Saturday, October 3, 2009

Union Management Meeting - September 2009

Union Committee Present: Jeff Bromley, Doug Wood, Bryan Gaudet, Enzo Caccavo
Management Present: Ian L., Roland K., Brad J., Dave P., Mike M.


1. Company Update
UNION: Are we running for October and beyond?
MANAGEMENT: The message at the crew talks was that there will be no more downtime for the immediate future. That being said there's still no guarantees.

2. Term Letters
UNION: Where are we at with the Term Letter Electrician?
MANAGEMENT: Joe, who has worked with us before, and John are helping us get caught up. We've hired a new electrician and that gives us 4 electricians. Joe might not be available because Canal Flats needs one and would like to make an offer to him.
UNION: We don't want to sign any more Term Letters for the simple fact that you posted and found a great electrical apprentice and yet you choose not to start him in his job. MANAGEMENT: You know why we're not starting him in his apprenticeship and it has to do with cost.
UNION: Yes, but you can throw thousands at building a dry.
MANAGEMENT: We're looking to start Scott in 2011 (Oct of 2010)
UNION: We think you're just posturing. It's not fair to Scott. You keep using Terms and Casuals when you could get Scott going.

3. Weekend F/A Job
UNION: We have grieved the process you are using to select a candidate for the weekend First Aid Job.
MANAGEMENT: It's also a charge hand position. You said you wanted a process for selection so this is it.
UNION: There's clear language on that in the Master Agreement and Job Posting Supplement.
MANAGEMENT: We think we have the right to manage and select the appropriate candidate. UNION: We disagree and we'll go through the grievance process.

4. Job Posting
UNION: We need you to post the successful candidates on who gets what jobs. We've had issues with workers not knowing what's going on with various postings.
MANAGEMENT: We already do it but we'll do it again.
UNION: The ERT team also needs to be reviewed.
MANAGEMENT: We are in the process of going through the team and making sure that team members receiving the premium are attending practices now that they are regular again.
UNION: The Job Posting agreement could be better. We think that's why we have so much trouble getting the training and posting done.
MANAGEMENT: We don't necessarily disagree with you. We'd like to have the discussion beginning with what the unnecessary training and cost we expend on it.
UNION: Something to think about in the future.

5. Logyard Grader
UNION: What's going on with the Logyard Grader?
MANAGEMENT: It broke down and it's going to cost $30,000 plus to get it back on the road again. We decided to get rid of it.
UNION: What about the job? What does the operator do now?
MANAGEMENT: He's still the CAT operator and we're going to add more utility duties to the job.
UNION: What about the grading of the roads? Who's going to do that? There have been many First Aid's with operators in Canal and we're going to see the same here when the snow flies and the conditions of the roads deteriorates.
MANAGEMENT: We're going to bring the FRM (Forest Resource Management) Grader to the job in the interim. We've provided some training for our operator so that he can do the job we needed.
UNION: Is that Grader part of our chipper crews? Is he a USW operator?
MANAGEMENT: No, he is a contractor.
UNION: We disagree with that. That's our work and you're contracting it out. We will file a grievance on the matter.

6. Overtime Policy
UNION: We've had some complaints by weekend compressed shift workers that they're not getting a chance to sign up for any overtime because the list is down before they get back to work.
ANAGEMENT: We understand their concern. There is approximately 4-5 workers that are affected. We suggest that they contact the office mid-week and just let them know to add their name to any list that might be for overtime.
UNION: That should satisfy their concern.

7. Manning
UNION: We're having issues with the manning levels. Holidays are being denied and it's not even peak season. Workers - especially at the Planer - are being moved all over the place to cover.
MANAGEMENT: We realize the problem and it seems it's mostly due to the fact that we've had to renew 3-4 First Aider's tickets and we've had holidays on top of that. That meant we had to switch a few workers to ensure that we had First Aid coverage. We've hired a few more workers and with the training finished we should be in a better position.

8. Planer Feeder Operator
UNION: We've got a problem with you taking one of the Planer Feeders off the job due to a near miss with a Planerman in the Planerroom a few weeks ago.
MANAGEMENT: We performed an investigation and deemed that there were extenuating circumstances surrounding the worker. We're not saying that he'll never do the job again. We just wanted to make sure that all due diligence was taken in the process. We want to investigate this and then decide what direction to go.
UNION: We think that training is an issue. Look through your training records and you'll find that the amount of training that worker has had isn't very much. We also think that the Planer-room incident could be a lock-out violation and you should look at a developing a safe-work procedure.

9. Job Rotation Posting
UNION: We see that you posted the Planer Feeder and Tilt Hoist as one job that rotates. MANAGEMENT: Yes, we've done it before and we've discussed this before. This is not new. We developed this policy with a couple of jobs in conjunction with both the Plant Committee and the Safety Committee to reduce the frequency and possibility of Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)
UNION: Our issue is in case of a reduction in forces. We'd like it the minutes that if that happens and a senior worker that could do the one job - say the Tilt Hoist - and not the other, would still have the ability through seniority/competency to apply their seniority to that job.
MANAGEMENT: Yes, we agree. We wouldn't deny someone on that basis.

10. Heaters
UNION: It's getting cold, we need the heaters on.
MANAGEMENT: We have the heating contractors coming out over the next couple of weeks to service our heaters. They'll be ready then.
UNION: As long as it's done. Hopefully sometime before spring.

Meeting adjourned: 2:30 P.M. - Next meeting: October 29, 2009 (Tentative)
Notes by Jeff Bromley,
Elko Plant Committee Vice-Chair Steelworkers 1-405.

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