level 3 upgrade classes are held at BCIT. The Level 4 upgrade is held once a year at the end of January at the Union Hall.

Class A renewals can be performed at the Union Hall.  Member welders 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 member welders that wish to test or practice at the hall can call Apprenticeship and Training at 778 369 3590 and book a booth.

The Union Hall has purchased a Telehandler which should arrive in May of 2024. Throughout the year we will be hosting Shop Steward Courses, Supervisor training, Forklift, Scissor Lift, Telehandler and Aerial Work Platform training courses. Dates for classes will be posted on the Boilermaker 359 nightly callout.

Lodge 359 recently sent 3 of its members to Local 146 in Edmonton for train the trainer courses. Lodge 359 now has the ability to train members on the Bundle Puller and Torque and Tensioning equipment. It has been a long standing goal of this administration to provide as much training as possible to help maintain the Boilermaker advantage.

Throughout the year we do recruitment visits to various schools around the province. This year we visited Vancouver Island University, Okanagan College, Kwantlen Polytech University, and University of the Fraser Valley.

Lodge 359 held its first Fill in the Gap course at Okanagan College.  We are currently in talks with Kwantlen Polytech University to run another class. This course is designed to help students achieve their Class A ticket. Applicants must have a B ticket in order to be accepted into the program.

This year we had 2 High School classes visit our facility. The staff at Lodge 359 set up burning, welding and rigging stations in the shop allowing the students to get hands on experience. Lodge 359 is looking to further engage with High Schools to promote the Boilermaker trade to the next generation.

The annual Kids Christmas party has been a great success. The children enjoy an afternoon with face paint, balloon animals and of course Saint Nick drops by.

Fraternally,

Brother Sat Chatta

Apprenticeship & Training Coordinator

 

 

Site C Report 

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Boilermakers Local 359,

Merry Christmas and Happy New-year to all the members, I would like to take a moment to thank the membership for their dedication and hard work, I am very grateful for the opportunity to be working as a new business representative from dispatching to now transitioning over to taking care of BC Hydro (Site C), and to also have the opportunity to teach the Aerial Boom Lift and Scissor lift Courses.

December 2023 BC Hydro Site C Clean Energy Hydro Dam Project Update

Groupe LAR Penstock:

Penstocks 1 through 6 have been completed except for the expansion couplers, Groupe Lar had a bit of a set back with the couplers as they have been waiting for them to show up from Quebec, Once the couplers arrive they will be at the OSS shop to fabricate these units, and then they will be transported to site and Installed with a completion date well into 2024. The Diversion tunnel was completed. BC Hydro had slated the Diversion tunnel job for 12 Weeks, Groupe LAR bid the job at 10 Weeks, The guys and gals worked extremely hard to complete the job ahead of schedule coming in at 7.5 Weeks. BCH has delayed the filling of the reservoir until spring of 2024, due to hibernating animals (Bears) that will be in the flood zone.

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 Scroll cases units 1 through 6 were completed last year, with the focus being on the expansion couplers from the penstocks entering the powerhouse chambers to the scroll case sections, due to numerous engineering changes, the work has been slow going but the boilermakers have been executing the work with excellence. In the coupling chamber unit 1 has been completed, all components have been installed on unit 2, for unit 3 the are waiting on engineering instruction for completing this housing expansion, all components have been installed in unit 4, the work has not yet begun on the expansion housing. The boilermakers are adjusting/fabricating the remaining 4 large components for units 5/6 at the O.S.S (on site shop).  This work will continue through 2024 and will follow with a composite crew of Boilermakers and millwrights up to the point of commission, The boilermakers will also be onsite removing the bulk heads from the Cones.

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 rigging, welding, fitting and metal fabrication along with the opportunity to experience Supervisory roles.

We would like to take this opportunity to recognise all the Members that have been and /or are on this particular project for the dedication and exceptional skills and abilities that in turn help secure the possibility of additional scopes of work on this site.

If you are interested in a good watch about Site C, click on the following link.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BmMskh3oCA

Fraternally,

Brother Martin Hertweck

Business Representative

 

 

Dispatchers Report

Brothers & Sisters of Lodge 359,

As we approach the end of another remarkable year, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to the membership for your dedication and hard work.

There was a heavy amount of overlapping shutdowns & New construction jobs with demanding manpower requirements which were successfully filled & accomplished.

Reflecting on the work scope milestones of 2023:

Tank Projects Completed:

-14 Tanks at Burnaby Mountain Terminal  

-1 Tank at Sumas Mountain Terminal 

-2 Tanks at YVR Airport

-6 Tanks Re-piped at RAM Engineering YVR Site

-1 LNG Tank (300’ Diameter) One of the largest LNG tanks in the world

Long term New Construction:

-Group Lar (Penstock) Site C {Ongoing}

-Voith (Scroll case) Site C {Ongoing}

-Fluor LNG Canada project {Ongoing}

-WKM Trail Teck Ducting project {Completed}

Large Shutdowns Completed:

-CIMS Burnaby Parkland (200 BM’s)

-CIMS Trail Teck Resources (120 BM’s)

-CIMS Nanaimo Harmac (200 BM’s)

-CIMS Crofton (140 BM’s)

-CIMS Taylor Gas plant (100 BM’s)

-B&W Skookumchuck Paper Excellence (200 BM’s)

-APM PG Northwood (100 BM’s)

-TVE Kamloops Krueger Paper (200BM’s)

Emergency Jobs:

-Approx 140+ Emergency Orders, all of them filled & completed on time and safely.

If you were posted on the board this year, chances are you got called at some point from Dispatch for an Emergency Job. Some of these calls came in as early as 6:00AM and a few jobs were even called out at / around midnight.

I’d like to personally thank the membership for being flexible & willing to hit the road as soon as you received a phone call, the Contractor and client groups have expressed their appreciation for the dedication that everyone has shown to fill these calls at any time of the day or night.

That being said, in response to Member feedback, we have revised the dispatch working rules to better serve the needs of our members, particularly when it comes to emergency dispatches.

Effective immediately following an E-Board decision the “Under 40 Hours” Will be recognized as Hours Worked for Emergency orders only.

We understand the importance of ensuring that our members can readily accept Emergency Dispatches on short notice which are often on or just before weekends / double-time days without the concern of losing their board position so easily.

We believe that this adjustment will not only benefit individual Members but also contribute to the overall efficiency and responsiveness of our Dispatch system.

See Revision below:

Old Language:

3.10 When a member is dispatched to a job and that member earns less than forty (40) paid hours, the member may post his/her name as “Under Forty (40)”. When a member posts his/her name as “Under Forty (40)” he/she will retain their previous time stamped board position on the out-of-work list.

Revised Language:

3.10 a) When a member is dispatched to a job and that member earns less than forty (40) paid hours, the member may post his/her name as “Under Forty (40)”. When a member posts his/her name as “Under Forty (40)” he/she will retain their previous time stamped board position on the out-of-work list.

  1. b) For Emergency jobs only the “Less than Forty (40)” hours will be based on actual worked hours worked rather than paid hours.

 

Job Ready Dispatch:

Following a decision through the BCA Liaison Committee, Lodge 359 is pleased to announce that Qualitative fit tests (Smoke Irritant Test) are now acceptable for the JRD program  in addition to Quantitative fit tests.  If you get Qualitative fit tests on site please take a picture of your cards and send them to JRD@Boilermakers359.org

As a general reminder to all Members – please ensure that all of your JRD Tickets are up to date before the shutdown season starts, If you renew them before they expire there is no delay in getting called / dispatched.

If you are unsure of when your tickets are expiring, you can call the general office to ask, or you can email me anytime at dispatch@boilermakers359.org

Class A Pressure Tickets:

Welders who need to renew their Class A Pressure tickets please contact Sat Chatta 778-369-3590 or Email Schatta@Boilermakers359.org to book a booth for Renewal.

ATAC is reimbursing the Class A Pressure ticket Renewal Fee. To get reimbursed please send receipt and new wallet card pictures to JRD@Boilermakers359.org

It should also be mentioned that there’s an option for members to renew their Class A Pressure Tickets through a Company specific welding procedure at the Union hall. This will increase your chances of getting called for emergency dispatches when companies specify certain welding procedures. I believe Members should seize this opportunity if you’re renewing your Class A Pressure tickets at the hall as you’d be killing two birds with 1 stone. Please enquire about which procedures are available when booking your Class A Renewal.

Updating your Information:

Just a reminder to everyone to make sure your address on file is up to date along with your beneficiary / benefits information.

To confirm please call the general office at 778-369-3590

Lodge 359 Website Upgrade:

For many years Members have experienced the inconvenience of downloading a PDF file to view the dispatch callout on our website, This would often result in bringing up an outdated dispatch file which was frustrating to say the least.

I’m pleased to announce that we have successfully launched the upgraded website. The biggest change is the nightly callout is now viewable immediately, with no download required. The Website is also now optimized for mobile devices, tablets & computers.

We will be continuing to modernize the website and make it easier to navigate.

If any members are having issues with the website, memberlink, or have any suggestions please email CRobertson@boilermakers359.org

Looking Ahead to 2024 :

As we prepare to welcome a new year, let us carry forward the momentum that defines our Union.

Some potentially large shutdowns / projects coming up in the new year will be 3 Canola tanks in Surrey, The Gen bank in Port Alberni, A major revamp of the Kivcet in Trail, ontop of the typical spring/fall shutdown roster & any bump-ups for the long term projects that are ongoing as well as any emergency jobs that will arise.

In closing, I am truly honored to continue serving the membership as your Dispatcher, and look forward to the continued success and growth of Local 359 in the coming year.

Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas & a relaxing holiday season.

In Solidarity,

Collin Robertson

Dispatcher / Business Representative

 

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