Monday, 31 December 2007

Retirement Packages

We have been informed that the Catalyst Board Meeting will be held on January 16th and hopefully we will have the agreement signed off by the board shortly after. Due to the meeting date being so late in January, we have adjusted some of the implementation dates. They are as follows:

  • you must be 55 on or before Dec. 31st 2007
  • you must indicate your intention to retire before Feb. 29th 2008
  • you will retire on or before March 31st 2008.

Once we have the list of potential retirees on Feb. 29th, then we will be able to determine what severance packages may look like.

Friday, 28 December 2007

From the President

As most of you should be aware, the Western Region Pulp & Paper Caucus has directed the National to put Local 592 into trusteeship. I'm not going to revisit or debate all of the issues that have got us to this point but it has been over 2 weeks since Dave Coles has received this request and we are still waiting and wondering just what the hell the future holds for us. Also our status in Caucus is still in question. Our National Rep seems to think that we totally withdrew from Caucus and the re-edited minutes from that meeting seem to support his argument. Unfortunately I don't think we will get much in the way of support from most of the other locals in caucus at this point but we are going to deal with this issue regardless of what the eventual outcome may be. All that we can ask our membership to do is just wait it out once more. Following is the letter sent by the Western Region Vice President Don MacNeil to President Coles. In the mean time it is business as usual and we will continue with all of our efforts to implement the new agreement and get #4 PM up and running in the spring.

Pete Rayburn

December 14, 2007


Dave Coles, National President
CEP
301 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 6M6


Dear President Coles:

As per a request from Administrative Vice President Don Boucher on behalf of the Western Region Pulp Caucus I am asking that the National Union make a determination to invoke the CEP Constitution, under Article 12.03.01 and place CEP Local 592 under trusteeship.

We very much appreciate the significance of this request and its potential impact on the rest of the union. However, it is the position of our Caucus that the actions of CEP Local 592 will have an overwhelmingly negative impact on their members, our members who work in other Catalyst mills and indeed, all of our members who work in pulp, paper and converting facilities.

Our members are extremely distressed that CEP Local 592 chose to ignore the second request of the National President to defer voting on this agreement until such time that a new pattern agreement could be reached. Our Caucus maintains that caucus solidarity and commitment to the union as a whole is fundamental in the success of our Caucus, and further, a potential national caucus.

We believe that time is of the essence. I urge you to bring your immediate attention to this serious and significant matter.

In solidarity,





Don MacNeil
Vice President, Western Region

Cc: CEP Western Region Pulp Caucus members
CEP Western Region National Staff Reps, Pulp

Thursday, 13 December 2007

December Forward Look

The December Forward Look is now available online. Click here to download.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Referendum Results

The results for the referendum on the proposed agreement are 58% in favour. I would like to thank the membership for your patience for the last 5 months. Now its time to get to work and make a future for our mill.

Pete Rayburn
Daryl De Rooy
Phil Guild

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Election Results

Following are the results of the election for Wage Delegates:
1. Daryl De Rooy
2. Phil Guild
3. Bob MacAdams
4. John Young

Daryl and Phil are elected as Wage Delegates.

Wage Delegates Election Results

Daryl De Rooy and Phil Guild were elected as the Wage Delegates for the term of the next Collective Agreement. I would like to congratulate Daryl and Phil and also thank Bob and John for letting their names stand.

Pete

Monday, 26 November 2007

All Members Locals 592 & 686

Please note that we have reluctantly decided to cancel the Christmas Dance due to a lack of response to ticket sales. We have decided to give notice now so that the band may find alternate opportunities.

Pete

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Wage Delegate Update

Just a reminder that the Wage Delegates will be reporting on the Tentative Agreement to the Pulp & Paper Caucus on Dec. 9th & 10th. As per the letter from Brother Daves Coles invoking the constitution on Local 592, we are delaying the ratification until after we have reported to Caucus. Therefore we will be holding 2 special meetings and a vote on Tuesday Dec. 11th at 2PM and 7PM. Depending the outcome of the vote, we will not be signing or implementing any agreement until Local 686 has come to an understanding with the employer.

Local 592 Wage Delegates

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

November Forward Look

The November Forward Look is now online. It can be found by clicking on this link.
The quality is about what was in the printed edition this month because the main photocopier needed a part and so Randy used the old one. I simply scanned it in and turned it into a pdf file. Just a warning. It is a little larger than normal; I think around 2.5mb so it might take a while to download, especially if you are still on dial up.

The December Forward Look will be the final print edition before going completely online. We will be looking at possibly trying to set up a website in addition to the blog site. Just be patient with me. Though fairly computer literate, lots of this stuff is still new to me plus I'm trying to learn a whole bunch of personal interest stuff so my mind is getting pretty stuffed up these days.

Unlike other months, this month's Forward Look is pretty much identical to the print edition. I think I only left out the agenda since the General Meeting is already over.

Enjoy.

In solidarity,

Tim

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Local 592 / 686 Christmas Dance

CEP LOCAL'S 592 & 686

CHRISTMAS DANCE
PLACE: LEGION BRANCH 55
TIME: SATURDAY DECEMBER 15
7PM TILL ???
MUSIC BY RELLIK
TICKETS $10 EACH
AVAILABLE FROM JOHN YOUNG
AND AT THE UNION HALL
OPEN TO ALL 686 AND 592 MEMBERS

Wage Delegates Update

Please note that the Wage Delegates will be reporting to the P&P Caucus on the proposed Tentative Agreement on Dec. 9th & 10th. Depending on the progress of our sister local 686 with their talks, we are planning to hold 2 Special Meetings on Dec. 11th at 2PM & 7PM to finally discuss and vote on the tentative agreement.
Local 592 Wage Delegates

Executive Board Nominations for 2008

Nominations were held at last nights General Meeting and the results are as follows:

President: Pete Rayburn (by acclamation)
Vice President: John Young (by acclamation)
Recording Secretary: Tim Thompson (by acclamation)
Financial Secretary: Daryl De Rooy (by acclamation)
1st Yr Trustee: Randy Teichman (by acclamation)
Guard / Safety Officer: Phil Guild (by acclamation)
Wage Delegates (2): Daryl De Rooy, Phil guild, John Young, Bob MacAdams
We will be holding the vote for the Wage Delegates on Nov. 26th & 29th at the mill gate at shift changes and all day at the Hall.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Christmas Dance Tickets

There will be dance tickets available at the Monday night General Meeting. The price is $10 each.

Where's the Forward Look?

The November Forward Look is not up yet mainly due to the fact that there was virtually nothing in it that was in electronic form. I don't have a printed copy yet but I will try and get one Monday night and see if I can scan it in and post it that way.

So stay tuned.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

From the President

As most of you know by now the National has invoked Article 15.02.04 of the National Constitution on Local 592 preventing us from conducting a ratification vote on the tentative agreement until the Wage Delegates take it to the P&P Caucus on December 9th. In the mean time we will be meeting with all of the Catalyst Locals on Friday November 16th to give them our presentation and hopefully alleviate some of their concerns, and also explain to them why we felt compelled to entertain some of these "out of the box" ideas.

This is our third round of discussions over the last 2 years to try and secure a future for our mill. We knew that if we were to succeed this time around that we would have to talk about and consider issues, that we have in the past, considered to be absolutely sacred ground to this Local. But the one thing we could all agree on was we had to get our costs down to the point of making this a long term, viable operation. That was and still is our goal. So far we have managed every road block that was thrown in front of us and we will get around this one as well.

I will readily admit that this is not fair and equal to all of our members, especially the shift workers, but if we were going to be serious about getting those costs down, we had to look at the biggest opportunities and the shift scheduling was one of the biggest. It would be a huge change for people to grasp this idea and accept it but the alternative is not acceptable by any ones standards. It's ludicrous to think that any of the Wage Delegates have embraced this proposal but it would also be totally irresponsible of us to just walk away and say F--- it. We took this on for the benefit of our local as a whole and we will finish it. To that end I am going to let my name stand for nomination for another term as President and hopefully have your support and be assured that we have your confidence in what we are doing.

Pete Rayburn

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

To All Members CEP Local 592

Please be advised that we have received notice from the CEP National Office that they are invoking Article 15.02 of the CEP National Constitution. Therefore we will not be conducting a ratification vote on the proposed tentative agreement at this time.

The meetings will not be canceled but will be used for information purposes only.

Local 592 Wage Delegates
Pete Rayburn
Daryl De Rooy
Phil Guild

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Christmas Dance Tickets

If you're looking for tickets to the Christmas Dance on Dec 15th please see John Young, day shift MW pager #282. We will try to get some at the guard shack in the near future.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Information Meetings (update)

For those members that are on lay-off and not in the mill, please phone Mary (7474) or Shelli (7817) if you want to attend one of the information meetings on the 7th, 8th & 9th. These meetings are getting booked up and they will let you know which meeting has space.

Special Meetings and Vote

Notice To All Members
CEP Local 592


We will be holding 2 Special Meetings to discuss and vote on a tentative agreement to secure the future of this mill as a long term, viable 2 machine operation.

Hansen Hall
November 14th
2PM & 7PM

Please note that you MUST attend one of the meetings in order to have a vote.

Local 592 Wage Delegates
Pete Rayburn
Daryl De Rooy
Phil Guild

Infomation Meetings

ALL MEMBERS CEP LOCAL 592
We will be holding information meetings on the tentative agreement reached concerning the long term future as a 2 machine operation. Please make every effort to get to one of these meetings so that you may make an educated decision on this proposed agreement.
NEW TRAINING CENTER (OLD LUNCH ROOM)
NOV. 7TH , 8TH, & 9TH
TIMES TO BE DETERMINED BY DEPARTMENT MANAGERS
(these meetings will be approx 2 hours)
Local 592 Wage Delegates
Pete Rayburn
Daryl De Rooy
Phil Guild (Alternate)

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Wage Delegate Update

Daryl, Phil and I have just returned from Vancouver and 2 days of meetings with Ron Buchhorn, Dale Shimell, Kim Pedersen and Krista Tremblay. The result of the last 2 days is a framework for a tentative agreement that may be submitted to the Board of Directors as early as this Thursday. If the Board signs off on this proposal then we will start holding information sessions next week to provide you with all of the information and give you some soak time to think about what this agreement will do for you and the future of this mill. If possible we could hold special meetings and voting the following week.

Pete Rayburn

Friday, 19 October 2007

#3 Paper Machine Update

The Company finally received the manning numbers that PIC require for the #3 Project. They are asking for 2 M/W's, 2 Welders, and 1 labourer for next week on 8 hr days, not the 10 hr day that was previously announced. These numbers are extremely disappointing and makes me a little intrigued as to just how the hell are these guys going to dismantle that machine with this number of people. We are going to have to be very diligent in monitoring this contractor and ensuring that they will not try to bring their own people on site. We have been assured by Ron Buchhorn that these contractors have been told that all work related to the dismantling of #3 will be done by our members.

Pete Rayburn

Friday, 12 October 2007

Wage Delegate Update

Phil, Daryl and myself have been meeting with Ron Buchhorn, Dale Shimmel, Kim Pedersen, Krista Tremblay and facilitator Bert Painter for the last 2 days and have finally started to put some details around a framework proposal to take to the Board of Directors and to the membership of Local 592. There still are a few details and specifics to be worked out and we have scheduled 3 or 4 more days to get this stuff hammered out. The Wage Delegates all agree that we will not release any specifics on this proposal until the entire package is put together.

I know some people have been asking about violating "main wage" and our status within the Pulp and Paper caucus. I believe we have handled all of the issues with great respect to the caucus. From the start of these talks we have set the priority to be the welfare of our members (Local 592) over our status in the caucus. It will be the caucus that will decide our fate as voting members, not us. But again I feel that we have been very creative in dealing with those perceived "main wage" items.

Its Friday night so I'm going to pour me a drink, relax and try to forget this crap for two wonderful days and get back at it on Monday. Hope to see you all on Monday night at the General Meeting.

Pete Rayburn
President CEP Local 592

Thursday, 11 October 2007

October Forward Look

The October Forward Look is now online. You can view it here.

There are very few articles in this month's edition. It appears that none of us feels much like writing these days, myself included. Currently, the plan is to go completely online in January and I'll be looking after that. More information will be forthcoming on how to submit articles. I also hope to provide some of the more interesting items that are currently in the print addition. We get these from CALM. Additionally, I will try to provide a link to some of the BC Fed releases, especially the Labour Disputes release.

I will continue to post it as a .pdf file but I am considering posting it in blog format also, possibly as a completely separate blog. That may provide opportunities for letters to the editor via the comments section (moderated, of course).

All of this assuming I am reelected as Recording Secretary in November.

In solidarity,

Tim

Thursday, 4 October 2007

#3 Paper Machine Project

The Company has announced that Khana (the new owners) have contracted Precision Industrial Contractors Inc. to dismantle and crate #3 Paper Machine. PCI will be utilizing our laid-off trades people and labourers but have not yet provided the exact numbers they require. They have informed us that they intend to work a 5 day/10 hour shift schedule. Under our collective agreement our members will be entitled to 2 hours OT each day. Although some of our senior people may feel they should be entitled to this OT, you must realize that these guys would not be working if there were no project. Also this contractor is contracted by Khana and not Catalyst and as such our people will be working for the contractor under their supervision but the wages and benefits are covered under our collective agreement.

The laid-off trades and labourers will have the first right of refusal for this work. You should realize that if you refuse this work then you will not recieve any other work. We have been told that this project will take approximately 4 months.

During the duration of the project those people will have no claim to OT rights back in the mill trades and the mill trades will no OT rights in the project. We will get any further information out to you ASAP.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Wage Delegate Update

Local 592 Wage Delegates having been meeting with Ron Buchhorn and local Management for the last few days. Friday Sept. 21st was spent dealing with issues that were previously indentified as the challenges and barriers that prevent us from achieving the manufacturing cost on A4 to $575 per ton on directory. It was decided that this goal would only be a short term solution due to the Canadian dollar reaching par. It was mutually agreed that our goal should be based on EBITDA rather than manufacturing cost for a long term solution. It was noted that to convince the Board to invest in our mill and invest in our younger work force we should shoot for at least a $200+ EBTDA and maintain or better that going into the future. Although this will be far more challenging, it does make more sense if we are looking for that long term, viable future as a 2 machine operation. The issue around "Management of Time Off" was discussed at length and many proposals were put on the table. Some of these proposals may seem to be distasteful but it is a fact that time off does present a big barrier to achieving any sort of goal due to the demographics of our membership.

On Monday Sept. 24th, Jess Beaman was invited to give us an overview on the down sizing and restructuring process at Boyer in Tazmania. Jess Beaman relayed to us that the approach he took at Boyer was "ruthless" but the end result was a long term future for a mill that was to be shut down. His talk was very "sobering" but there may be some ideas that we can take away from this to help us to achieve our goal.

Tuesday Sept. 25th we again dealt with the indentified issues and included "time off", flexibilty and planning and scheduling. Again many ideas were tossed around on how we can deal with these issues. There has been no decisions or agreements made on any of these issues. All of these will be put in a package proposal to be decided upon by the membership of Local 592. As there are still many items that we still have to discuss, we are still shooting for early November to have something to bring back to the membership.

Local 592 Wage Delegates
Pete Rayburn
Daryl De Rooy
Phil Guild

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Wage Delegate Report

Local 592 Wage Delegates resumed discussions with Ron Buchhorn and company on Friday Sept. 7th. The better part of the morning was spent reviewing the minutes of the last meetings in July to help bring Kim Pedersen up to speed as he has replaced Carlo Dal Monte. The group also spent some time discussing the issues that have resulted since the Sept. 1st curtailment and the resulting lay-offs.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to identification of the key issues that are impacting cost/performance. It was agreed that each item should be examined for root causes and improvement opportunities.

Following is a list of the issues and barriers that were identified:
  • Lack of flexible work practices (for more than just trades) that impede using people's skills.
  • Too many people and too many contract hours.
  • Underlying desire to avoid reducing the work force.
  • How to decrease the workforce through "packages".
  • Poor scheduling & planning (eg. training the wrong people, training to fill hours)
  • People are not clear if information they provide is being used or acted upon.
  • Jurisdictional barriers.
  • Lack of a gate hire policy.
  • Need to "blank out" critical times.
  • Management of time off.
  • Length of shot downs (not within 12 hours).
  • Too much pay for unskilled work.
  • Powell River letter.
  • Too many penalties paid for a continuous manufacturing operation.
  • Department seniority.
  • Gaps in training & trouble shooting skills.
  • Lack of Rigour.
  • Lack of clarity re: Goals and Accountability.
  • Too many Supervisors hands on machines.
  • Lack of empowerment throughout.
  • Current culture is not accepting of change.
  • Leadership is lacking.
  • Ineffective contracting out.
  • Inventory (too much or inappropriate)
  • Unavailability of parts.
  • Too many unplanned Breakdowns and repeat failures.
  • Lack of Safety Leadership.

After developing this list it was agreed that each of these items will have to be quantified and just how any resolutions to these issues will help reduce the cost per ton.

The group did start to discuss some of these issues such as a "gate hire policy" and just what the advantages and disadvantages could be. It was agreed that this would not be utilized to solve long term hiring needs, and also would not adversely affect any future apprenticeship programs.

There was also some preliminary discussion on "Management of time off". The Wage Delegates will be meeting next week to explore our options for improvement on this issue.

The group has set a tentative schedule for future talks which will take us into the middle of October. We will be meeting again on Sept. 20th & 21st. Sept. 24th & 25th. Oct. 1st & 2nd. and Oct. 11th & 12th.

As you can all see by the list of "issues and barriers", some of these items will be very difficult to deal with but the Wage Delegates still remain optimistic that these discussions could be successful. But again, it is the membership of this Local that will ultimately make the decision on what direction we will take to secure a viable future for this mill. The Wage Delegates will make a report at the General Meeting on Sept. 17th and try to answer any question you may have.

Local 592 Wage Delegates

Pete Rayburn, Daryl De Rooy, Phil Guild

Catalyst Management

Ron Buchhorn, Kim Pedersen, Dale Shimell, Krista Tremblay

Facilitator

Bert Painter

Thursday, 30 August 2007

From the President

#3 Paper Machine

The rumor that A3 has been sold appears to be true. Ron Buchhorn did confirm that there were discussions with prospective buyers and the specific details were still to be worked out. He also confirmed that if and when the machine is to be dismantled and crated, that JVDI would be contracted and that the company would employ some of our laid-off members working under our collective agreement. We will keep you up to date as we get more information.

Shop Stewards Meetings
Shop Stewards meetings resume Tuesday Sept. 4th at 7PM at the hall. Please try to make every effort to attend and get the latest information on the business of the local. Also we may have to adjust the current Shop Steward representation to reflect the current size of our local. I'm sure that John, Bob and Dan will be discussing this at the Shop Steward Meeting.
Wage Delegates / Ron Buchhorn Discussions
We are tentatively scheduled to resume talks on Friday Sept. 7th. Kim Pedersen will also be in attendance for the duration of these talks along with Dale Shimell, Krista Tremblay, Ron Buchhorn and facilitator Bert Painter. We hope this meeting will lead into continuous talks to try and come to a successful outcome for a long term future as a 2 machine operation.
Inappropriate Literature
To the person or persons responsible for the latest edition of the "Crapalyst Journal" please be warned that this type of material is totally unacceptable by any bodies standards. I'm sure the company has a copy by now and if you are discovered, you're on your own. We may be able to argue violations of our collective agreement but not civil law and violations of human rights legislation.
These times are tough on all of us but if you have to shed your frustration somewhere then please do it in a respectful fashion and at the proper venue such as the next General Meeting on the 3rd Monday in September.
Pete Rayburn

Friday, 17 August 2007

From the President

To All Members of Local 592
We have received notice from Ron Buchhorn that we will not be meeting on Aug. 22nd and 23rd as previously planned due to the absences of some of the major players that have previous commitments. We will be meeting on Sept. 6th and 7th to continue discussions when all the parties are available. Until then we will be working on the issues surrounding the shut down of #4 PM and the impending lay-offs. Please remain focused and stay safe during the next few weeks as we head into the shut down. We will keep you informed on the progress of our discussions as much as possible.
Pete

Monday, 13 August 2007

From the President

For Clarification on Possible Negotiated Severances
Please be advised that Ron Buchhorn has assured us that if we have any members that are contemplating retiring but waiting to see if there will be any severances as a result our our talks, will be included in any offering as a result of coming to an agreement on the future of #4 PM.
For example:
If you are 60 years old, you are already entitled to bridging as per our collective agreement and the retiree benefits that go with that. Under this proposal you would be able to retire now or in the near future (depending on your birth date) and you would also receive contractual severance if and when that became available depending on the outcome of the talks. I hope this clears up any misunderstanding of Ron Buchhorn's proposal.
Pete

Monday, 6 August 2007

Comments on the Blog

We have again enabled "comments" to be posted on the Local592 Blog, in a moderated version. We would ask that any comments be respectful to the opinions of the other commenter's. And we also ask that you please post your name if you are wanting a reply to your comments. We will not post your comments that appear to be disrespectful of others and will not reply to comments without knowing who we are replying to. This can be a great tool for information and answering your concerns if it is utilized in a civilized manner. So let's try it one more time.

Thanks,
CEP Local 592

Friday, 3 August 2007

From the President

I have been made aware that there may be some concerns from some of our members about the current Executive structure and the appointment of an alternate Wage Delegate.



As most of you are aware Jim VanDusen has left for temporary employment in Crofton and has resigned as a Wage Delegate for Local 592. Our membership numbers under the current Wage Caucus Rules of Order, entitle us, by per capita representation, to three voting Wage Delegates. Therefore it was not necessary to replace Jim. After the announcement of #4 Paper Machine curtailment and the decision to enter into talks with the Company, Tim Thompson advised the Executive that he and his family were on vacation and would not be available for the early stages of these talks. It was decided that I would appoint another Executive member to sit as an alternate Wage Delegate and for continuity this person would continue to participate until the talks conclude. I decided to appoint Phil Guild as an alternate Wage Delegate for the duration of these talks. The decision to appoint Phil was an easy one, due to Phil's long time service on the Executive and his experience in past negotiations. Jim had appointed Phil as an alternate Wage Delegate back in the fall of 2006 for the first set of discussions and Phil has taken part in the last two sets of talks since. Phil's experience and knowledge of the issues that we know we will be dealing with, is going to be an asset going into these talks. The decision to appoint Phil was discussed, moved, seconded and carried by the Executive and was reported to the Membership at the last General meeting with no concerns expressed from the membership at that time.



One other perceived issue that should be addressed is my status as President. When we decided to start talks with Ron Buchhorn, I asked Mike Putzke for an extended book-off so that I would have the time to deal with all the issues that surround the impending lay-offs and also the time required for discussions and negotiations on the future of #4 Paper Machine. Because I'm a shift worker, it was next to impossible to dedicate the time necessary to deal with these tasks. The fact is, I am not a full time president. I am on an extended book-off until Sept. 1st or until talks conclude, and that now looks like we will be going into November. There is no financial burden on the Local as the company is covering my wages, and my absence creates a full time opportunity for a junior person to get hours. Hopefully this has given some clarification for those members that may have some concern on these topics.



Also for clarification, the next scheduled talks are August 22nd and 23rd, not the 28th as I previously posted. (Yeah, I do make some mistakes). We will get any new information out as soon as possible. I can only hope that everyone remains focused and stays safe during these very uncertain times.



Pete Rayburn

Friday, 27 July 2007

Union / Management Discussions

Local 592 Wage Delegates have started discussions with Ron Buchhorn and local Management ( Dale Shimell, Carlo Dal Monte and Krista Tremblay) along with facilitator Bert Painter, to investigate the potential re-start of #4 Paper Machine and what it will take to get there. The first 2 days were dedicated to formulating the framework for future discussions which include the goals and objectives of both parties as well as the principles and processes that we will use going into these talks. Although there was little if any specifics discussed on what it will take to reach an agreement we did agree on the format and the process. The group acknowledged the best future for our mill is a 2 machine configuration and to achieve that we need the investment necessary to achieve the long term viability for a 2 machine mill. It was also acknowledged that we must invest in the younger work force to guarantee the long term future of this mill. That investment would mean a dignified exit strategy for our older work force by way of enhanced packages for those that want to leave.



The group has set some tentative time lines to achieve any agreement. It was mutually agreed that we should shoot for the middle of November to complete our discussions and if we have come to a tentative agreement we will present it to the membership for ratification and then present it to the Board of Directors at the end of November with implementation in January 2008. If an agreement is reached, #4 Machine would potentially start-up in April 2008. It was stated that they would not start A4 in the winter when it is historically the time of year when our order folder is sparse and they will not start up a machine with no orders.



Ron Buchhorn did make it clear that if there are any of our older members who have thoughts of leaving but are waiting for any possible packages that he would include those people (if they wanted to leave now) in any packages achieved if a deal is reached.



As I stated in the beginning, we did not cover off any specifics but as we get into this process it will be very delicate and the issues will be difficult to deal with, but the end result will be dictated by the membership of Local 592. It was made very clear that if we are successful in reaching an agreement and to secure a long term future as a 2 machine mill, it will mean that we do things very differently with substantially less people.


This group will not be meeting again till August 28th due to absences by various people in the group, but the Wage Delegates will use this time investigate and list the issues that I'm sure we will be dealing with when we get back together.



Local 592 Wage Delegates

Pete Rayburn

Daryl De Rooy

Phil Guild



Catalyst Management

Ron Buchhorn

Carlo Dal Monte

Dale Shimell

Krista Tremblay

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Employment & Education Opportunity Fair

Catalyst will be hosting an Employment and Education Opportunity Fair om Tuesday July 24th from 9AM to 3PM in the main office. Some of the participants are:
  • Discovery College
  • North Island College
  • Alberni Valley Employment Center
  • Corrections Branch
  • Services Canada
  • Community Futures
  • North Island Empolyment Foundation Society

Some of the things you could get some information on:

  • Career Programs
  • Adult Upgrading Programs
  • Financial Options
  • Employment Prospects

Try and drop by and see some of the represetatives that will be on-site to provide information on educational and employment opportunities.

Monday, 16 July 2007

From the President

I have been on vacation for the last 2 weeks and trying to catch up on the happenings in the mill. As always there is an over abundance of rumors floating around about possible up coming announcements concerning the future of our mill. But thats all they are, just rumors. Don't believe anything until you see it in black and white or something actually happens.

The Wage Delegates will be starting discussions with Ron Buchhorn and his group on Thursday July 26th. Bert Painter will be facilitating these talks and hopefully with his direction we will be able to keep on track and deal with the issues in order to come up with something that we can bring back to you the Membership for your consideration.

We will make every effort to keep you informed as we go down this road one more time.

Pete

Friday, 22 June 2007

Wage Delegates Meeting with Ron Buchhorn

Today Local 592 Wage Delegates met with Ron Buchhorn at our request for a very informal discussion to try and set some sort of framework for any up coming talks. As this will be our third time around, we want to be sure to have the right things in place and the right players at the table in a real attempt to come away from that table with a successful outcome. Although A4 will be going down Sept. 1st, the major goal of the proposed talks will be the future of our mill in a 2 machine configuration and what do we have to do to make that happen. It will probably take a whole different mind set by our membership to accept a radical change in the way we do things in order to come to any agreement. I know you have heard this all before but it may take going that extra mile to achieve an agreement that would secure the long term future of our mill as well as taking care of our laid-off people. Phil Guild, Daryl De Rooy and myself all came away from this meeting with a little bit of optimism that we may be able to come up with something that we could bring back to the membership for your consideration.

Although the dates are not confirmed, we have tentatively agreed to start meeting in the 3rd week of July. We will provide you with further information as we go down this road once more.

Pete Rayburn

Squashing Rumors

One of the numerous rumors floating around the mill is that Powell River got additional packages over and above the previous ones that were announced earlier this year. We have just talked to the President of Local 76 and he verified that this is not true. There are no additional packages, just the ones that they achieved previously.

Let's lay this rumor to bed.

New Post on Viewpoints

I just wanted to let you know that I have a new post up on my personal blog, Viewpoints.

I have posted there rather than here because some of it expresses personal opinions that I don't want anyone to mistake as being anything other than a personal opinion.

Monday, 18 June 2007

June Forward Look

The June Forward Look is online. Just click on the link.

Special Meetings & General Meeting

Just for clarification, the voting at the 2 special meetings on the 40 hr work week will be by secret ballot and the Wage Caucus Rules of Order will be dealt with at the General Meeting. The voting procedure for the adoption of the Rules of Order will be by a show of hands as it is ordinary general business.

Friday, 15 June 2007

From the President

Unfortunately we have found it necessary to block the comments on this blog site. This was done to keep our internal issues within our local. As most of you are aware this site is open to anyone including Catalyst Management (who have stated that they find this site very entertaining). All issues referred to in this blog are sensitive issues and should not be left open for everyone to peruse. Your understanding is very much appreciated. We will still use this venue to forward any new information to the membership.

Pete Rayburn

From the President

Some of the postings have asked for more detail on the issues I have touched on.

The Caucus Rules of Order does include an assessment of approx $50 per pay check, not $100. And there are some issues around who can collect if we were out on strike. We will be discussing these issues at the General Meeting on Monday night.

The details around the discussion with Ron Buchhorn will also be discussed at the General Meeting. This topic could be considered to be very sensitive and this blog is a very public forum and what ever info we may have is for the membership only.

Just a reminder that the 2 special meetings are at 2 & 7pm and we will only be dealing with the 40hr work week at those meetings. And yes, the voting will be done by secret ballot. All other business will be handled at the gneral meeting immediately following the 7pm special meeting .

Pete

Sunday, 10 June 2007

From the President

Just a quick note to fill you in since the A4 announcement. Some of the Executive had a chance to meet with Ron Buchhorn after the Business Review last Friday. I asked to meet with Ron specifically to talk about severances for the 101 affected people that will be laid off come September 1st. He stated they will offer severances according to our collective agreement (meaning when they announce it permanent or your recall rights run out). But he also put some alternative options on the table for our consideration. The Exec. will be meeting Monday night and we will be discussing some of these possibilities and make a full report to the membership at the General Meeting on the 18th. We will also be discussing and voting on the adoption of the Caucus Rules of Order for the next set of negotiations in 2008 at the General Meeting. It is important that as many of you as possible try to attend and take part in this discussion.

Please remember the 2 Special Meetings also on the 18th. to discuss and vote on the implementation of the 40 HR Work Week. We can only deal with the issue at hand (40 HR Work Week) at these meetings. We will be holding the General Meeting right after the 7PM special meeting.

I know these times are hard on all of us, but please try to remain safe on the job and look out for yourself and your work mates.

Pete

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

May Forward Look

My apologies for taking so long to get this up. I forgot to ask for it and then I was in Vancouver and I only just got around to it tonight.

Here is the May Forward Look.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

A4 Announcement

As most of you know by now, Catalyst announced the "temporary" curtailment of #4 P.M. this morning. Though it may not be overly surprising to most of us it still comes as somewhat of a shock. It is expected that 592 will see the loss of another 101 jobs.

Following is a 592 release that should get distributed into the mill soon. (It has been emailed to the Union Hall for printing and distribution since the President is in Vancouver at wage caucus with the other wage delegates - myself included.)
Today Catalyst Paper informed CEP Local 592 that Port Alberni Division’s #4 Paper Machine would be curtailed indefinitely. This results in the loss of a further 185 jobs at the Port Alberni site. The affect on Local 592 will be the loss of 101 jobs, 45 in operations and 56 in maintenance.

The decision by Catalyst to remove 134,000 tonnes of newsprint capacity from the market has had a devastating impact on both Local 592 and the community of Port Alberni.

CEP Local 592 will be meeting with the company to address the specific details and impacts of this announcement.
Though none of this is good news, I would like to urge you to maintain solidarity. Though healthy discussion is good, some of the comments have been getting a little bit out of hand. We all have different opinions, but let's remember that it is the company making these decisions and, though they would like to point a finger of blame at us, we have very little input into these decisions they make. I couldn't help but think this morning that we get blamed for not reaching a concessionary agreement, but their side of the table continue to operate at a high level in the company, even though, in my opinion, the failure of the talks can be largely attributed to them.

In solidarity,

Tim

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Report From the Wage Delegates

TO ALL MEMBERS CEP LOCAL 592
WE WILL BE HOLDING 2 SPECIAL MEETINGS ON MONDAY JUNE 18TH TO DISCUSS AND VOTE ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ARTICLE 23 (42 HR SPECIAL LEAVE)
HANSEN HALL
2PM AND 7PM
( The general meeting will follow the 7PM meeting)
WE ARE EXPECTING AN ANNOUNCEMENT AT THE END OF MAY THAT COULD FURTHER AFFECT THE CURRENT MANNING NUMBERS.
WE WILL ASSUME THE 42HR WORK WEEK UNTIL THE REFERENDUM IS COMPLETE IN JUNE.
Local 592 Wage Delegates

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Retiree's Get Together - May 11

I just got an email from someone who was uncertain about the date of the Retiree's get together. The confusion comes because the March Forward Look had the wrong date in it. The April Forward Look corrected this.

It will be this Friday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hope you have a good time.

Tim

Friday, 4 May 2007

From the President

The Seniority Posting Grievance was presented to Arbitrator David McPhillips yesterday. The Union council was Charles Gordon and the Company was represented by Donald Jordan. Our council called upon Doug LeSire, Jim VanDusen and myself to give evidence on the history of our bargaining process and all the details on the grievance. The main issue was the language in our local agreement (Item 10) that gives the company the right to choose anyone they want for a posting and ignore the main wage language (Article XXI Seniority). The Arbitrator will have to decide if the main wage language (Article XXI) supercedes the local language (Item 10). Although the proceedings got off to a rough start, (the company council disputed some of our evidence that we had planned to present) it went fairly smoothly and I feel our council did a great job. I have to thank Doug LeSire for taking the time to come and testify and providing evidence that I hope will aid the Arbitrator in his ruling. Arbitrator McPhillips stated that we will have his decision within 4 weeks.

Pete Rayburn

Thursday, 12 April 2007

April Forward Look

Here is April's Forward Look for your perusal.

Enjoy.

Friday, 6 April 2007

REVISED
TO ALL MEMBERS CEP LOCAL 592
THE PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED SPECIAL MEETINGS FOR THURSDAY 12TH WILL BE MOVED TO WEDNESDAY THE 11TH
2PM & 7PM
HANSEN HALL
There is a shut down on Thursday that will run past 7PM and not all members would be able to attend.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Wage Delegates

UPDATE: The meetings are now being held on Wednesday instead of Thursday as noted in the post above.
All Members CEP Local 592
The Wage Delegates will be holding 2 special meetings to provide information about the talks with the company to provide enhanced severance packages and the final outcome.
Thursday April 12th 2007
2PM & 7PM
At
Hansen Hall
Wage Delegates:
Pete Rayburn
Jim VanDusen
Daryl DeRooy
Tim Thompson

April Forward Look to be Published

In the March Forward Look there was an ad that indicated there would be no Forward Look in April due to vacations. This has changed and there will be a Forward Look published in April. Any articles should be sent to me at my gmail address (found by clicking on my name in the sidebar that will take you to my profile) or submitted in the usual channels.

This needs to be done fairly soon because I will be preparing it on Tuesday.

In solidarity,

Tim

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

From the President

Local 592 Wage Delegates met all day yesterday (Monday April 2nd) to go over the companies response to our proposal. They did hi-lite some items or issues that could have been worked on to come to some sort of agreement but they also threw up some major road blocks that put us in a very awkward position that we could not entertain. From the start of this process we expected to be treated no differently than Local 76 in order to obtain a similar outcome for our members of Local 592. That expectation was quickly dashed when we were informed by our management group as well as Mr. Buchhorn that whatever we have to offer will not have the value required to take this to the board for approval. They also stated that they already have 80% of the value of anything we may have to offer just by their right to manage the business. It became crystal clear at that point that they would be going after substantially more than they asked of Local 76. The ironic part is that they never made that statement to Local 76 and decided to treat their members with dignity and again give the boots to us bad boys in Alberni. A very big part of their demand was that we drop and/or accept their position on most if not all of the outstanding grievances, arbitrations and appeals. Although they did state that they were not asking us to give up our right to grieve but rather just drop the current grievances and arbitrations. They also stated that any understandings that we may come to would be part of the next contract and we would not negtiate those items in 2008. I don't believe any of these demands were made of Local 76 and again it just showed us what they think of us here in Alberni.

The Wage Delegates honestly tried to start some sort of working relationship with this management in an attempt to work together to come up with an agreement that would be acceptable to both parties and to provide a dignified way for people to leave. Unfortunately the concept of working together will not give them any value and we will continue down the road of a relationship by confrontation and intimidation.

Although we are waiting for one last document for clarification, I really don't see it changing the current situation.

The Wage Delegates are contemplating holding 2 Special Meetings to provide the membership a full understanding of what happened during these discussions. We appreciate your patience and understanding over the last few months but we make no appologies for the outcome. I believe we went as far as we could go and did just what we were mandated to do.

Pete Rayburn
President CEP Local 592

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Company Talks Update

TO ALL MEMBERS OF CEP LOCAL 592

The Wage Delegates met with the Company on Thursday, March 29 to discuss the proposal we presented to them on March 21.

The Company went through the proposal and outlined the changes they would like to see. In addition, they raised several issues we didn’t address and several other items that they had not really mentioned previously.

A number of the issues are very difficult to address and may preclude being able to reach an agreement.

However, the Wage Delegates will meet on Monday to review the Company’s requests and respond to them later next week.

In solidarity,

Pete Rayburn
Daryl De Rooy
Jim VanDusen
Tim Thompson

Monday, 26 March 2007

Summer Employment at Crofton

This notice was put out by the company on Friday and I'm posting it for those who may not be aware of it. Note, that there is not much time left to apply.

Summer Employment Opportunities
Crofton Division will soon be hiring temporary relief employees for the summer vacation period. Due to the current curtailment in Port Alberni, some of these positions will be offered to CEP 592 and CEP 686 employees who are currently on lay off. The period of employment will be approximately May 1st to Labour Day.

The following conditions will apply to Port Alberni employees who choose to work at another division for the summer of 2006:
• Employees will be hired as “students” at the other divisions.
• Hiring will be on a casual basis only. Seniority rights will not be earned at the other division. Seniority and recall rights will remain with the Port Alberni mill.
• Recall rights to the Port Alberni mill will be waived for the term of summer employment at the other division.
• Employees are expected to be available for work for the May to Labour Day period.
• Employees will be responsible for all expenses incurred relating to work at Crofton division.

If you are interested in these work opportunities for the summer of 2006, please contact Mary Ruel at 724-7474 BY MARCH 28TH!!

Friday, 23 March 2007

Company Talks Update

The company contacted Pete Rayburn today and we will be meeting again with the company next Thursday at 9.

While it appears to be a long wait, I am hopeful that the company is looking seriously at what we presented them.

Since little will happen between now and then, look for the next update sometime next Thursday or Friday.

In solidarity,

Tim

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Company Talks Update

We met with the company this afternoon and gave them our presentation. They will take a look at it and we will be meeting again in the middle of next week to get their feedback.

It is impossible to accurately gauge their reaction but hopefully they will take it seriously and see the value of what has been presented.

If we can conclude a deal with them, then we will proceed with presenting it to the membership and then hold a ratification vote.

In solidarity,

Tim

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Budget Question

I've never professed to understand money and federal budgets and business taxes but maybe someone could tell me if the following budget piece offers some potential good news for capital investment:
Manufacturing and processing businesses will be allowed to write off their capital investments in machinery and equipment acquired on or after March 19, 2007, and before 2009 using a special two-year, 50-per-cent straight-line rate.
Anybody?

Tim

Monday, 19 March 2007

General Meeting

Just a quick post. The General Meeting was very good tonight and it was great to see enough members out to form a quorum. Last year's meeting in March didn't happen because we didn't have a quorum so it is good to see improved interest. There is a lot going on these days and it is important for the membership to participate.

The major item of business was the notice of motion put forward last month regarding special negotiations and grievance resolutions. Neither the mover of the motion nor the seconder were in attendance. The motion went down to defeat unanimously.

Concerning negotiations, the wage delegates will be presenting a package to the company on Wednesday. It has been a lot of hard work, but we have attempted to both address the company's requests and the needs of the membership. We will see what the company's response is. If it is positive then we will plan some special meetings to discuss the package and eventually vote on it.

In solidarity,

Tim

Friday, 16 March 2007

March Forward Look

Here is March's Forward Look. I need to issue a size warning, though. The file is around 3 mb because I scanned a few extra pages in and added them to the file that I normally receive. The pages scan in as pictures and that makes the entire pdf file bigger. (Smaller version here. See update below.)

If this is a problem (or you have advice on how to do this more efficiently) let me know either via the comments or email me directly.

One of the additional pages scanned in is the agenda for the March General Meeting. Hope to see you there.

Update: I compressed some of the picture files and created a smaller March Forward Look file. The resolution is not quite as good on the added pages but it is a quicker download. I don't know how good either one will look if you print it out.

Company Talks Update

All I really have to report is that we are close to finishing what we want to present to the company. We hope to wrap up by Tuesday and present something to the company on Wednesday. It has been difficult coming to grips with some of the things we may have to do. We have been unwilling to just rewrite the Powell River agreement and present it because there are some considerable differences between us and Powell that needed to be addressed.

Additionally, of course, is all the stuff that the company continues to do in the mill that, in the name of "cost cutting" seems to be ongoing attacks against their employees, a group that the company once called their most valuable resource. I am reminded of the old adage, "penny wise, pound foolish" as I watch the company cut out things that can only further the rift between us and continue to lower morale.

Nevertheless, it is important that we try to find areas that can both help make the operation more viable (using their words) and provide some early retirement packages to help provide jobs for those on or facing layoff. This is what the wage delegates have been trying to look at and we have attempted to do it with great care to ensure that there are no surprises. It is also important to recognize that, if ratified by the membership, we will have to live with it.

I know everyone is getting tired of the wait. Frankly, I am weary of it all, too. We are close to wrapping up a package to present to management.

In solidarity,

Tim

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Crofton Visit

Pete, Daryl, Jim and I traveled to Crofton today where we met with company and union reps to talk about flexibility and vending machines. Vern Phillips, John Fitzpatrick and Bob Laekeman were also present for the company. Dale Shimell spearheaded the meeting from Crofton along with a couple of other company people. Phil Davies, President of PPWC Local 2 was there along with a couple of other maintenance guys. Phil is a millwright and there was a pipefitter and a mason who is the vibration analyst. These guys spoke freely about the good and the bad and gave good counterpoint to some of the things the company reps were saying although they were mostly in agreement.

It was very informative for us and I can say that they do work a bit more flexibly than we do, but certainly not to the extent that we have been led to believe. Their history is such that they have been through the mistakes and the money-wasting training that never got used and have reached a point where common sense seems to prevail for the most part. Hopefully, our company reps heard that message also.

So, if we were to follow Crofton as a model on flexibility, things would look slightly different here (at least in my opinion) but not hugely different. We talked to a couple of former millwrights from Port Alberni who are now in Crofton and they said things weren't that much different.

We also discussed vending machines and saw how they work. Again, there seem to be some advantages, but also some disadvantages. A big problem seems to be on shutdown days when they run empty real fast. A key point for us is that it is mill stores people that stock the machines, not the vendor, which is what they have been pushing for in Port Alberni. This was good information for us. Local 2 is currently waiting for an arbitration decision on a tech change grievance around the elimination of two jobs in mill stores. The union said it was due to the vending machines. The company denied that and the union took the fight all the way. Things aren't always golden in the company's favorite mill.

So, we will continue to work on something that we can use to try and get some packages to take care of displaced employees. It is not an easy task and we are taking great care in addressing some of the issues the company has requested. We are meeting again on Thursday to continue working on all of this. I will try and give you a further update Thursday night even if it is to just say that we are still working on things.

In solidarity,

Tim

Friday, 9 March 2007

Company Talks Update

Just a quick update to let you know what has been going on. The wage delegates have met the last couple of days working on the package to present to the company. We will continue to work on this Monday. On Tuesday, we will be visiting Crofton Division to try and gain an understanding of what flex looks like there and also how the Point of Use Vending Machines work in that mill.

The object of all of this is to try and put together a deal that will provide sufficient packages to take care of everyone affected by the company's downsizing. As you can imagine, this is not an easy task, but I believe that progress is being made.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Notice of Motion re: Outstanding Grievances

The following notice of motion has been posted:

NOTICE OF MOTION

Feb. 26, 2007

That all outstanding Grievances be resolved before any special negotiations take place and that grievances not be included in any negotiation.

Les Ball

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Company Talks Update

Just to let you know what's happening, the Wage Delegates met yesterday to discuss a number of issues. We met today with the company for a couple of hours to get some additional information. The plan is to put together something to present to the company and we will be working on this tomorrow. I don't know when we will meet with the company again but we are trying to put together a trip to Crofton to see how some of the things work there since they are always held up as the model in this company.

Talks are still relatively friendly compared to where they went last fall but there are concerns about how this all works. Management needs value to present to Vancouver who will then need to take it to the board. Packages cost money and that only comes with board approval.

It is a difficult position to be in but we will try to find a deal that we can present to the membership for consideration.

I also just wanted to make a brief statement on some of the comments flying around on this From the President post. It is good to see opinions expressed with, mostly, a respectful nature. One commenter spoke about main wage items in respect to department seniority. Just to clarify, department seniority is a local agreement and not main wage. Main wage only addresses seniority, period. Department seniority is done differently in different locals.

It is no secret that the company wants some language changes in the back of the book regarding the application of department seniority. It is a topic that generates some heat just within the 4 wage delegates so it is not an easy issue by any means. While it is being looked at very carefully, I can assure you that nothing will be undertaken lightly and nothing is easy and great care and attention is being paid to this issue.

I will try to keep you updated but nothing much except work will be occurring in the next few days.

In solidarity,

Tim

February Forward Look

Here is February's Forward Look. I only received the file today so I have gotten it up as soon as possible. It is rather sparse (six pages) but here it is nonetheless.

I still haven't found (taken) the time to try and get the entire Forward Look online. It has something to do with scanning the pages in and then somehow putting them all together followed by turning it into a .pdf file. A little time consuming, which explains why I haven't done it yet (being inherently lazy.)

Here is a quick tip if you want to find a past Forward Look. In the sidebar there is a section titled Labels. Underneath you will find the label, Forward Look. Clicking on this will take you to a page with all the online editions of the Forward Look in reverse chronological order.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Burning Jobs

Roger Gaboury, Editor of the Guardian, Local 1129's newsletter, emailed me regarding their new website and also sent a link to this Burning Jobs page on Local 298's website. Thought you might be interested. I have no further information about why this is being done. It is just one other example of what is wrong with our forestry policy. We struggle to get fiber while logs trundle out of the valley daily. Go figure.

In solidarity,

Tim

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

From The President

Today we held two special meetings to bring everyone up to date on the company proposal as well as covering the Powell River agreement. The results of the referendum vote for the Wage Delegates to try to negotiate an agreement in return for enhanced severance packages were 84% yes and 16%no. Now with the approval of the membership in our pocket we will approach our management to begin talks. Thanks to all of you who came out. If we can come to some sort of agreement we will call for more special meetings to inform and vote.

Pete Rayburn
President Local 592

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

General Meeting and Special Meetings

I wrote a post this morning, published it and thanks to the miracle of online programs, whoosh, it disappeared, so I'll try again.

If you missed last night's General Meeting then you missed my first attempt at chairing a General meeting. With the President away at President's Council and the Chairman of the Standing Committee (Travis) fairly new as a table officer, the gavel fell to yours truly.

And, apart from some fumbling of a motion from the floor at the end of the meeting, I think it went fairly well. However, I am not really interested in doing it full time. I much prefer sitting up there and just taking the minutes and telling the chairman when he's doing something wrong.....

For those of you wondering about that notice of motion on the newsprint trigger bonus, when it came up for discussion the original mover of the motion moved to table it. This was passed by the membership. What that means, in my opinion, is that it would require a notice of motion to untable it again so that the membership would have an opportunity to come to the meeting to discuss it. However, most tabled motions seldom see the light of day again.

I'll also take this opportunity to remind you of the two special meetings on Wednesday, February 21st at 2:00 and 7:00. The purpose of these meetings is to provide information on what the company is looking for in exchange for packages and to show you what Local 76 in Powell River agreed to. The wage delegates will also be seeking support from the membership to proceed with trying to work out a deal with the company. This support is sought primarily because of the way the talks went last fall. If the membership gives us the okay then any agreement reached will, of course, come back to the membership for ratification.

In my opinion, the talks we have had thus far have a different tone to them than the ones last fall. The opportunity may be there to find a way to provide some buyouts and keep most, if not all, of the remaining brothers and sisters working. Of course, I regularly waffle between optimism and pessimism so who knows what will happen. I do hope that you will give us the go ahead to try and find an acceptable agreement. It could make the future a bit brighter, certainly for those facing layoff.

So, I hope to see you tomorrow.

In solidarity,

Tim

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

From the President

Just to let you know that we have applied for appeal on the core room arbitration decision. This process could take up to six months but our Council does feel that we do have grounds for appeal. This is part of the arbitration process and we feel that it is far too important to let it drop. The implications of this decision are far reaching and will affect the industry as a whole if it is not challenged.

Also if you haven't noticed, we will be holding two special meetings on Feb 21st to provide information on the discussions around the companies proposal for enhanced contractual severance packages. These two meetings will be followed by a referendum vote to direct the Wage Delegates to carry on or not.

Pete Rayburn

Monday, 5 February 2007

From the President

I'm attending an arbitration course in Harrison at this time and really don't have enough time to answer any of the comments. Studing Labour Law isn't what you would call fun and having to do lots of homework. I will get some replies out when I can find some time. Thanks for your patience.

Pete Rayburn

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Core Room Arbitration Update

We have finally received the ruling on the Core Room Arbitration from Arbitrator Judi Korbin. Unfortunately she has ruled in favor of the Company. Ms. Korbin's ruling under the basis of the "estoppel argument" is that the Union should not have any expectations of exclusive jurisdiction over the work in question. This decision is extremely disappointing and could open up the flood gates to many more jurisdictional issues. I will be talking to our legal council John Rogers next week to see where we can go from here.

Pete Rayburn
President CEP Local 592

Friday, 2 February 2007

From the President

The Wage Delegates met again with the Company on Thursday Feb. 1st for further discussions to address our concerns as well as their's on local issues that they want attached to any agreement we may come to to achieve enhanced severance packages. Most of the talks were around the implementation of flexible work practices ( as per the Letter of Understanding) in our Collective Agreement, Leave Smoothing, Trades Vacations, 4 Point Formula, Dept Seniority, Streamlined Operational Issues and some contracting out issues. Although these discussions were progressive we are far from any agreement. The Wage Delegates have been called to a Caucus Meeting in Vancouver on Monday Feb 12th to discuss the proposed Powell River Agreement that Local 76 achieved. We will not be meeting with our Management until after the Caucus meeting. At that time we will formulate a formal response to the companies proposal and get that info out to you asap. If there is anything that is worth considering we will hold special meetings for the membership to give the Wage Delegates direction on whether or not we go down this road.

Pete Rayburn

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

From the President

To All Members CEP Local 592,

Your Wage Delegates are continuing discussions with local management concerning some requested concessions on our Collective Agreement in return for contractual severance packages. The majority of these talks have been around local items and have not yet breached any Main Wage items. These discussions will continue until we have reached an impasse or we have something to bring to the Membership. We ask for your patience and understanding for the apparent lack of information that is getting out to you, the Membership, but these discussions are very laborious and detailed in nature and any misinformation could be detrimental to the eventual outcome.

Pete Rayburn
President Local 592

Wage Delegate Update #2

Just a quick update. I know that getting information out about what's going on is a vital concern for the membership. We met yesterday and today with the company. Currently the talks are pretty much an exchange of concerns over some of the things that are issues for the company and for us. Thus far the talks have been fairly constructive and, in my opinion, fairly positive.

If talks continue on in this manner then I would think that we will eventually have some kind of document or documents addressing some of these issues that would be brought to the membership for acceptance or rejection. I can assure you that we are not discussing main wage concessions. We may be able to reach some kind of agreement on changes and cooperation going forward, not unlike what Local 76 in Powell River has managed to do. In exchange we will see enhanced severance packages that will help ensure the employment of many of our currently laid off members. This is why we are talking and why we should talk.

We are currently scheduled to talk again on Thursday to continue the discussion. Though I personally have been rather pessimistic of late, these talks give me a glimmer of optimism and we all just need to be patient. There are no details to give out because it is still just at the talking point level.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Wage Delegate Update

Just to let everyone know that we met again this afternoon with the company to seek some clarification. Another meeting is planned for Monday.

Look for updates here. I will put as much info on this blog as I practically can. But, please be patient with the process.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Wage Delegate Notice

The following notice was posted in the mill today:


January 24, 2007

NOTICE TO ALL CEP LOCAL 592 MEMBERS:

The Wage Delegates met with the Company today and we were presented with a list of concessions on our Collective Agreement in return for contractual severances. A follow up meeting is scheduled for tomorrow for further clarification. We will keep you informed. Any decisions on how we proceed will be brought to the membership of Local 592.


Local 592 Wage Delegates.

Pete Rayburn
Phil Guild
Tim Thompson
Jim VanDusen
Daryl De Rooy

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

January Forward Look

Here is the link for the January Forward Look.

I just want to mention again that currently the Forward Look online only consists of submitted articles that are typed into the computer at the Union Hall. I do plan to attempt scanning in the entire Forward Look so the online edition will be identical to the print edition, but I need to make the time to do this. It all pushes the learning curve a bit for me.

In solidarity,

Tim

Monday, 15 January 2007

Russ Horner Resigns

In case you haven't heard:

From Catalyst's Daily Digest:
Catalyst board accepts executive resignations, search for successors underway

The company issued the following news release today:

Catalyst Paper’s board of directors today announced that it has accepted the resignations of two executives who have elected to exercise change of control agreements.

Russ Horner, president and chief executive officer, and Ralph Leverton, vice-president, finance and chief financial officer, have tendered their resignations. An executive search is underway to identify their successors and both executives have agreed to remain with the company to the end of the next annual meeting of shareholders, to be held on March 28, 2007, or the appointment of successors or interim successors, to assist in the transition.

"Russ stabilized the operational and financial performance of our company during a challenging period of industry restructuring and consolidation," said board chairman Keith Purchase. "At the same time, Ralph led the cost management and capital refinancing of the business to significantly improve the balance sheet during a protracted downturn in this cyclical sector.

"We appreciate their loyalty, dedication and willingness to facilitate a smooth transition as the board completes its selection of new executives who will build on the fundamental strengths of the business."

Russ worked for Catalyst and its predecessor companies for more than 30 years. Prior to his appointment to lead Catalyst Paper, he served as chief operating officer, Australasia for Fletcher Challenge Paper, president and chief operating officer of Fletcher Challenge Canada and president and chief executive officer of Norske Skog Canada. In 2001, he guided the merger of Norske Skog Canada and Pacifica Papers to create NorskeCanada, which was renamed Catalyst Paper in 2005.

During Russ’s tenure, Catalyst Paper set new benchmarks for safety, and community and environmental group relations in British Columbia.

Ralph joined Catalyst in 1999 after holding executive positions at Pope & Talbot and Harmac Pacific and a variety of financial positions with MacMillan Bloedel.

The recent acquisition by Third Avenue Management LLC of an additional 39 million common shares of Catalyst on behalf of various client accounts, exceeding a 25 per cent threshold established under the executives’ agreements with Catalyst, constituted a change of control under such agreements. Under the terms of the control change agreement, Russ and Ralph are entitled to receive change of control and pension benefits totalling $4,779,865 and $1,582,546, respectively, on the date that their employment ends.
And from Russ himself:
January 15, 2007

We’ve come a long way – now it’s time to pass the baton

Earlier today, our board of directors announced that it had accepted my resignation as president and chief executive officer and Ralph Leverton’s resignation as vice-president, finance and chief financial officer.

The board is looking for successors, and Ralph and I have agreed to stay with the company until the annual general meeting this March, or the appointment of successors or interim successors, to make sure the transition to new leadership is smooth.

The recent changes in board and ownership structure make this an appropriate time to make a transition in executive leadership as well. I know this announcement may take some of you by surprise. The fact is that change at the top is a reality for most corporations.

It has been my privilege to work with you and to lead our company as president and CEO for the past several years. I have been in this industry for more than 30 years, and the last few years have been some of the most interesting and demanding as we moved through a period of extensive restructuring and consolidation.

I would like to take a moment to recognize the lasting contribution Ralph has made since joining the company in 1999. During his tenure he brought focus to our balance sheet and guided our financial restructuring through mergers, acquisitions as well as timely and cost-saving debt refinancing. He also greatly improved the transparency and depth of our disclosure reporting and has been my partner through many complex and challenging developments.

At times like this, it’s natural for employees to wonder what the future will hold. Those who know me best will appreciate that I have made a habit of dealing in facts rather than speculation, so I would say the best thing to do is to stay focused on safety, quality and performance. This is what we’re known for at Catalyst and how ongoing value can be created for customers and shareholders.

When I became this company’s president I committed to guiding it through the initial phases of restructuring – improving efficiency, reducing costs and moving up the product value curve. Reaching our rightful place as a leader in our sector reflects what all of you have done. We’ve made great progress, much of it thanks to your energy and enthusiasm, and I have every confidence that new leadership will continue to build on the performance culture that is now in place.

Russ Horner

President and CEO