Meeting Notes - March 19, 2019, Burlington
Minutes of The General Meeting, Local 9511, United Steelworkers
The Holiday Inn Express, 3063 South Service Rd., Burlington, Ontario
March 19, 2019
NATIONAL POLICY CONFERENCE
Local 9511 is sending two delegates to the USW National Policy Conference in Vancouver April 2-5. This conference happens every three years, and is an opportunity to see what USW is doing in Canada, where we are headed, and develop policies to advance local goals. One goal of our delegates is to find or advocate for alternatives to the mail vote system we have typically used.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING
April 28 is the International Day of Mourning. Sadly, thousands of people are killed at work every year, and it is important to reflect on those who have lost their lives, what important legislation and protections have resulted from that, and to remind yourself of the importance to working safely, regardless of what your supervisor may say. There are many events planned around April 28th (it is a Sunday this year), so check with your local USW Area Council for events in your area.
The Bargaining Committee has been finalized through the mail-in vote. Along with the Local President, the committee members are: John Longley (Lindsay), Laurie O’Hara (London), Derek Chick (London), and Ryan Baptiste (Huntsville).
The first stage of the bargaining process this year is Interest-Based Bargaining Training in conjunction with the members of the Serco bargaining committee. Through this process, we are hopeful the committees will be able to come up with unconventional solutions to some of the long-standing issues we haven’t been able to sort out. This training is scheduled for the end of April, and provides us lots of time to engage in the bargaining process.
All members are reminded to send bargaining concerns or issues to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bulletin Board system is not the best way to receive communications from Local 9511. Requiring Serco’s approval of notices results in delays or denials. Sometimes posts do not end up on the bulletin board, or if they do, members do not notice them. We have been using a Mass Text Message System for a while now, and it seems to work much better. Members get messages directly, quickly, and we can communicate any message we like. Please encourage your fellow members to register for the system, as we still have a lot of members missing out. To sign up, text usw9511 to the number 32323. This will be an invaluable means of communication when it comes to bargaining.
The company is moving forward with installing Time Clocks, though we have not had any of our concerns addressed from prior to the pilot project, nor has Serco shared any information from the pilot project. The clocks are expected to be installed by the end of April, with implementation to follow. The Union has objections to the necessity, the use of biometric data, the cleanliness of the machines and will be restating these objections next week. If you have concerns about the use of the time clocks, refrain from using them until your concerns have been addressed by the Union.
Local 9511 is in the process of updating and revising our local by-laws to make sure they meet our needs. There was a previous review done, and we currently have some by-laws that are ready to be voted on by the members, have some that need tweaking, and some that need to be drafted. Changes to the by-laws is a long process, involving USW approval, and the by-laws being read at three membership meetings before they can be voted on. There will be more information about by-law changes as the By-Law Committee continues their work.
Local 9511 has support for WSIB Claims through the Toronto Area Council Office. They can assist with all aspects of WSIB claims, including advocating on your behalf with WSIB and Serco, and filing appeals for WSIB denials. Please reach out for any WSIB questions or concerns.
UNION WSIB COVERAGE
It was raised at previous meeting our Union activities were not covered under WSIB for any claims that may arise from performing Union work (attending training, etc). Due to the small number of days and members requiring this coverage, our premiums would be miniscule for the coverage, so a motion passed to enroll in Local 9511 in the system.
With any accident or incident in the workplace, members should be completing incident reports. These reports provide a record of dangerous or unsafe conditions, and provide the Health & Safety Rep with information and timelines to work from. If you experience a motor vehicle accident, make sure the form is filled out as best as you can. When completing the section on any injuries sustained, if no one requires first aid or medical attention immediately, please do not indicate there are no injuries - it is better to note there are “no injuries immediately apparent” or similar. If you are injured, or determine you are injured later, stop performing your duties and seek medical attention.
THIRD-PARTY CLAIMS COMPANY
Serco retains a company named Compcall to manage it’s injured and disabled workers. It is our position you do not sign any forms regarding Compcall, as they then become your representative with WSIB (instead of you or the Union!). The forms are not legally required and grants Compcall unrestricted access to your medical records, not just restricting it to your current situation. Working safely and refusing unsafe work is the best way to avoid having to deal with any of this!
HEALTH & SAFETY REPS
Local 9511 is currently reaching out to all offices to determine if there are active H&S Reps in offices, and working to get a network of reps established. If you are a H&S rep, please send your contact information to email@example.com to make our efforts easier. Our plan is to reach out to members in each office one by one, and the Union has the right to appoint new reps as necessary. This role is very important, and reps need to be engaged and actively protecting themselves and their fellow members.
Members raised concerns regarding the terrible weather conditions we experienced over the past few months, and in particular in regards to conducting DE training while road tests are cancelled. It is important all members exercise their right to refuse ANY work they feel is unsafe. The law provides protections and a protocol for resolving situations where workers are feeling unsafe.
In regards to cold temperatures, Environment Canada doesn’t recommend staying indoors until windchill values reach -55°C. Up to that point, EC has recommendations for exposure time and proper dress. The Union and Serco are in agreement Classified examinations may need to be cancelled at less extreme temperature values, and will be evaluated on situational basis.
Members continue to complain about test times being unrealistic. It is important all members are properly conducting tests and properly utilizing the tablets to accurately reflect the actual test times. Cutting test routes will result in discipline, and attempting to shift things by completing tests early or pulling up applicants early only shifts the time. Complete the test once the vehicle is parked in the parking lot. Upload the test once you have completed your preamble. Call up the next applicant when exiting the vehicle (earlier runs the risk of a FIPPA breach).