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Independent Operators Must Have WSIB Coverage

Local 793 members who are independent operators must now have coverage from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). As of Jan. 1, 2013, independent operators, sole proprietors, some partners in a partnership and some executive officers who work in the Ontario construction industry need WSIB coverage. As of Jan. 1, 2014, an independent operator […]

Local 793 members who are independent operators must now have coverage from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

As of Jan. 1, 2013, independent operators, sole proprietors, some partners in a partnership and some executive officers who work in the Ontario construction industry need WSIB coverage.

As of Jan. 1, 2014, an independent operator who does not have a valid clearance can be prosecuted under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) 1997. The maximum fine for a conviction of an offence under the WSIA is $100,000.

The change affects an estimated 90,000 independent operators.

Companies that hire independent operators as subcontractors are also required to get clearance certificates from each of them.

The cost of coverage depends on earnings and business activity.

When a business is registered with the WSIB, it becomes insured against occupational injury and illness.

The WSIB considers you an independent operator if you:

Are an individual who:

  • does not employ workers, and
  • works as a contractor or subcontractor for more than one person during an 18-month period, and
  • reports as self-employed to a government agency (eg. Canada Revenue Agency).

You also require coverage if you are an executive officer of a corporation that:

  • does not employ any workers other than the individual, and
  • works as a contractor or subcontractor for more than one person during an 18-month period.

Clearances are important because it proves the operator is properly covered by the WSIB.

There are some exemptions to the rule. For example, some executive officers in corporations are still exempt. And, occupants of private residences (and their family members) who hire contractors to do home renovation work are not required to get a clearance.

The WSIB is an independent trust agency that administers compensation and no-fault insurance for Ontario workplaces. The agency provides wage-loss benefits, medical coverage and help getting back to work.

To find out more, click here. Independent operators can also call the WSIB Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 416-344-1000 or 1-800-387-0750.

Click here if you want to obtain a clearance or check on the status of a clearance.

Redshaw Scholarship Winners Announced

By Joe Redshaw Local 793 President This year the Jack Redshaw Scholarship Fund awarded 10 scholarships of $2,000 each. Due to the generosity of the Crane Rental Association of Ontario, an additional two dependants of Local 793 members were also awarded $2,000 each. I would like to extend a very big thank you to the […]

By Joe Redshaw
Local 793 President

This year the Jack Redshaw Scholarship Fund awarded 10 scholarships of $2,000 each.

Due to the generosity of the Crane Rental Association of Ontario, an additional two dependants of Local 793 members were also awarded $2,000 each.

I would like to extend a very big thank you to the Crane Rental Association for making this donation.

On behalf of the Jack Redshaw Scholarship committee, I would like to congratulate the following successful applicants for the scholarship awards:

  • Stefanie Bogaert – Sarnia Area
  • Devon Coles – Hamilton Area
  • Ryan Coulson – Toronto Area
  • Mitchell Fedorchuk – St. Catherine’s Area
  • Robyn Hansen – Hamilton Area
  • Sarah Kazak – Ottawa Area
  • Lindsay Kuiack – Cambridge Area
  • Darquise Mantha – Sudbury Area
  • Alexandra Scandolo – Toronto Office
  • Benjamin Schwarz – Toronto Area
  • Nicole Selman – Sarnia Area
  • Irena Sziler – Windsor Area

The cost of post-secondary education today is estimated at up to $20,000 a year for tuition, books, residence, parking and travel. Therefore, the $2,000 will be of a great assistance to the sons, daughters and grandchildren of our members.

I would encourage those that were not successful this year to reapply and those who are moving into post-secondary education next year to click here to download the application.

The criteria is as follows:

  • The awards are available to the sons, daughters and grandchildren of members who are in good standing at the time of selection of the awards.
  • The scholarship recipient must be entering the first or subsequent year of a full-time course of study (at least two years in length) leading to a diploma, certificate or degree from any recognized public Canadian college or university.

Applications must be supported by transcripts of high school achievement and accompanied by a detailed letter of recommendation from an individual with personal academic knowledge of the candidate, outlining reasons why the scholarship should be awarded.

In addition, applicants must submit a 1,000-word essay on the reason(s) why the scholarship will be of assistance and the impact that being a dependent or grandchild of a Local 793 union member has had on the applicant’s life.

Once the recipients have been selected, they will be notified and asked to provide further proof from the Office of the Registrar that they are currently attending full-times studies in their selected program.

Eligible persons are able to apply more than once, however, once they have received a bursary, they are no longer eligible to receive another award.

The deadline for receipt of the application shall be the first Friday in the month of September.

 

Improvements Made to Union’s Group Legal Plan

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher has announced a number of new improvements to the union’s Group Legal Plan for both active and retired members. The improvements are the second wave of enhancements this year to benefits for Local 793 members. Earlier, improvements were announced to the Life and Health Benefits Plan. “The officers, executive […]

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher has announced a number of new improvements to the union’s Group Legal Plan for both active and retired members.
The improvements are the second wave of enhancements this year to benefits for Local 793 members.
Earlier, improvements were announced to the Life and Health Benefits Plan.

“The officers, executive board and I are always looking at ways to provide better services to our members across the province,” Gallagher said. “The changes to our legal plan will complement the enhancements that were made to the life and health benefits plan.”

The changes to the legal plan took effect Jan. 1. Coverage has been increased as follows:

  • E1 – Simple Will Member has been increased to $300 from $100.
  • E2 – Simple Will Spouse has been increased to $300 from $100.
  • E3 – Revised Will Member has been increased to $150 from $75.
  • E4 – Revised Will Spouse has been increased to $150 from $75.
  • M1 – Highway Traffic Act has been increased to $400 from $300.

Professor Critical of Conservative Labour Proposals

David Doorey, professor of labour and employment law at York University and director of Osgoode Hall Law School’s executive LLM program in labour and employment law, recently wrote an article on Ontario’s labour law and the lies around right-to-work. The article was published on Rabble.ca. Click here to view the article.  

David Doorey, professor of labour and employment law at York University and director of Osgoode Hall Law School’s executive LLM program in labour and employment law, recently wrote an article on Ontario’s labour law and the lies around right-to-work. The article was published on Rabble.ca.

Click here to view the article.

 

Union Supports Event to Raise Funds for Anishinabek Nation Charity

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher, president Joe Redshaw and a number of other union representatives attended a fundraiser recently for the Anishinabek Nation 7th Generation Charity. The event, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto on Oct. 17, provided an opportunity for corporate and government partners to meet and network with leaders of First […]

L to R: Former Prime Minister Paul Martin, Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher, president Joe Redshaw and (seated) recording-corresponding secretary Joe Dowdall.

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher, president Joe Redshaw and a number of other union representatives attended a fundraiser recently for the Anishinabek Nation 7th Generation Charity.

The event, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto on Oct. 17, provided an opportunity for corporate and government partners to meet and network with leaders of First Nations communities across Ontario.

More than 200 people attended the event. A business networking reception was followed by a panel discussion on issues of importance to the people of the Anishinabek Nation.

Funds raised from the event will go to scholarships and bursaries and to support education, healthcare and other under-funded services in the 39 Anishinabek communities. The Charity has raised $600,000 since 1999.

Dignitaries attending the event included: Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee; former Prime Minister Paul Martin; Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne; former Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine; Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer; and John Tory, former PC Party leader and host of Live Drive on Newstalk 1010.

Local 793 was the only union that had representatives at the event. Grand Council Chief Madahbee sat at the table with Local 793 representatives.

Business manager Gallagher said it was important for Local 793 representatives to be at the event because the union is working to get more people from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities into training programs at the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO).

“We are working closely with First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities and reaching out to the Aboriginal population to get more youth into our apprenticeship programs and good paying jobs in the construction trades,” he said. “By attending this event we are demonstrating our commitment to work with these communities and Aboriginal leaders.”

During the panel discussion, dignitaries addressed a number of issues, including education and the importance of having a skilled workforce available to fill key positions.

Former Prime Minister Martin complimented the work being done by Local 793 during his remarks.

Martin spoke about some of the things unions like the Operating Engineers are doing and how they are an important part of the fabric of Canada.

Premier Wynne shared her vision on enhancing student success in First Nation communities in Ontario.

Grand Council Chief Madahbee told the audience that First Nations communities support development but only with community control and benefits.

“We have to empower our people … to take control of our lives” and “put in place our way of thinking, our world view,” he said in a story published in Anishinabek News.ca. “We don’t need somebody dictating what we can do and cannot do. We know how to do the job.”

Meanwhile, former Assembly of First Nations National Chief Fontaine said the single most important issue to face Canada is First Nations poverty and how to eradicate it.

“We have to move quickly and … persuasively,” he said in Anishinabek News.ca. “Partnerships are our best option to create a better future for Canada and Aboriginal people.”

The Anishinabek Nation 7th Generation Charity is the official charitable fundraising arm of the Anishinabek Nation. The Charity is committed to improving the quality of life of Anishinabek Nation citizens by providing support where no other funding exists.

 

A Message to Construction Workers

The Toronto and York Region Labour Council has developed a message for Ontario construction workers as part of its Workers’ Rights Campaign. The campaign, which kicked off in March, is aimed at educating workers about the threat of the unfolding Conservative attack against unions. The message notes that Conservative leaders Stephen Harper and Tim Hudak […]

The Toronto and York Region Labour Council has developed a message for Ontario construction workers as part of its Workers’ Rights Campaign.

The campaign, which kicked off in March, is aimed at educating workers about the threat of the unfolding Conservative attack against unions.

The message notes that Conservative leaders Stephen Harper and Tim Hudak plan to create a low-wage economy by weakening unions.

For example, the Conservatives want to introduce a scheme that would encourage union members to become “free riders.”

The “free riders” would pay no dues but still get the advantage of union membership.

Click here to download the message in English.

Click here to download the message in Portuguese.

Click here to download the message in Spanish.

Click here to learn more about how the Conservatives are creating a low-wage economy.

Fall Hazard Blitz is Under Way in Construction

Inspectors from the Ministry of Labour are looking for fall hazards on construction sites as part of a safety blitz. The inspections are part of the provincial government’s Safe at Work Ontario strategy. The blitz will continue through October. Specifically, inspectors are checking to ensure that workers and other workplace parties are not exposed to […]

Inspectors from the Ministry of Labour are looking for fall hazards on construction sites as part of a safety blitz.

The inspections are part of the provincial government’s Safe at Work Ontario strategy.
The blitz will continue through October.

Specifically, inspectors are checking to ensure that workers and other workplace parties are not exposed to potential hazards associated with:

  • Lack of guardrails
  • Inadequate or improper use of fall protection
  • Inadequate fall protection training
  • Unsafe access to and egress from work platforms
  • Improper work platforms
  • Improper construction and use of scaffolds
  • Improper setup and use of suspended access equipment
  • Improper use of ladders

A number of safety blitzes are scheduled to take place in the coming months.

In November and December, industrial sites will be in the crosshairs.

In January 2014, inspectors will be looking for infractions on construction projects being done in active workplaces.

In February and March 2014, inspectors will focus on warehousing in the industrial sector.

The Ministry says the blitzes are designed to raise public awareness and increase compliance with health and safety legislation.

The Safe at Work strategy places greater focus on companies that have higher injury rates, or that have a higher risk of incidents due to their industry, size of business, or other factors.

Notice on Memorial Monument

Local 793 is looking at building a memorial garden and monument to honour union members who have been killed in construction site and industrial accidents or died due to an occupational disease. The executive board voted in favour of the idea at a recent meeting. The monument will be located at the union’s head office […]

Local 793 is looking at building a memorial garden and monument to honour union members who have been killed in construction site and industrial accidents or died due to an occupational disease. The executive board voted in favour of the idea at a recent meeting. The monument will be located at the union’s head office in Oakville.

Click here for notice on the monument from Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher.