OHS Survey

Good day Union Family,

In 2020 the Alberta Government passed Bill 47: Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, this Act has a number of amendments to OH&S as well as WCB legislation. From 2021-2023 OHS code will be reviewed in three phases. At each phase there will be some level of public consultation.

Phase one consultation is now open with the survey linked below. I have completed this survey and the first section is focused on Asbestos regulations, Pulmonary Function tests, Spirometry tests, and chest X rays. As most Insulators know Spirometry testing provides significantly less information than what is provided by a true Pulmonary Function test. The PFT needs to be held as the standard under OHS for the safety of all workers exposed to Asbestos in the Province of Alberta. Additionally, there is focused questions regarding removal of the chest X-ray requirement under OHS. This is unacceptable, these X-rays have provided detection of growths in our Member’s lungs long before the Member experienced symptoms. The only way the X-ray requirement can be removed is if it is changed to a Low Dose Computed Tomography or LDCT, that has now become the gold standard in lung cancer screening.

I ask that every Insulator take the time to fill out this survey. Even if you only answer the first section and skip the others that will bring attention to the importance of proper regulations around Asbestos handling, Asbestos exposure, and long-term health monitoring.

If you have any questions please contact me at the Edmonton Union office.

https://www.alberta.ca/ohs-code-review-2020-23.aspx

In Solidarity
Kevin Lecht
Business Manager

Good Friday

Good day Union Family

Just a quick reminder that this Friday April 2, 2021 is Good Friday and is the holiday as per the Collective Agreement. Offices in both Calgary and Edmonton will be closed, and the Staff and Officers will have the day off.

The Business Agents and I can still be contacted by Email or on our cell phone in the case of emergencies.

In solidarity
Kevin Lecht

Asymptomatic COVID Testing

Good day Union Family,

The 2021 spring shutdown season is just starting to kick off. As we all know last year thousands of manhours of work was put off or cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. Although the COVID pandemic is still going strong with new variants being found and a sporadic vaccination roll out, the Clients look to be moving ahead with the shutdowns as planned.

With the expectation of a large increase of manpower at most sites, Clients have been developing additional COVID protocols, to help ensure everyone’s health. One of the additional protocols that is being added at most sites is Asymptomatic/Rapid COVID testing. Individuals will be tested asymptomatically when they are identified as being in high-risk work groups. These workers would be individuals that are required to be in close proximity with a number of different people to preform their duties. There will be testing prior to Client provide transportation, this is especially for individuals that will be provided flights. Also, asymptomatic testing will be performed on individuals found to be in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID.

For most cases being asymptomatic the worker will be able to continue working until the test results come back. This should be a maximum of two hours for most sites, but please ask at the time of testing how long it will be to get the results. If the results are negative the worker will continue as normal. However, if the results are positive the worker will be required to self-isolate as per Alberta Health Services and complete an Alberta Health Services COVID test.

Isolation protocols are different depending on the Client. Some are providing in camp isolation accommodations; some require that isolation happens at an off-site location. Whatever, the requirements it is important that our Members follow the requirements and insure they do not contaminate anyone else. During the time of isolation, the Member will not be compensated for their time, but there are programs through Employment Insurance that will provide some financial assistance.

The Business Agents and I have been contacted by a number of Members that are concerned about if the Client has the legal right to require asymptomatic testing as a site access requirement. I have contacted legal council and have been assured that as long as the Clients are following privacy law there is no way to restrict the use of COVID testing for site access.

If you have questions about the testing requirements please contact me at the Edmonton Union hall. If you have questions about your Contractors or sites protocols, your Job Steward or area Business Agent should be able to provide that information.

In Solidarity
Kevin Lecht
Business Manager

International Women’s Day


Good day Union Family

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.

Local 110 is seen as being a leader in brining women into the trades and providing gender parity wages through collective bargaining. Currently, Local 110 has the highest percentage of female Membership throughout the Alberta Building Trades, and according to the Alberta Government Insulators have the ninth highest percentage of women as registered apprentices in the Province of Alberta. This all sounds very good until you hear Local 110 has only 17% of our Membership that are women, and Insulator Apprenticeship has 18% women as registered apprentices. Our Union has found that more than sixty percent of women that become registered apprentices do not obtain Journeyman certification.

One of the major obstacles for women in the trades is childcare. Though out Alberta most daycares are not open until 7am and close at 5pm, this makes finding appropriate childcare for someone working a normal ten-hour schedule very difficult. As well when a child gets sick much of the time it is the women that stays home with them. This was very apparent at the start of the COVID Pandemic when our Union saw several Female Members who were in long term maintenance positions take layoffs to accommodate schools being closed, and now some of these women are not taking calls due to the possibility of having to take extended time off if their child gets sick, or has a COVID exposure.

There are countless other obstacles in front of women, both at work and in society. It will take each and everyone of us working together to move our world forward and obtain gender parity. Women’s equality is about making society better as a whole. Change is never easy, but this is positive change that needs to be embraced by everyone.

Our Union has a long way to go, but we will continue to work towards an inclusive work culture for all our Members. I encourage all of our Members to learn more about International Woman’s Day and how you can personally get involved.

In solidarity
Kevin Lecht
Business Manager

Business Managers Report

Good day Union Family

The last few weeks have been quite encouraging in regard to the work situation this year. Last year most clients down sized or postponed their shutdowns due to the Pandemic. However, this year clients look to be finding more options on how to deal with the impact of COVID instead of just hoping it will go away. This does mean that our work life will be significantly different, but clients are committed to completing the required shutdown work. I will have the Business Agents provide updates about the sites as information is released.

NWR has put out for bid a large maintenance package. This is a multi-trade package and a number of the usual large union contractors such as Worley are putting together bids. However, I have also been contacted by a number of our contractors that are entering into partnerships with other unionized contractors for other trades to provide the required services for this bid. Although, the Union does not have a preference for what Contractor wins the work, as long as it is a Union Contractor, but it is nice to see the commitment and outside of the box thinking from some Contractors to provide employment opportunities for our Membership.

Grande Prairie area has traditionally been dominated by small contractors performing Mechanical Insulation work, with contracts being awarded at the site level. With the global shift towards working from home a number of the Clients in the area are centralizing procurement back to the main office. This is resulting in new opportunities for Contractors that are able to provide services to multiple sites, and a number of our Contractors have been actively bidding this work. Although, our rates will be enabled to obtain this work, it will be nice to move into a market that the Union have virtually ignored for decades.

Provincial Construction Collective Agreement bargaining has been ongoing since 2018. Our Bargaining Committee has made great strides towards getting a memorandum of agreement. However, for this last year bargaining through meeting apps has been virtually impossible. Progress has been made on wording for the agreement, but there is still significant amount of work left to be done. Hopefully with the changing restrictions from the Alberta Government we will be able to meet again, in person, as a committee and hammer out the last of the agreement.

The Edmonton and Calgary offices are open to the Membership. However, a COVID screening and temperature check have to be completed when entering and Alberta Health Services recommended PPE must be worn at all times while in the building. We do ask if you are able to complete your business through Email, phone, or the website please do so, as reducing possible exposure is in all of our best interests. Training is being provided by the Training Center with limited capacity to ensure proper distancing, please contact the trainers for availability.

Lastly, Local 110 is looking to host another online town hall meeting. If you would like to be involved please email dispatch@insulators110.com with your name and email you wish to be contacted through and the log in information will be provided to you closer to the date. I would also like to mention that these meetings can be attended by calling in from any phone and the call-in numbers are provided in the email as well.

In solidarity
Kevin Lecht
Business Manager

Fuller Austin (Stuart Olson) Suncor Agreement

Good day Union Family

The last number of years Fuller Austin (Stuart Olson)) has performed the Mechanical Insulation Maintenance work at the Suncor Base Plant in Fort McMurray. During this time Fuller Austin has utilized the National Maintenance Agreement (NMA) for Alberta, for all work preformed onsite.

In 2020 Fuller Austin applied to the General Presidents Maintenance Committee (GPMC) for an adherence agreement to be able to utilize the General Presidents Maintenance Agreement (GPMA) for Suncor Inc Tar Island, Alberta. This adherence agreement was granted by the GPMC in 2020. Local 110 has now received notice from Fuller Austin that as of April 1, 2021 they will be utilizing the GPMA for Suncor Inc Tar Island, Alberta for all work at the Suncor site.

What does this really mean for Members working on this site? Unfortunately, quite a bit. The GPMA is a focused agreement for long term maintenance and with the last round of bargaining a number of changes were made to move the NMA and the GPMA further apart in regard to working conditions and wages. Local 110 is working on building a concise list of the differences between the two agreements that will be distributed through Norther Business Agent Doug Casemore and the Job Steward. However, one of the more immediately noticeable differences is that under the NMA Members were paid the full Construction Collective Agreement rate since the project is located within 100 KM of the City of Fort McMurray. Now under the GPMA the rates will be reduced by seventy-five cents per hour.

I would suggest any Member working maintenance be familiar with the agreement they are working under. If you are not sure what agreement you are under, please contact your local area Business Agent or Myself. A current copy of the agreement can be found at http://www.gpmccanada.com/

In solidarity
Kevin Lecht
Business Manager

Local 110 Dispatch Code-A-Phones

Good day Union Family

The Local 110 Dispatch Code-A-Phone system has been in place for a number of decades. Currently, there are a total of 4 Code-A-Phone numbers housed in different parts of the Province. One in Calgary, one in Red Deer, one in Edmonton, and one in Fort McMurray. However, with the addition of the Local 110 website and online dispatch system, the Code-A-Phone system is not seeing much usage.

As per motion passed by the Local 110 Executive Board, starting February 1, 2021 Local 110 will be going down to one Dispatch Code-A-Phone. This message can be reached at the current Edmonton Code-A-Phone number (780) 485-3089. Notice of this change will be recorded on all Code-A-Phone messages up to February 1, 2021. Although, there is no plan to end the Dispatch Code-A-Phone completely, the Local will be monitoring future usage.

If you have any questions, I can be reached at the Edmonton Union Hall.

In solidarity
Kevin Lecht
Business Manager

Suncor Firebag

Brothers and Sisters

Local 110 has been notified that TAMS has had their contract terminated at Suncor Firebag as of March 1, 2021. This contract termination is for all trades on the site working all schedules.

Suncor has informed TAMS that this was a commercial decision directly due to current labour rates. Reinforcing that the safety, quality, and professionalism of the workforce has been exemplary, and they continue to value the relationship between TAMS, and the Union Partners.

Although, this decision comes as a blow due to the long history we have had at the Suncor site and the fact there has been no prior warning to the Membership or our Local. However, this is another clear message that with the downturn in the economy, the push for cost saving from clients in continuing and our relationships, productivity, quality, and ability to supply are not going to keep these contracts.

It is unfortunate that this is not the first time Local 110 has experienced this contract situation from a client and a contractor working under the General Presidents Maintenance Agreements. Previously, it has been contained to the Insulation and Scaffold trades, but now with larger trades such as the Pipefitters being directly attacked our Membership may see drastic changes to the standard maintenance agreements to not only keep work, but provide multi-trade contractors the ability to gain work going forward.

I will provide updates as the office is provided more information.

In solidarity
Kevin Lecht
Business Manager

Office Closed for the Holidays 2020


Good day Union Family

The Local 110 offices in both Edmonton and Calgary will be closed as of 4:30 PM Tuesday December 22, 2020 until 8:00 AM January 04, 2021, for the Christmas break. If there are any emergency calls the phones and website will be updated, with the information on bidding. The Business Agents and I can be reached in emergency by Email or on our cell phones.

This time of year can be difficult at the best of times, and 2020 has not been the best of times for anyone. Across Canada and in our own Membership people are struggling. If you are able reach out to some of these people, please do. It can be a gesture like shoveling their walks, but even making a quick phone call to say hello can help remind people they are not alone.

If you happen to be struggling, please take the time to reach out and ask for help. The CEFAP program is available at 1-800-663-1142, or call Health Link at 811.

When looking back on this year it is easy to remember the negatives, but there have been positives for Local 110. Our Membership purchased a new location for our Calgary office, opening new opportunities in Southern Alberta. Progress has been made towards a new Provincial Construction Collective Agreement. Our Local organized three new companies. There are also positive indications for work in the New Year.

In close I wish everyone a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season. Please stay safe and take care of yourself and your loved ones.

In solidarity
Kevin Lecht
Business Manager

Local 110 Official Election Results as per Independent Third Party

There was a total of 947 ballots mailed out with 510 ballots returned.
Local 110 would like to thank our Auditor Al Scherbarth for acting as the independent third party for this election.
Thanks to the Members of our Election Committee Ivan Jerrett (Chair), James Ruddy, Jim Hackenschmidt, Perry Kraus, and Laura Adams, this was not an easy election to be the committee for and we thank you for your participation.
Thank you to all Members who put their names forward in this election. Your participation in the process and in the Local are appreciated.
Lastly, congratulations to all Members that were elected by vote or acclamation. We look forward to your ideas and leadership in the difficult years ahead. There will be difficult decisions in the next four years but working as a team Local 110 will come out stronger and more united on the other side.
The vacant Sgt. At Arms North position will be nominated and elected at the first General Membership Meeting held in 2021.
President
• Pat Sullivan Acclamation
Vice President
• Dan Annett Acclamation
Business Manager
• Kevin Lecht Elected
Northern Business Agent
• Douglas Casemore Elected
Central Business Agent
• Stacy Edmondson Elected
Southern Business Agent
• Derek Stock Acclamation
Executive Board
• Ralph Bunker Elected
• Alan Davidson Elected
• Andrew Doucet Jr. Elected
• Phillipe Poirier Elected
• Paul Blinzer Elected
Financial Trustees
• Paul Blinzer Acclamation
• Cale Haack Acclamation
• Chris Trevors Acclamation
Sgt. At Arms North
• Vacant
Sgt. At Arms South
• Neil Holatko Acclamation
Recording Secretary
• Janice Matlock Acclamation