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How to Submit a Job
Making a Request for Rate Determination
You will need a computer and an Internet connection to get started.
Applications for rate determination are found on this website on the webpage called Request for Sawmill Rate Determination Benchmark Directory, or Benchmark Directory, for short. It is from this webpage that you will navigate to the Revised Letter of Understanding for your sawmill that contains a list of all jobs in your plant. It is from this list that you will obtain the document set application form for the job(s) you wish to submit as noted below. For your awareness, online document set application forms are presented in pdf format and will require Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing. Click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Formerly, you needed a copy of the BC Coast Sawmill Rate Determination Program Index of Benchmark Job Function Summaries which was a fairly large 3-ring binder containing all the benchmark descriptions of the jobs included in the rate determination program. Although some plants may still use this 3-ring binder for reference, it is no longer necessary and is available online in its entirety.
You will also need the current wage supplement for your plant. This document is called the Revised Letter of Understanding and it shows the different group rates for jobs covered by the rate determination program in your operation. The trades are not included. Find a copy of the current wage supplement for your operation in the Benchmark Directory where the most current Revised Letter of Understanding is listed with the other plant jobs as a pdf for download.
The Benchmark Directory is the quickest way to obtain a Request for Rate Determination form. Your sawmill is listed on the main menu and once selected, a webpage is presented that resembles the Revised Letter of Understanding. The webpage has all of your current job categories listed and upon selecting a job, the proper benchmark application form is presented for you to print and then fill-out. Completed forms are handled as directed below. Please note that the name on the benchmark form that is presented may not have the same job title as the job title on the list that you selected from. The reason for this is all jobs in the Sawmill Rate Determination Program are based on agreed upon benchmark job descriptions. Follow the instructions on the form.
If you are submitting a Request for Rate Determination for a new job, examine the BC Coast Sawmill Rate Determination Program Index of Benchmark Job Function Summaries and select the job that best describes the job duties. In addition, use the Benchmark Directory for New Jobs to select the document set that best suits the new job duties.
Complete both pages of the request for rate determination document set paperwork. Both Parties must complete the Rate Revision Application Form and the accompanying Benchmark Comparison Study Sheet which together make up the document set. When the document set is completed, forward the original signed copies of the document set to your Local Union office who will then send the original of the document set to the USW D3 office in Burnaby and a copy to the Industry Representative for processing.
Remember, a document set consists of two pages. If the application is made as a single document, it will be deemed incomplete and rejected. Be sure there is a completed Rate Revision Application Form and a Benchmark Comparison Study Sheet for each application for sawmill rate determination. All applications must be based on a comparable benchmark category found on the current Revised Letter of Understanding unless it is a new job. Click here for an explanation on this procedure.
When completing a document set, complete the Rate Revision Application Form first. Begin by examining the benchmark title in the Applicable Benchmark Category box. This title is the name of the agreed upon benchmark and may not be the name of the job you are submitting. It is important however, to understand that Applicable Benchmark Category job name represents an agreed-upon job title on which this benchmark job is based on. The real name of the job that you are submitting is placed in the next section called Job Information on the Job Title line.
Next complete the Job Information. Place the Application Date, Company Name and Division, Job Title, Job Rate per hour, and Group rate found on the Revised Letter of Understanding, and if this is a New Job; circle yes or no.
The next part is where you place a reason for the application. Write a few words that briefly describes why the job is being submitted.
The last part on the Rate Revision Application Form is for endorsement. The Plant Committee will present the document set to Plant Management for their signature and then send it to the Local Union Office for the final signature. The Plant Committee does not need to sign this document - only plant management signs off on this document. The Local Union will forward the original to the Industry Representative on the Rate Determination Committee and a copy to the Union Representative on the Rate Determination Committee. The Plant Committee should keep a copy for their records.
Keep in mind that management has direction of the workforce and is solely responsible for determining the work duties of a job. If a dispute on job content arises, simply record the differences on paper and attach the signed paper to the document set and/or contact either representative on the Rate Determination Committee for advise.
Now complete the Benchmark Study Comparison Sheet which is the second page of the document set. This second page outlines the duties of the agreed upon benchmark to which your job is based.
the space provided on the right side of the form, write down the
equipment handled and/or operated, and job duties not found in
description of the job on left hand side of the form. In addition,
examine the list of duties on the left hand side of the form and
As you can probably imagine, it is very important that you have a good working knowledge of the job you're reviewing in order to make this comparison. Otherwise, have the job incumbent or operator prepare the document.
If the job you are reviewing is a machine center, see how it measures up against the Memorandum of Agreement dated February 11, 1992 regarding Mechanization, Technological Change and Automation. This is an important document to examine if the job submitted has any kind of machine optimization or has additional machine center operated in conjunction with the submitted job.
Assemble the Plant Committee to discuss the rate request. Together, you will decide if there is enough change to the job for a Request for Rate Determination. Study the comparisons observed in the previous step again and when working with the Index of Benchmark Job Function Summaries, and pay close attention to the section indexes. These indexes sometimes show special notes that can be found near the bottom of the index page. Be sure to measure any of these special notes against your application information. A good example of these index notes can be found in Section i: Vertical Resaw Job Function Summaries.
If the job is a machine center, then consideration must be given to any additional machine centers under operator control, the inflow and outflow of material, and recovery enhancements made to the product at the workstation. Refer to the Memorandum of Agreement dated February 11, 1992 regarding Mechanization, Technological Change and Automation.
If a question should arise that you and the Plant Committee are unable to answer, you may want to seek advise from the USW District 3 Office. The Technical Advisor employed by the USW to administer to this rate determination program works out of the District 3 Office. He is one of the individuals that will eventually process this rate determination through to its completion. He is very approachable and will answer your questions.
Now, should you and the Plant Committee feel at this point the rate review is not necessary, then the process will end here. Advise the individual that made the request the reasons why the process stopped.
Schedule a meeting with management. As pointed out earlier, management has direction of the workforce and is solely responsible for determining the work duties of a job. Be sure to secure management's signature in the appropriate place on the document set.
Again, if a dispute on job content arises simply record the differences on paper and attach it to the document set and/or contact either representative on the Rate Determination Committee for advice.
You may have to leave your document set with Management for a few days for study, so make sure you have duplicates of all your documents. There is always a chance that these documents could be misplaced or lost.
In addition, be aware that Management may insert their own notes on the Benchmark Study Comparison Form. This may be an additional copy of the Benchmark Study Comparison Form or simply be some accompanying notations on the form completed by the union. Either way, be sure to include any additional paperwork but make sure it is clearly labeled as submitted by management. In most cases, only one Benchmark Study Comparison Form is submitted with the document set.
Gather all your paperwork together and forward it to the Local Union office. Your paperwork package will have a document set properly signed by management and be sure that there is a completed document set for each job being submitted.
Weeks after you submit your paperwork to the Local Union, the Rate Determination Committee will visit the plant to view the submitted jobs. The Rate Determination Committee will be accompanied by an Officer of the Local Union and Plant Management, and together they will look at and discuss the job in review. The tour usually starts with discussions in a meeting room and ends with a tour of the plant to view the jobs.
You will be advised before hand of the impending tour by the Local Union. The time lapse from when you submitted your rate review to when the Rate Determination Committee arrives at your mill will depend on where they are in the province. The Rate Determination Committee trys to have more than a few mills to visit whenever they come to your area so the amount of time before they arrive can vary.
Sometime before the Rate Determination Committee arrives, it is a good idea to talk to management to allow you to be included in the tour.
The rate review process can be intimidating to those who are not familiar with the BC Coast Sawmill Rate Determination Program. The purpose of this step by step explanation is to make the rate review process friendlier to someone working with it for the first time.
If you follow the outline provided, your review will be thorough and complete. Again, if you become aware of a job that needs to be reviewed, then observe this outline. Examine your wage supplement, fill out the forms, compare the functions and duties, discuss the differences, advise management, forward your document set to the Local Union and be prepared for the rate determination tour.
If you need further assistance contact your Local Union Office, or contact the Technical Advisor at the USW District 3 Office in Burnaby.
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United Steelworkers - District 3
300-3920 Norland Avenue, Burnaby, British Columbia V5G 4K7