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Patrick Byrne

Building Trades Attend the Canadian Legislative Conference

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The week of May 14 was an important one for Unionized construction workers from across Canada, as the Legislative Conference of the Canadian Building Trades was back in Ottawa for our annual opportunity to lobby on behalf of our members. Meetings were held with representatives from the New Democratic, Conservative and the governing Liberal Parties, in an effort to advance the interests of Union Trades workers from all of the construction crafts.

However, probably the most significant piece of business that was conducted during this conference was the unveiling of a brand new Monument on Parliament Hill. This monument is dedicated solely to Union construction Trades workers, in recognition of our all of our contributions to the growth of our communities, not just as builders of buildings and infrastructure, but as an integral part of the fabric of Canada itself.

We were especially pleased to have the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, on hand to help with the official opening of the monument. The Prime Minister spoke at length about the value the 500,000 members of the Canadian Building Trades bring to the lives of all Canadians. It was refreshing to hear our Prime Minister speak without hesitation about his respect for Union construction workers and the integrity of the apprenticeship programs that we oversee.

To give you a sense of just how important this occasion was, most of the General Presidents of the major North American Building Trades Unions also attended this event. The monument is the first in all of North America dedicated specifically to Union Building Trades and the General Presidents wanted to be in attendance on such a momentous occasion.

Mentorship Video Unveiled at National Building Trades Event

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Last month we posted a story about members of District Council 38 participating in a National Building Trades campaign to heighten awareness about the importance of mentoring apprentices. At last weeks Canadian Building Trades Legislative Conference, the finished product was unveiled to everyone in attendance.

The video was so well received that a couple of follow up features will be added to the campaign using DC 38 members once again. Click on the link and check out the video below. We believe that you will be genuinely impressed with the passion of the “Mentors” and the gratitude of the “Mentees” on display for all to see.

DC 38 Attends the National Day of Mourning

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Across Canada, April 28 has been designated the Day of Mourning.

Every year workers, families, employers, and communities come together at ceremonies held around the province to remember those who have lost their lives to work-related incidents or occupational disease, and renew our commitment to creating healthy and safe workplaces.

Once again representatives from DC 38 attended the ceremonies held this year at the Sanctuary in Hastings Park, Vancouver, and at the Legislature in Victoria.

Since 1997, the BC Federation of Labour, the Business Council of British Columbia, and WorkSafeBC have co-hosted a public commemorative ceremony for the Day of Mourning in Vancouver, B.C.

In 2001, WorkSafeBC, the BC Federation of Labour, and the Business Council of British Columbia dedicated a permanent workers’ memorial in the Sanctuary in Hastings Park, Vancouver. There are approximately 45 permanent worker memorial sites sponsored by WorkSafeBC in British Columbia.

On Fri, Apr 28, 2017, people across B.C. stopped to recognize and remember the more than 140 British Columbians who died last year as a result of workplace accidents or work related illnesses.

District Council 38 will continue to attend these services as long as workers continue to be injured or killed on the job, in an effort to hold those responsible to task for each tragic death or life altering injury.


DC 38 and the FTI Attend Delta Schools Trade Fair

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It was hard to tell who was having more fun, the kids or the DC 38 Reps and FTI Instructors!

Unquestionably though, a good time was had by all, as the FTI brought along some of the specialized equipment used in their apprenticeship programs, to the Delta Schools Trade Fair. Kids from all over the Delta school district, from grades seven to twelve were literally brought in by the bus load to attend this year’s event.

One of the things we here at District Council 38 as well as the FTI have long recognized, is that we need to heighten awareness about the value both of our organizations bring to the greater community. Thankfully interest in all of the trades seems to be on the rise and many educational organizations are starting to pay attention to the construction trades.

Many parents who visited our display booth expressed their gratitude for our reintroducing today’s youth to the value attached to an apprenticeship leading to a Red Seal certificate. Several openly acknowledged that the good wages and benefits that come with a career as a unionized tradesperson had them pushing their kids towards a career in construction.

As many of our members start the move toward retirement, there is a looming demand for more young people to take up an apprenticeship. The timing for many of the Delta school kids couldn’t be better as there will continue to be a need for more skilled tradespeople and those good paying jobs  in the coming decades.


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Day of mourning — April 28

Published on: March 24, 2017

Across Canada, April 28 has been designated the Day of Mourning.

Day of Mourning - April 28Workers, families, employers, and communities come together each year at ceremonies held around the province to remember those who have lost their lives on the job and to renew our commitment to creating healthy and safe workplaces.

Take part in the Day of Mourning

Workers, families, and employers are invited to visit to learn more and to participate. You can:

  • Make a dedication in honour of a fallen worker
  • Plan your own Day of Mourning ceremony using resources in the event tool kit
  • See a list ceremonies that are happening across B.C.
  • Order complimentary decals and posters for your worksite

FTI Partners with Done Right Painting for Squamish Nation Training Fair

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[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]When, Troy Halverson, owner of Done Right Painting and Sandblasting, asked the FTI to assist with a Training Fair for the Squamish Nation, we jumped into action and helped set up an impressive display booth on short notice. Although space was limited, we were able to provide Done Right with an array of eye catching displays and the right personnel to answer any painting or safety questions that members of the Squamish Nation might have.

Troy, and his Company, have been working with young people from the Squamish Nation, in an effort to introduce them to the fundamentals of the Painting Trade. The Training Fair was the perfect opportunity to introduce even more people to the value of a career as a Red Seal Painter. Safety is always at the forefront in all training we deliver at the FTI, which is why we felt that it was also important that our Director of Safety, Andrew Swan, attended as well.

The FTI along with DC 38 is serious about exposing as many young people from as wide a community as possible to the Finishing Trades. Between “Lunch and Learns” with Government MLA’s, “Construction 101’s” with First nations groups and Trade fairs for high school students, we are starting to get our message out about the value of apprenticeship and getting certified in a trade.

FTI/Done Right booth at Squamish Nation Training Fair.

(Left to Right) Randy Tilley/Done Right Painting, Chico Albino/FTI, Paddy Byrne/FTI, Justin Chapman/FTI, Andrew Swan/FTI.

Members of Squamish Nation, introduce Training Fair attendees to a recognition ceremony.

Representatives of the FTI partner with Done Right Painting for Training fair at Chief Mathais Centre on Squamish Nation Territory.

FTI opens unique finishing trades training facility in Surrey; ‘nothing else like it in western Canada’

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Surrey, BC.  A 14,000 square foot addition to the Finishing Trades Institute of BC (FTI) was opened today to train BC workers in industrial painting, an essential skill in the construction of such projects as LNG export terminals, energy pipelines, and waste treatment plants.

The $4 million expansion was funded entirely by District Council 38 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades which represents more than 2,000 men and women working through BC as painters, glaziers, wall and ceiling installers, lathers and drywall finishers, hazardous materials abatement specialists, and water blasters.  The FTI now totals 40,000 square feet of customized shops and classroom space.

“We did not ask for taxpayer funding to make this investment, just as we did in establishing the FTI in 1992,” says Dave Holmes, Business Manager.  “We see it as a prudent, long-term investment in the future of construction in BC and in the future of our members and the union.  With this expansion the FTI can now accommodate 350 union and non-union students each year in four construction and finishing trades.  There is nothing like it in western Canada.”

“We and our contractors see a strong demand for skilled and experienced finishing tradespeople in BC and it is up to us to train workers to fill these jobs,” says Holmes.

“This expansion will house some of the latest industrial technology, providing BC tradespeople with relevant, modern training,” says Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation, and Citizen’s Services.  “Our province needs skilled tradespeople today and into the future;  I’d like to congratulate IUPAT District Council 38 and the Finishing Trades Institute of BC on this new addition, which will increase capacity for training.”

FTI instructors and courses provide Red Seal apprenticeship training in painting and decorating, glazing (fabrication and installation of windows and specialty glass), wall and ceiling construction, and drywall finishing.  The FTI also provides BC’s most advanced training in the safe removal and handling of asbestos and other hazardous materials in the commercial and residential sectors.

DC38 traces its roots to 1899 when six painters formed a BC local.

Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, Amrik Virk, addresses guests at FTI Grand Opening

MLA for Shuswap, Greg Kyllo, congratulates DC 38 on new Industrial Facility

And what is a Grand Opening without a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony?

Business Manager David Holmes presents MLA Greg Kyllo and Minister Amrik Virk with DC 38 Union Jackets

Guests assemble for FTI expansion Grand Opening

A view from above the new FTI Industrial Facility

DC 38 Retired Painter, Clive Bollerup, in BCBTU Video

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At last year’s, BC Building Trades Convention, a series of videos were shown to the audience, featuring some of the more colourful retired members of the BC Building Trades Unions, recalling their working careers.

Our very own, Clive Bollerup, a retired Industrial Painter, helped to add some of that colour to the video featured here, with his reflections on working as an Industrial Painter in our Provinces early days. Check out this video as Clive extols the value of apprenticeship and learning a trade that you enjoy. Clive also recounts the many miles driven on virtually every Provincial highway while travelling to “every crummy little town” in pursuit of work.


DC 38 Members to Appear in National Building Trades Commercial

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Jim Ewing (far right) and Fidel Kunz (second from the right) participate in Mentorship Video

Fidel Kunz (centre) and Jim Ewing (right) share their experiences as Mentors

We were recently asked by the office of, Canada’s Building Trades Unions, to suggest some suitable candidates for a national advertising campaign they were launching, and we had the ideal members for the Job!

Longtime Member and Master Painter, Fidel Kunz, and equally accomplished Lather Master, Jim Ewing, graciously agreed to participate in a commercial being put together by the Canadian Building Trades, extolling the rewards that come with mentoring and training apprentices.

Both Fidel and Jim, are recognized as highly respected tradesmen in their respective crafts, with an innate quality that also allows them to be successful mentors. Many of our current Painters and Lathers, owe their success as tradespeople, to their time working directly under Fidel and Jim’s tutelage. It takes a special individual with the right amount of patience and understanding to teach apprentices in a field where “time is money”and still be able to get the job done efficiently and profitably. Fidel and Jim are two such individuals.

However, there was an interesting twist that would be woven into the commercial that neither man was aware of until the actual filming was under way. Unbeknown to either  Jim or Fidel, was the fact that we had recruited two members of DC 38, that had actually been mentored by these men, to surprise them with their own stories as Jim and Fidel’s mentees.

Troy Halverson, owner of Done Right Painting, and Kevin Weston, who recently was elected as Local 163’s new Lather Representative, were both on hand to surprise their mentors, and surprised they were!

To hear both Troy and Kevin speak to their gratitude for the kindness and compassion shown by their mentors was incredibly touching and genuinely heartfelt. The spontaneity and genuine emotion shown by all four individuals in the moment was exactly what the producers were looking for and something we are certain will come through in the final product.

The new commercial will be unveiled at the upcoming Canadian Building Trades Conference being held in Ottawa, May 14 – 17, and will go Canada wide shortly thereafter. With the input from these Master Craftsmen, we are certain it will be a huge success. Keep an eye on this site in the coming weeks as we will post the commercial, once it has been made available to us.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″]


Have You Filed a WorkSafe BC Claim or Injured Yourself at Work? DC-38 Can Help

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Most members of DC-38 realize the many benefits of being a union member.  From higher wages to significant pension and medical benefits to training at our Finishing Trades Institute, DC-38 has a lot to offer members.  What many members don’t realize, however, is that in addition to these services, your union provides support for those with workplace injuries and WorksafeBC claims.


Anybody who has been injured on the job and filed a WorksafeBC claim can tell you how complex and frustrating WorksafeBC can be.  If you’re one of those injured workers, you know first-hand!  If you aren’t, you’ve heard the nightmarish stories!  Fact is, since the Gordon Campbell Liberals changed WorksafeBC laws and policies back in 2002 at the behest of the business community, workers have been getting a raw deal.  Having an advocate “in your corner” when WorksafeBC puts you “on the ropes” can make a big difference.


The average WorksafeBC claim can involve a wide range of issues from wage loss benefits to vocational rehabilitation services to the calculation of a disability award for a permanent impairment sustained at the workplace.  These issues can take many months, oftentimes years, to adjudicate and resolve.


If you have been injured at work or have a WorksafeBC claim that you need some assistance with, come talk to us at DC-38.  We’re here to help.


If our initial review of your evidence suggests that you have a legitimate claim, we will put you in contact with the Workers’ Advocate at the BC Building Trades Council.  Over the last several years the Workers’ Advocate has represented many of our members.  His commitment to DC-38 has been demonstrated by his enthusiasm to help our members “off the ropes” when they get into a tangle with WorksafeBC, the compelling nature of his written as well as oral advocacy, and the significant “wins” he has chalked up.  Those “wins” have included successfully negotiating several vocational rehabilitation plans providing meaningful new skills and knowledge for members who were unable to return to their pre-injury jobs; challenging inaccurate long term wage loss benefits that failed to reflect member earnings; providing qualitative and quantitative research in support of loss of earnings awards that were ultimately granted by WorksafeBC; and arguing successfully for an extension of a disability award beyond the standard age of retirement by ten years, thereby putting over two hundred thousand dollars into a member’s pocket.


At DC-38, we think having a workers’ advocate to assist our members with their WorksafeBC claims is an essential service.  While there is no legal obligation under our collective agreement or statutory laws to do so, we think the WorksafeBC system is far too complicated, and our members have far too much to lose, to go it alone.  So, if you have been injured at work or have a WorksafeBC claim that you need assistance with, contact us.  We’ll go to battle for you!