Monday, August 6, 2012

Union Management Meeting July 25, 2012

Union Committee Present: Bryan Gaudet, Len Holmgren, Tom Molenaar, Jason Cleland, Dave Tracy, Chris Cadogen, Ron Fisher.
Management Present: Adrien C, Laura C, Shaun F, Dave P, Royce L, Mark P
Meeting started at 2:09


New Business
UNION: We would like to start the meeting by advising you that the Elko Plant Committee appointed Len Holmgren as Vice Chairperson of our Plant Committee.
 Company Update
MANAGEMENT: Safety wise we are doing very well as a plant since Canfor has taken over. Lots of first aids happening but little to no doctor visits and lost times. As for quality we are by far leading (along with Canal) in grade return. Fir brought the numbers down a bit but we still got a good grade return on it. Our lumber recovery per log is very high and we are going in the right direction. In the mill we are doing very well production wise, the numbers are looking good week in and week out. The production at the planer is suffering, along with Canal, compared to the other Canfor locations but these two planer mills are the only ones that have not been upgraded yet so we understand the difference in the numbers. Our log cost is higher than the average but we get a quality log and we are working on getting these costs down as well. MSR is at a much higher premium than our other products at the moment and we will be pushing the MSR in the coming runs.
Elko is in the positive earnings for the first time, significantly, in five years. In 2009 we made some money a few months but this is the first time it has been this high in that time period. June was the best month for Canfor as a whole since 2006.
In August the paper wrap dispenser will be upgraded at the bander to a 6 roll system from the current 2 roll system. We also sent notification to the local for jobs eliminated brought about by the cut-to-length project, which we will start as soon as November. This is a couple million dollar project. In October Elko will be going to The Board for a 38 million dollar upgrade that will be spread across the whole plant. This being said I (Adrien) am confident we should get some capital but I want to say clearly that this is not a guarantee that we will get any capital for any upgrades. This is just the plan that we will be taking to The Board in October.
UNION: Is the log deck a 100% go in November?
MANAGEMENT: Not 100% that it will be done in November but it will be a go.
UNION: Any downtime for the log deck upgrade?
MANAGEMENT: We don’t want to take any downtime. We will try to do it in chunks and not lose any time. Canfor does not want to lose any production due to upgrades, especially now that the market is turning around.
UNION: How many jobs will be lost due to this log deck upgrade?
MANAGEMENT: We will be losing about 8 jobs in total, four per shift. (Barko crane, one debarker and both cut off saws)
UNION: Will we be starting some apprenticeships? How will we absorb these 8 workers lost due to tech change?
 MANAGEMENT: We will try to expedite apprenticeships and see if we can take some more maintenance people on this way. We will look at this over the next few weeks. We want two apprentices right away, and will determine the need for other apprentices based on demographics.
UNION: While on the topic, how will we replace the 2 millwrights we have lost?
MANAGEMENT: We are currently working on some leads we have and are trying to hire a few.

Planermen Status
UNION: These guys are doing nothing but OT, will we get more people in this department?
MANAGEMENT: We will be possibly using millwrights. The Planerman School is not offered anymore and a lot of the work done over there is millwright work anyway. In Polar we put a second guy on per shift with the upgrade so it may be something we look at in the future.

Banked OT
UNION: What are Canfor’s thoughts of offering banked OT for our workers?
MANAGEMENT: None of the Canfor mills do it now but what were your ideas?
UNION: We used to have any overtime over an hour as able to be banked.
MANAGEMENT: We can’t answer this right now but we can look at it. Can you give us a proposal?
 UNION: We will get back to you with it. I think we look at it a bit different than other places. We just want to bank OT so we can use that money when we take time off and take our holiday pay as a lump sum at the beginning of the year sort of like a bonus. The workers will not acquire more holiday hours; simply they would replenish some funds to pay for holidays. Many of us do not take our full holidays so we can do OT to save up for time off if we need. Canfor ultimately would gain the interest on the banked OT we would think.
Gym Pass
UNION: We used to have a plan with Tembec where they would pay 10 bucks a month for a gym pass for each worker who wanted to use a gym, is there anything Canfor can do to help our workers out in this department?
MANAGEMENT: We will talk about this at the safety meeting, please bring it up there as it is more relevant at that table.

Scalers
UNION: We have lost one of our scalers who offered holiday relief, we believe the need to train another is there so these workers can take their holidays.
MANAGEMENT: We don’t have to have two spares. We don’t think there is another ticketed person on site and may have to hire off site to fill a vacancy if there becomes one in the future.

Payroll
MANAGEMENT: We are changing our payroll system and the pay stubs will look different beginning September 14, and we will be loading the Tembec portion on to the new ones.

Paperwork for discipline
UNION: Can we speed up the paperwork process when you hand out discipline? The Worker gets a copy the representative gets a copy and the Committee executive gets a copy please. We would prefer the one sent to the executive be via e-mail.
MANAGEMENT: Ok we will speed this process up.
Holiday Pay
UNION: What is the cutoff and when will we be paid?
MANAGEMENT: We will re post the notice of dates and you can attach it to the minutes if you like. Vacation pay cut-off is November 3. The 2nd week of November on the 16th is when you will receive a separate Vacation Pay cheque.
UNION: What is happening with the vacation scheduling?
MANAGEMENT: We believe it can stay as January-January for bookings but we will look at it and talk to payroll and get back to you.
UNION: We may have to look at vacation scheduling according to the vacation year, based on when vacation pay is paid out. We will look into it also.


OLD BUSINESS
RRSP
MANAGEMENT: We still can’t offer anything but will continue to look into this
UNION: Please make an honest effort before November as some of the guys would like to continue dumping their holiday pay in their RRSP.
Postings
UNION: Let’s get these permanent postings done, there is a time limit on getting these filled as per the job posting supplement.
MANAGEMENT: We will look at it and get it caught up.
UNION: We also have a bunch of vacant spares that need to be posted as well. Also what happened to the CLT spare that went up? We heard that it was canceled, is that true?
MANAGEMENT: Yes it is canceled, we have 2 spares and the problems we are having now are in the planer room not the CLT.
UNION: Relief supervisors are running out of days and we could also use them to relieve our own guys throughout the summer. Is there a possibility that you could shuffle some of your staff to cover staff holidays? Possibly using guys like Shaun and Dave or QC guys?
MANAGEMENT: Steve is going to the planer to offer some relief here next week but we don’t want to talk about this here.
UNION: We want results of Job Postings put up on the bulletin boards, as required in the contractual Job Posting Supplement, Section 8.
BACK TO NEW BUSINESS
Job evaluations
UNION: We have more job evaluations coming up soon. Can we sit down and look at some of the major changes?
MANAGEMENT: We will come and look at it with you but some were covered in last year’s evaluation. We will stay on top of this.
Manning
UNION: What are we doing about manning? We have lost a lot of people; will we pay OT to cover holidays?
MANAGEMENT: We will do what we have to do to get through the holiday season. We have summer students hired and training right now as well. Things look better after August.
*some discussion about summer students and casuals and the process in place*
Radium hiring/transfers
UNION: What is the process to transfer or hire on in Radium from here?
MANAGEMENT: There is no transfer agreement. They need to apply like anyone else and if they are successful their company seniority for holiday weeks will transfer.
Kiln Schedule
UNION: Rumor has it that there may be a change in schedule at the kilns?
MANAGEMENT: No change in workers schedules, the schedule is not going to change.
Broadway road closed
UNION: Why was this road closed?
MANAGEMENT: There was a dust problem and we needed to deal with it immediately and closing the private road eliminated the dust problem. The trucks can take the road in from the other side.
Elko fire hall
UNION: Does Canfor support the Elko fire hall?
MANAGEMENT: We have not heard anything about it. Is it registered as a charity?
UNION: It is a local fire hall proposed for the community of Elko associated with the existing ones in the neighbouring communities of Jaffray and Baynes Lake; this project is done through the Regional District. Tembec was opposed to it. If you are not aware of this fire hall proposal, then you will learn of it through due process from the R.D.E.K., and there is no point in discussing it here.
MANAGEMENT: Tembec, as well as the CPR, was opposed to the tax increase at the time. *reminder from past Tembec staff*
MANAGEMENT: It would be interesting to know more about this, this is the first we have heard of it since we got here.
____________
Meeting adjourned at 4:02
Notes to this meeting submitted by:
Tom Molenaar
Secretary Elko Plant Committee
USW Local 1-405