August 21, 2019
The camp will be inspected next Monday and a report and recommendation to members will be made late in the day.
This camp is not inspected or approved to date under the terms of our collective agreement. Please see the excerpts from email exchange with the CLRA and Clayburn below.
From: “Geoff Higginson”
Date: Fri, Aug 16, 2019 at 9:54 PM -0700
Subject: Re: Pine River CNRL Camp at Gas Plant
To: “Chris Mydske” “Jason Bodnarek”
Cc: “Paul Strangway” “Derrill Thompson”
We have no intention of ceasing to advise our members it is not an authorized camp and they are entitled to LOA, unless and until it becomes an authorized camp. Go ahead and file a grievance or a complaint at the Board, and we will be there to defend ourselves.
As for your adamant disagreement with our statement that “you going to our members directly and asking them to stay in a camp that hasn’t been inspected is bargaining directly with them and is a violation of the agreement.” We stand ready to file a grievance if you continue to do so.
Geoff Higginson, President
IUBAC Local 2 BC
From: Chris Mydske
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 15:08
Subject: Pine River CNRL Camp at Gas Plant
To: Geoff Higginson IUBAC Local 2 BC President
Cc: Paul Strangway, Jason Bodnarek
Hi Geoff, please be advised that Clayburn has asked CLR to deal with this matter on their behalf. I wanted to first say that we are actively looking to gather as much information as possible about the camp. We will be happy to work with you in that regard and share any information with you when we obtain it. Although we hope to get this information soon and clear up any issues, I did feel it was appropriate to respond to a number of your comments.
We adamantly disagree with your statement that us going to your members directly and asking them to stay in a camp that hasn’t been inspected is bargaining directly with them and is a violation of the agreement. Article 12.202 (a) reads as follows,
“Camp accommodations, when supplied, shall meet the standards and requirements of the applicable Construction Camp Rules and Regulations Agreement by and between BCBT and CLR. An Employee may refuse to live in accommodations which do not meet such standards.”
The second sentence says that an employee may refuse to live in accommodations which do not meet such standards (we don’t know if this camp meets the standards or not). If the may refuse, then they may also not refuse. The choice is theirs. If a member decides to stay in this camp without it being inspected, it is not a breach of the collective agreement. Also, this in no way means CLR or Clayburn is bargaining directly with your members. The collective agreement clearly contemplates this and gives the employees the right to make their own decision.
We take strong exception to you having “instructed our members to not accept work on this job unless they are offered the usual choices of Loa or room and meal allowance and unless otherwise notified by the union”. Article 12.202(a) clearly gives them an option and “instructing” them not to exercise an option provided to them by the Collective Agreement is not appropriate. If you continue to take this position we will have no choice but to look at filing a grievance and/or complaint at the Labour Relations Board.
We have already discussed on a number of occasions situations where members have had to sit out for a day or two on an out of town job. Although our contractors do their best to work with clients to ensure this does not happen, there are times when the circumstances of the project makes this unavoidable. Although this is an inconvenience, it is not a violation of Collective Agreement. Nor is there any requirement to lay off and pay return travel under these circumstances.
Chris Mydske | Director, Labour Relations
Construction Labour Relations Association of BC
From: Geoff Higginson < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Aug 14, 2019 10:07 PM
Subject: Pine River CNRL Camp at Gas Plant
To: Jason Bodnarek < email@example.com>
I understand that Clayburn has been trying to secure workforce for a job at the Pine River gas plant for a September 15 start. Scott Darroche has informed me that the client is demanding that our members park their vehicles in Chetwynd in a secured parking lot and then ride a bus to a camp of some kind which has been built by CNRL near the gas plant and be required to stay in the camp for the balance of the shut down.
Under our collective agreement all camps must meet camp standards established by an agreement between the BC Building Trades and the CLRA and be inspected and approved prior to occupancy. We have no idea of the standards of this camp and it has not been Inspected by representatives of the unions And the CLRA. The camp in question does not appear to even be licensed or listed under the northern health listing of construction camps. We have no idea if it has been permitted by the health department or what kind of food services are present. The union is also aware that the gas plant in question has the highest SO2 emissions in the province so we are concerned about our members being asked to stay in a camp of unknown nature so near the plant. This is not to say the camp and commissary are unacceptable. It is just that we have absolutely no information.
I have instructed our members to not accept work on this job unless they are offered the usual choices of Loa or room and meal allowance and unless otherwise notified by the union.
Be advised that any attempt by the CLRA or Clayburn to negotiate directly with our members as to whether or not they “choose” to stay in his unknown camp will be responded to in no uncertain terms as a grievance, as any changes to the collective agreement must be enabled in writing and mutually agreed to, not to mention we are the employees exclusive bargaining agent.
There have been other issues with this client in the past for our members. Specifically, arriving for a short term shutdown only to find that the client has advised our contractors that they did not need our members on a particular day or days and have demanded that they stay in the hotel and not be paid for the day. If our members are going to leave their families for a short term shutdown we expect the client and the contractor to inform the member of whether or not there will be random days off so they can make an informed decision as to whether or not to accept the work hire. Especially on shut downs less than a week or two. Certainly if work is not available our members should receive a layoff and their return travel.
The contact at the plant whom Scott Darroche referred me to in relation to the camp is Chris Engel, 780 292 2730 Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send us details of this “camp” as soon as possible so we can sort out how to get this work completed.
The camp regulations are not much different from Alberta’s. As this is a new camp, we expect it to be up to snuff and in particular to be approved and properly licensed.
President, IUBAC Local #2 BC