To: All BMRF/B&P Employees
Re: Elimination of the Refinery’s A-Operator Job Classification
The Company has received numerous questions from both our employees and the Union Leadership regarding the Company’s proposal to eliminate the Refinery’s A-Operator job classification and reclassify all A-Operator and Assistant Operator to Process Operators. As such, we would like to share a few FAQs.
- Why does the Company want to eliminate the A-Operator job classification?
A: This proposal provides the Company additional flexibility when making training assignments to better ensure broad qualifications within units. Additional employees cross-qualified across all posts within their line of progression will lead to higher competency within the unit as well as safer, more reliable operations. This proposal also has a very close connection to the Company’s proposal to eliminate declinations. With the removal of the A-Operator classification, there will be no roles for which an employee could decline to train. This results in a broader pool of individuals that are trained and qualified to work a post.
- Has the Company ever proposed anything similar to the Union outside of contract negotiations?
A: Yes. In April 2018, the Company proposed piloting similar changes at the Wharf and Ethyl Plant which would have allowed all operators to qualify as A-Operators and the Company to use the larger pool of A-qualified operators to cover all posts.
As part of this pilot, the Company would have also paid all employees who qualified as A-Operators the A-Operator rate of pay permanently regardless of the post being worked; however, the Union rejected this pilot.
- Will the elimination of the A-Operator job classification result in any post reductions?
A: The Company currently has no plans for any post reductions in the Process Department. The Refinery currently has 23 A-Operator posts and 36 Assistant Operator posts. After the implementation of this change, we would have 59 Process Operator posts.
For example, if your unit currently has 1 A-Operator post and 2 Assistant Operator posts, your unit would have 3 Process Operator posts after the implementation of this proposed change.
- Is the Company going to keep A-Operator jobs the same following the implementation of this change?
A: No. For each unit that currently has an A-Operator post, the Company would work through an Organizational MOC to evaluate the roles and responsibilities of all unit Operators (current A-Operators and Assistant Operators) in order to redistribute those responsibilities and workload evenly across all unit Operators. How much each post changes will vary by unit.
- Who will be responsible for the implementation of this change and how long will it take execute?
A: The Company would have a Management of Change Team led by the Process Support Manager which would be responsible for assisting the Process Unit Leads as they work through an Organizational MOC in each of their areas.
Throughout contract negotiations, Union Leadership declined the opportunity to provide input; however, the Company still values the unique perspective that our unit operators can provide. As such, the Company would afford unit personnel the opportunity to provide input into the MOC prior to implementation.
We would not rush the implementation of this change. We expect that it would take 6 to 12 months to work through an individual Organizational MOC in each line of promotion across the Refinery.
- Why didn’t the Company draft an MOC for this change prior to contract negotiations?
A: The elimination of the Refinery A-Operator job classification and reclassification of all current A-Operator and Assistant Operator posts to general Process Operator posts requires contractual changes prior to implementation. Furthermore, the Company was optimistic that we would receive Union input.