Framework Bargaining Update

Good day Brothers and Sisters

The process for Collective Bargaining for our Provincial Construction Collective Agreement, with the Building Trades Unions in Alberta is unique. After the 2007 round of bargaining a process was put into place to allow all unions to bargain the common issues as a collective against their respective Registered Employer Organizations (REO’s), with the remainder of Trade specific issues being bargained at Small Table with each Individual Trade. For the majority of the trades the REO is the Construction Labour Relations of Alberta (CLRA), but the Electricians have the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Alberta and the Boilermakers have the Boilermakers Contractors’ Association.  Currently there are 12 Unions signed on to the Memorandum of Agreement for Framework Bargaining.

In this process each individual Union has the ability to walk away from Framework Bargaining and bargain their Provincial Collective Agreement individually at Small Table Bargaining. However if they choose this path they are not part of Framework Bargaining and have no input on the process or the outcomes at that table. Traditionally the terms from Framework Bargaining are eventually adopted into the Collective Agreements of the Unions that are not part of the Framework process. This is one of the reasons that I chose to bring to the membership that Local 110 sign on to Framework Bargaining and have our say in the process and I still feel this is the best option for our Local.

That being said our Union and our Trade has unique needs and not all issues that are being brought to Framework can be properly addressed in the best interests of our Local. So in consultation with the Local 110 Bargaining Committee our Local has exercised the option to opt out of the following Framework Bargaining Issues:

Competitiveness and Compensation:

b) Wage Levels

c) Premiums

i) overtime;

ii) shifts;

iii) supervision;

h) Equipment: tools, clothing, PPE

k) Other benefits plans and contributions;

m) Grievance processing;

q) Show up time/stand down time

Workforce Development:

e.g. contributions to and the operation of the Workforce Development Trust Fund,

Project Performance:

a) Hiring

b) Jurisdiction / composite crews

c) Ratios (apprentices, foremen, general foremen)

d) Membership requirements

e) Layoff protocols

f) Dispatch Ready / Work Ready / Assessed for Physical Demands

Local 110 taking the option to Opt Out of these issues will not remove them from the bargaining process, but it will allow our Local to highlight our individual needs as Mechanical Insulators directly to our contractors. Unfortunately with the current Government Legislation our Union will have a limited amount of time to bargain productively with our REO. The reason for this is under Legislation once 75% of trades have ratified their Collective Agreements all trades still bargaining are moved into a path of Interest based Arbitration. Once the Trade is moved to Interest based Arbitration the members no longer have the right to vote on the terms of the Collective Agreement and the individual Union does not have the ability to legally vote to strike. This in my opinion is the major hindrance to the Collective Bargaining process for Construction Unions in Alberta.

As Local 110 moves through the Bargaining process I will provide updates when possible on our Web Site and Facebook page, but the majority of updates will be provided at our monthly General Membership Meetings and Information Meetings.

In Solidarity

Kevin Lecht