Thursday, 11 August 2011

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We are here today to make you aware that this golf tournament is

being paid for on the backs of the unionized workforce at BC Ferries.

BCFMWU are currently in negotiations with BC Ferries for a moderate

wage increase for April 1, 2011 and 2012.

BC Ferries have said they have no money to pay an increase to their

unionized employees. In fact, they don’t want to negotiate a wage

increase and are demanding that the employees pay for part of their


BCFS has money to pay for large pensions and raises for management

including one that took effect July 1, 2011 yet nothing for their

most valued resource, their employees.

We are aware of the current economic conditions but that hasn’t

stopped BCFS from advertising at Canuck games, sponsoring golf

tournaments and other promotions.

This is insulting to our members who helped BC Ferries achieve its

highest Customer Satisfaction rating in BC Ferries history.

If BC Ferries ever wants to crack the top 50 Companies, which is

employee and public rated, they are heading in the wrong direction.

Wouldn’t you be teed off if your employer treated you this way?

Contact us at:

Sunday, 8 May 2011


The Provincial Executive will elect one trustee from the members nominated at their meeting on Wednesday, May 25, 2011.
Pursuant to Article 12, Section 1(c) of the Constitution:
"In the event that the position of Trustee becomes vacant, the Provincial Executive will solicit nominations from the membership for the position of trustee and elect a Trustee from the members nominated."
One position will be open as of May 31, 2011.
Nominations must be mailed or faxed to the Union Office and must be received in the Union Office
Nominations must be signed by the nominee and the nominator. Both names must be legibly printed on the form. Nomination forms are available on the BCFMWU website or through your Local Presidents.
no later than 1630 hours, Friday, May 20, 2011.

Be a part of the decission making process

Would you like to be a part of a Resolutions Committee?
BCFMWU is looking for members interested in becoming involved with the Resolutions
Committees for Convention 2012. Convention 2012 is a Constitutional and Bargaining
Our Constitution, Article 10, Sections 5 & 6, calls for a Constitutional Resolutions
Committee and a Bargaining Resolutions Committee to be struck with representatives
for both committees from various areas and classifications of our Union.
The job of the two Committees is to meet separately and consider all resolutions and
make recommendations to the Provincial Executive and Convention.
To let the Convention Planning Committee know which committee you are interested in
or have questions, please contact them at
Union Office by or contact theFriday, May 20, 2011.
The Provincial Executive will select the Committees at their May Executive meeting.
Thank you for your interest,
BCFMWU Convention 2012 Planning Committee

Saturday, 16 April 2011

B.C. Liberals' governing by decree backfires with Supreme Court rulings

Use of legislative sledgehammers against public sector unions proved fatal
By Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun April 15, 2011 As the B.C. Liberals set about breaking public sector labour contracts during their first year in office, they received some cautionary advice from one of the most experienced negotiators in the public sector.

The legislation to strip away key provisions in collective agreements was a "case of chasing too insignificant a result over too long a time frame," he warned.

Instead there were "other options open to the government ... that would be less offensive to unions than gutting/ripping up collective agreements," and that would still allow government to "meet its fiscal challenges."

So said Gary Moser, a former deputy minister and longtime government negotiator who was then the head of the labour relations agency for the health care sector.

The alternatives suggested to government by Moser and others included consultations with the unions, formal negotiations on reopening the contracts, and outside mediation in the event of an impasse at the bargaining table.

The unions had already put out feelers along those lines. Not to say it would have been easy to reach agreement on contract concessions. But it was worth a try.

Instead, the Liberals barged ahead with legislation.

The unions in the health care sector were given just 20 minutes' notice that their contracts were to be tossed into the dumpster.

The bills themselves covering both the health care and education sectors were rammed through the legislature by the government majority (in those days the count was Liberals 77, New Democrats 2) in a marathon weekend session. Later, the decision to go with the legislative sledgehammer before even attempting some of the more respectful options would come back to haunt the Liberals.

"The record discloses no consideration by the government of whether it could reach its goal by less intrusive measures," wrote the Supreme Court of Canada in a landmark judgment that voided the Liberals' contractstripping legislation in the health sector.

"A range of options were on the table, but the government presented no evidence as to why this particular solution was chosen and why there was no meaningful consultation with the unions about the range of options open to it," the high court continued. "It was adopted rapidly with full knowledge that the unions were strongly opposed to many of the provisions, and without consideration of alternative ways to achieve the government objective, and without explanation of the government's choices."

That was in 2007. This week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Susan Griffin (not Sandra, as I mistakenly wrote Thursday) offered a similar critique of the way the Liberals (with Christy Clark as the minister in charge) had handled the legislation that stripped away various provisions in the teachers' contract.

"The government consulted fully with the education sector employers prior to passing the legislation, over at least a seven-or eight-month period," wrote the judge.

"Internal government documents indicate that at least some government officials expected that the teachers' union would be very opposed to the legislation. The government has not offered any explanation as to why it could not also have consulted with the B.C. Teachers' Federation about the intended legislation."

In both instances, the failings in the government approach were fatal.

The legislation voiding contracts was itself voided and the Liberals were given 12 months to rectify their earlier failure to negotiate. In the health sector, those talks would eventually cost taxpayers $85 million in compensation for health care workers.

Too soon to say what might be the outcome in education; however teachers, their hand strengthened by the courts, will surely gain something at the bargaining table.

Important to note that the unions won the right to a process of collective bargaining, not to a particular outcome.

As for government, the courts affirmed that it is obliged to negotiate in good faith, using legislation only minimally and as a last resort.

Even the most heady legislative majority is obliged to respect due process.

Too often under former premier Gordon Campbell, the Liberals wielded the legislative ramrod before even giving consultation a try.

The approach reached its nadir in the summer of 2009, when Campbell sprang the harmonized sales tax on the electorate just 10 weeks after a campaign in which harmonization was barely mentioned and then only as something not on the radar screen.

Even the Liberal caucus was taken for granted on the HST, as the premier gave his MLAs only slightly more notice than the unsuspecting public.

Finally, he'd gone too far with his "just do it" approach to public policy.

The tax proved to be his ruin and remains a drag on his successor.

At Thursday's launch of extensive public consultations on the tax in advance of the coming referendum, the most telling comment was from cabinet minister Blair Lekstrom.

"I wish we'd done this 18 months ago," he said, underscoring yet another instance where the Liberals had bypassed due process and made public policy by one-sided government diktat.

Read more:
Page 1 of 2
Bulletin #27
April 14, 2011
Question: True or False:
exclusions the Company offered ‘soft exclusions’ to the Union? (Soft exclusions being
defined as the current incumbent staying in his/her job and remaining in the Bargaining
Unit until such a time they transferred/retired/promoted, etc).
At the birth of the Company’s current drive for additional
Answer: False
: The Company never offered ‘soft exclusions’ as defined above.
Question: True or False:
meeting with the Company to discuss your ‘options’ as outlined in Article 12 of the Labour
Agreement you have the right to take Union representation with you?
If your position has been ‘excluded’ and you are called into a
Answer: False:
right. The Company has committed to allow the member to have Union representation
present. It is the member’s responsibility to arrange representation.
There is no Article in the current Labour Agreement that gives you this
Question: True or False:
may be excluded from the Bargaining Unit you have the right to ask Crewing if the
assignment is within the Bargaining Unit?
If directed by Crewing to work in a position that you think
Answer: True:
You do have this right.
Question: True or False:
appeal of Mr. Ready’s award?
The Labour Relations Board had not yet ruled on the Union’s
Answer: True:
they will make a judgment.
The Labour Relations Board has not yet ruled and it is not known when
Question: True or False:
commencing, the end of exclusions is in sight?
As of April 1, 2011 with the Engineering exclusions
Answer: False:
three shipboard departments, Engineering, Catering, and Deck have exclusions in progress.
This process will continue until the Company has in place all the approximate 155
exclusions awarded by Mr. Ready, or the LRB halts the exclusion process. Currently 62
individuals have accepted exclusion offers, 16 Senior Chief Engineers, 2 Chief Engineers, 10
Senior Chief Stewards, 20 Chief Stewards, 1 Second Steward and 13 Masters. The names
of those who have accepted can be seen on the Company’s Intranet site.
April 1 was the date of the start of Engineering exclusions. Now all
Question: True or False:
BC Ferries?
Harassment will not be tolerated by any individual or party at
Answer: True:
intimidating, or demeaning treatment of a person or group of persons that has the effect or
Article 1.09 (b) states, “Workplace harassment is defined as abusive,
/jr cope378 Page 2 of 2
purpose of unreasonably interfering with a person’s or group’s status or performance or
creating a hostile or intimidating working environment….” If you or someone you know is
being harassed or harassing another member, something needs to be done. Inform a
supervisor, co-worker, or the Union.
Question: True or False:
deems it to be?
The definition of ‘emergency’ is any situation the Company
Answer: False:
Union currently disagree on what is defined an emergency.
There is no contractual definition of ‘emergency’. The Company and
Question: True or False:
notice of lay off, you are required at that time to inform the Company of your choice
regarding Article 12?
If you are called into a meeting with the Company and given
Answer: False:
to reply to the notice of layoff options provided.”
As per article 12.02 – 3, “… an employee shall have 14 calendar days
Question: True or False:
immediately taken when laid-off and will be lost if a member changes positions?
Wage protection is dependent on remaining in the position
Answer: False:
in any position they hold or take is higher than their wage protected rate.
Wage protected (red circled) members retain this rate until the wage
Final Thought on Subbing into Excluded Positions
Transition Process – Bargaining Unit to Excluded Substitution:
Last week a new situation arose with respect to substitution into excluded positions.
The Company after appointing Senior Chief Engineers into excluded positions did not have
the necessary excluded relief to backfill when a vacancy occurred. The result; the Company
directed or forced a qualified Bargaining Unit member to work in the excluded position.
The Union has approached the Company and attempted to resolve the matter
unsuccessfully. We have confirmed with the Company that both individual and policy
grievances are being actioned and we will utilize all avenues available to have the
grievances heard in the most expeditious manner possible.
The Union has grieved the Company’s actions under a number of specific Articles within our
Collective Agreement and also protections afforded to workers generally which include but
are not limited to, provisions in the Labour Code, Charter of Rights and Freedoms and
Human Rights Legislation.
“Shop Stewards: Please Post on Bulletin Boards”
BC Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union
1511 Stewart Avenue, Nanaimo BC V9S 4E3
Union Office Telephone:
1-800-663-7009 or 250-716-3454Email: Fax: 250-716-3455

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Tyee – Ferries Safety Will Be at Risk Warn Officers

What have unions ever done for us??

"What have the unions ever done for us?"
This may have been the funniest and most effective short labour video ever done.

Last year it won the first annual LabourStart Labour Video of the Year competition.

If you've never seen this fantastic Australian clip, take two minutes of your time and watch it.

(And yes, if you've ever seen "Life of Brian" this may be somewhat familiar territory.)

This year, we're once again inviting trade unionists all over the world to tell us about the very best labour videos.

Those videos can appear in any language, but they must be three minutes long (at most) and they must be available for viewing on the web.

Full details of this year's competition are now online - check it out and nominate your favorite.

The deadline is midnight, 15 April - just one month from now.

Spread the word - tell your co-workers, friends and family.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you recommend!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Your Local 5 Executive

President                                               Lisa Hayes
1st Vice                                                   Karen Sopow
2nd Vice                                                 Michele Robinson
3rd Vice                                                  Tom Sleep
Secretary- Treasurer                        Cathy Little
Returning Officer                               Carmen Peters
Communications Officer                 Laura-Lee McNab

Lisa Hayes

Karen Sopow
Laura-Lee McNab
Tom Sleep

Saturday, 9 April 2011

mw/cope 378
Bulletin #25
April 5, 2011
The Union has received recent reports that some of our members have been receiving harassing/threatening
phone calls with respect to our current exclusions dispute with the Company.
While the matter of exclusions is highly emotional and has placed a great deal of uncertainty and distress to
our members,
whether from the Company or our own members.
Should any member feel harassed or threatened in regard to the current exclusions dispute or any other
matter, please contact the Union Office so we may try and address the matter immediately.
As a reminder of our commitment to a harassment free workplace, the Union has copied the applicable C/A
Workplace Harassment and Human Rights language:
the Union DOES NOT and WILL NOT condone any intimidating or harassing behavior,
1.09 - Workplace Harassment and Human Rights
(a) The British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. and the British Columbia Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union
are committed to a working environment which ensures and promotes the dignity of all employees. In furthering
this objective, the parties agree that violations of the Human Rights Code, workplace and sexual harassment
shall be grounds for the imposition of discipline pursuant to Article 6 of this Agreement.
(b) Workplace harassment is defined as abusive, intimidating, or demeaning treatment of a person or
group of persons that has the effect or purpose of unreasonably interfering with a person’s or group’s status or
performance or creating a hostile or intimidating working environment when:
1. such conduct abuses the power one person holds over another or misuses authority;
2. such conduct has the effect or purpose of offending or demeaning a person or group of persons
on the basis of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, family status, marital status, physical or
mental disability, age, sex, or sexual orientation, or because that person has been convicted of a
criminal or summary conviction offence that is unrelated to the employment of that person; or
3. such conduct has the effect or purpose of seriously threatening or intimidating a person
(c) Sexual harassment is a specific type of workplace harassment and is defined as unwelcome sexual
advances, requests for sexual favours or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of
employment; or
2. submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or employment
decisions affecting that employee; or
3. such conduct has the effect or purpose of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work
performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
(d) Before proceeding to a formal complaint mechanism, an employee who believes s/he has a complaint
of harassment or who alleges a violation of the Human Rights Code may approach one or more of the
following, to discussing a means of resolving the matter:
1. his/her immediate supervisor
2. a shop steward or other Union representative
3. an Employee Assistance Counsellor; or
4. a Company representative
(e) If the complainant wishes to file a formal complaint, s/he may write a letter of complaint to the
Executive Vice President, Human Resources or delegate, or file a grievance under Article 4. Where the
individual receiving such grievance is directly involved in the matter complained of, the grievance shall be
submitted to the next step. Where the Executive Vice President, Human Resources is directly involved in the
matter complained of, the letter or grievance, as applicable, shall be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer of
the Company.
The BCFMWU Young Workers Present
Thurs May 26, 2011 11AM – 5PM
Bowen Park, 500 Bowen Rd. Nanaimo
FREE, Everyone Welcome - Register a team or just drop-in
BBQ on site - by donation to a member's Relay for Life team
For more information or to register email:
or find us on Facebook: BCFMWU Young Workers

Thursday, 7 April 2011


This Union is founded trusting the inherent right of the worker to join together in expressing a collective will to secure economic, political and social justice, equity and freedom, within our communities and nation.

Our members pledge to uphold the highest professional standards in the operation and maintenance of our ferry system and remain committed to ongoing safety management.