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Uniting ARCCAW members across Alberta and the Northwest Territories

Fall 2011

Unique bargaining process achieves new benchmarks

Landmark Agreement Save Your Shoulders

Golf tou apprenrnament, t contesticeship ,t reviewsool

Stretches to strengthen and help prevent injury

Edmonton administration building under expansion

Project Announcements

Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #40063788 Return undeliverable mail to 200-15210 123 Ave Edmonton,AB T5V 0A3

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Executive Secretary Treasurers


Making Sense of Safety

Martyn A. Piper

ou know when you have to repeat things time and time again they get boring, the activity becomes mundane, we lose interest, stop paying attention to detail and then we typically take shortcuts believing the outcome will be the same regardless. When you think about safety in this context, the potential outcomes are scary. There is no second chance. There are no opportunities to go back and repeat the exercise again. There are no opportunities to put back a limb, reverse a brain injury or bring someone back to life. No its over, and then we get into If only I had done this, If only I had done that, If only I had stopped to think, If only I had performed the task as instructed but it may all now be too late. With many things in life, we may have an opportunity to go back and correct past mistakes with little or no consequence. However, safety is not one of those! I do not profess to be a safety guru and like most I suffer from the same boredom when the same exercise has to be repeated time and time again. But safety is a different ball game. Think about what happens on a site or in a workplace when someone is severely injured or worse there is loss of life. Everybody feels terrible, everybody feels empty. There is a sense of futility, but nobody knows quite what to do. There may be safety stand

downs, or site closings, collections for the victims family, but everybody grieves, everybody shares in the loss. You feel it even if you are not remotely connected to the tragedy personally. We are all in this together after all. Safety has come a long way in the last 30 years or so. On wellmanaged sites and in most workplaces, safety is a shared effort. It is not bipartisan. Everybody has an interest, everybody has ownership, everyone has a responsibility and, generally speaking, safety is well done when everyone is participating. Policies, procedures, orientations, risk assessments there are many parts to a well-oiled safety effort. But it is a wasted effort if not everyone is buying in or participating. In todays workplace there is a greater emphasis on being fit for work so one can reduce the risk of personal injury, and being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is no longer an accepted practice in the workplace. Why? Because collectively we must all work towards eliminating injuries and deaths in the workplace. There can be no greater calling. We must believe it can be done. These are the reasons I have decided to write about safety in this edition of Hard Hat. I want to personally refresh everyones memory of the most important element on any work site and in any workplace. Lately we have been hit with a rash of falling objects, non-compliances to the drug and alcohol policies and slippage with respect to safety overall, and that is unacceptable. Please, I ask all of you to rededicate your efforts to a safe and clean workplace where everyone goes home the way they arrived. Dont put me in the position where I have to make that phone call to a victims family and friends to tell them someone they love is lying in a hospital bed critically injured or, worse yet, that special someone is never coming home again. I have been there and it is, I believe, one of the hardest things anyone would ever have to do. Lets collectively turn our attention to the task at hand, redouble our efforts and make a difference. There are no second chances when it comes to safety!


Undeliverable mail should be directed to ARCCAW 200-15210 123 Ave Edmonton, AB T5V 0A3 Email: Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement # 40063788


Syncrude Canada Ltd. prepares for its major fall turnaround By Randy Stefanizyn

Alberta Regional Council of Carpenters & Allied Workers 15210 123 Avenue Edmonton, Alberta T5V 0A3 Tel: (780) 474-8599 / Fax: (780) 474-8910

11 Focus on Safety

Fall 11

12 Landmark Agreement
New collective agreement provides long-term stability for all paties By Lisa Ricciotti

Venture Publishing Inc. 10259 105 Street Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1E3 Toll-free: 1-866-227-4276 Phone: (780) 990-0839 Fax: (780) 425-4921

18 Heroic Efforts
KBR employees spring into action to save a co-workers life By Robin Schroffel


Ruth Kelly

20 Breaking New Ground

Edmonton facility undergoes expansion; Calgary gets a new admin building By Robin Schroffel


Joyce Byrne


Martyn A. Piper Kim Tannas


22 fit@work
Stretches to save your shoulders By Kim Tannas


Charles Burke


Andrea deBoer Colin Spence

25 Notes From Canada Council

Report on the national meeting in August


Note From the Executive Secretary Treasurer
By Martyn Piper

Vanlee Robblee


Betty-Lou Smith

Annalise Klingbeil, Lisa Ricciotti, Robin Schroffel, Cait Wills Buffy Goodman, Heff OReilly, Kelly Redinger, Chris Tait


Site Lines
Golf tournament; 1325 family picnic; Habitat for Humanity project; Future of Trade Winds; CEFAP updates

Anita McGillis Lisa Richards Julia Ehli

10 Geared Up
Tools to help you work better


Contents 2011 by ARCCAW Inc. No part of this publication should be reproduced without written permission.

24 KidZone
Pencil facts that will amaze you

26 Training & Apprenticeship Report

By Len Bryden

Important Phone Numbers Edmonton Fort McMurray Calgary Carpenters Training Centre Carpenters Health and Welfare Carpenters Pension Industrial Workers Millwright Local 1460 Local Union 1325 and 2103 Dispatch 780-471-3200 780-743-1442 403-283-0747 780-455-6532 780-477-9131 780-477-9131 403-283-0747 780-430-1460 1-888-944-0818

27 Meet the Instructor 28 Meet the Apprentice 29 Training & Events; In Memoriam 30 Parting Shot
oN THE CoVER: Trevor Schlesinger (left) and Bill Warwick Photo: Kelly Redinger

Site Lines

News in Brief

A roundup of news and events from around the region BY ANNALISE KLINGBEIL

Golf Tournament a Hit

Perfect weather, a sold-out event and thousands of dollars raised for juvenile diabetes made the 11th annual Barrie Regan Golf Tournament a big success. The weather was a perfect day for golf, says executive secretary-treasurer Martyn Piper. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right. A total of 144 attendees hit the links at the Legends Golf and Country Club on Friday, July 15, raising in excess of $15,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. All in all, I felt it was a very successful day, says Piper. A special thanks to all of the volunteers who gave generously of their time and talents to put the event together. RESULTS: Longest Putt (Men): Dennis Littlechild Longest Putt (Ladies): Lil McDermott Longest Drive (Ladies): Michelle Ringuette Longest Drive (Men): Jake Baker Closest to the Pin: Peter Bolze Winning Team: Colin Chambers, Chris Crouten, Jake Baker, Devin Sparrow

The winning team proudly displays the tournament trophy

Fun in the Sun

Nearly 200 union members and their families enjoyed barbecued food, entertainment, warm weather, games and much more at the annual Local 1325 summer picnic. The family picnic, first and foremost, allows members to get together and have a social afternoon with people that they might not normally see, and to meet the families of other members, says Bob Provencher, project manager with the Alberta Regional Council of Carpenters. As well, it is something we like to do for the kids. The emphasis is the kids. There was plenty to keep the kids occupied at the August 14 event including live entertainment provided by Lester Le Breton, basketball nets, electronic games, two bouncy houses, face painters and balloonists. Provencher would like to extend a big thanks to all the members and friends who attended, and to the many volunteers and Local 1325 executive members who helped cook and serve food.

Lester Le Breton (left) and Aaron Hughes (right) entertain picnic guests

The clowns were a big hit with the kids


The 2011 cooks (L to R) Devon, Derrick, Gord and Moe worked non-stop for four hours

A clown enjoys basketball and a giggle with Jean Orchuk (the clown was winning)

Provincial Carpentry/ Scaolding Winners

The annual provincial carpentry/scaffolding contest was held July 15 at the Edmonton training centre. Six carpenters and six scaffolders competed. For the carpentry competition, Kyle McLachlan from Ardrossan swept every category to win first place overall. He scored first in Practical, Theory, and Builders Level and Transit Test and went on to represent Alberta at the National Carpentry Competition at the end of August. On the scaffolding side, Bonnie White of Whitecourt also placed first in both portions (Build, Theory) of the scaffolding contest to win the trophy against five other competitors. Other contestants in the carpentry competition included Mark Curtis (2nd place), Randy Nault (3rd place), Ronald Brad Arts, Jonathan Macrea and Cale McComb. In the scaffolding competition, they included Devin Pearce (2nd place), Jonathan MacDonald (3rd place), Melissa Belliveau, Barry Marcoux and Chris Phillips.

National Competition Inspires Cooperation

At the end of the August, representatives and winning contestants from Alberta flew to Quebec City for the National Apprenticeship and Training Advisory Committee (NATAC) UBC Apprenticeship Contest for Carpentry, Drywall and Millwright. The annual competition allows the best apprentices from across the country to come together and compete for cash, prizes, and glory, says Len Bryden, director of training and apprenticeship for the Alberta Carpenters Training Centre. One millwright and one carpenter represented Alberta in the competition, which took place August 26 to 27. While the Alberta contestants put in a great effort, contestants from Ontario took first place in both carpentry and drywall, while Quebec took first place in the millwright competition. Beyond the competition, the event, which is held in a different province every year, includes two days of meetings. Its a very, very good way to have a better understanding about whats happening from coast to coast in Canada within a specific trade, says Bob Hugh, senior business representative-millwrights. Hugh says the competition builds cooperation amongst members, while the event is also an opportunity for delegates from across the country to share ideas on apprenticeship and training. We all give reports from our home areas, Hugh says. What were trying to do is always improve the standard of training in apprenticeship from coast to coast. The annual gathering and competition will be coming to Edmonton next year. It will be the first time Edmonton has hosted the carpentry, drywall and millwright contest since 2002. The 2012 competition will take place on August 24 and 25.

Kyle McLachlan

Guess the Tool

Can you guess the name of this antique tool? ANSWER ON PAGE 8


Site Lines
Winds of Change

News in Brief

A roundup of news and events from around the region

The future of a program designed to increase the number of aboriginal people in Alberta working in the construction trades may be in jeopardy after it was announced that federal funding would be withdrawn. The Trade Winds to Success project is a unique partnership between Human Resources and Skill Development Canada, Members from all the building trade unions Alberta Employment & Immigration, are helping to build a home for Habitat for Oteenow Employment and Training Humanity in central Edmonton. This year we Society, Mtis Nation of Alberta and got together with Habitat and we came up with Community Futures Treaty Seven. The an idea of doing a home that was 100 per cent program also contracts various union union built, by union members, from all the training trust funds for the use of their different unions, says Len Bryden, director facilities, including the Alberta Millwrights of training and apprenticeship for the Alberta Local 1460. Carpenters Training Centre. Since welcoming the program in the Bryden says the unions history with Habitat fall of 2008, the Alberta Millwrights has for Humanity dates back to 2008, when seen over a dozen aboriginal students students began doing work in conjunction participate in an eight-week millwright with their classes. Bryden recently took the pre-employment course, says Bob Trade Winds to Success class to the Habitat for Hugh, senior business representativeHumanity pre-fabrication shop in Edmonton, millwrights. The ultimate goal is to give where students built walls for the house. them a skill set so that when they enter Bryden says building a 100 per cent into the marketplace theyll be successful union-built home shows the community and theyll have some prior knowledge of that unions care about people. The Alberta whats expected, Hugh says. We make Carpenters Training centre has a close sure they have a nice tool kit so they can relationship with Habitat for Humanity and go out in the field and be productive we look forward to working with them more individuals almost immediately. in the future, says Bryden. Federal dollars, which currently make up two-thirds of the funding, will cease as of March 2012 but the Trade Winds to Success board is currently seeking private sector funding through This is a cranked neck contractors and owners to keep the program running. patternmakers gouge, Thats good news for the Millwrights. Hugh estimates used mainly to do precision about 50 per cent of the participants have gone on to work in ne woodworking. become successful members of Local 1460. I think that weve had some pretty good success. Everybody that weve dispatched has been received as a productive individual. Weve had lots of positive feedback from employers and some of the clients that we work for about getting involved and trying to provide job opportunities for aboriginal people. (From Page 7)

Helping Habitat for Humanity

Answer to Guess the Tool


FALL 2011

CEFAP Updates Clarify Rules

The Construction Employee and Family Assistance Program (CEFAP), an initiative of Construction Labour Relations Alberta that provides assistance to employees dealing with distressing problems, has undergone some minor changes. CEFAP is a plan designed to provide confidential counselling, educational and self-development services to unionized construction and plant maintenance industry employees. We have continually consulted with experts and stakeholders to ensure the quality and performance of our plan is of the highest standards and will continue to do so in the future, says Lynne Harder, administration manager at Construction Labour Relations. CEFAP services are provided confidentially to employees and their eligible family members, and are accessed by personally contacting the service provider, Homewood Human Solutions (HHS). Aboriginal and multi-language options are available in all offices, and all services can be accessed anywhere in the world. Emergency services are available 24/7 and alcohol and drug counselling services meet all of the requirements of the Canadian Model for providing a Safe Workplace Alcohol and Drug Guidelines and Work Rule. CEFAP is endorsed by the Building Trades of Alberta and funded by the unionized construction employers working in Alberta and various local union health and welfare trust funds. All in all, the program offers one of the largest and most comprehensive service options in the province. The programs updated rules and eligibility criteria were effective July 1, 2011. Very little has changed, Harder says. This process endeavoured to make the rules and eligibility criteria easier to understand and more consistent. We want all of the participating organizations and their employees to not only know what they are, but understand what they are. The updated rules and eligibility criteria provide a clearer definition and distinction between Employee and Family Assistance (EFAP) services and Substance Abuse Expert (SAE) Assessment. The update is greatly assisted when dispatch information indicates the collective agreement (either construction, maintenance, or other) that the member is being dispatched under. The final change is that a person seeking SAE assessment needs to provide to HHS certain pieces of evidence that the person has access to. Details on these pieces of evidence can be found at, and will ultimately mean easier and faster access to assessment. Harder says these updates make the rules and criteria clearer and more concise for employees. A complete review of the SAE assessment is nearing completion, and now HHS has a dedicated department that deals with all things SAE. Harder says whether it is clinical, clerical, intake personnel or assessment personnel, they have developed a comprehensive program and process ensuring that CEFAP provides the best service available.

Scaolding Course Gets a Lift

A Hoisting and Rigging course has been added to both the Level 3 Scaffolding program and the Scaffolding Journeyman Upgrade program. The curriculum for the five-day program comes from the International Training Centre. The program will teach members the fundamental principles of hoisting and rigging. It will increase the knowledge base of our apprentices and members. It may help to secure further work for the UBC in the future, says Len Bryden, director of training and apprenticeship for the Alberta Carpenters Training Centre.


Geared Up
Tools to help you work better
Check out the Chisel Doctor if youre looking for a quick and inexpensive way to sharpen your chisel blades. Unlike other sharpening methods using water stones and diamond laps, for instance it uses sandpaper, which has many advantages, says product designer Richard Rex. Its available in all the grits you need, it wears evenly and doesnt hollow out like a stone. In addition, sandpaper wont burn the edge like a grinding wheel (no quenching needed), and its easy to replace when worn. Weighing just under 15 ounces, the tool is a steel forging that holds any type of blade ranging in width from 1/8 inch to two inches. The chisel is held in place by a hefty clamp bar and two large thumbnuts, which are ball-nosed to allow the bar to lie flat on tapered blades. After clamping the chisel in place, you simply has to rub the blade back and forth a few times on various grits of sandpaper that are mounted on a flat rigid surface. The Chisel Doctor can be used to sharpen wood chisels, hand planes and spokeshaves. When the sandpaper gets worn, replacement sandpaper can be purchased from the manufacturer but store-bought sandpaper can also be used. Because the Chisel Doctor is just about indestructible, it can be tossed into the tool bag for routine honing on the construction site. It is equally at home in the shop, and has been well-received by professional woodworkers who give it high marks for speed and efficiency, adds Rex. The product can be ordered online for US$44.95 (plus $4.95 for shipping). maximum of 600 millimetres (two feet), serving as a visual aid that allows users to design and mark decorative details, joinery, rip lines or loose tenons. It can help in determining equally spaced points on a straight line for borders and edges, or in calculating the number of strips that can be cut from a board. The Point-2-Point also has a fourpoint locking mechanism, which allows users to transfer measurements between boards and over larger areas. Beyond woodworking, it can also be used for general craftwork, sewing and even in the kitchen for instance, for laying out buttons on a shirt or measuring out equalsized cake portions. The product is currently available in Canada from Elite Tools, KMS Tools & Equipment Ltd. and The Tool with prices ranging from $19.99 to $26.99.


The Bosch L-Boxx was introduced last June as an innovative solution for transporting and storing tools and so far seems to be living up to the hype, having already won a product of the year award from a German industrial association. The idea behind a stackable, locking tool system is not a new one but the products wellthought-out design makes it stand out. The boxes easily click into one another, allowing you to stack boxes together and carry them as a single unit. Also the inside of the box can be easily configured using the foam inserts provided, preventing items from banging around while being transported. The L-Boxx is also waterproof, so if youre caught in a downpour, you at least dont have to worry about your tools getting soaked. There is even a padlock option on both sides of the lid for added security. Another unique feature is the variety of carrying options available. The top has a large folding handle that allows you to carry the L-Boxx like a tool box, while a smaller folding handle on the side allows you to carry it like a suitcase. Recessed handles on the sides also allow you to carry it two-handed. The L-Boxx is part of a series of carrying cases, all 14 inches wide by 17.5 inches long but varying in height, starting with the L-Boxx-1 at 4.5 inches up to the L-Boxx-4 at 15 inches high. Online prices start at $69 (plus shipping and handling) for the L-Boxx.

M.Powers Point-2-Point layout measuring tool makes easy work of setting out a row of screws or dowels. Just extend it fully and bring the mechanism down to the required size. Lock the setting in place with the pinch bolts and youre ready to start marking things out. The tool features eight stainless steel points and extends to a



FALL 2011

Focus on Safety
Working together to ensure safety excellence at Syncrudes fall turnaround
The Syncrude Safety Summit was held August 22, 2011, and was well attended by all stakeholders from the various union locals, contractors and Syncrude senior leadership. As you would appreciate, the focus on safety is important to all on work sites but just as important to all of our families whom we rely on and who rely on us every day of every year. Three individuals put on very passionate and thought-provoking presentations: Building trades were represented by U/A 488, who discussed their approach to injury mitigation based on four hand injuries in our fall turnaround 2010. Contractors were represented by CASCA (RSL Mechanical), who focused their presentation on positive and timely interventions. Syncrude was represented by a senior area leader of extraction, who presented on eye injuries and the potential of this lifechanging event. Randy Stefanizyn, Manager, Labour Please contact your business agents or business manager for Relations, Syncrude Canada Ltd. more details on these presentations. Syncrude realizes it has a duty to provide a safe site, develop want to thank Martyn Piper for providing challenging and well-planned work packages with fair estimates this opportunity for an article in the Alberta Regional Council of Carpenters and Allied and materials suitable for execution within schedule. The rest is up to our contractors and their professional craftspeople. We rely Workers Hard Hat magazine. on you to get the job done safely, professionally and repeatedly. Syncrude Canada Ltd. is preparing for its Intervene when necessary and hold each other accountable. major fall turnaround, which is scheduled to Please support all our stakeholders with their mandate to keep start this fall. our site safe and reliable. Syncrude is proud of its good relationship Project Polaris provides an opportunity with the Building Trades. for world-class safety performance, and Please follow your codes of conduct, codes of excellence and our friends from Local 1325, 1460 and other pride in workmanship to make Project Polaris the safest and most trade skill professionals from the Building productive in our history. Trades of Alberta will expect the same in safety excellence during the execution of the turnaround. Syncrude Canada Ltd. does not take its relationship with the Building Trades lightly. We have invested significantly in this professional labour stream during the past 30 years. The BTA has been partners in our success in construction and maintenance activities to the tune of approximately 245 million hours. We expect world-class safety and productivity. It is a major contributor to inspire young people to the career and opportunity offered in a skilled trade.




FALL 2011

New bargaining process provides long-term stability for both workers and contractors

ometimes you have to run smack into a brick wall

before you realize things have to change. Albertas building trade unions hit that proverbial wall in 2007, when difficult bargaining for collective agreements was followed by lawsuits against the provincial government which challenged sections of the Alberta Labour Relations Code, led by the carpenters, plumber and pipefitters, electricians and boilermakers unions. But in 2011 the collective agreement process was dramatically different. The result is a historic agreement, hailed by the trade unions, industry and government as a new landmark in labour relations. Using an innovative approach to negotiations, 18 of Albertas 24 building trade union groups including the Alberta Regional Council of Carpenters and Allied Workers (ARCCAW) have now signed agreements with Albertas construction employer associations that, for the first time ever in Alberta, establish terms and conditions common to all building trade unions. A shared agreement across the trades is unprecedented, and the terms arrived at are as well. New consensus was reached on long-standing issues surrounding site travel and personal time off, and special project agreements were shaped for urban and remote work sites. Most significantly, a new formula for wage increases was devised thats linked to

the price of oil and the consumer price index, replacing the tradition of percentage increases on hourly rates. Topping it all off, these 18 labour agreements are set for an unusually long period of four years. In the past, agreements were typically for two-year terms. Its a remarkable demonstration of solidarity across the unions, says ARCCAW executive secretary-treasurer Martyn Piper. We were able to sit down and agree on one settlement that fits all, showing industry that the building trade unions are on the same page. Contractors are equally happy with the results of the new process. We came out with more effective working relationships than going in, notes Neil Tidsbury, president of Construction Labour Relations Alberta, the group representing contractors. The more collaborative approach resulted in benchmarks weve never achieved before, which will make it easier to secure union work in a competitive environment and give longer term stability for both contractors and workers.

All of which begs the question: How did these big changes happen and why now? Piper says the sea change in attitudes and approaches began during the 2007 union lawsuits, now referred to as the constitutional challenge. Its purpose was to challenge labour code regulations which ruled that once 75 per cent of the building trade unions ratified


collective agreements, the remainder had to accept similar terms under binding arbitration, without the right to strike. This meant that the unions that were first out of the chute set the pattern for the rest, says Lyle Kanee, vice-chair of the labour relations boards in Alberta and Ontario. Working together on the challenge made union leaders aware that the collective agreement process across the trades was flawed and that they could be more effective working together as a group instead of negotiating separately. So rather than engaging in a lengthy court battle with the province, the unions put their energy into new legislation which created a different form of bargaining. In May 2010, all unions agreed to a joint collective agreement process and the concepts of Big Table and Little Table were born. In Big Table negotiations, the unions would attempt to reach agreement on terms and conditions that would apply across the industry, but still have Little Table discussions where each union would work out issues specific to their trade. Union and contractor representaThere were the stresses, tensions and sandpaper that go along with tives also agreed to use a facilitator and bargaining coordinator to keep any collective agreement negotiations, says Tidsbury, giving the conthe process moving, to stick to a strict timetable and see the process through to the end. Kanee was independently engaged as the facilitator tractors perspective. But we worked past those by focusing on our common interest in a better work future. It was our deal, not one side over and Mike Kozielec as the coordinator. Both men have a long history in the other. labour relations and are well-respected in union and contractor association circles. The process began in September 2010, months earlier than usual, Beyond the new shared-interests bargaining approach, with twice-weekly meetings in Edmonton and many lively discusKanee believes all participants recognized that the work environment sions. We rolled up our sleeves and started working together, says in Alberta had changed and unions and contractors had to adapt to the Tidsbury. By December, the new reality. Unions recognize group had formulated agreethat they cant put their heads in ments that then went out to the sand and ignore the fact that each unions membership for a theres increasing competition vote. As of late July, 18 unions for work from alternative unions had approved the collective and non-union companies. agreement, and the remainAnd contractors were looking ing unsigned bargaining units for new terms with unions that Bruce Moffatt, business manager, were in the final stages of would provide more stability by their negotiating processes. avoiding the threat of work disInternational Union of Operating Engineers If that all sounds simple, ruptions from strikes or labour it wasnt. We didnt get to disputes in the middle of a long agreement by sitting around and singing Kumbaya, says Kanee. As project, he says. always, both the unions and the contractors had their own mandates. The 2008 economic downturn was also a wake-up call to both sides But this time we used a different kind of bargaining. And that made all that new approaches were needed on issues such as wages. The 2007 the difference. agreement was negotiated during boom times of high oil prices, with Kanee explains that the norm for union/contractor discussions is high wage increases to match. But after the 2008 crash, those wage whats called positional bargaining. Thats when each side stakes out increases were out of sync with the market reality, says Tidsbury. The their territory, then tries to get as much as they can. Or as bargaining result was that union workers had negotiated nice salary increases, but coordinator Kozielec puts it: The old approach is based on an overas Piper notes, Wed priced ourselves out of the market. abundance of testosterone where the last man standing after 72 hours Bruce Moffatt, business manager of the International Union of without sleep, surrounded by cold cups of coffee and stale doughnuts, Operating Engineers, summed up the dilemma in his comments to the is the winner. Edmonton Journal: Sometimes having the work is the most important The new method that replaced this adversarial style is called shared- thing, as opposed to having a very generous agreement that nobodys interests bargaining. Instead of focusing on differences of opinion, working under. each side looks at what they have in common, Kanee explains. And The new collective agreement avoids this potential pitfall by linking for the contractors and the union, that came down to We both want to wage increases to the price of oil, as well as the consumer price index. If get the work. Initially there was skepticism about whether this process the price of oil goes up, union workers will share in the increased profwould work, but participants quickly saw the benefits and abandoned its. But if oil prices plummet, union wages will remain at a level that the old-school take-it-or-leave-it approach and started thinking outkeeps them in line with contractors budgets, while still ensuring them a side the box for creative solutions. All showed a real dedication to the decent standard of living and keeping them employed. Its a win-win for process and a desire to make it succeed. both sides.

Sometimes having the work is the most important thing, as opposed to having a very generous agreement that nobodys working under.



he wasnt sure the new negotiation process would succeed, and he credits the unions with tremendous leadership in explaining something so new and different to their members. He couldnt be happier with the final outcome. I believe the new collective agreement will serve the unions well. Contractors want two things: stability and flexibility. That sounds contradictory, but what theyre looking for is the guarantee of a stable workforce, with the flexibility to adjust costs if markets change. This agreement delivers both, and that addresses issues the union has had about its competitiveness in the marketplace. The result should be more work for union members, at good pay under safe conditions. Theres a high level of mutual satisfaction with the process, agrees Tidsbury. We may tweak a few things next time around, but weve all agreed to apply this method to the next round of bargaining. Its taken a long time, but finally theres a new way for the building trades to conduct their collective agreement process in Alberta.

Negotiating the unique wage formulae, including a first-year freeze on wage increases, was challenging, but together union and contractor representatives got it done. Then they went further to address other labour issues. Contractors had concerns about rising levels of absenteeism and late work starts, says Piper. But thanks to our open discussions, we were able to show them that often the reasons our members need time off are valid. They need to go to the dentist, see a lawyer or attend a special event with their kids. In consideration of both sides, new terms were worked out for authorized time off, which gives workers the flexibility to deal with personal matters without affecting overtime qualification. And to show their commitment to providing contractors with a safe, reliable workforce, unions agreed to opt in for random drug testing. In turn, contractors have adopted the new thresholds for drug testing currently used in the U.S. that rely on oral swabs rather than urine testing, which is more agreeable to workers. Addressing the issues of paid site-travel time and standardized agreements for special projects was more contentious, but with the new willingness to give and take, agreements acceptable to both union workers and contractors were worked out. For site travel, we now have significant breakthrough on a problem we have been working to resolve for over 20 years, says Piper. And the new Special Project Needs Agreements (SPNA) means contractors no longer have to come back to the union each time to work out a deal, which makes hiring union more attractive to contractors. Were also very pleased that we negotiated flights in and out to remote work sites. Weve had too many member deaths and accidents on the highways. Looking back, Kanee says there were times

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9/27/11 2:40:38 PM

LIFESAVERS: Trevor Schlesinger (left) and Bill Warwick (right) didnt hesitate to take action when co-worker Chuck Strand suered a major heart attack on the job

The quick actions of Trevor Schlesinger and Bill Warwick helped save a co-workers life


With files from KIM TANNAS


orkplace incidents dont

just happen out on the job site. Trevor Schlesinger, craft support superintendent with global engineering and construction company KBR and Local 1325 member, can attest to that. This summer, Schlesingers quick actions and lifesaving techniques, along with those of KBR quality control inspector Bill Warwick, literally saved a co-workers life who suffered a major heart attack while doing some routine paperwork around the office. Nelson Gordon, a project manager with KBR, came on site moments after the incident occurred and witnessed Schlesinger and Warwicks hero ic efforts. If it werent for them, he wouldnt be here, says Gordon. On July 17, Schlesinger was working in a trailer office complex at Imperial Oils Strathcona refinery when general superintendent Chuck Strand came in. He put two hands on the photocopier and dropped, recalls Schlesinger. It took a few moments before it was clear what was happening. We didnt know if he was having a seizure or anything until he started turning blue in the face. Thats when Schlesinger and Warwick sprung into action. Instincts kicking in, the two checked for life signs and began performing CPR. He had zero pulse, says Schlesinger. It was a pretty scary situation. I dont know if it was because I was trained in basic first aid or what but I just immediately figured, Hey, somebodys got to help this guy, says Warwick. An ambulance was called within 30 seconds,

and the pair worked on him for about seven minutes before the refinerys emergency response team arrived with an automated external defibrillator machine. During the next 20 minutes, Schlesinger and Warwick continued to perform CPR and Strand was shocked a total of four times with the AED. It was a harrowing wait for the ambulance as he was revived, lost and brought back again. He finally got a pulse back and they got him breathing. He was not breathing on his own, says Nelson. Two or three minutes later, he stopped breathing again. They revived him again. When the ambulance showed up, the paramedics plugged him into a heart monitor and, all things considered, the results were almost miraculous. Boom, he had a heart rate, says Schlesinger. Once in the hospital, Strand received a stint in his heart and was back home within three days. And barely a month after the incredible ordeal, he received full clearance to head back to work. Nelson has the highest praise for Schlesinger and Warwicks actions. Theyre true heroes, thats all I can say, he says. Strand agrees. I think I was pretty damn fortunate to have those two gentlemen here. If it wasnt for them, I dont think I would be here. Thats pretty much what the hospital has told me and if there wasnt a defibrillator on site, they also told me my chances [of survival] were zero. But Warwick says he only did what he thinks anybody else would have done in the same circumstance. I dont feel like a hero. I just feel like I did what I had to do. The incident has, understandably, had KBR mulling over workplace safety, says Nelson. [Were] looking at our overall staff to make sure that we do have adequate training for all of our staff. Do we always have the right people where we need them at the timing that we need them? We want to make sure that were covered. Hopefully it never happens again. In this case, theres no question that Schlesinger and Warwick were where they were needed at the right time. We had lost the guy. And because of the actions of Bill and Trevor, they saved his life, says Nelson.




MEN AT WORK: On site at the expansion to the Provincial Training and Administration Centre in Edmonton. From left to right: Brad Parsons, Keith Raab, Glen Urbanovitch, Mike Cote (Lexon superintendent), Robert Homan and Kevin Wart



FALL 2011


New projects underway include the expansion of the Edmonton administration and training facility as well as the purchase of a new building in Calgary

ts been a busy season for ARCCAW with three new projects on the go. All in different stages of development, these projects range from land purchase to facility construction to securing a space for a stronger regional council presence in Calgary. Earlier this year, two acres of land immediately adjacent to the Edmonton facilitys northern boundary were purchased for $1.2 million. ARCCAW took possession of the property on September 1, 2011, after completing the due diligence requirements in early August. The land purchase brings ARCCAWs Edmonton holdings to a total of seven acres. According to Bob Provencher, project manager for the Alberta Regional Council of Carpenters Corporation, the purpose of purchasing this land is to hold the property for future projects. In the meantime, itll be put into service for scaffolding and storage, he says. Construction of a 9,000-square-foot shop expansion on the northeast corner of ARCCAWs Edmonton property began in mid-July. Designed by ONPA Architects and contracted to union contractor Lexon Construction Inc. after a formal bid process, the pre-engineered building is on track to be completed on time and within budget, according to Provencher. When work is wrapped up around Christmas of 2011, the facility will provide 3,000 square feet of shop and storage space for ARCCAW, an expanded storage space for the Alberta Carpenters Training Centre and a 3,000square-foot training centre and shop expansion for Millwrights 1460. Meanwhile, in Calgary, ARCCAW closed the purchase of a building and property in the citys northeast quadrant on August 17. The regional councils intention is to provide a better and more modern service facility to the membership in Calgary, says Provencher. The building will house regional council staff and a meeting facility. If perception is reality, then we need to stamp a positive face on our business in Calgary and its time for a brand-new, state-of-the-art administration facility that the members will be proud of, says Martyn Piper, executive secretary treasurer of ARCCAW. The Calgary project, which has a budget of $7.2 million, is currently in the design development stage. Provencher and Piper are carrying out an assessment in conjunction with ONPA to determine whether renovation or full demolition is required. Following this process, it will move ahead into blueprint development and required permit applications, and the contractor bid process is set to begin toward the end of 2011. Construction is expected to begin in January of 2012, with an expected construction period of nine to 12 months.



To prevent injury, use proper form while doing repetitive motions and take shoulder pain seriously when it happens

he shoulder is a combination of several joints attached by multiple muscles, tendons and ligaments that allow for a large range of motion in many different directions. This is the very reason that the shoulder can be vulnerable to a large assortment of problems. About 20 per cent of the general population experiences shoulder problems and 40 per cent of those will last longer than a year. Of those general shoulder problems, 40 to 65 per cent are from something called shoulder impingements, explains Matt Smith, certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. Its basically an imbalance or a bone spur that reduces the amount of space in the shoulder, resulting in pain, weakness and loss of motion caused by pinching of the rotator cuff muscles when moving your shoul-


der, especially above your head. says Smith. For carpenters and scaffolders it can be triggered by repetitive motions such as constantly lifting heavy objects above your head or using a hammer in awkward positions. The most important thing to keep in mind with any kind of shoulder pain is to take it seriously, emphasizes Smith. That means getting it checked out by a professional as soon as you start experiencing any kind of pain. Its a lot easier to deal with in the beginning stages before it gets severe to the point where you cant lift your shoulder up, let alone be productive at work. To prevent this type of injury, make sure you are using proper form while doing repetitive motions, especially when you are lifting things above your head, he says. Ensure you are putting yourself in a strong position, with good posture such as shoulder blades back together and down while keeping your back tight. Its easy to get tired and take shortcuts which can lead to imbalances and problems over time. If you are experiencing nagging shoulder pain, some of the following exercises may help. Keep in mind that treatment varies based on the condition, postural problem and progression of injury. As always, if you have recently injured yourself, its important to get a proper assessment from a doctor or physiotherapist before attempting any of these exercises. For any questions or if you would like more information on getting a free movement and postural assessment, please contact Matt Smith by email at He is the manager of ARCCAWs in-house health centre, specializing in the health and fitness of trade workers, and is a Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Certified Personal Trainer and National Academy of Sports Medicine Corrective Exercise Specialist.



FALL 2011

Neck and Trap Stretches

Both stretches involve standing or sitting with one arm behind back (back of hand on low back) and moving head towards opposite shoulder. The first stretch is simply trying to touch the ear to the shoulder while looking forward and the second involves looking downward into pants pocket. They stretch slightly different muscles in the neck and shoulder area and should be held for 30-45 seconds on each side.

Lat Stretch

Kneeling down on mat, place hands/forearms on exercise ball with thumbs facing upwards. Slowly lean forward, rolling ball down forearms until stretch is felt. Keep shoulder blades together and head in neutral position between arms. To increase stretch, take deep breaths. Hold for 30-45 seconds.

Prone Cobra

Lying forward on exercise ball, keep legs and hips squeezed tight with palms facing each other. From starting position slowly move arms back, tightening shoulder blades together and rotating thumbs behind you. Hold this end position for two seconds before taking four seconds to moving back to start position. Perform 12 repetitions. Feel free to start with no resistance if dumbbells are too much.

Rotator Cuff (posterior)

Lying on one side, take a very light dumbbell and rotate arm away from the body, pivoting around the elbow. (Too much weight will trigger larger muscle groups which takes away from strengthening the rotator cuff.) A small towel can be placed under the armpit to reduce tension and place shoulder in an optimal position. Movement should be slow and controlled, holding the end position for two seconds and lowering the weight with a count of four seconds. Repeat on each side one to two times.

Squat to Row

Perform this exercise last as it is designed to integrate the entire body together so that the muscles learn to work together. In a quarter squat position while holding onto cables or resistance bands, begin to straighten out the body while simultaneously performing a row. While rowing, ensure the shoulders stay back and down. Hold end position for two seconds and slowly release the row while squatting back down to the starting position. Proper form is very important. Complete 12 repetitions one to three times.




Pencil Power

Youve seen round pencils you probably use them for math at school, drawing at home and maybe even to do the crossword puzzle in the newspaper. But have you ever seen a rectangular pencil? Carpenters use these special rectangular pencils to make markings on lumber. That way, they can make sure theyve measured properly before they cut the wood. After all, they have to do it right on the rst try. But why are they shaped so weird? Simple its to stop them from rolling. Even if you put one down on a sloped roof, itll stay right where it is. Carpenters pencils arent the only special pencils in a builders toolbox. Lumber crayons come in bright colours, and not only do they last 10 times longer than normal crayons, their marks stay on in the rain and wont fade in the sunlight.

Pencil Puzzle
Put your pencil to paper and see how many words you can find.

Theres more to the common pencil than just wood, graphite and an eraser. In fact, you just might be surprised by some of these interesting pencil facts. An average pencil can draw a straight line over 55 kilometres long. The worlds most expensive pencil costs more than $12,000 and is made of diamonds and precious metals. A pencil will write upside down, underwater, and even in space. The word pencil comes from the Latin word pencillus, which means little tail. More than half of the worlds pencils are made in China. Pencils as we know them have been around for nearly 500 years they were invented in 1565. The worlds largest pencil, located in Malaysia, is almost 20 meters (65 feet) long. A good-sized tree can make about 300,000 pencils.

Pencil Facts



FALL 2011












build carpenter contractor crayon draw eraser graphite house lumber mark measurement pencil saw wood


notes From Canada Council

By MArtyn PiPer

Held in Quebec City this year, this biennial meeting was a chance to discuss important topics to UBC members such as the future of the NDP and the state of union market share in Canada

pproximately 170 delegates, guests and staff gathered in Quebec City for the biennial meeting of Canada Council on August 28 and 29. The body chartered under the UBC constitution provides an opportunity for Canadian members to come together to develop positions, debate and discuss issues of particular interest to the UBC in Canada. The forum, which was formally approved in 1993, moves from region to region and this years meeting was held in Quebec City in conjunction with the National Apprenticeship contests. The four locals of the Alberta Regional Council sent 24 delegates in total, so we were well represented and attendance and engagement was exemplary. One of the highlights of the convention was the speech by Pat Martin, NDP, MP from Winnipeg Centre, former business manager of Carpenters Local 343 in Winnipeg. He spoke of a post-Jack Layton era in Canada, and despite

the huge loss to the party, how the new rookie MPs would step up to the plate and take on the federal government when the need arises. Randy Stefanizyn of Syncrude and Shabbir Hakim, representing ACTIMS and CISSA, presented on the expected demand for construction and maintenance workers in Alberta in the immediate future and how both groups are developing in a tripartite fashion, as well as processes to bring in Canadians from across the country and if necessary U.S. workers in an expedited manner. Bob Blakely presented on the state of union market share and density in Canada and some of the strategies and programs in play or being developed at the national level to increase the Building Trades profile, with the ultimate goal of winning back more work. The National Apprenticeship Training and Advisory (NATAC) Committee provided a detailed report on apprenticeship and training across Canada and the progress that is being made to standardize training, and share training resources and material. It is quite evident great strides are being made in this area. Gus Doyle from Newfoundland was re-elected present of the council, Mike Autzen from the Floor Layers in Vancouver was re-elected secretary treasurer. The next meeting of Canada Council will be in Newfoundland in 2013.



Training and Apprenticeship

Making a Commitment
Len Bryden, Director of Training and Apprenticeship Alberta Carpenters Training Centre

our ACTC staff members all hope everyone had a great summer, and we look forward to a busy fall and winter season. I want to discuss the importance of commitment to the training programs you sign up for. It is a topic I know I have covered in the past, but even with our no-show fees, we still have some issues surrounding attendance of our classes, and this is across all of our offerings. Please ensure you attend what you sign up for. Even if you call us to cancel at the last minute, it can sometimes be hard to fill that empty space in only a day or two, and we end up with an empty seat. The training fund works hard to provide the training we all need to do our jobs safely and effectively, and the contractors are counting on us to come through. As I travel and speak with many different areas of the UBC and its training centres and programs, I can say with confidence we remain at the absolute top of our industry when it comes to our professional operations. That is not to say that we cannot learn from others, because we certainly have used knowledge from other areas to help us here in Alberta. But nowhere else in North America provides the funding dollars and student benefits that we provide here in Alberta.

In most other places, the student is responsible for many or all of the costs associated with training. We all need to remember this and never take for granted what we have in this province, what this Training Trust Fund and Regional Council have built for the benefit of us all. We are seeing more of a need for Essential Skills training, and we will be putting more emphasis on this and our entry level programs into 2012. All other courses continue with the addition of new offerings all of the time. We have to be able to determine what the balance is between what the contractors need and what the apprentices need when we create our schedules. One thing I want to really emphasize again is that commitment to training is more important than ever. Sometimes you have to make a choice between thousands of dollars earned right now, or to make nothing for a few weeks (or more!) of training and to make tens of thousands later. Also, sometimes we need to be reminded that being a member of this organization doesnt give you an automatic right to have everything funded. Sometimes you have to make a little extra investment in your own training as well. Look outside the province and you will see that we have much to be thankful for, and there are so many things that are funded by our employers through our training fund. Thats why we have to keep our levels of commitment high, in order to keep the work and gain more market share. Be committed to doing your best, and remember we are here to help you achieve the goals you set for yourself. Keep up the good work. Feel free to contact our office at 780-455-6532 and follow the prompts, or email me directly at for information regarding rules, policies or scheduling. Information is also available at, or link to us through the very informative



Meet the Instructor

Teaching the Basics


or Hughie Bruce, teaching apprentices the ropes is a rewarding experience. Bruce, who has journeyman tickets in carpentry, scaffolding and welding, has taught hundreds of students in the last six-and-a-half years, most recently at the Calgary branch of the Alberta Carpenters Training Centre. There are several different things I teach, he says, but the one that stands out the most is the Trade Winds to Success Program, a government-run program for aboriginal people to help them get into the trades. There are two groups at each intake, each with 12 students, he explains. It starts with an eight-week upgrading program that focuses on basic skills like literacy and math. Then I take whoever chooses to be carpenters for eight weeks. I run two of those programs every year and its very fulfilling. Another course that Bruce instructs is Industrial Technical Training (ITT), which is also offered in Edmonton. Its a twoweek program, and is meant to take people off the street who are as Bruce puts it, as green as the grass and teach them basic skills like reading a tape measure and using a circular saw. At the end of the two-week program, the student receives several tickets Construction Safety Training System (CSTS), H2S Alive, confined space and first aid which, Bruce says, really helps students because it saves people who are getting into the trades having to go back and get tickets as they go. Bruce also teaches all levels of the ACTC Scaffolder program, and has worked closely with contractors in the southern Alberta area to ensure the training the students receive is relevant to what they should expect to do in the field. One of the best parts of instructing for me is seeing someone start in the ITT program fresh off the street, and watch them become a journeyman.

In this new regular feature, we will be introducing you to an instructor and a student at one of the Alberta Carpenters Training Centre locations. For more information on course and program offerings, visit




Meet the Student

challenging students to meet the stringent standards he maintains for his pupils. Doblej used the program to supplement her already considerable skill set and, she says, is grateful to be given a chance to work toward her membership with the Albertabased carpenters union. Even with a baby due in early November, Doblej isnt putting aside her career plans: she plans to work toward completing the education component of her apprenticeship training post-haste, so she can receive her Red Seal certification and return to the workforce in the immediate future. Just because Im expecting doesnt mean my career has to stop, she says. It would be nice to have as much of my schooling done for when I go back to work. I think the union learning centres involved with the program are a huge help into the trades, and the Trade Winds program is a good starting point.

On site at the Bow tower in Calgary, just outside of the 56th oor

hen asked what Nancy Doblejs biggest challenge was during her participation in the Trade Winds to Success program at the Calgary branch of the Alberta Carpenters Training Centre, it didnt have anything to do with being a woman in a predominately male environment. Instead, the third-year carpentry apprentice says her challenge was twofold: she was more experienced than many of her fellow students, and she struggled with homesickness, being more than 2,000 kilometres away from friends and family in her hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario. I was already in the residential part of the trade, but a family friend who lives in Calgary heard about Trade Winds and suggested I look into it, says Doblej, and despite having never left home on my own, the 25-year-old signed up for the 16-week program, which begins with basic literacy and ends with instructor Hughie Bruce

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In Memoriam
ARCCAW notes with sorrow the passing of the following members.

Training + Events

MEETINGS First Wednesday of each month: Local 1325 meeting Third Thursday of each month: Local 2103 meeting Fourth Tuesday of each month: Local 1460 meeting

LOCAL 1325 James Carson September 2011, Age 70 Daniel Johnson August 2011, Age 49 Leland Johnson July 2011, Age 87 David Knecht July 2011, Age 40 Garland Wiseman July 2011, Age 59

TRAINING Alberta Carpenters Training Centre The following is a sampling of training courses that are open for registration at the time of publication of this edition of Hard Hat. For full listings or more information on training courses, visit or phone the Edmonton oce at 780-455-6532 or toll-free 1-877-455-6532. Edmonton OSSA Fall Protection: October 22, 25, 28; November 5, 8, 19, 22 H2S Alive (Enform Certied): October 23, 30; November 13, 27 OSSA Conned Space: October 29; November 12, 26 Period 1 Carpentry: January 9 to March 2 Period 2 Carpentry: March 12 to May 4 Calgary Pre-Employment Carpentry Program: December 5 to February 3 Millwrights Training Centre Visit for a current listing of training courses available.

LOCAL 2103 Dennis Rooney July 2011, Age 52

Get ahead financially.

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Proud to support the Alberta Regional Council of Carpenters & Allied Workers.
Camille Coderre Account Manager, Small Business 780-448-7763
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FALL 2011


Parting Shot

Tunnel Vision

Originally called the 109th Street Subway, Edmontonians more likely remember the 168-metre-long tunnel that burrowed under the Canadian National Railway tracks between 104th and 105th Avenue as the Rathole. Constructed by Jamieson Construction Co. Ltd. in 1927, the project ran overbudget at a cost of $200,000. It was built in two sections and supported by temporary wooden trestles so that the railroad tracks could still be used during its construction. As many as 27,000 cars per day passed through the Rathole and, thanks to periodic flooding and hazardous visibility, its days were numbered once trains stopped running downtown in the 1980s. In 2000, the underpass was demolished and 109th Street was constructed at grade.



FALL 2011


If you have products or services that demand the attention of the construction industry and want to reach this key target audience, Hard Hat provides a unique forum to access more than 11,000 of the sectors key decision makers.

The Alberta Regional Council of Carpenters and Allied Workers (ARCCAW) represents more than 11,000 members working across several construction industries, including carpenters, millwrights, scaffolders, interior system mechanics, roofers and floor layers.

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Alberta Carpenters Training Centre

Weve trained North Americas best scaffolders for 15 years. The Alberta Carpenters Training Centre has delivered its 3-year Scaffolder Apprenticeship and Carpenter JM Upgrade Scaffold Programs, as well as dozens of other safety and skill training programs, to thousands of students in three training centres Edmonton, Ft. McMurray & Calgary since 1994. Our new $23 million centre includes two state-ofthe-art scaffold shops, including one purpose-built to accommodate suspended scaffolding. ACTC-trained scaffolders work on some of the worlds largest mega-projects. Many of the scaffolds they design and build are unique, highly-complicated, and critical to both human safety and worker productivity.

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