Monday, May 7, 2012

Grievance news, and a Fundraiser

First I must start with an act of generosity and kindness that goes well beyond what I could have imagined. This past Friday I learnt that a friend I have met and got to know on Facebook, had set up an online fundraiser through Give Forward in order to help Brenda and I get through the tough times we are currently facing.

My friend Kimberly Caamano
Kim has been an online friends since November of 2010, which was shortly after I had seen Roger Waters, "The Wall" live for the first time. It was through our interest in Roger Waters that our friendship developed by sharing stories, photos, and just talking about anything Roger Waters or The Wall. As well she has sent me some mementos from one of The Wall concert's she attended.

After some time I also learnt that Kim worked in the Pharmaceutical industry, and she was quite up on cancer drugs and clinical trials which obviously was an interest of mine as well. We have shared many stories, photos,  video's, etc. and as well information about cancer drugs.

To say I am humbled by what she has done here is an understatement, and I am honored to have and call her a friend. Thank you just does not seem to be enough, Kim, Thank You for doing this for us!
If you'd like to donate something just click on the Give Forward widget to the right side of this page.

Now to move on with the latest on what's happening with the grievance I've filed with my union against the company I work for.

I finally got through to my National Representative from the union who is handling my case and had a chance to get updated as to what happened at the meeting she had with the company a couple of weeks ago. It seems the main topic of the discussions were around the termination and the fact they did not pay me severance pay nor were they even going to.

During the discussion around this, they felt that should there be severance pay (which by the way is required under the Canada Labor Code which we fall under as a trucking company) it should only be up to the point I went off on disability. The union has informed them they have to pay me severance pay from the day I started till the day they terminated me.

Severance pay under the Canada Labor Code is two days regular wage for every year of service, which in my case would be 20 days pay! A real slap in the face when you consider that if my company had fallen under "Provincial" labor laws, I would have been entitled to one weeks pay for every year of service.

However, during my discussions with the Rep. I stated that this was not what I was looking for, and that I feel I first of all had my health and dental benefits wrongfully terminated, and as well that under both the Canada Labor Code or event the Provincial Labor Laws they can NOT terminate my while I'm on sick leave or disability leave. She informed me that beings I will most likely not be returning to work at any point that they could, and I informed her I could not find anything in the code that would allow them to do that.

My main point of view and feelings are that I should be reinstated to an employee on LTD status and that my health and dental benefits be reinstated as well. I am completely aware they do not have to reinstate my disability pension as it was clear there was a five year limit on that.

They claim that since I am no longer in receipt of  my long term disability pension, they no longer have to pay my remaining benefits, which is what I disagree with. I am still in receipt of the life insurance policy which was part of the LTD package, and as well, I am still in receipt of my Canada Pension Plan Disability which had for the past four years, along with my employers LTD benefit, formed the total benefit I received, as the employers benefit deducted what I got from CPPD dollar for dollar, which made the total I received the same as the employers benefit. Therefore I have only lost a "portion" of my disability package which I feel, means I am still in receipt of LTD which entitles me to my remaining benefits.

My gut tells me that the union is not going to proceed to the arbitration stage which is where I feel I will be proven to be in the right. I informed my rep. this, what I want is for my employment as well as my health and dental benefits to be restored, period.

Should that not happen then the company will need to pony up a whole lot more than 20 days pay, they also would owe me an additional two weeks pay for improper notice of termination as they did NOT give me the required two weeks notice of termination and not a penny less! They are getting off cheap as my benefits are more valuable to me than that pittance.

The only thing I got out of that call really is there would be more discussions. No dates were given, so I guess I'll just have to check in periodically to see whats happening. For some reason the grievance procedure time limits don't seem to apply in this case, and I don't understand that either.

Enough of the grievance issue talk, I'm sure for a lot of you it's repetitive of past blogs and boring, but it's mainly to catch you up on what's happening and for those reading for the first time. On to other things.

Since my last posting I've seen my new family Dr. and did a urine test analysis and the results are there is no infection and there was a very small amount of blood in the urine. I had also seen him for some pain I had in my lower right back, felt like kidney area, and the pain , for a period of time was unbearable, took the breath right out of me and almost put me on my knees.  He has also set up an ultrasound appointment for me to rule out kidney stones, which he feels it could be. All I can say is the urination issues came about the same time I started the Cymbalta. By the way, I am now back up to the full 60mg dose after speaking with Dr. Giddings at the cancer center. He does not feel it's related to the Cymbalta either.

My next visit with either my family doctor or oncologist, whichever I see first, I am going to request a prostrate exam just to rule out anything there and to give me piece of mind. Been more than five years since I've had one anyway. I am also going to discuss with my oncologist doing another follow up C/T scan as it's now been about five months since my last one. Again something that will ease my mind more than anything. Just want to make sure things to get to far out of line from where I should be with this watch & wait.

So for now just waiting for any new grievance news and for my next medical appointments.

Two upcoming cancer related events coming up in the next couple weeks to mention.

First is the 6th Annual Jeff Burrow's 24 Hour Drum-a-thon For T2B. $10.00 admission. The event starts at 12 Midnight (late Friday night May 11th) and wraps up late Saturday night (2AM Sunday morning) Live music for 24 hours with your favorite local bands, 50/50 draw, door prizes, special guests, and more .ALL proceeds benefit TRANSITION TO BETTERNESS. Please visit:

This years event is being held at Johnny Shotz Billiards Bar Cafe located at 13037 Tecumseh Rd E, in Tecumseh ON.

Secondly is the 2012 Annual Ride for Dad taking place on Sunday May 27th starting from the WFCU Centre in Windsor finishing at the Ranta Marina in Amhurstburg ON after winding through the county click here to see map of the route.

Brenda and I are volunteering for this event again this year. Last year we stamped riders cards the the Rhine Danube in Leamington,ON. However this year we will be volunteering at the final stop which is the Ranta Marina in Amhurstburg, ON. Looking forward to a great event again this year and hope to see some of you local riders there!

That pretty much sums it up for now, will update as it goes.

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