- Prince George, Canada
- January 30, 2019
About Our Company
Folklore Contracting LTD has been serving clients in the reforestation industry since 1975.
Over the past decade or so, Folklore has traditionally operated from four to six camps, ranging in size from twenty to fifty planters each. Our head office does not do the hiring for the camps. Instead, this task is delegated to the camp managers, who are often referred to as supervisors. Each supervisor oversees from two to six foremen, and works with these foremen to ensure that all employees will work well together as a cohesive team. Folklore's camps are usually composed of about seventy to eighty-five percent experienced planters, with a very small percentage of inexperienced planters compared to our peers in northern British Columbia.
Located in Prince George, British Columbia, Folklore employs several hundred seasonal workers (primarily tree planters), many of whom come back year after year for many seasons of tree planting and other silvicultural activities. Many of these regular employees occupy mid-level management roles either as crew leaders or overseeing quality assessments.
We place a high emphasis on training. Our first year planters have the option to start their training program months before they start field work, through a combination of videos, books and other printed matter, and one-on-one phone calls or videoconferencing with their crew leaders (using facetime, skype, or related services). Our management personnel go through significant third-party training and certification programs in the pre-season, including driver training, ATV training, first aid training, transportation of dangerous goods, S-100 fire suppression, and other courses.
We pay our employees according to BC's provincial employment standards legislation (or Alberta standards when working in Alberta). All employees are topped up to minimum wage in any pay period during which their piece-rate earnings are less than minimum wage. These rates also account for overtime where applicable, ie. based on time and a half for all hours after 8 hours in a day or after 40 hours in a single week. Our minimum wage equivalency rates for the 2019 are $12.65 until June 1st and $13.85 after June 1st on all BC projects, and $15.00 per hour on all Alberta projects. These rates are BEFORE overtime is factored in.
With respect to hours worked, we calculate these rates based upon full portal-to-portal hours (unlike some of our competitors), from the time that you leave camp until the time that you return to camp. It is typical for our employees to be awarded approximately 11 hours per work day, based upon departure from camp at 7am and return to camp by 6pm. Some of our competitors only record 8 hours per day for hours worked, which is detrimental to their employees. Recording full portal-to-portal hours is important not just for our first-time planters as they ramp up to full production in the first month of work, but also to our highly productive long-term employees who require a Record of Employment at the end of their seasonal work term.
Folklore strives to set the standard for professionalism with respect to equipment and operations in our remote camps. We invest significantly in kitchens, showers, and other camp infrastructure to ensure that our planters have the best possible remote tent camp living conditions based upon the conditions that we work in. We truck in potable water to all of our camps for drinking water and kitchen use, by using certified water delivery services, and all water deliveries are tested on-site to ensure that they meet Food Safe regulations. All of our camp structures are carefully cleaned, inspected, and serviced each fall and winter during the off-season, including pumps, generators, and all other equipment.
We generally seek planting contracts which are on the easy end of the spectrum with respect to technical specifications, to ensure a relatively easy ramp-up period for our first-time planters. Company-wide, our camps typically exceed an average of greater than 70% experienced planters, so our first-year planters are usually surrounded by a relatively high number of experienced co-workers to assist with mentoring and moral support.
Folklore Contracting is intent on building long-lasting relationships with both clients and employees. We strive to create a work environment in which our employees are safe and productive, and we aim to maximize the satisfaction of our many clients.
Additional Salary Information:
Tree Planters are paid per tree (piece rate). Per tree price depends on the difficulty of the land being planted and varies from day to day. Per tree price will be between $0.125 and $0.26 (12 and 26 cents). Typically, planters will make between $200 and $500 a day for a total of between $10,000 and $26,000 a planting season (late April to mid-August).
Many of the following benefits are industry specific and are not guaranteed by all silviculture employers.
Low living costs. Folklore deducts only $25.00/day plus GST in BC and $27.00/day plus GST in Alberta which will cover the worker’s food during work days (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), transportation costs, and internet.
Transportation provided. Once the season starts company trucks are provided for work use as well as day off personal use.
Food prepared. High quality camp cooks are hired and provide hearty, delicious, and at times elaborate meals. Breakfast and dinner are served hot and ready, and lunch items are provided buffet style.
Minimum-wage Top-up. For first year workers, there is a learning curve that comes with planting trees. Many new workers are not able to plant enough to make minimum wage for the first few weeks to a month of the season. Folklore is committed to paying their employees minimum wage ‘top ups’ until they are fast enough to plant more.
Professional payroll system. Folklore guarantees that apart from the first pay date (three weeks after the first day of work), that payment to employees are made via direct deposit every two weeks throughout the entire season. Detailed ‘paystubs’ are also provided bi-weekly that break down the specific earnings of each employee, including stat and vacation pay, as well as tax deductions.
Superior equipment. Bush camp equipment/amenities vary considerably throughout the silviculture industry and have a significant impact on the quality of life for most workers. Folklore continues to invest in new/ high quality equipment (i.e. trucks, ATVs, kitchens, generators, privies, showers, tent structures, heating devices, first aid equipment, etc.) to help ensure a high quality of camp and workplace production and enjoyment.
Safety focused environment. Rigorous training, first aid equipment that exceeds provincial standards, properly maintained vehicles, top-notch camp structures and equipment, a culture of caring – all of which ensures that camp and worksites are safe for all workers. Folklore is committed to the well-being of its workforce.
Job-specific training. For most people, tree planting is a huge learning curve that requires a significant amount of time and energy to be successful. The quality of training that is provided has a direct effect on how quickly a new worker improves their performance and therefore how much they can earn. Folklore provides extensive pre, early, and all-season training to their workers. The quality of this training translates to increased earnings for new planters.
Compensation for work outside of planting. Folklore pays for work performed outside of the act of planting trees, including camp setups, driving, and stock unloading.
Modified work program. Folklore has an extensive modified work program that is in place to support people who develop injury during the season. Through the program, the worker receives modified jobs and pay while they heal until they are able to return to planting.
Physiotherapy support. During the planting season, Folklore partners with a physiotherapy clinic. This support has had an enormous positive impact thanks to a comprehensive program that helps mitigate or eliminate tendonitis and a number of other common planting-related injuries. The full program includes pre-season training for planters, in-house training sessions for management and first-aid personnel, and site visits & presentations.
Start Up Costs:
Travel to Prince George BC. This will vary based on where the worker is traveling from and how they get there.
Pre-season living arrangements. In most cases, there will be a few days before the season that a worker may have to find food and lodging before camp is set up. This cost varies depending on the living arrangement. It is common for planters to split motel or Airbnb room costs. Planters are responsible for their own food and lodging before the season starts, as well as on non-working days (days off).
Equipment. Planters are responsible for providing their own clothes, boots, rain gear, personal tent, toiletries, etc. These costs depend on each individual as they decide their price range of these needs. Additional to this, planters are responsible for acquiring work-specific equipment like planting bags, silvicool bags ($96.30 CAD new), plot cord ($10.00 new), planting shovel ($56.00 new), and whistle ($5.00 new).
Worth keeping in mind is that the first payday occurs three weeks after the first day of work (and then bi-weekly after that). Workers must make sure that they are able to afford to wait the three weeks before their first pay cheque.
A successful applicant will possess the following characteristics:
Must be a Canadian or possess a valid work visa.
Is able to commit to work from late April/early May until August 15, 2019.
Is able to meet pre-season fitness standards outlined in job interview at time of employment.
Demonstrates competency in verbal communication, familiarity with the outdoors, problem solving, leadership skills, and teambuilding.
Duties and Responsibilities
Job Summary: tree planters are tasked with the timely planting of seedlings according to the specifications provided at the beginning of each planting contract. These specifications include but are not limited to tree quality, density, and stock handling. Planters are required to self-audit their work and are expected to meet certain production goals set by management.
To meet planting contract specifications and production targets.
To help with camp setup, maintenance, and take down between and during contracts.
To communicate relevant information to management regarding progress, issues, emergencies, on-site hazards, and required support throughout work day.
To keep record of the type and amount of trees planted in a specific area as well as the production total at the end of work day total.
To meet stock handling requirements at various points of seedling transportation.
To perform the work assigned according to Folklore and client’s safety policy and best practices.