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VOLUME 12 | Issue #2 Winter 2017

Quarterly publication for members of MoveUP, The Movement of United Professionals

Verbal Abuse
on The Job

ICBCs Flawed Fight for $15/Hour

Repair System Minimum Wage
CONTENTS In This Issue

By David Black






Hanging Up On Verbal Abuse





$10 A Day Child Care





On the Cover (left to right):

ICBC Estimators Rob Morneau,
John Vieira, Colin Clark, MoveUP Supporting The United Way
Ken Skjerpen, Richard Mooney
Presidents Opening Message
MoveUP, the Movement of United Professionals, is affiliated
with the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union,
the British Columbia Federation of Labour, the Canadian Labour
Congress, UNI Global Union and IndustriALL.
MoveUP Executive Board Members:
President: David Black
Secretary-Treasurer: Lori Mayhew
Vice Presidents: Annette Toth (ICBC), Gwenne Farrell (Utilities),
Alicia Gallo (Combined Units)
Accenture Business Services: Melanie Greenlaw
BC Hydro: Rysa Kronebusch, Bruce Sarvis
ICBC: Bryan Finstad, Joyce Galuska,
Brian Martens, Robert Starcevich
FortisBC Energy: Joe Nex
Fortis-Hydro: Janie McDougall
"Nobody in their
Combined Units: Graeme Hutchison, Christy Slusarenko,
Tim Weigelt, Laurie Kirk workplace should have
MoveUP Communications, Campaigns & Research:
Communications Director: Catherine Pope to put up with abuse
Communications Officer: Daniel Fung
MoveUP Director of Operations: from an employer,
Amber Hockin
MoveUP Senior Union Representatives: customers or clients."
Brad Bastien, Kevin Smyth
MoveUP Union Representatives:
Georgi Bates, Nathan Beausoleil, Carrol Edwards, Tony Geluch,
Noel Gulbransen, Sarah Hall, Trevor Hansen, Cathy Hirani, There is no doubt in my mind that Donald Trump must shoulder some of
Barbara Junker, Cindy A. Lee, Sarah Melsness, Jude Morrison, the blame for the appalling state of public discourse in North America. The
Mike Novak, Cheryl Popeniuk, Ryan Stewart,
Stephen Von Sychowski
President of the United States has established new lows in communicating
with anyone who disagrees with him through unfiltered outbursts on Twitter,
MoveUP Administrative & Office Staff:
Karen Caston, Assistant to the President in speeches and in the media.
Yudon Garie, Work Leader In a world where foul language and a raging temper have become
Joanne Banfield, Kim Chartier, Adele Earwaker, Sarah Hall,
Lisa Jeffery, Shelley Lockhart, Carol McLuskie,
acceptable at the highest level of public office, is it any wonder that our
Michelle Mihaichuk, Kathryn Prinz, Kim Smith, Marilyn Vassell members face increasing verbal abuse and harassment on the job?
MoveUP Financial Staff: In this months issue, we hear from ICBC estimators who have been
Controller: Barbara Liang subjected to all forms of extreme verbal abuse including swearing, name
Pardeep Singh, Valerie Sherst
calling, bullying and even threats from customers and clients. Unfortunately,
Occupational Health & Safety & WCB Appeals: many other MoveUP members, especially those who deal with the public, are
Niki Schnurr
also regularly subjected to verbal abuse as they try to do their work.
Caitlin Gilroy Some have simply accepted that this is just part of the job. It isnt. Nobody
LTD Trust Administrator:
in their workplace should have to put up with abuse from an employer,
Yasmin Carroll customers or clients.
Human Resources and Organizational Development Director: Some companies have policies or codes of conduct that are aimed at
Ram Atwal protecting workers from bullying, harassment or abuse, although complaints
Headquartered on the unceded territory of the Musqueam,
arent always taken seriously. Others have no policy, and this is a real problem
Skwxw7mesh xwumixw (Squamish), Tsleil-Waututh and for anyone who works in customer service.
Qayqayt First Nations. If you have been verbally assaulted, I urge you to document it or bring it
to the attention of your job steward, or contact your worksite Occupational
The Local Voice is the official quarterly magazine published for Health and Safety representative.
the members of MoveUP. In the months ahead, MoveUP will be raising greater awareness of this issue,
ISBN 1918-9753 COPE 378 Voice
Letters to the editor are welcome but may be edited for brevity in addition to our ongoing efforts to try to convince employers to change their
and clarity. Please contact MoveUP for permission to reprint policies, so workers can have the protection they need and deserve.
articles, graphics, or photographs.

Address all correspondence to:

MoveUP communications
Suite 301 - 4501 Kingsway,
Burnaby, B.C. V5H 0E5
Phone: 604-299-0378
Toll Free Line: 1-800-665-6838
David Black
Fax: 604-299-8211 President, MoveUP
Visit MoveUPs website at
or contact us via email at
Editor: Catherine Pope
Contributors: Daniel Fung, Jim Quail

USW 2009
MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 | 3
4 | VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 MOVEUP Local Voice
MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 | 5
ADVOCACY MoveUP Working for Members

Photo, above: President David Black at workshop on

reducing traffic congestion at the Mobility Pricing
Independent Commission

Photo, right: President David Black and VP Annette Toth

advocating for members in Victoria

Speaking up for Site C members at the BC Utilities Commission

Site C visit by David Black

and VP Gwenne Farrell

Global TV Interview

6 | VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 MOVEUP Local Voice

MoveUP Working for Members ADVOCACY

MoveUP visits Accenture

Photo above (left to right): Chris ORiley, BC Hydro President; Gwenne Farrell, MoveUP
Vice President; Michelle Mungall, BC Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum
Resources; Ken Peterson, BC Hydro Executive Chair; David Black, MoveUP President

BC NDP Convention

Photo, bottom left:

President David Black
chairs resolutions debate
BC NDP Convention: Secretary-Treasurer
Lori Mayhew proposes resolution to fix Liberal
Photo, left:
mismanagement of crown corporations
Premier John Horgan

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 | 7

BUS Hanging Up on Verbal Abuse

&#@% !!!

#!**@ !!!

*@%& !!!

hen MoveUP Vice President Alicia Gallo first responsibility to provide a workplace free of abuse and
started working at the Coast Mountain Bus harassment," says Gallo.
Coast Mountain Company (CMBC) she was in the Customer The employer was reluctant to admit that the abuse
Bus Company Information Call Centre. Staff answer about 4,000 calls was taking place. The manager of the department tried
members score per day from the public, who ask about everything from to minimize the impact and frequency of these calls.
a victory against
schedules, bus routes and fares to lost and found. MoveUP fought for a change to the policy and for
My co workers and I were handling abusive callers a recording that the public would hear before being
verbal abuse by
on a daily basis, says Gallo. Being subjected to yelling connected to a clerk.
customers. and swearing left some of us feeling devalued. A few In 2016 we decided to include a policy change as
even quit because of mental health issues that may have a bargaining proposal. We were only able to achieve it
been caused by the abuse. at the bargaining table. It took us three years of pushing
At the time, the employer had a policy that staff the issue with the employer to finally see a positive
could not hang up on a caller unless theyd been given change for our members.
three warnings. The policy allowed abusive calls to go The new policy allows members who receive an
on far longer than they should have and left members abusive call to terminate it after one warning, instead of
feeling helpless. three, and report it to their work leader for investigation.
Gallo mounted a campaign to force the employer The supervisors review the calls and, in instances where
Vice President to address the issue and protect members from abuse the calls are threatening or the person keeps calling
Alicia Gallo and harassment in the workplace. back, the Transit Police investigate and even go to the
spearheaded this I presented these emails to the employer to put callers home to warn them against further harassment.
campaign pressure on them to admit there was a serious problem There is also a pre-recorded message that all callers
with the way the callers were being allowed to treat hear before they are connected to a clerk, which says
the members and to remind the employer it was their We value our customers and our employees, and we
expect everyone to be respectful of each other.
Still, earlier this year, Alicia discovered the recording
had been removed. CMBC claimed it was a mistake and
promptly put it back on. She now checks it regularly.
Significantly, the number of abusive calls has
dropped since the recording was activated.
I am very proud to have achieved this for our
members at CMBC. No worker should have to
tolerate abuse from customers, whether in-person
or on the phone.

8 | VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 MOVEUP Local Voice

Facing Verbal Abuse on The Job ABUSE

This article contains language that may be offensive to some.

oveUP Vice President Annette Toth still
remembers taking an abusive and angry call
when she was at ICBC ten years ago.
He threatened to come to my home. Over the
phone he said I know where you live.' The police were
notified and went to his home. But that was very, very
scary. I felt vulnerable and I was worried for my family.
MoveUPs estimators at ICBC are often forced to
endure verbal abuse, intimidation or rudeness. The
members of the Material Damage Committee say
theyve all been yelled and sworn at on numerous
occasions, along with extreme rudeness. The MDC has
made ending the abuse experienced by Estimators and
Total Loss Handlers a priority.
Richard Mooney, an Estimator in Specialty Vehicles,
says They swear at you. Theyll say F*** you. Its a
common occurrence. It happens all the time and it
Drivers who are unhappy about a claim being
denied can quickly lose their temper and take it out on
staff. But verbal assaults, harassment and intimidation
can even come from people at partner companies, such
as body shops.
Ken Skjerpen, an Estimator at the Cambie Claim
Centre confirms Mooneys assessment. Ive had them
say You mother f*** scumbags.
It is a widespread problem that can be extremely
upsetting to staff who are just trying to do their job. What I often hear is members saying they believe
Studies have linked ongoing and consistent verbal the abuse is just part of the job, says Toth. I dont
abuse by customers to depression and other mental accept that being sworn at by a customer or a business
health issues, which in turn leads to increased sick days. partner is acceptable in any circumstance and our
Rob Morneau, an estimator from Victoria described members shouldnt have to endure anything like that to
the situation as follows. When youre doing 20 claims a earn a living for their family.
day, somebody in the shop will be getting abuse daily. MoveUP has asked ICBC to adopt a prevention
Ive had people waiting outside for me at the end of program similar to the one in place at Coast
shift. Corporate security will get involved if there are Mountain Bus Company. (See story page 8.) So far
threats, says Colin Clark, who works in the Express management has resisted, but MoveUP will continue
Estimating department at the Central Estimating Facility advocating for change.
in Coquitlam. But Clark also confirmed that far too Toth has this advice for anyone who is the recipient Photo (left to right):
many incidents go unreported when there is swearing of yelling, screaming, swearing, personal attacks Material Damage
and abusive language. or rudeness. They dont have to accept or tolerate Committee:
ICBC reacts quickly when there is a personal threat, abuse by anyone, from customers, business partners
Rob Morneau,
but there is no consistent policy and this type of abuse or anyone else. They should advise their manager if it
isnt limited to one department at ICBC. Some call happens and let their job steward and health and safety John Vieira,
centre staff are forced to endure abusive language until committee know, since this is a workplace health and Colin Clark,
theyve given three warnings. Only then can they end safety issue. Abuse is a form of violence, so they can Ken Skjerpen,
the call. also file a report and claim with WorkSafe BC. And Richard Moone
In a recent survey of MoveUP members, 16% said they have the right to access the EFAP (Employee and
they have experienced harassment in the workplace Family Assistance Program) to help them. Finally, if
in the last year, including verbal, physical or sexual. they are experiencing health affects, they need to seek
One in five members said its happened within the last medical attention and be sure they are taking care of
ten years. themselves, first and foremost.

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 | 9

BUS Hanging Up on Verbal Abuse (Cont.)

&#@% !!!

#!**@ !!!

*@%& !!!


Workers at call centres in other provinces have COAST MOUNTAIN
launched a Hang Up On Abuse Policy and are BUS COMPANY
urging employers to adopt the following:
MoveUP created a dedicated email
q Give call centre workers the ability to hang up on address and asked CMBC members
abusive calls. to detail each time they received an
abusive call. The emails documented
q Train managers on how to support call centre workers
the time of the call and a brief
who had a bad client. description of what was said. This was
q Issue a warning and flag callers who have a history of important as all calls are recorded,
harassing staff. so the time stamp could verify the
statements of the members.
q Deny repeat abusers use of your service.
q Create a zero tolerance policy that reports all violent Within three weeks over 500 emails
and/or sexual threats to the police. had been sent by members about
q Ensure that there will be no retribution against or abusive callers.

disciplining of call centre workers who report abuse.

10 | VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 MOVEUP Local Voice

Fight for $15 WAGE

In B.C. there are over half a million

workers making under $15 an hour.

n B.C. there are over half a million workers making $10.25 an hour at that time and, at one point, was the
under $15 an hour. Until this past year, MoveUP lowest in Canada. It currently sits at $11.35 an hour, fifth
member Darcy Rhodes was among them. Darcy is a highest in the country. In October, the NDP government
dispatcher at Kelowna Cabs where hes been since April established a Fair Wage Commission designed to guide
2016. His wife, Laura, also works for Kelowna Cabs and B.C. to a $15 minimum wage. The government had
is a job steward at the worksite. She has been there since previously set a 2021 target to reach the goal, which
June 2014 after previously working there from 2004 to still lags behind Ontario and Alberta. The commission Photo, top left:
2007. Both Darcy and Laura now make above $15 an will examine the issue from all sides including from the MoveUP Member
hour but its hardly living in the lap of luxury especially perspective of businesses taking their concerns into Darcy Rhodes
when providing for a household with five children consideration but not simply accepting their rhetoric at
ranging from age six to 17. face value. In November, MoveUP President David Black
While Darcy understands the day-to-day struggles made a presentation to the commission and said the
that families endure to make ends meet from his own increase in minimum wage must be made a priority.
personal experience, he still has reservations about the Many people believe the spin from businesses that
overall impact that a $15 minimum wage would have they cant afford to pay their staff properly, and fear that
even as his children prepare to enter the workforce. by doing this the economy is going into the tank, said
Both my wife and I are always taking on extra shifts MoveUP Secretary-Treasurer Lori Mayhew. But, just like
at work as we need the money for bills, he explained. pensioners, most low wage workers spend their money
If minimum wage goes up our cost of living will also close to home. And thats good for local economies.
go up. In the end, the campaign wants to ensure no one
Darcys concerns are valid and are certainly shared working full-time is below the poverty line. The goal is
by others who feel that an increase in wages will to allow workers like Darcy to earn a living wage, feel
mean an increase in taxes, the cost of rent and food secure about their financial future, and let them have
among other things. The BC Federation of Labour, the more time to be with their families rather than having
initiators of the Fight for 15 campaign in our province, to always pick up an extra shift. Lower earnings mean
understands those concerns but also recognizes the a lower pension. CPP will be low when these workers
campaign is much more than just reaching an arbitrary go to retire. Also, a low income means no savings for
number without considering other related factors. retirement, explained Mayhew. If parents need to work
The longer we wait to get to $15 an hour, the more than one job to make ends meet, that can have a
further behind low-wage workers fall, said BC Fed detrimental impact on their family life and relationships.
President Irene Lanzinger. Not only do we need to What can you do to support the campaign and your
raise the wage quickly, but then we need a mechanism fellow workers? Its as simple as going online or picking
to ensure wages keep pace with the cost of living and up your phone. Sign the petition found at fightfor15bc.
begin to better reflect a real living wage. ca. Contact your MLA to tell them you support the
Quick has been a foreign concept when it comes to increase, said Mayhew. MoveUP is supportive of the
this campaign, however. It has been just over three years campaign, and has lobbied the government with the
since the campaign was launched. Minimum wage was BCFED in support of this increase.

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 | 11

BC HYDRO Energy Poverty

A significant number of
British Columbians are forced
to choose between heating
their homes and putting
adequate food on the table.

nergy Poverty: the legal battle to provide discounts Liberal government, Hydro argued that the Commission
to people who cant afford to heat their homes. does not have the power to do so. The BCUC declined
As British Columbians are painfully aware, BC to rule on the question.
Hydro rates are rising sharply. They have soared by 51% The BC NDP has long supported Hydro lifeline rates.
in the past 11 years. There is no end in sight to this trend, When in opposition, it introduced private members bills
with the impact of BC Liberal decisions continuing to hit to explicitly spell out the Commissions authority to
home and drive up the Crown utilitys costs. create them so we would not have to rely on implied
During those 11 years, income assistance rates only powers under B.C.s utility laws.
reached $610 per month (single person). A significant In 2016, BCPIAC revived the case for lifeline rates
number of British Columbians on pensions, assistance and presented extensive evidence about poverty
and other fixed incomes, and the many working poor and the impact of rising electricity rates. Our law
are forced to choose between heating their homes firm represented MoveUP at the BCUC hearing and
and putting adequate food on the table. This is known vigorously supported the application. Again, BC Hydro
as energy poverty. A study produced for the provincial (joined by FortisBC) argued that the Commission lacks
government a decade ago pegged B.C.s energy poverty the jurisdiction to approve low income rate relief. The
In the past rate at about 20% of households. There can be no doubt BCUC, which has become a very conservative regulator
that things have gotten worse and not better since then. under the BC Liberal government, agreed with Hydro
11 YEARS: Studies show that utility disconnection is one of the and refused to adopt the BCPIAC proposals.
most common triggers leading to homelessness. The BCPIACs clients and MoveUP have jointly appealed
BC Hydro problem is a desperate one for many of our neighbours. this ruling to the BC Court of Appeal. We argued the
Several North American jurisdictions have first stage an application for leave to appeal, before
rates have responded to energy poverty by establishing lower a single judge in September. Despite the very recent
soared electricity rates for low-income households. These change in government, BC Hydro continued to lead the
are commonly known as lifeline rates. California legal fight against rate relief for the poor, seconded by
by 51% pioneered this solution many years ago and it has FortisBC. As is usual, the judge reserved his decision and
been followed in various forms in various states and we will wait and see whether the union and BCPIAC will
Canadian provinces including Ontario and Manitoba. In win an opportunity to present our full legal case to the
Quebec, the energy regulator issued a policy statement Court.
this summer embracing a lifeline strategy for poor MoveUP and BCPIAC have worked as close allies in
households. Because poor households consume less BCUC proceedings for years. The union and BCPIACs
electricity than the affluent, the cost of these programs low-income clients share a commitment to maintaining
is modest. BC Hydro and ICBC as strong public assets, and ensuring
In 2008, when I was Executive Director of the BC they and FortisBC are well-managed in the interests
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (BCPIAC), a non- of all British Columbians. The union approaches its
profit law office that represents seniors and other low- involvement in BCUC hearings as a social justice project
income groups, we pushed the BC Utilities Commission as well as an important forum to defend the interests of
to establish Hydro lifeline rates. As directed by the BC its members.

12 | VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 MOVEUP Local Voice

Gender Neutral Washrooms EQUALITY

MoveUP encourages employers to implement gender neutral washrooms

In early November, union president David Black sent a letter to all employers of
MoveUP members encouraging them to implement gender neutral washroom
facilities at their worksites.
The letter is one of the initiatives recommended by MoveUPs Human Rights
Committee. MoveUP is pleased to see many employers have already begun the
process of implementing gender neutral washrooms and we hope many more will
continue to join them as we work together to foster inclusive and safe workplaces
for all members.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Employer,
First of all, thank you for accepting our input on this important issue that
has the potential to affect our workplaces and, in particular, those individuals we
dont always hear from because of their fear of being singled out or discriminated.
I am writing to ask you to consider implementing gender neutral bathrooms
at your worksite.
Gender neutral bathrooms create a safer environment for our workplaces.
For transgender or nonconforming individuals, it provides a space where they
wont face harassment verbal or physical for where they choose to wash
their hands or use the toilet. For cisgender individuals, in other words those who
identify with their birth sex, the presence of gender neutral bathrooms does
not pose any added risk. Rather, it helps promote an inclusive workplace and
encourages the treatment of fellow coworkers with respect.
The presence of gender neutral bathrooms also has a health component. In
the long run, it can help prevent damage to the bladder or kidneys that occur
when individuals choose to hold it in rather than use the bathroom out of fear
of being confronted or bullied.
MoveUP has successfully implemented gender neutral bathrooms at our
workplace without incident and with positive results. We strongly encourage
your worksite to transition to gender neutral bathrooms in future facility changes
or renovations. If your organization has already undertaken this initiative, I would
like to thank you for making the needs of transgender employees, customers and
partners a priority in your facilities.
If you have any questions or concerns about gender neutral bathrooms at
your worksite, we encourage you to contact us. We would be happy to share
our experiences and outcomes with you. Together, we can continue to make our
workplaces a safe and comfortable environment for all our workers.

Sincerely yours,

David Black

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 | 13

$10 a Day Child Care
FAMILIES Soon a Reality for B.C. Families?

After years of advocacy and all the

research and evidence, we now have

politicians with the political will who

are listening to the public and ready

to fix the child care chaos.

aising a family in the third-most expensive city in The goal of the $10aDay plan is:
the world is taking a toll on B.C. families. Some Lower fees at licenced child care programs
parents are forced to spend more than half their No user fees for parents with incomes less
income on child care. Not surprisingly, 85% say the than $40,000/year
cost puts a financial strain on their family. Commitment to create 22,500 licensed child
Long before the affordability crisis hit, Sharon care spaces within 3 years
Gregson was advocating for reasonably priced child Increase wages for early childhood educators
care while raising her four children. That was three
decades ago. I never imagined 30 years later Id still The plan will cost about $225 million. $50
be fighting the same battle. million has already been committed by the federal
But her years of hard work and dedication to government. But the investment will return more than
making life better for families seems to finally be $500 million annually in additional tax revenue paid by
paying off. early childhood educators and mothers who would
The last six years have seen a momentous amount be able to return to the workforce. While funding
of work from the Coalition of Child Care Advocates didnt make it into the NDPs fall budget, Sharon is
and all our allies ensuring child care was a central confident the government will include it in the Spring
Sharon Gregson, election issue in May 2017, says Gregson. Now, at 2018 budget.
$10aDay long last, we have a government publicly committed After years of advocacy and all the research and
Founder to implement the Community Plan for a Public System evidence, we now have politicians with the political
of Integrated Early Care and Learning known by the will who are listening to the public and ready to fix the
brand of $10aDay. child care chaos, she says.
Until then, Sharon is urging people to go to and sign the petition.
Take every opportunity to communicate to your
MLA that investment in childcare is important. If not
now, then when?Weve got a plan, the political will,
and public demand.We need to make this happen.

14 | VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 MOVEUP Local Voice

MoveUP Supporting the United Way GIVING

Photo above: MoveUP Vice President Gwenne Farrell, "Bugsy Farrell"

The United Way of the Lower Mainland

has been changing lives locally for 87
years.This year, thanks to your generosity,
United Way invested $33+ million to
improve 400,000 peoples lives, including: We are so proud of MoveUP members for
their overwhelming support of this years United
Way campaign.
Your generous donations have helped make
a difference in the lives of local kids, seniors,
families and those struggling to make ends meet.
74,000 families Congratulations!
A big shout out to MoveUP Secretary-
Treasurer Lori Mayhew (pictured top right), who is
58,000 seniors also President of the New Westminster & District
Labour Council. She received this years United
Way Labour Community Service Award.

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 | 15

MoveUP Exposes Overbilling By
ICBC Car Repair Shops

Photo, above: ts a dirty little secret that has frustrated and infuriated estimators, Leswick feels a strong responsibility to
Annette Toth, MoveUPs ICBC estimators for years: protect the public purse.
ICBC s Express Auto Repair System is a failure and I just always liked working at ICBC and wanted to
MoveUP Vice
it has cost taxpayers millions. do the right thing, says Leswick. When they started
President The program was launched by the Liberals in 2001 making employees pay questionable claims, I asked
interviewed as a way of speeding up claims.Before then, drivers with why. Why are we allowing it?
by City TV vehicle damage would take their cars to ICBC claim Leswick followed due process every step of the
centres, where an estimator would assess the damage. way: He informed management about his concerns
The body shops were only allowed to bill for work the and sent letters to his superiors. In 2005 he even met
estimator had deemed necessary. with a former CEO of ICBC. Leswick also provided
Now, more than 80% of claims go directly to private detailed reports and underwent extensive interviews for
repair shops and their staff dictate to ICBC how much it a Clearview report, the whistle blower service offered
will cost to fix it. to employees at ICBC.That report was seen by senior
Are some repair shops routinely overcharging? executives within ICBC. Still, nothing changed.
Absolutely! says MoveUP VP Annette Toth, who hears The issue has also been on the radar of B.C.
this same concern from estimators all over the province. politicians for years. The NDP raised it in the legislature
And B.C. drivers are paying the price. The problem is while in opposition and those questions were recorded
ICBCs policy allows body shops to add an extra 20% to in Hansard. At the time, the minister of ICBC, Shirley
the total, with no accountability. Bond assured the house they were reviewing ICBCs
But many repair facilities get away with a lot more. operations. There were also reports in the media.More
MoveUPs ICBC members have alerted management to recently, another former Liberal minister in charge of
the problem but their concerns have fallen on deaf ears ICBC, Todd Stone, denied any knowledge of systemic
for 16 years.For front line employees it felt like no one was flaws in the express repair system.
listening until the new NDP government came to power. Last summer, MoveUP President David Black and
One of the most outspoken critics of the express Toth met with David Eby, the NDP minister responsible
repair shop system is Lance Leswick, a senior estimator for ICBC. They relayed the concerns ICBC members
in Surrey with 22 years of experience assessing vehicles have, including repair shop overbilling and made
and determining the costs of repairs. Over the years, suggestions for fixing the troubled crown corporation.
he has meticulously documented cases where his News 1130 radio reporter, Marcella Bernardo caught
estimates are much lower than the repair shops or he wind of the story and did a special investigative series on
was forced to pay out a questionable claim. Like other the repair shop overbilling problem.

16 | VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 MOVEUP Local Voice

MoveUP Exposes Overbilling By
Car Repair Shops (Cont.) ICBC

Photo, above: MoveUP President David Black,

Minister for ICBC David Eby, MoveUP Vice President
Annette Toth

She interviewed Leswick and six other ICBC

estimators (who wished to remain anonymous.) All
confirmed that the Express Repair System was rife with
abuse. Each said there have been countless times when
repair shops billed for an amount that vastly exceeded
what would normally be required and considered fair.
David Black and Annette Toth were also interviewed
on News 1130, CKNW and City TV and their statements
were featured in CBC stories that ran across B.C.They
confirmed that MoveUP members have spent years
trying to alert ICBC about the flawed repair shop
MoveUP was asked to participate in the PWC
system, but many have been afraid of the repercussions
review and submitted the names of 150 job stewards,
of speaking up. ICBC told News 1130 that there was no
as they are the frontline employees with the best
evidence of false invoices or fraud.
inside knowledge on the day to day workings and $$
Our members arent claiming there has failings. In the end, PWC agreed to interview 19
been fraud. What they are saying is that the members from ICBC.
In addition to tightening up accountability in
system, along with understaffing, allows for the express repair program, MoveUP is asking ICBC "The problem is
excessive billing by the body shops, explains to hire more estimators, monitor repair shops more
Toth. Estimators want to get back to the job closely, take back the decision-making authority on
repair costs from the body shops and put it back in
they were hired to do; ensuring that damage the hands of the estimators. Updated training is also
needed so our members can keep up on the latest
to vehicles is repaired properly and for a
fair price. Body shops have a vested interest
vehicle technologies.
MoveUP is confident that these measures will save
in inflating the bills. Our members dont the corporation money. In fact, ICBCs annual report body shops to
answer to the shops. They answer to ICBC, stated that more front-line staff have already reduced add an extra
injury claim costs. More estimators on the front line will
who ultimately answers to the people of this
province. The shops right now have the keys
also help curb escalating repair costs.
Lance Leswick is now being seen as a hero by many
20% to
to the ICBC vault and that has to change. for his dedication to protecting ICBC from abuse and for
being brave enough to risk his job and speak up about
the total,
Minister Eby ordered an operational review of ICBC it.His concerns and those of many other estimators at with no
by Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC). Since forming ICBC are finally being heard by the NDP government accountability."
government, the NDP has discovered that ICBC is in and the new board at ICBC.
deep financial trouble due to Liberal mismanagement. Lance says hes happy that an independent Annette Toth
The previous government withdrew $1.2 billion from agency (PWC) is investigating and is hopeful change
ICBCs savings to balance the provincial budget. may finally happen.

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 | 17

A Summer of Wildfires
WILDFIRES MoveUP Members Share Their Stories

his summer B.C. experienced the largest wildfires down. Don also pitched in for a few days working at the
in its history forcing the evacuation of tens of Claims Centre in Prince George before returning home
thousands of residents in the Interior from their after two weeks away. ICBC was phenomenal, said
homes. One of the hardest hit areas was Williams Lake, Don. They couldnt have handled it any better.
a city with a population of 12,000 that was forced to Adrienne, a claims import assistant who has been
evacuate because of the danger and devastation. Its a working at the Williams Lake Claim Centre for 12 years,
city near and dear to the hearts of the MoveUP members was among the first told to evacuate. It was a late Friday
who live there, including those who work at the local afternoon on July 7 when she received a call from the
ICBC Claims Centre. community fire chief informing her she needed to go
MoveUP members Don Sponagle, Adrienne Lemky back to her house and pack up her essentials. She had
and Anna Jenner are colleagues at the Williams Lake just enough time to ask Anna to cover her at the front
ICBC Claims Centre. They all say they are the lucky ones desk before she was out the door. It would be a month
compared to some of their neighbours and friends. Yet before she would return to work. I got a call from [the
One of the they were among the many who saw their lives turned fire chief] and he basically told me to go home and pack
upside down even before an official evacuation order because I was going to lose my home, so I rushed home
hardest hit
was declared July 15. and there were huge poofs of smoke out behind our
areas was Don, an estimator who recently celebrated his 10- property, recalled Adrienne.
Williams Lake, year work anniversary, was among the last employees Adrienne and her husband, Darren didnt end
a city with a still on the job before the Claims Centre was forced to up leaving. The pair initially chose to stay behind to
population close. The father of three happened to be out on a day protect their property but wound up playing a big part
of 12,000 that trip to the lake when the evacuation order came down. to help their communitys recovery efforts. Adrienne
Thanks to his pre-planning he had already loaded up all volunteered for the Emergency Operations Centre
was forced the necessities into his travel trailer and, with his family during her time away from work while Darren, being
to evacuate in tow, made the trek to Prince George. With road the only one of three city mechanics who chose to stay
because of the closures and detours around the fires, the trip wound behind, would play a big role in servicing the many fire
danger and up taking 24 hours. trucks that entered the city to battle the flames. The
devastation. Aside from the inconvenience of cramming an first few days I swear we were just going on adrenaline,
entire family into a small trailer, Dons overall experience said Adrienne. You try to go to sleep at night and you
was a positive one. He was particularly happy with the could see flames from our bedroom window.
support he received from his employer who made sure Though there were many stressful moments, worrying
everybody was paid in full even as the office was shut about her job was not one of them with the employer

18 | VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 MOVEUP Local Voice

A Summer of Wildfires (Cont.) WILDFIRES

I got a call from [the

fire chief] and he
basically told me to
go home and pack
because I was going
to lose my home, so
I rushed home and
there were huge poofs
of smoke out behind
our property, recalled

providing full pay while placing her and others in similar medical leave that began in January 2015. Throughout the Photos above:
situations on special leave. I would be very confident if leave, she received ongoing from support from MoveUP Anna Jenner (left)
there was ever another disaster that this would be the last while trying to fight back against the employers attempts Don Sponagle (right)
thing I would have to worry about, said Adrienne. to have her terminated. I would not still be working if it
Anna, who covered the last hours of Adriennes shift wasnt for the efforts of this union, said Anna.
on that fateful July 7, left work that day not knowing Those dealings naturally led her to worry about her Photos below:
she wouldnt be back until nearly a month later. She job but, throughout the process, she maintained contact Adrienne Lemky
would head to the Cariboo Regional District where with the employer and obtained written guarantees
her husband, Arnold, worked as a GIS technician and it about her job status. She also received support from
was there where she was told she would not be able to MoveUP assuring her the union was there to help with
return to her home. Anna would find herself spending any problems relating to her special leave status. Union
most of the next month helping serve the community rep Jude Morrison, who worked closely with Anna
by volunteering for the Emergency Operations Centre. during her prior dealings with her employer, became a
Although Anna did have an opportunity to gather familiar and trusted advisor for Anna.
up some belongings, this experience helped put many In the end, Annas fears were unfounded and her
things in perspective for her. My daughter lives in experience with the employer turned out to be the same
Clearwater. She was also under an alert and shes got positive experience as those of her two colleagues.
two babies and she took them to the Lower Mainland, Annas biggest takeaway from the whole experience,
said Anna. All I could think is the kids are okay, my however, is seeing how the community managed to
grandbabies arent breathing any of this in, if I have to band together to serve the greater good. Through
walk away from everything in the house and the house volunteering at the Emergency Operations Centre, she
goes up, so be it. witnessed firsthand the many needs and demands of
If that wasnt worrying enough, Annas past dealings different individuals and groups and although it was a
also made her fear about her employment status while demanding period, they were all able to come together
away. Anna has been a claims support assistant at the to serve the greater good and get the community back
Williams Lake Claims Centre since April of this year, but up and running.
she is a long-time employee of ICBC dating back to 2001. Its like a war room. Youve got pockets of people,
She had previously worked at several different locations all different groups, Anna described. Theres a planning
including Sechelt and Newton (Surrey), but requested section and an operations section, logistics, finance and
a move to Williams Lake her main place of residence all of that. How everybody worked in with each other
even while she worked elsewhere after returning from a was really amazing.

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 | 19

WILDFIRES Stepping Up To Serve: Jims story

As a volunteer firefighter,
Jim is specially trained in
structure protection. When
the call came that help
was needed, he was ready,
willing and able.

hen wildfires tore through the B.C. Interior sprinkler protection units on the structure and working
this summer, many residents had their lives mutually with the wildfire service, Jim explains. That
turned upside down as they were forced to happened a couple of times in the summer and FortisBC
Photo above:
evacuate from their homes. Some were fortunate to live allowed me to use my vacation days and take that time
Jim Kyle
in communities where the fires didnt directly impact off to go do that.
them, but helped others out by volunteering on the As part of his volunteer firefighting duties, Jim would
front lines. be deployed twice over the course of the summer
Jim Kyle is the perfect example of someone who once in July to Poplar Creek just south of Revelstoke,
got himself involved voluntarily in a positive way. By and once in August to McCormick Creek.
day, he works as a Geographic Information Systems He is very grateful to have the opportunity to help
specialist at the FortisBC centre in Trail. Hes been a serve his community, and grateful that FortisBC allowed
dedicated FortisBC employee for over 17 years, but also him the opportunity to do so. Using up some banked
a dedicated member of his community working as a overtime to go out and save someones home seemed
volunteer firefighter as well as with Search & Rescue. like a small sacrifice.
As a volunteer firefighter, Jim is specially trained in They were really supportive, said Jim of FortisBC.
structure protection. When the call came that help was Because a lot of these structures youre protecting
needed, he was ready, willing and able. could be a FortisBC customer, they supported me
What basically happens is they ask us if we can go doing that.
from three to seven days for a deployment to go out MoveUP members like Jim are truly credit to their
to an area to protect the structures by setting up these communities.

20 | VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 MOVEUP Local Voice

Protein for People Project HELPING
MoveUP Helps Feed Those In Need HUNGRY

Over 30% of food bank

users are children

103,434 people use a food bank every month The Protein for People Project serves more than

in B.C. enough to almost fill BC Place one role, says Annette Toth, VP of MoveUP and P4P
board member. Yes, we are able to provide good,
Stadium twice. Its a shameful legacy of the
healthy protein for people at food banks, but we also
previous Liberal government. hold community forums, so we connect working
Donations are always needed and protein is people with unions.
especially in short supply. Protein is important for brain A worker with a union is far safer, far less likely to be
and muscle development and is an essential part of the victimized by their employer and will earn more money
nutrition that we all need. But its often too expensive for their family. Isnt that what we all want? Photo above left:
for food banks to buy. Labours first slogan has always been; What We MoveUP
In 2006, unions and the United Way founded the Desire For Ourselves We Want For All. The dream of Vice President
Protein for People (P4P) Project. Today, 36 unions and P4P is for no family to need a food bank. But until that Annette Toth,
labour groups, including MoveUP, subsidize the cost of time, it will assist those who are vulnerable. Protein for People
buying protein. Food bank clients arent only those who live on
We buy it from a company at the best price, says President John
welfare, As the number of Canadians forced into low
Protein for People President John Radosevic. For paying jobs grows, so grows the number of those living Radosevic,
example, salmon is usually at least $2 retail for a small below the official poverty line. Over 30% of food MoveUP President
tin. We get it for a $1. The labour groups subsidize 59 bank users are children. The number of two parent David Black
cents of it, so food banks get it for a 75% discount. families reliant on food banks has grown faster than
It allows them to purchase products they wouldnt any other demographic. These workers are the sisters
otherwise be able to afford. and brothers of those of us lucky enough to have good
Additionally, the Jim Pattison Group, which owns paying union jobs. Protein for People member unions,
grocery store chains, delivers the food Protein for like MoveUP, feel duty-bound to stand by those food
People supplies for free to food banks throughout B.C. bank sisters and brothers.

For more info:

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 | 21

ACTION Getting Big Money Out of Politics
COMMITTEE In support of the ban on corporate and union political donations

Delegates at
NDP Convention
learn about the
new election
donation laws

.C.s reputation as the Wild West
of political fundraising may finally
be coming to an end. The NDP
government has introduced legislation
that will ban big money from politics and
Getting big money out of politics:
that includes union donations. Weve been
The NDPs New Legislation asking for this change for 20 years.
The problem was widely reported
Provincial Elections: during the last provincial election. In what
Ban on union and corporate donations became known as cash for access, the taxpayer monies going towards political
Liberals held $10,000 a plate fundraising campaigns, its important to realize the
$1,200 cap on individual donations
dinners. Some paid up to $20,000 to rub previous system saw corporations or
Donations from outside the province shoulders with former premier Christy Clark. wealthy individuals receive generous tax
banned Even foreigners were able to buy access to credits for their donations tax credits
Contributions to third-party election her at private soires. Under the old rules, funded by us. The money coming from
advertisers capped donations were virtually unlimited and had taxpayers isnt new money. Its a better
the appearance of a corrupt system. allocation of existing money that would
Party leaders, cabinet ministers,
Over the years, unions have been forced have previously gone to those tax credits.
parliamentary secretaries must report
to make political donations to compete The new system will be better for
fundraising activities. against the interests of big business. Many democracy, fairer, and another step in
of the issues that are critical to our members getting the big money out of our political
Municipal Elections such as jobs, public services, contracting system. In reality, donations are not
Ban on union and corporate donations out, pension security, and health and responsible for providing us with our best
education have a political aspect. connections. It has been our members
$1,200 cap on individual donations
But this is not whats best for democracy. engagement in politics, regardless of party
Donors can donate in different It is voters who should be making these or level. We need to get back to those
municipalities to multiple candidates decisions, not unions and certainly not big roots. We need to support and nurture our
who are not part of a civic organization. corporations and foreign interests. members who have the time and ability to
Donors must be B.C. residents It will be a challenge and an adjustment participate politically, because thats how
for us to remain involved politically without our organization gains influence and a seat
the financial aspect but nothing will change at the table.
in terms of what we do. We will continue We truly encourage our members who
to strongly advocate for our members on are interested in an issue or a candidate to
important issues. The only difference is get involved politically - whether its at the
that once the new legislation takes effect, federal, provincial or local level.
money will no longer be part of that As our president, David Black puts it, At
equation. the end of the day its our members who
That money can now be used on other are our strength, and the more involved
services for our members. For those who they are, the better and more effective we
may have concerns about the concept of can be as a union on their behalf.

22 | VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 MOVEUP Local Voice

Do you know who your union rep is?
Accenture Business Services Columbia Valley Credit Union Ladysmith & District Credit Union
Union Rep: Cheryl Popeniuk Union Rep: Sarah Melsness Union Rep: Sarah Melsness
Alma Mater Society Community Savings Credit Union LuMa Native Housing Society
Union Rep: Georgi Bates Union Rep: Sarah Melsness Union Rep: Nathan Beausoleil
Alma Mater Society Security Construction, Maintenance and MacLures Cabs Ltd.
Union Rep: Kelly Quinn Allied Workers Bargaining Council Union Rep: Sarah Melsness
Aviscar Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen
Marine Workers & Boilermakers
Union Rep: Mike Novak Construction, Maintenance and Union Rep: Cathy Hirani
BCAA Service Locations Allied Workers Local 1995
Master Trade Union Offices
Union Rep: Trevor Hansen Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen
Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen
BCAA Road Assist Contact Centre Coral Cabs (Richmond Taxi)
Union Rep: Jude Morrison New Democratic Party of BC
and Administration Union Rep: Nathan Beausoleil
Union Rep: Trevor Hansen CUPE 454 (Delta)
Union Rep: Nathan Beausoleil PBC Health Benefits Society (D.A. Townley)
BC Computerized Dispatch (Yellow Cab) Union Rep: Cathy Hirani
Union Rep: Sarah Melsness CUPE 3338 (SFU)
Union Rep: Nathan Beausoleil Schneider Electric Canada Inc.
BC Federation of Labour: Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen
Union Rep: Nathan Beausoleil CUPE BC & Locals
Union Rep: Nathan Beausoleil Seaspan International Ltd.
BC Ferry & Marine Workers Union
Ecojustice Canada Union Rep: Stephen Von Sychowski
Union Rep: Noel Gubransen
Union Rep: Nathan Beausoleil SEIU Local 2
Union Rep: Cathy Hirani Enterprise Rent-A-Car Canada Company Union Rep: Cathy Hirani
Union Rep: Mike Novak Southern Railway
BC Hydro (including Powertech Labs Inc.)
Union Reps: Barbara Junker, Tony Geluch FortisBC Customer Service Centres Union Rep: Cheryl Popeniuk
Union Rep: Cindy A. Lee Teamsters Local 31
BC Nurses Union
Union Rep: Cathy Hirani FortisBC Energy Inc. Union Rep: Cathy Hirani
Union Rep: Cindy A. Lee Teamsters Local 155
BC Regional Council of Carpenters
Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen FortisBC Inc. Union Rep: Cathy Hirani
Union Rep: Cindy A. Lee Teamsters Local 213 & 213 Member Benefit Plan
BC Transit Victoria
Union Rep: Stephen Von Sychowski Gulf and Fraser Fishermens Credit Union Union Rep: Cathy Hirani
(G&F Financial Group) Telecommunication Workers Union (USW Local 1944)
Beach Place Ventures (Black Top Cabs) Union Rep: Sarah Melsness
Union Rep: Sarah Melsness Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen
Hastings Entertainment Inc.
Berlitz Canada Telecommunication Workers Pension Plan
Union Rep: Cathy Hirani
Union Rep: Sarah Melsness Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen
Hertz Canada Ltd. (Dollar Thrifty)
Bonnys Taxi Union Rep: Mike Novak TransLink
Union Rep: Mike Novak Union Rep: Stephen Von Sychowski
IAMAW Transportation District Lodge 140
Burnaby English Language Centre Union Rep: Cathy Hirani Tree Island
Union Rep: Stephen Von Sychowski Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen
IAMAW District Lodge 250
Canadian Freightways Ltd. Union Rep: Cathy Hirani UA Local 324 (Plumbers)
Union Rep: Cheryl Popeniuk Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen
IAMAW Local Lodge No. 764
Canadian Merchant Service Guild Union Rep: Cathy Hirani Unifor Local 114
Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen
IBEW Local 230
Canadian Northern Shield/RSA Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen Unifor Local 1928
Union Rep: Nathan Beausoleil Union Rep: Cathy Hirani
Capilano University Union Reps: Trevor Hansen, Jude Morrison, Kelly United Fishermen & Allied Worker Union
Union Rep: Nathan Beausoleil Quinn, Ryan Stewart Union Rep: Cathy Hirani
Cascades Casino Penticton International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Vancouver Police Credit Union
(Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd.) Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, Local 191 Union Rep: Trevor Hansen
Union Rep: Trevor Hansen Union Rep: Cathy Hirani
Vancouver Shipyards Ltd.
Catalyst Paper Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union Union Rep: Stephen Von Sychowski
Union Rep: Cathy Hirani Union Rep: Sarah Melsness
Vancouver Taxi Ltd. (Central Taxi Dispatch)
Construction Industry Affiliated Trade Union (CIATU) IWA Forest Industry Pension Plan
Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen Union Rep: Jude Morrison
Union Rep: Nathan Beausoleil
Coast Mountain Bus Company VantageOne Credit Union
John Hart Project
Union Rep: Stephen Von Sychowski Union Rep: Sarah Melsness
Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen
Coastal Community Credit Union KCC 244 Holdings Ltd. Victoria Shipyards Ltd.
Union Rep: Sarah Melsness Union Rep: Mike Novak Union Rep: Stephen Von Sychowski
Coastal Community Insurance Services Kekinow Native Housing Society Westminster Savings Credit Union
Union Rep: Sarah Melsness Union Rep: Cheryl Popeniuk Union Rep: Sarah Melsness
College of Pharmacists of BC Kelowna Cabs Ltd. Working Ventures Insurance Solutions
Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen Union Rep: Jude Morrison Union Rep: Nathan Beausoleil
College of Registered Nurses Konica Minolta Business Solutions (Canada) Xylem Water Solutions
Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen Union Rep: Sarah Melsness Union Rep: Cathy Hirani
Columbia Hydro Kruger Products (Scott Paper) Yellow Pages Group
Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen Union Rep: Noel Gulbransen

Phone: 604-299-0378 LOCAL VOICE Editor: Catherine Pope USW 2009

Fax: 604-299-8211 DESIGNED BY: Dansk Design Group
IS PUBLISHED BY ISSN 1918-9753 COPE Local 378 Voice PRINTED AT: Mitchell Press, Burnaby, B.C.

MoveUP MoveUP: President David Black

Suite 301-4501 Kingsway, Burnaby, B.C. V5H 0E5 Secretary-Treasurer Lori Mayhew

MOVEUP Local Voice VOLUME 12 Issue #2 Winter 2017 | 23


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