Community Benefits Agreement: Industry Stakeholders Taking Action
On Monday, July 16, BC’s NDP government revealed details of a highly controversial “Community Benefits Agreement” which goes far beyond the traditional CBA model.
VICA certainly supports any initiative that promotes apprentices, indigenous peoples, and women in the trades but, in doing so, any agreements must be good for all Vancouver Islanders and British Columbians.
As champions of fair, open, and transparent procurement practices, we denounce any subjective or preferential eligibility requirements. As Canadians, we object to this assault on our freedom of thought and peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms. Here's what you need to know, and what you can do about it.
What It Is:
- A new Crown Corporation that will hire only union workers for construction of major public projects.
- All construction worker payroll and benefits will run through this government Crown Corporation.
- The Crown Corporation will be called “BC Infrastructure Benefits Inc.” (BCIB) and will be considered the Employer of all employees working under the scope of the CBA.
- Contractors must recognize the BCIB as the employer.
- Open-shop companies can bid on projects but their employees will be required to join a designated union (the newly-created “Allied Infrastructure and Related Construction Council of BC”) after 30 days on the job.
- The Allied Infrastructure and Related Construction Council of BC is a conglomerate of the International Building Trades Unions (BTU).
- The first two projects that will be procured this way are:
- The Pattullo Bridge replacement project is currently in RFQ (until September 27)
- Kamloops-Alberta Highway 1 expansion to four lanes
- $0.32 per hour will be deducted from each worker’s pay cheque, and $0.25 of that will pay for the administration of the new Crown Corporation.
- $0.25 will be contributed to the Council Administration Fund
- $0.06 will be contributed in equal parts to each of the following: Rehabilitation Fund, Industry Health and Safety Fund, SkillPlan
- $0.01 will be contributed to the Jurisdictional Assignment Plan Fund
- The CBA includes employees hired to perform construction work on the project including Owner Operators, and including employees of Contractors who provide Security Guard and Fire Prevention on the Site.
- All unions, even if they are not a member of the BC Building Trades, are bound by this agreement.
Premier Horgan claims this approach will drive apprenticeship, training, and employment opportunities for women and indigenous people, that projects will run more safely, efficiently, and economically, and that there will only be a modest 4 to 7 per cent increase in construction costs.
- VICA does not support this CBA; it contravenes many of our provincial body's (BCCA) Industry Policy Statements.
- While Community Benefit Agreements can have positive impacts when done properly and in partnership with industry, in this instance the name “CBA” name is being co-opted to disguise a union labour agreement.
- We believe it amounts to conscription of British Columbia's construction workforce.
- This policy contravenes the obligation of government for fair, open and transparent procurement practices.
- BC’s construction industry is facing a skilled worker shortage: restricting and creating barriers to employment and project opportunities will make this problem worse.
- It is incorrect in today’s marketplace that union employers pay better, train more, offer better benefits packages, or prioritize safety more than open-shop employers.
- The CBA potentially violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees our rights to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the right to be treated equally.
- This CBA tips the balance of power away from union employers to the unions themselves, subsequently undermining the role of all employers in the construction industry, whether union or open-shop.
- The CBA will result in greater expense to taxpayers.
What You Can Do About It:
Join BCCA's grassroots letter writing campaign to tell Premier Horgan, your local MLAs, and the BC MP’s that represent our province in Ottawa that this CBA will not be accepted by our industry.
Register today for BCCA's Member-Only Town Hall Meeting
This might be the most important industry topic you’ll discuss this year. As a respected and influential member of the Vancouver Island Construction Association, your presence and participation are crucial for our success as we work to craft an official industry response to government. Seating is limited.
Date: Thursday, September 6, 2018 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM - Standing room still available!
Location: Coast Bastion Hotel, 11 Bastion Street, Nanaimo (map)
For meetings in Vancouver, Prince George, or Kelowna, click here.
Technology Students Available for Hire for 2019 Summer
Feeling the love: Construction leaders contribute to the community through charity casino
Canadian Construction Association (CCA) introduces mentorship pilot program
Mazzei Electric & Waymark Architecture recognized for their work at Business Excellence Awards
Why Millennials Are Great for Engineering and Construction [Excerpt]
Exposing the vulnerable side of cranes and other heavy machinery through hackers
BC Government launches southern Vancouver Island transportation strategy
Targeted relief on Aluminium and Steel: Stability is still needed
Taking Care of #1 This Winter
Island construction companies support local families through VICA's Holiday Toy Drive
Lean Construction: Changing The Way Industry Works Together
CVRD Issues RFP for Water Treatment Project Following Grant Funding Announcement
Victoria Airport Authority Announces New Directors; Paul Gerrard of Irwin Industries Elected
Canadian Construction Industry on the Hill: Unite. Evolve. Lead
CCA applauds government’s initiatives to restore business confidence
Q3 2018: Apartment building stalls in the CRD; growth accelerates in the Alberni-Clayoquot & Mount Waddington RD
Contract Awarded for Coastal Communities Social Procurement Initiative
Gender Equality Conference Aims to Explore Gender Biases in the Workplace
NIC Plumbing apprentice urges women to explore the trades
October 31: A Spirited Time for the Construction Industry
Suicide the second leading cause of death in the construction industry
A fresh face for the Vancouver Island Construction Association Board of Directors
Legislation better protects temporary foreign workers from exploitation
VICA Members Volunteer Time & Supplies for HeroWork's latest "Radical Renovation"
BECOME A MEMBER TODAY!
The construction industry is a dynamic and exciting realm that faces both unique challenges and extraordinary opportunities. By joining VICA, you not only build your business, but you also build up the industry you're proud to be a part of.JOIN NOW