Meeting Notes - June 19, 2018

Written by USW 9511 Admin on Monday July 30, 2018

Minutes from the general meeting held in Barrie on June 19th, 2018.  These are way overdue!

Minutes of the General Meeting, Local 9511, United Steelworkers, held at the Monte Carlo Inns, 81 Hart Dr, Barrie, Ontario.

Roll call of officers revealed that all were present.  Minutes and Financial Reports from the General Meeting held April 11, 2018 were read and accepted.

Reading of Communications:

  • USW District 6 Conference in Collingwood, Sep 2018.  Motion made and carried to send up to four members to the conference.
  • USW District 6 Fall School in Orillia, Nov 2018.  Information passed around, no motions made.
  • USW Peel Area - Women’s Workshop, Jul 2018.  Motion made and carried to send three executive members to the one-day workshop.

Reports of Financial Secretary, Treasurer, and Auditors presented.  Motion made and carried to accept all the reports.

Welcome Frank Arcuri to our USW 9511 team.  Frank is a staff rep based out of Hamilton, and is excited to be working with us and Kevon.

This year’s elections have provided us with a full Executive Committee, so we will be able to better delegate work and responsibilities to enact changes and deal with issues.  Executive members have also expressed interest in being chairpersons for various committees which have been spread pretty thin in the past:

  •  Workers’ Compensation  - Derek Chick
  •  Health and Safety - David Fitzgerald
  •  Women's Committee - Michelle Pilote
  •  Human Rights - John Longley

Once the summer season has concluded, we will  look at formal training in these areas for the committee chairs

We are attempting to rebuild the relationship with the company following some recent upper management decisions.  Any relationship moving forward will need to be rooted in trust and transparency, and parties will need to be held accountable.

The Women’s Committee Chair will reach out to Anita Bryan, Area Coordinator for South Central Ontario, and invite her to speak in regards initiatives and ideas for the committee at our November meeting in Brantford.

The Health and Safety Chair has raised concerns about the engagement and training level of the Health and Safety Reps in the offices.  We will request a status update from the company regarding who are reps, and any vacancies or gaps in training currently.

The International/National office has currently instructed locals to cease using electronic voting methods.  As with the mailing lists we were attempting to put together, USW has issues with security, privacy, and misuse of the systems.  We will need to continue to find new avenues to implement new technologies that fit into USW guidelines.

There are grievances with the company currently over situations where Seniority is not being applied.  Traditionally, especially when premiums or choices were involved, seniority has been used to keep things consistent.  This includes scheduled workloads for DEs, travel/mileage, and overtime. Seniority systems have inherent rights, and we will not allow those rights to be undermined.  Any members who feel their seniority is not being respected, should speak to their Union Steward.

Supervisors should not be doing bargaining unit work, except in specific situations which can be found in the Collective Agreement (sick calls, training, etc).  Cross-trained members should be used in a similar fashion. Speak to a Union Steward if supervisors are doing bargaining unit work, especially if opportunities are being missed (overtime, work premiums, etc).

The Union President has been attempting to reconcile Acting and Temporary Supervisors.  There have been members acting in offices without any attempt to fill the supervisor vacancies.  This isn’t fair to members on many levels, and doesn’t provide consistency. The current supervisor vacancies have now been posted.  Temporary (Term) Supervisors are issued ‘black shirts’, where-as persons performing ‘acting duties’ should be wearing ‘blue shirts’, and should only be performing said duties when a supervisor is not present in the office.

Many offices are reporting tests are being overbooked and members are being required to stay for long overtime hours.  The company maintains they are not overbooking, however, there are more tests each day due to the efficiencies provided by the tablets.  Members can only do as much work as there is time, and members should make themselves aware of the differences between mandatory and voluntary overtime (check the Union News section of usw9511.ca).

Members should be taking their breaks and lunches.  It is important for their safety and wellbeing. The company has put out a memo in support of our position, and any members experiencing pressure from supervisors to skip breaks and lunches should be reporting it.  Make sure you check your collective agreement and know what breaks/lunches you are entitled to.

The Mississauga DTC is expected to open in September, and postings should be up soon.  Transfers have already been sorted.

The Company has recently released a memo regarding using “Bob tail” trucks (tractor only of a tractor trailer combination) for Class D road tests.  The Union’s position has long been the practice is unsafe in inclement weather, and the memo now acknowledges complications for the tests in these situations.  All classified examiners should be issued a copy of the briefing note, and be aware of conducting work they feel is unsafe.

Water coolers are not being properly maintained in all offices.  Maintenance is the responsiblity of the customer, and the company does not have a protocol for them.  The water coolers are provided as an alternative to the tap water in the offices. If members have concerns about the state of the coolers, they should be bringing it to their supervisors attention.

More offices being opened on Saturdays has proved problematic for the company and members.  Originally, the company was scheduling how they saw fit, however, some members rightfully pointed out the company was not following Letter of Understanding #5 (LOU5) in the collective agreement.  LOU5 was created long ago, and is now being followed as it is part of the agreement, which means some members are much more likely to work Saturdays than others. Changes would happen at bargaining next year.

Employee schedules are still not being posted with two-weeks notice.  The company has hired someone specifically to create schedules, however the work isn’t being completed as expected.  Ask your supervisor when you do not have your schedule two weeks in advance, and if they do not promptly provide it to you, please contact your Union Rep.

The company is eliminating paper pay stubs.  All employees will be required to utilize electronic pay stubs, and the company has procedures for employees to access and securely print their own pay stubs in the offices (using a pin # for accessing the print job at the printer).  Ask your supervisor for more details. The payroll system does have access to the past seven years of pay stubs, as well as your tax forms.

The company has hired a third party occupational therapist to address the concerns related to weight, shape, heat, radiation, etc of the road test tablets and we are awaiting the report.  The company has also released a notice regarding the radiation emitted by the tablets, which is in line with our own research, and states the tablets meet safety standards in Canada. Items that have not been addressed yet include glare, heat, distracted driving, and tablet behaviour in a crash, etc.  Members with fertility concerns, should raise that with their supervisors and notify the union if accommodations are not made.

John MacLean is no longer with the company. A gentleman named Daniel Geisel, based out of Downsview, has taken over John’s duties.