Elk Falls Workers

Campbell River B.C.

Another arbitration

The local had another arbitration yesterday. This one is about members that severed when over the age of 55 years old and aren’t getting retiree benefits or bridging at 60 years old. Like the last one we now await the decision. Hopefully in the next month or two.

I know how frustrating it has been for the retired members that have waited so long for an answer to these grievances.

Hard to believe how much time has gone by since the closure. Hopefully everyone’s lives are going well.

November 11, 2011 Posted by | General | 13 Comments

Arbitration for disability pay updates

The local was in Vancouver last week for an arbitration about disability pay. The company has refused to provide the negotiated updates for members that were off on long term disability prior to Dec 2008, that’s when we signed the current collective agreement.We believe the updated language applied to all members not just the ones that went off on disability after the agreement was signed.

The arbitration seemed to go well so now we wait for a decision.


November 8, 2011 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Employment Opportunity at Catalyst

Catalyst has an ad out looking for entry level operation positions at their Powell River division.

Here is a link to the ad if anyone is interested.


Operations Employment Opportunity and Application Process

January 31, 2011 Posted by | General | 13 Comments

Elk Falls Auction

The company has put all the equipment at Elk Falls on the Maynards Auction site now as many former employees have pointed out to me. I knew this day would come, but it still amazes me that someone would liquidate an asset as valuable as that site just to stop competition for customers and fiber. It also amazes me that we still have a government that has made absolutely no effort to stop the loss of forestry jobs while our wood gets cut down and shipped past all the empty mill sites to some other country to create jobs.
Hopefully this will mean at some point they will be willing to let some one else come in and use the site for business other than Pulp and Paper. There are still lots of great advantages to the site like a sewer treatment plant, fresh water license and pipeline, a deep sea port, a hydro substation and numerous shops and warehouses. It would sure be nice to see some jobs come into the town instead of them leaving.

January 24, 2011 Posted by | General | 4 Comments

Social Club

The Elk Falls social club is having a get together for past and present members.
It will be a Pizza night on Oct 16th from 5-7pm at the Campbell River Curling Club.

September 15, 2010 Posted by | General | 5 Comments

Severance and retirement

As most of you are aware we have been having some disagreements with the company on issues relating to severance. The one we get asked the most about is how severing your employment affects your retirement.
The companies recently took the position that people severing as a result of the permanent mill closure would no longer be entitled to get both severance and retirees benefits. So, if you’re older than age 55 and wish to take your severance, they will no longer pay your basic or extended medical, nor will they allow you to get pop-up bridging (when you are 60 yrs old). Otherwise you can choose to just quit and not take your severance and then you will receive them both.
We had hoped that we could work this issue out before members had to choose on Sept 10th. Unfortunately that has not been the case and members finding themselves in that situation will have to use their best judgment in deciding which option to take. We have already grieved this issue, but it will be some time before it is in front of an arbitrator. If you need more information call the office and we will answer your questions as best we can.

September 4, 2010 Posted by | General | 2 Comments

Grievance updates

Yesterday, we traveled to Nanaimo for discussions with the Company’s payroll department to ensure we had a common understanding of the recent arbitration rulings and of how they plan on implementing the awards.

1) Supplemental Vacations – As per the award, rather than carve out the period of time people were on layoff, the Company has now updated members supplemental vacation banks, crediting them for all completed years since their hire date. This means members (including those who’ve already severed) will receive their full supplemental entitlement.

2) Qualifying for Floating Holidays while on layoff – We came to an agreement that all Elk Falls members will be paid for 5 floaters for the 2009 contract year. Laid off member will not receive payment for any floaters for the 2010 contract year unless they worked hours in that year. If they did work in 2010, they will get 1 floater as a minimum and then additional floaters for every 200 hours worked (up to the maximum of 5 floaters)

3) Rate of pay for time off taken while on layoff – The company will adjust the hourly rates paid for annual vacations, banked vacations and floaters taken after May 1, 2009 from base rate to the regular rate people held before the layoff began. Supplemental vacation will be adjusted to the pre layoff rate of pay plus any wage increases that were to have come into effect before the supplemental vacations were taken.

As a result of these changes many members are owed money and the time office is going to start to calculate the exact amounts once the permanent mill closure severance payments have been processed. Unfortunately that means the adjustments won’t be completed in time to be included on members final pay.The expectation is that all adjustments calculations will be completed, and any outstanding monies owed will be paid by October 31st. Members that haven’t severed as of this week will have the funds electronically deposited as normal and for all other members the company will have to give them a cheque as they have already deleted your banking information from their system. For any members that have, or plan on relocating – Please ensure the Company has your current contact information, not only so they can send you the cheque but also so you will receive your T4 at the end of the year.

Some of you indicated that you want to see the Arbitration Awards – Here they are – Ian

Award on Severance Retro-activity
Award on Qualifying for Floaters, Supplemental, and W/I
Award on Rate of Pay while on Layoff

September 3, 2010 Posted by | General | 3 Comments

Union Meeting for Local 1123 Aug 30th 2010

We plan on having a 1123 General Meeting this coming Monday Aug 30th at 4:30pm at the union hall. This is not a joint meeting with 630 this time as local 630 is also having a meeting this Friday night.
We will be discussing the severances, where we are with grievances and what the closure agreement looks like in its final form. Plan on attending.

August 27, 2010 Posted by | General | Leave a comment