These are past Business Manager Bill Spring's 2011 BM Updates.
BUSINESS MANAGER Bill Spring “HISTORICAL” UPDATE
I hope you will find the below “Updates” interesting and of some value. For ease of review, I have underlined and put into italics the topic I am referring to (and or yellow highlighted it), and assigned a number to it for reference if you want to call me and refer to it, or discuss it with someone else. I am going to add Updates from time to time, always putting the more recent one at the start of the document here, and leaving the past ones in place further along in the document. If there is any specific information you as a member/insulator/associate would like to input on this site, please call me to discuss it. I invite you to from time to time check this HISTORICAL UPDATE section out to see any further ones that are done. It dates much later back in time than the CURRENT UPDATE does, so that those with computers that do not have enough capacity can download the Current Update in a timely way – Bill
* Local 110 journeymen members who have applied for and received Blackberry phones that our union provide at no cost to the member for the phone or monthly service (except for calls they make to land lines or non Telus cell phone over and above what is allowed for in the package) will be sent many or most of these Updates in a “blast email” they will get. Those blast emails will often have more details that it may not be appropriate to upload onto our publicly seen Local 110 website. Local 110 members with home email addresses can provide those email addresses to our union in writing and we will send those blast emails to them also.
- A reminder that, members can click on “Edit” at the top of their screen, and then on “find”, key in a word that will take them to each place in the below Updates which reflects that word, and see past Updates that relate to a given subject that word will be within. For example, search for the word RSAP and find any Update that has anything to do with RSAP.
See below for Update and past Updates
December 31, 2011 Saturday
1. Business Manager Bill Spring Status of the Union Parting Comments – So, today is the end of a year and the end of my final term in office as Business Manager for Local 110. For 28 years, starting in 1981, I’ve been working full time for Local 110 as a Director of Occupational Health and Safety, a Business Agent and then Business Manager. The job has had its ups and downs and presented plenty of difficulty and frustration from time to time, but if I could do it over again I wouldn’t do differently, even with the benefit of hindsight. Just as I felt several months ago when I decided for a number of reasons and announced I would be stepping down as Business Manager, I have mixed feelings about it this final day of the term; but ultimately it was the right decision and I think time will prove that. It has been a pleasure and a privilege working with the many of our membership, present and past, building a union that we can all be proud of.
I wish all of the Local 110 membership and their families a happy and prosperous 2012. Work has been considerably slower this past three months compared to the last few years. Those of you, who are unemployed, don’t get discouraged. The 2012 year will start out a bit slow as usual after the Christmas break, but by the end of February all indicators are reflecting that we should be extremely busy for the remainder of the year and for at least the next few years to come. I expect that you’ll get more hours of work than you’ll want then, to more than make up for the current lull. I base that on numerous meetings I’ve had in December with client and contractor representatives who are all predicting hours of work that will make us even busier than we’ve been the past several years.
I’ve spent the past couple of weeks since our Local 110 election was concluded, working with the two new Business Agents and our new Business Manager, answering their questions and showing them the inside workings of our union administration. From what I have seen, I am confident when they take over from me and the two departing Business Agents, starting on January 3, 2012, they will continue to conduct business in a way that will benefit our rank and file members. Round that out with a mostly new group of other Officers elected that I think are all well suited to do the tasks they are responsible for… and the future looks good. Our union is currently in an excellent fiscal position, as are all of the Trust Funds that we have established to provide for many different kinds of benefits for our membership.
I will start in my new position as Marketing Director for our union’s PITT Fund (Promotion of the Insulator Trade Trust Fund) on January 3, 2012 and am looking forward to working with the Trustees of that Fund and the Local 110 union Officers towards increasing our market share in the insulation industry, progressing some of the initiatives we have implemented the past several years and finding new ways to showcase our Local in a positive way even more than we have. I will be making contact with as many of our membership as I can over the next year seeking their input and assistance towards achieving those goals. I will be doing likewise with our clients, signatory contractors and prospective new contractors, wearing a different hat now that will allow me more time to flush out the many ways our three way partnership can benefit all concerned. I will add here that it has been a pleasure working with them also. It can’t be emphasized enough, that without them we have no future. I’ve learned a lot from them and hope to pass that along to those who follow in my path.
With there now being only several hours before midnight, here is a toast to Local 110 and all of its membership at that hour mark. May we all work safely, cohesively, happily and be compensated well for our efforts in the year ahead.
December 19, 2011 Monday
1. Lapsing Local 110 Members for Unpaid Mortuary Assessments – Today, Local 110 staff brought me a list of names of Local 110 members who are about to be lapsed from the union for non payment of union Mortuary Plan assessments and fines they owe for not paying the assessment.
Each member was months ago sent a first letter notifying them of the amount owed and what the fine and potential lapsing consequences would be for not paying the monies in question in the times prescribed. They were then sent another letter with a fine and notice that they would be lapsed if they didn’t pay both the assessment and the fine.
Some on the list also owe union dues and fines for not paying those monies. They will need to pay those monies also to avoid lapsing if they are not lapsed for failing to pay the Mortuary Plan monies.
There are 109 members going to be lapsed on January 2, 2011 if they haven’t paid the Mortuary Plan / Mortuary Plan fines by then. This is a courtesy notice for them. They know who they are, but as a formality their names will be announced on the Local 110 Code a Phones; and in a blast email to those of our membership who have Smart Phones our union provide or that we have personal email addresses for.
2. Local 110 Edmonton Adult Christmas Party – We had the Edmonton Christmas party this last Saturday at the Polish Hall again, with about 200 members and spouses/guests in attendance. As usual, it was big success event, with many prize bags handed out and a laptop computer drawn for. The fine platters of food served to each table were typical of what the Polish Hall do at such events. The band was the same as last year and did a spectacular job, in large part prompting the vast majority of attendees to stay til near the end of the night. There was a lot of dancing, a lot of reminiscing about this and that and a lot of excitement about what the future has in store for our Trade and our union’s membership in the upcoming year. A big thank you to Local 110 staff in attendance, in alphabetical order: Amanda, Cec, Doreen, Judy, Pattie and Shannon who made it easy for me as MC.
As has become traditionally done the past many years, there were long service pins given out to those of our members who have had continuous service as members for 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55 years. Maurice Skog…. was the one 55 year pin recipient and longest serving member of our International in attendance that night at the party. The newest member of Local 110 at the Christmas party, Rose Vis… exchanged gifts with him to a round of applause.
The event was also an opportunity to recognize in essence a new slate of Officers elected that day for the next three years in office. All of the current Officers except for one BA and two Executive Board members are being replaced by new Officers starting January 1, 2012 and those of us finishing who were in attendance were singled out for recognition also.
There was a lot of camaraderie and a lot of good will, mixed in with a few glasses of refreshment amongst cheers. A late night lunch was provided to cap the night off before a bit more of the festivities before all went home safe and sound.
3. Local 110 Edmonton Children’s Christmas Party – The Local 110 Children’s Xmas Party was held last Sunday/yesterday at the Rundle Park ACT Center – it was a good turnout of kids showing what Christmas is all about!
We had a whopping 116 children register for this years event – accompanied by their families….parents, grandparents and some older siblings – This added up to an incredible potluck spread (best one in years!), with all of the families pitching in bringing the side dishes/platters of food.
The children were able to visit with Santa (receiving a gift and goodie bag); the line up for the Balloon Maker and Face Painters went on for hours – There was a roaming entertainer and a magic show to bring the event to an end. On behalf of the whole Local, a big thank you to Cec and Marie in our office who attended and in large part made the event what it was.
December 17, 2011 Saturday
1. Local 110 Election Results – The Election Committee met this morning and counted the ballots that were received by the Auditor overseeing our Local 110 election, for a new slate of Officers for a three year term starting January 1, 2012 through until the end of December 2014.
The following Local 110 members were elected:
Wade Logan – Business Manager/Corresponding Secretary/Financial Secretary
Doug Johnson – Business Agent Edmonton
Pat Tilley – Business Agent Calgary
Kevin Lecht – Business Agent Fort McMurray
President – Greg Creavon
Vice President – Pat Sullivan
Executive Board, in alphabetical order:
Sergeant at Arms – Dan Shantz
Union Trustees, in alphabetical order:
The turnout was a reasonably good one, 53% of our journeymen members got out to vote. All of the candidates had a significant amount of votes for each position they ran for. The good turnout of votes can be accounted for in large part because of the number of people that ran overall for the full slate of positions. It is a good indicator of a healthy organization. My compliments to all of the members who ran for those position and those who took the time to vote.
I’m having these results reflected in a blast email to those of our membership who have the Blackberry phones or have given Local 110 a personal email address. I have personally called all of the candidates running for all of the positions except for Sergeant of Arms and Executive Board, to either tell them personally or leave a voice mail about the results. I called them at the numbers we have on record for them. The ones I didn’t call, it was because there wasn’t time to do so before I had to leave the office after the Election Committee finishing counting those ballot at the end.
December 14, 2011 Tuesday
1. Wayne Knight has Second Stroke – I learned on the weekend that long time journeyman retired member Wayne Knight had a stroke at home the previous week and is in the Misericordia hospital. He had an initial stroke a few years ago and recovered enough to live independently and much as usual.
I went to visit him today, arriving at noon just as hospital staff were about to provide him with lunch. They had visitors suiting up in hospital gowns with gloves before they go in. I did so and as I was about to enter the room, the nurse on duty asked me if I would bring in his lunch tray. I walked in with it and found Wayne lying on his back in bed watching as I approached. Anyone who knows Wayne knows ‘the look’ I got from him entering that way. His jaw dropped and I think he wanted to rub his eyes to see if maybe he was hallucinating. It took him more than a few seconds to react and then we both had a chuckle.
He took a hard fall when he had the stroke and he’s pretty bruised up from it, but he is alert, talking well and despite it all still has his usual sense of humor, unique as it is. I asked him if he is receptive to visitors and he is. We agreed that I would announce that here tonight. He is in room 704 to this point in time. He is given to understand that he will be in the hospital for a couple more days and then they are going to move him to another place, possibly the Glenrose Hospital for rehabilitation.
2. Observers for the Local 110 Election – This Saturday December 17, 2011, the volunteer Election Committee comprised of Ivan Jerrett, Ian Walker and Jim Hackenschmitd, along with the Auditor chosen by the general membership at a general membership meeting that was hired to oversee the Local 110 Officers election process, will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Edmonton union offices; to open up all of the ballots received by the Auditor in the mail by the deadline prescribed and count them to determine which of the candidates for each position are elected. The results are based on a simple majority. That is, the candidate with at least one more vote than any other candidate will be the winner.
In the spirit of transparency, our union has during the past many years allowed for any candidate running for office to designate another member to come to observe the ballot counting process on a conditional basis.
To ensure that the size of the overall group who are counting, overseeing and observing the process is a manageable number of people, any such intended observer/scrutinizer must have had the following done:
· The candidate wanting an observer/scrutinizer must, make application in writing to union office staff for a specific member of Local 110 to be their observer/scrutinizer; and
· union staff will file a copy of that request in both the candidate and the observer/scrutinizer’s union file; and
· provide the original written request to the union Election Committee prior to them starting the process of counting ballots; and
· No observer/scrutinizer will interfere with or assist the Election Committee or the auditor in any way with the process of counting and tallying the votes.
If someone has not arranged for the observer status in the above referred to way and simply shows up, they will be asked to leave.
Any ‘observer/scrutinizer’ will be required to observe from a far enough distance in the room to ensure that no one can argue that they tampered with the ballots or paperwork being used to tally results. The Auditor along with the election committee will be the final determiners of all of that. Observers/scrutinizers shall not engage in any discussion with the election committee that takes away from there concentration on what they are doing, except to question anything they think is being done inappropriately which I doubt will be necessary. At any time, the Election Committee is empowered to ask someone to leave who will not abide by these conditions.
I anticipate that the Election Committee may finish their counting by 3:00 p.m. if not earlier. I have arranged for a staff to come to the union office at that time to prepare a blast email to be sent out to those of our membership who have smart phones our union provided them, and to those members who’ve provided our union with personal email addresses; announcing the results of the vote tallying. I will come in then also and do a BM Update and upload it to our union’s website. If for whatever reason the counting takes longer than that, we will endeavor to do the blast emails and Update as soon thereafter as reasonably possible.
3. Wellness Center Identifies Pre-diabetes for a Local 110 Member – Another Local 110 member is agreed to my announcing here on a no name basis that he has been through the WoW Center our union has; and after taking some diagnostic tests that were prompted by the process involved there, found out he has an “intolerance to glucose” which was another way of saying that he has a pre-diabetes condition that is near becoming diabetes if he doesn’t act quickly and effectively to head that off.
Determining it at this stage will allow him to make some lifestyle changes alone that will probably head off diabetes that would otherwise likely occur in a short while and require much more medical intervention. Diabetes poses more risk of developing other diseases aggravated/associated with diabetes. This finding for this member and that proactive approach could and probably will prevent him off from having diabetes for many years to come.
It will also prompt that he have regular check ups to monitor the condition and medications prescribed if necessary to assist his body to regulate insulin on its own.
The WoW Center is a medical bay our union purchased in the Synergy Wellness Center in Sherwood Park that provides for additional services to what is provided through Alberta Health Care. The union, through contributions from its signatory employers, paid for that place and is continuing to pay for its ongoing operating expenses. It is free of charge for our members and their families covered by our Health and Welfare Plan, to get proactive medical services there. It is also available to our retirees in good standing and their spouses.
It starts with making an appointment and then going there to do a ‘Health Risk Assessment’ with an RN, something Alberta Health Care does not pay for that the WoW Center pays for. The results of that go to an ‘Occupational Doctor’ who determines if there is a need to file any WCB Claim if one has an occupational disease. Members are given Pulmonary Function Tests and a blood sample is taken relating to that occupational assessment.
The Occupational Doctor also determines whether or not there are any non occupational diseases or diagnostic tests and or consultation with a health specialist Doctor needed to ascertain that, based on any symptoms the person has and on information reflected in the Health Risk Assessment.
The necessary specialist appointments are coordinated by the WoW Center Occupational Doctor and staff. Those services to that point in time are WoW Center expenses. The diagnostic tests and specialist visits are paid for by Alberta Health Care. Then there is follow up by WoW Center staff with the member / member’s family to monitor and assist them with lifestyle changes and ongoing appointments that are intended to head off more serious medical intervention, providing for optimum quality of life.
There are other Updates on this site which describe the WoW Center initiative more that you can search and find here. The number to call for an appointment is: 780 800-6906.
4. Attendance Draw at Local 110 September 10 / October 8 / November 5 / December 10, 2011 General Membership meetings – You can search and find information on the ‘BM Historical Update’ about this initiative (click on “find” on your computer under edit options and key in the words “attendance draw”).
For the following months, the following members names were drawn at the union’s general membership meetings, but were not present at the meeting to be eligible to win and had not been at the previous month’s information meeting in Calgary or Fort McMurray which would have made them eligible to win:
John Fre…, $1000, not present
Mike Coo…, $1000, not present
Vincent Ca.., $1000, not present
Alfredo Medi…., $1000, not present
Gregory Acq…, $1000, not present
Caleb Scho…, $1000, not present
William Log.., $1000, not present
Kevin Wil…, $1000, not present
Don Amy…., $1000, not present
Doug Kee…, $1000, not present
Arnold Verm…., $1000, not present
Gerry War…., $1000, not present
Robert Ire…., $500, not present
Robin Mysha…., $1000, not present
Ada Sw…., $1000, not present
Marko Zal…., $1000, not present
Stewart Hub…, $1000, not present
Who was present at the December 10 meeting was Justin D.. who won the draw there for 750 dollars. As one member said, that was good karma in that Justin had volunteered to be acting Recording Secretary at the meeting in the absence of our current elected Recording Secretary.
The next general meeting is scheduled for Saturday January 14, 2012 and there will be again four draws for 1,000 dollars each and one more additional draw for 250 dollars.
After each of the above referred to general membership meetings were adjourned, as usual, those who chose, attended a restaurant to conclude the meeting with the union providing a meal and soft drinks.
5. Anonymous Complaints – Every once and while, our union gets written or verbal calls from someone who makes allegations of contentions about some member of our union that they want followed up and repercussions for that member. A very few of those complaints can be acted upon in any effective way without the accusers identifying themselves. The complaint usually involves the need for more information that an Agent/Manager of our union has no source to ask questions of. They usually involve eyewitness accounts of something that was done that requires attestation that it did happen. I had such a complaint made to me last week about some camp conduct by a member that was beyond the control of the union and I was unable to explain that to the person making the complaint and how they might best address the matter.
This is notice to those who make such anonymous complaints that they should not expect in most cases for a lot to be done about them. The alternative is to disclose one’s name to the Business Agent or Manager who is best suited to deal with the issue. The Business Agent or Business Manager in turn should exercise discretion in giving advise to that person on how to best proceed, and anonymity if they want that when any investigation might proceed.
I have had many a call like that from usually members. Many of those cases have been progressed and addressed that wouldn’t have been progressed if they were anonymous complaints. In some cases, those members have indicated they didn’t want to have their names disclosed and the issue was able to be dealt with anyway with that anonymity given. Sometimes it couldn’t be progressed by the union and that was explained to the member, usually to their satisfaction. I don’t want to discourage anonymous calls here when it might lead to some action that benefits the union and its membership, but I want people to understand why it is not nearly as effective as when they identify themselves when making that complaint.
6. Smart Phone Service Provider, Clearwest Solutions, Location of Operation Change – I am advised in writing by the Account Manager of this company that provides services to the Local 110 membership respecting Smart Phones the union provides them through Telus, that the company has changed its Edmonton location of operation, moving to:
· 9518 Ellerslie Rd. SW, Edmonton
December 9, 2011 Friday
1. Last General Membership Meeting for Bill Spring to Attend as Business Manager – This is a reminder for the membership that Local 110 is having a general membership meeting tomorrow at noon at King’s College, 9125 – 50 Street, Edmonton Alberta.
This will be the last union meeting I attend as Business Manager of Local 110, as my term in office finishes the end of December. It has been my privilege and an honor for me to represent Local 110’s membership these past many years in that capacity.
I invite any of you that I’ve worked with over those years to come to the union meeting and afterwards join me for a “pop” at the restaurant we will be going to after the meeting….at Fargos – 5804 Terrace Road (north across the road from the Safeway that is in Capilano Mall).
I have a few brief (I promise) parting comments for everyone at the meeting, with my thoughts about the future and what it holds for Local 110. Hope to see you there.
December 5, 2011 Monday
Re: Local 110 Applications for Membershp for December Tentatively Accepted and Rejected – Staff have provided me with a list of names of everyone who has applied that will be considered for membership into Local 110 at our December general membership meeting. Staff reviewed union records and provided me also with information pertaining to each applicant’s work performance that we have had reported to us by: contractors through contractor reports and termination documentation; and from members who’ve sent letters speaking positively or negatively about someone’s performance at work. In most cases it was enough information to give any reader reviewing the file a sense of whether the applicant was performing well or not. In some cases, they hadn’t worked through us long enough or enough information received to allow for us to determine that. Every month, after staff provide this information, volunteers from our rank and file membership are invited to volunteer their time and come and overview and provide input towards accepting or rejecting applicants based on that information. This month we had one journeyman member, Katherine Rosenberger attend to provide input deciding who was tentatively accepted or rejected based on that information.
There were 14 applicants. The initial review by staff reflected that 1 applicant should be tentatively rejected membership. With the one volunteer, we considered circumstances involved that call for discretion to be used and determined that there were ultimately 2 applicants who did not have long enough performance on record to give us a good sense of whether or not they are likely to perform well if they are accepted as members. They were tentatively rejected for only that reason. This is a reminder that any applicant tentatively accepted or rejected can have their application reconsidered at the general membership meeting if a Local 110 Journeyman member makes a motion to do so and it is seconded. Then there is a secret ballot vote to decide the matter.
Following is a list of all applicants, reflecting that they’ve been tentatively accepted or rejected:
ACCEPTED NOVEMBER MEETING NAMES
Anderson, Troy 1st Year Permit
Hernitscheck, Frank JM C
Robins, Brandon 1st Year Permit
Matticks, Robert JM Transfer – Local 58
Snider, Mark JM Transfer – Local 95
Busse, Gordon JM A
James, Woodrow JM Transfer – Local 95
Earle, Gerry JM Transfer – Local 95
Bourgeois, Anthony 1st Year Permit
Butler, Danny 1st Year Permit
Lingstadt, Adam 1st Year Permit
Morris Jesse 1st Year Permit
Ojeda, Kristian 1st Year Permit
Zukiwski, Michael JM A
December 2, 2011 Friday
1. New Member Applications to Join Local 110 for December 10, 2011 General Membership Meeting – I received all of the information and statistics our membership require respecting applicants vying to join Local 110 this month at our general membership meeting to be held on December 10, 2011. Next week, Monday December 5, 2011, at 1:00 p.m., I will review all of the applications and tentatively accept or reject them based on performance reflected in our union’s records. There are 14 applications in total. Four of them are applications to transfer from another Local. There are seven apprentices, all first years applied. There are three non affiliated journeymen.
As has been our practice the past many months, this is an invitation for any Local 110 member interested in partaking in the review to come to my office at the above referred to date and time and provide input towards tentatively accepting or rejecting the applicants. Any member who is going to come, please give me a call earlier that day to let me know. I will announce the names of those tentatively accepted and tentatively rejected in another Update and in blast emails to our membership later that day; to those who have union provided Blackberry phones or who have provided Local 110 with a personal email address.
November 30, 2011 Wednesday
1. Thomas MACCRIMMON, Long Time Local 110 Journeyman Retired Member, Passes Away – Thomas’ wife called our union on November 22, 2011 to let us know that he had passed away in palliative care in St. Albert that day from work related cancer he’d been battling with for quite a long time.
It was sad but not unexpected news. I have been in contact with her the past several weeks and she has been updating me about his declining health. He preferred not to have visitors and had a private funeral service yesterday for close friends and family only, with his wife asking our union to defer this notice until today.
Thomas, known to many of us as Tom, became a member of our Local 110 union in September 1976, making him 35 years affiliated with us. He took a Withdrawal Card in September 1996 after taking his union pension in March 1995. He did a short stint of work in the Trade in 1996 before enjoying many years of full retirement, traveling and enjoying family and friends that he much deserved. It wasn’t unusual to see him at some of our Christmas parties over the years, demonstrating some admirable ball room dancing skills as I recollect.
He resided in Edmonton the past many years, coming here from Glasgow, Scotland where he’d done insulating work also, passing away at the age of 75. Our union announced his death in our customary way in the Newspaper here with our logo today and it wasn’t long before I got calls from co-workers expressing their fond memories and thoughts about him. He was by all accounts I ever heard a good man who will be missed much by all of his many friends and family.
2. Local 110 Election Pride – This is a reminder to every journeyman member of Local 110, as busy as they are earning a living, traveling around the Province and outside the Province doing their work and doing all the things we do during this upcoming festive season; that there is a Local 110 election in process that our office has sent out ballots for you to all complete and return in pre-addressed envelopes with postage already affixed on them. You will have to get them in the mail soon in order for them to get to the auditor we have hired to receive them and oversee the counting of them to determine who is elected to which positions.
Let this be the election that we have the best return ever, so that we can demonstrate to other unions and the general public our commitment to the democratic process that makes our organization as strong as it is. There are many members have accepted nominations for all of the positions which is in itself a good sign of healthy participation.
November 9, 2011 Wednesday
1. Local 110 Election Nominations – At our last general membership meeting on Saturday November 5, 2011, the following Local 110 members were nominated for positions prescribed within our union’s International Constitution and Bylaws for a term in office starting January 1, 2012 through to and including December 31, 2014 (note that there are two members who were nominated that are not reflected in the list below – that is explained afterwards):
Following the nomination meeting, the Election Committee attended the Edmonton Local 110 union office on Monday November 8, 2011 after work to check the union records of attendance at union meeting to determine if everyone nominated was in fact eligible to run for the positions they were nominated for. The Election Committee and support staff in the office have deemed that those listed below are eligible.
Nominated for Business Manager/Financial Secretary/Corresponding Secretary:
Daniel (Dan) Annett
Nominated for Business Agent (Calgary):
Patrick (Pat) Tilley
Nominated for Business Agent (Fort McMurray):
William (Bill) Hackman
Nominated for Business Agent (Edmonton):
Edward (Eamon) Boyle
Nominated for President:
Gregory (Greg) Creaven
Nominated for Vice President:
Patrick (Pat) Sullivan
Richard (Rick) Burgess
Acclaimed for Recording Secretary:
Nominated for Executive Board (five positions):
Blake (Sandy) Hollinger
James (Jim) Bitschy
Joseph (Joe) Visser
Nominated for Trustee (three positions):
William (Bill) Spring
Joseph (Joe) Visser
William (Bill) Johnston
Nominated for Sergeant At Arms:
William (Bill) Johnston
William (Bill) Markine
Daniel (Dan) Shantz
Election Committee scrutinizers:
James Ruddy (Alternate)
Gordon Kirkland (Alternate)
If there is any Local 110 member that was nominated for any of the above positions or if there are any errors that any member finds in respect to the above, please notify the union office immediately so that the list can be corrected. The above names will be put on a ballot and sent out to all Local 110 members for them to select the candidates of their choice.
Ronald (Terry) Pronchuk, in a note he provided the union on Monday November 7, 2011, declined his nomination for the position of Business Manager after accepting nomination for that position at the general membership meeting.
Ronald James (Jim) Adams had been nominated for the position of Business Agent for Edmonton and accepted that nomination. However, the Election Committee, upon review of the union attendance records found that he had not attended enough union meetings in accordance with the International union Constitution and Bylaws to be eligible to run for that position. One needs to have attended at least six of the ten meetings held during the one year time period prior to the nomination meeting in November. Support staff had reflected on the eligibility list that he’d attended a March 2011 union meeting which the records reflected he hadn’t done. When he was contacted and asked to recollect if he had attended that meeting, he confirmed that he had not. Therefore, his name will not be on the ballot running for that position. He is disappointed. On behalf of the union and its membership, I would like to thank him here for putting his name forward. It reflects an ongoing commitment to the union that he has already shown through his past three years as Sergeant of Arms at our union meetings.
November 4, 2011 Friday
1. Ron Hoff’s Wake Appreciated by Family – I’ve been asked to pass along to our membership his sister’s thank you to all of the members who were so thoughtful and helpful after he passed away from a head trauma.
There was a Wake held at the Drake hotel for him and she was complimentary about staff there. It was organized by his friends and co-workers and many of our union’s members attended. She says she “met a great bunch of men and women from the Asbestos workers union Local 110”. The collection done at the Wake and by co-workers at the Jacobs Albion Sands site to offset expenses was much appreciated by her, and many of the people she met that night were “people she had heard Ron speak of on various occasions”. She said he usually had a little story to tell her about them.
She reflected that it was a great turnout and she knows he would have been very proud. She commented on a number of close friends of his who were there in the emergency department after he’d been taken to the hospital and others who helped clean out his apartment after he passed. She passed along a big thank you to our Pension Plan Administrator for all her help after he passed.
It was a good turnout and I think everyone there from our union felt the same pride as what his sister thinks Ron would have felt. It was an opportunity to celebrate the life of one of our long time members who contributed in many ways to what Local 110 is today. It reinforced that our union is more than an organization to work through; it is a group of “brothers and sisters” that truly care about each other in spite of faults we each have, and that they value the friendships made serving a common purpose.
2. Service Canada Responds in Writing to Local 110 Questions Respecting Temporary Foreign Workers at Suncor Firebag 3 – Last night, I got in writing from the Director General of HRSDC who is overseeing the TFW Program in Canada, answers to the questions I had asked Service Canada about foreign workers Flint brought in to replace Canadian insulators working for its subcontractor through our union at the Suncor Firebag 3 project.
The answers confirm that Canadian workers, union and non union, have much to be concerned about that the TFW Program allows for, particularly in Alberta.
In a blast email to our membership, I will provide them with the written questions I had posed to Service Canada and the above referred to written response, word for word.
In short, HRSDC/Service Canada’s responses reflect to me (and prompt me to comment in brackets):
All relevant TFW Program requirements with respect to advertising/recruitment of Canadians had been met by Flint that allowed for them to bring the foreign workers to this Suncor project; and
Allegations by two members of our International union that their applications for work with Flint were not responded to would have to be proven (which will be difficult for them to do and I suspect there are a lot more than two that applied). Even if proven, there is no assurance it would prompt Service Canada to act to do anything about it. Service Canada are considering now whether or not to follow up and investigate the two workers’ complaints; and
Service Canada have deemed that Canadian insulators working for a subcontractor doing insulating work for Flint are not considered to be working for Flint (to the extent Service Canada would deem that Flint had Canadians available to do the work in question); and
Suncor is neither responsible nor accountable for anything Flint did applying for and continuing to employ TFWs on its site; and
Service Canada has no legal authority to compel a company to provide it copies of applications made to the company for jobs it advertises for Canadians to take, before or after the company employs TFWs to do that work (contending that there were no Canadians applied). Service Canada did not ask Flint for copies of applications from Canadian insulators that applied for work; and
Service Canada do not have a specified time period within which the company has to hire TFWs after it has gotten approval to do so from Service Canada (in other words, a company can advertise for Canadians in March and put TFWs to work in September, six months later and be in compliance with Canadian legislation and policy, such as happened at this Suncor Firebag 3 project); and
Once a TFW is employed by an employer here in Canada, there is no legislation that requires an employer to lay them off before a Canadian Worker is laid off; and
Service Canada will give approval for a company to bring in TFWs even when that company has given ‘Voluntary Recognition’ to a ‘union of convenience’ that has few or no qualified workers to provide (that company can try to avoid being organized by a ‘legitimate union’ by doing that); and
TFWs can be moved to a new employer provided the new employer has received a positive LMO (Labour Market Opinion) from Service Canada and the workers apply for and get a work permit (which is clearly a very easy thing to do).
The bottom line is, Service Canada confirm that they “do not have the legal authority to intervene and require that Flint lay off these TFW workers and reinstate the Canadian Workers to work at the Suncor Firebag 3 project.
Service Canada has not answered my question about whether the Minister responsible for the TFW Program is aware of the circumstances involved in this case. Members of our union and workers in general who find all of this out and disagree with it, might want to make sure the Minister is made aware of that.
The Minister’s name is:
· Diane Finley
Minister of HRSDC
House of Commons
Confederation Building Room 707
Ottawa, ON K1A OA6
T: 613 996-4974
F: 613 996-9749
76 Kent Street South
Simcoe ON, N3Y 2Y1
Website link: http://www.dianefinley.ca/
November 3, 2011 Thursday
1. Service Canada Responds to Local 110 Complaints – For now over a month, Local 110 has been waiting for Service Canada to respond formally to its complaints about TFWs (temporary foreign workers) replacing Canadian insulators working through our union at the Suncor Firebag 3 project.
I did a BM Update on October 25, 2011 reflecting that after I’d met the previous weekend with the Executive Director of Service Canada out of Vancouver. In turn that day the Director General for HRSDC heading Canada’s TFW Program called and left me a voice message while I was involved in another phone conversation, telling me that he was responding to me at the request of the Executive Director and would call me back within the next couple of days to consider my complaints on behalf of Local 110’s membership. I reviewed the message and called him back within the half hour but missed him and his voice mail box was full.
Yesterday marked eight days and he hadn’t called back. I called the number that Director General left several times over those days and each time his voice mail indicated that his voice mail box was full. I couldn’t leave a message or reach any reception person to locate him for me. That prompted me yesterday to put another email to Service Canada pressing them again to provide the formal response our union is expecting.
I got a call shortly afterwards yesterday from the Service Canada Executive Director who followed up with the Director General who in turn yesterday called me. We had a long discussion about the problems Local 110 see with the way Service Canada go about approving LMOs (Labour Market Opinions) which pave the way for Immigration Canada to give Work Visas to TFWs. The gist of what I suggested is that they put conditions and requirements in place that better protect the rights of Canadians respecting access to jobs and preference of layoff relative to TFWs. He committed to responding in writing by the end of this week to a number of questions I had put to his Department about Service Canada’s position respecting the work in question at Suncor’s Firebag 3 project; and he proposed that we have a further meeting the end of this week to flush out what Local 110 has for proposals to ensure the Canadian rights I referred to. We agreed that one shouldn’t object to how something is done if one doesn’t have an alternative proposed better way of doing it. We will involve the Director of the Canadian Building Trades in that meeting.
When I presumably get the answers in writing to the questions I gave Service Canada, I will blast the questions and answers out to our members on their Smart Phones our union provide them and to the personal email addresses of those of our members who have given us those; so that our membership can see for themselves what Service Canada’s position on behalf of the federal government is.
I found both the Service Canada Executive Director and HRSDC Director General receptive to ideas that will improve the way they approve TFWs coming to work in Canada in our industry. How much control they have over that process versus what politicians dictate through legislation is another thing. Again, I encourage our members and any reader of this Update to call your federal MPs (Members of Parliament) and provincial MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) to emphasize to them they have to do better. You can get the names of your MLAs/MPs by calling the:
· Government of Alberta general information number 780 310-0000; and
· Government of Canada general information number 1 800 622-6232.
2. Government of Alberta Panel Conduct Labour Code Review including scrutiny of provincial legislation that promotes replacement of Canadian workers with TFWs – A big part of the reason TFWs (temporarty foreign workers) could be brought in so easily to replace Canadian insulators working through our union at the Firebag 3 project is because of provincial labour legislation that allows ‘unions of convenience’ to operate the way they do in Alberta.
I had a closed doors meeting late last week alone with a panel of lawyers appointed by the Alberta Government to interview numerous parties about the Alberta Labour Code review that is being done. I aired the complaints Local 110 have about provincial legislation which allows ‘unions of convenience’ to undermine the rights of Canadian workers, using TFWs to do work if the Canadians won’t accept reduced rates of pay and benefits. A non union company that gives ‘Voluntary Recognition’ to a ‘union of convenience’ that will negotiate and give them in essence whatever it wants, is a way for the company to avoid being organized by a legitimate union. That company can then underbid companies that employ legitimate union workers, and advertise for Canadians to do that work for less compensation or watch as foreign workers do it instead. This is no longer a ‘union versus non union’ issue. It is a ‘Canadians versus foreign workers’ issue. Union and non union insulators have good reason to all be very concerned about that. I am hearing of non union insulators being displaced from jobs also by foreign workers.
Again, it was a good meeting and I think the concerns I raised were understood and seen as legitimate by this panel. The outcome of that Labour Code review will ultimately be decided by MLAs here in Alberta. Again, it is important for our membership and all Albertans, union or non union to call their MLAs about this type of legislation.
November 1, 2011 Tuesday
1. Roger Ward Passes Away – Family of long time journeyman member Roger Ward advised our office that he passed away last Friday night October 28, 2011 in palliative care from work related lung cancer here in Edmonton. He’d been residing in Edmonton for many years up until his hospitalization.
Roger had applied for his full union pension in February of 1995, but continued to work part of each year after that until and including 2001. In 2002 he applied for and was given an Honorary Card and discontinued working altogether.
He’d been a very active union member, attending many union meetings every year while working here in Alberta after he transferred into Local 110 from Local 95 Ontario back in September 1976. He’d joined Local 95 as a helper in November 1964. He volunteered a lot of his time to union initiatives, contributing a lot of himself to help make our union what it is today.
It was a sad day not long ago when he came to the union office to let me know that he’d been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He will be missed much by friends and family. Family noted that the funeral service for Roger will take place in Ontario where much of his family resides.
2. Less Code a Phone Dispatch Information – Further to previous correspondence and announcements at union meetings, this is a reminder that effective November 7, 2011 Local 110 will be reflecting less information on the Code a phone messages than before. You can read a previous BM Update dated September 29 here that explains all of that in detail, what and why.
Our union will continue on and after November 7, 2011 to list the Work Orders on the code a phone reflecting the contractor and site to be dispatched, the number of journeymen and helpers needed and start date. All of the other details relating to the calls for manpower will be reflected on our website where the Work Orders are shown that our support staff completes based on the employer Work Orders given. We are in process of soon scanning the actual employer Work Orders and putting them on site for viewing by all.
Members can go to our website using their own personal computers, or using the Smart Phones that our union provides to journeymen, fourth year and third year apprentices; or by coming down to our union offices in Edmonton and Calgary to view the calls on union computers available to members there.
3. WoW Center Provides for Life Altering Cardio Intervention – One of our members who recently attended the Wellness of Workers Center our union started operating in Sherwood Park, has volunteered that following completion of a Health Risk Assessment there, which prompted some diagnostic tests, he was promptly referred to a cardiologist who prescribed some drugs needed to address some serious symptoms that were affecting his heart to the extent a heart condition was progressing that was becoming life altering. Within weeks, his condition improved and it is thought this intervention will allow him to maintain a good quality of life for many years to come. He wants this to be announced to the membership on a no name basis so that others in our union might be prompted to make an appointment and do the Health Risk Assessment to possibly head off diseases they are developing.
A reminder here that any member, active or on Withdrawal Card; or any such member’s wife, can make an appointment with our WoW Center to complete this Health Risk Assessment to be evaluated by an Occupational Doctor who will refer them to a specialist if deemed necessary to address any disease process that might be identified. The number is 780 800 6906.