Thursday, July 28, 2011

Union Management Meeting - July 21, 2011

Union Committee Present: Jeff Bromley, Rick Boekestyn, Ron Fisher, Bryan Gaudet, Enzo Caccavo.

Management Present: Ian L, Dave P, Shaun F.
Meeting commenced 2:35 P.M.
Introduction of Shaun F, new Sawmill Superintendent

Company Update
MANAGEMENT: The safety performance for the Company showed the sawmill sector to be the worst of the bunch. However, collectively, we are getting better results. In recognition, this mill will be allotted $1600 for a safety purpose. Perhaps the Safety Committee can suggest how we use this money.
UNION: The Safety Committee won’t make that decision. Management should make the spending call.
MANAGEMENT: That’s fine – maybe we will have a lunch or BBQ for the guys for safety recognition.
UNION: When are you looking to reduce the planer to two shifts again?
MANAGEMENT: We will have the sawmill do a Fir run on August 2.
The planer will go to two shifts after the August long weekend for a minimum of 2 weeks, but potentially it could last up to 5 weeks. We will need two 3-day weekends at the planer for a re-build. We are looking at two options for the planer schedule to allow us to have the 3-day weekend – one could be 2 days off from a regular 5 day/8 hours per day schedule, or the other could be running the planer on the 4 day/10 hour per day schedule. We will talk to Roland to see if we can implement the 4-10’s schedule.
(Addendum: Planer Superintendent Dave P. says Planer will start 2 shifts August 8, 2011. This will allow work on the planer re-build.)
UNION: What about the automation at the planer infeed?
MANAGEMENT: We are shooting for October to have this project completed.
MANAGEMENT: White wood is coming in good, so we shouldn’t do another run of Fir until late on in the year. Pricing is good and has come up quite a bit lately.
UNION: What about our shipments to China?
MANAGEMENT: Canal is the player in China wood.
UNION: Any change for money for the Elko mill?
MANAGEMENT: We have a project for upgrading the log deck. The funding request has now passed Dennis R’s desk, and is going to the Board for approval.

Job Rotation – Prime Sort
UNION: The request for rotation of jobs on the prime sort is not consistent.
MANAGEMENT: Ian and Shaun will attend crew meetings next week to tell them rotation on this job is required. It’s been in place for 6 years now, and is intended to prevent repetitive strain injuries. Our understanding is we pay the senior guy the higher rate in the rotation, and the junior guy gets the higher rate for the duration of his rotation into the higher paying job.
UNION: Why not pay all involved in the job rotation the higher rate? This is done on other jobs. It is only a few dollars compared to the improved safety from which we all will benefit.
MANAGEMENT: We will talk to Roland about this.
UNION: Another issue is relief supervisors getting different rates of pay.
MANAGEMENT: We pay them the rate of pay according to their job qualifications.
Log Sort Machine, Spare Job Holder
UNION: For clarification, the Sort Machine spare was awarded to Brian R. at first. Then a senior worker returned after a long absence, and exercised his right to bid on postings that were put up in the last 45 calendar days prior to his return, and obtained the Sort Machine spare. Shortly after, this senior worker gave up this posting, so the Sort Machine spare returns to Brian R.
MANAGEMENT: We agree with you on this.

Fridge In Sawmill Lunchroom
UNION: This fridge is old and in poor condition, and should be replaced.
MANAGEMENT: We will replace the sawmill lunchroom fridge.

Job Postings Update and Bids to be Posted
UNION: The Committee requires copies of the jobs put up for bid.
MANAGEMENT: The K drive on our company computer is the best way to track jobs, since it is always up to date.
UNION: We don’t have access to K drive. You have to make sure paper copies are posted plant-wide.
MANAGEMENT: In the first week of August we will have a network printer available, so you can get that info printed directly.
UNION: Make sure postings are put up plant wide. Key areas are at the sawmill, planer, and garage.
The weekend – Friday, Saturday, Sunday workers are not able to see job postings, let’s do something about that.
Enzo is willing to volunteer to get the job postings placed around the site properly. We need a better way than what you are doing. Enzo is willing to do this on his days off, his own time.
MANAGEMENT: You shouldn’t have to do this on your own time. We send postings via email to the scales, also put them up at the kilns lunchroom and shipping.
UNION: Yes, but too many times jobs are not posted at all sites. Workers never know when to see a job posting.
-What about posting jobs on a scheduled day, say Wednesday, then pull them down on the following Monday. That would give consistency to when workers should look for job postings.
MANAGEMENT: It’s a good idea…we can try that.

Bank Overtime
UNION: The pulp mill does this, and we want to be treated equal. The guys want to bank O.T.
MANAGEMENT: We have had some discussion on this as a tradespeople retention issue. We will do this for tradespeople only.
UNION: We are happy you are looking at it, and will deal with others who want to bank overtime as it comes along.
We understand you are bringing in contract electrician Neil J.
MANAGEMENT: He is only here for a week.
UNION: Nevertheless, he should be on a term letter. We want to collect union dues from him.
MANAGEMENT: We should also let you know Ian K. will be hired as a H/D mechanic in August.

Planermen’s Assistant
MANAGEMENT: John P. helps out with the planermen because he was doing it in Cranbrook before and he was on night shift clean-up at the planer.
UNION: What if a senior worker wanted to do that job? Why would a senior worker not be trained, regardless of John having had previous experience in Cranbrook? We will leave this, but warn you if a senior worker comes forward, this will have to be addressed.
MANAGEMENT: We already have a couple of guys right now, including Gary S., Vince M., and John P. to help our Planermen Len H. and Dave M. change knives.
UNION: Have you looked at another planerman?
MANAGEMENT: Dave P. (Planer Superintendent) is looking at changing the planer heads. But with rotation in changing knives, it has helped alleviate repetitive strain injuries from doing this task.

Individual Performance Talks
MANAGEMENT: This was never disciplinary, and we wanted to focus on our employees working safely. We have agreed to have a Job Steward present with the employee at these talks.

Ability Management for Injured Workers
UNION: It is prudent to have the Ability Management Committee deal with any accommodation for injured workers that will last two weeks or more. Sometimes guys are going to the superintendent to get work accommodated for their injury, and then they end up getting stuck in jobs informally for long periods of time.
-The Ability Management Committee wants to keep injured workers on track to return to work with proper restrictions, and accommodated with both the worker and the supervisor involved.
-The Ability Management Committee can assist the injured worker with getting medical or physio.
-We want no more side deals for injured workers with supervisors, but will allow a two week maximum before the Ability Management Committee should be involved with such workers if the injury warrants that time frame. This should take the heat off supervisors to make ad hoc decisions.
-While the injured workers information is confidential, supervisors should be advised at their supervisory meetings who is on a workplace accommodation. Putting such a worker on inappropriate jobs doesn’t help.

Planer Superintendent Operating Cat, Monday, July 18
MANAGEMENT: Dean Z. found this machine, the Cat, and the Bobcat-skidsteer wasn’t working properly, and wanted it confirmed by the Superintendent. While Dean was off the machine the Superintendent tested the machine, and found they both were not working properly. This took only about ½ hour.
UNION: We have no problem with that, but it was reported to us so we need to look into it.
MANAGEMENT: Only qualified personnel can operate these pieces of equipment.
UNION: We understand casual workers operate the Bobcat-skidsteer on weekends. Or they even operate a forklift on weekends (without IVES Fork Lift training??)
MANAGEMENT: They better not be. We should have a list of who are the qualified operators.
UNION: What about forklifts running without the proper mud flaps, lights, and uprights? Mechanics say they don’t have time to get all this repair/additions to the forks. Can we get feedback on this?
MANAGEMENT: Do your walk around inspections as operators, and you will get feedback.
UNION: Have you thought about a supervisor for the garage? Having the garage supervisor will give you one more mechanic tradesman.
MANAGEMENT: It is not in the management template to have a garage supervisor.

UNION: What is Michelle S. job as a maintenance planner?
MANAGEMENT: She will be working with the Maintenance Superintendent to build history, manning, scheduling, etc. The outcome from her work will be for us to go from a high percentage of reaction time, to a high percentage of scheduled maintenance.

Backing Vehicles into Workplace Parking Lots
UNION: We understand you will be bringing this policy on site. You should know we expect Tembec to shoulder the cost of any accident that results from your policy.
MANAGEMENT: If you hit another vehicle backing into your parking stall, that will be your liability, but we will check with Roland.

Log Yard Alternate Schedule
MANAGEMENT: Roland said we will hold off for now since the company is not ready yet.

K.P.I. Guy carrying out Poyry Instructions at Mill Level
UNION: Is this going to be a posted position to look after the Poyry stuff?
MANAGEMENT: No, a couple of guys got picked for now.
UNION: One worker, Bryan, was working in upset conditions and running 2 jobs (Barko and Log Chaser) while the K.P.I. guy was doing Poyry stuff. It’s unfair and unsafe to have too much work demanded of any worker.

Clean-up Night Shift Worker Rate
UNION: This job is being paid the wrong rate. He should get a hybrid rate since he runs the stacker and sometimes the edger.
MANAGEMENT: We understand.

12 Hour Shift Lunch Breaks
UNION: Any 12 hour shift established under the old Collective Agreement will have UNPAID lunch breaks (unless it is a continuous 12 hour shift.)
Any 12 hour shift established under the new Collective Agreement will have PAID lunch breaks.
Notes to this meeting submitted by:
Ron Fisher
Secretary for the Elko Plant Committee
USW Local 1-405

Next Meeting: not discussed