Great news for unionized workers in BC –

Great News for B.C. Workers!  BC’s provincial government just announced a new, landmark framework for major infrastructure projects in BC. Community Benefits Agreements or CBAs set out hiring provisions on publicly funded infrastructure projects and includes provisions for the hiring of qualified local workers, Indigenous people, apprentices and women in trades.

The first CBAs will be applied to the Vancouver’s proposed new  $1.4 billion Pattullo Bridge and a four-lane highway project between Kamloops and Alberta.    All qualified workers will be given opportunity to be hired on the project, starting with local, Indigenous and under-represented groups.  Once on the project, all workers will temporarily become members of a union for the duration of the project. They will receive union wages, union benefits andhttp://bit.ly/CommunityBenefitsAgreement. access to union training, safety programs and grievance servicing.

Check out the key benefits of a CBA – http://bit.ly/CommunityBenefitsAgreement

This is a big step forward for union labour in our province.  Show your support for Community Benefits by joining the campaign. http://letsbuildbc.ca/join-us/

There is a lot of misinformation being circulated about CBAs from those opposed to this new model, particularly from the non-union sector.  Please see below for the FACTS on CBAs.

Myth

BC Building Trades unions only represent 15% of the industry.

Fact

There are 69,000 non-residential construction workers in British Columbia according to Build Force Canada’s 2018 Construction Outlook. The BC Building Trades is the largest supplier of labour in the province of British Columbia. With over 40,000 members, we actually represent 58% of the non-residential construction sector. Community Benefits Agreements only cover non-residential construction projects.

Myth

The Project Labour Agreement used on the Vancouver Island Hwy Project increased costs.

Fact

Some are quick to cite but never produce a copy of a Vancouver Board of Trade study from 1994, which projected cost overruns before the project had even meaningfully started. In fact, the Island Highway, which started in 1994 and finished in 2000, came in under the projected cost estimate. This estimate was made in 1993 by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways before a Project Labour Agreement with the Building Trades was even contemplated. Further, a BC Auditor General report found the VIHP was “good value for money spent”. (Link: http://www.bcauditor.com/pubs/1996/report3/vancouver-island-highway-project-planning-and-design

 Myth

A Community Benefits Agreement will restrict the number of bidders on the projects.

 Fact

Project agreements historically increase the number of bidders on projects because contractors have a level playing field. During the Vancouver Island Highway project, competition increased from an average of 3.7 bids on traditional tendering to over 6 bids on VIHP.

Myth

Only unionized contractors can bid on the project.

Fact

All contractors are welcome to bid on the project and bring their core team.

Myth

Only BC Building Trades workers can work on the project under the Community Benefits Agreement.

Fact

All qualified workers will be given opportunity to be hired on the project. Starting with local, Indigenous and under-represented groups. Once on the project, all workers will temporarily become members of a union for the duration of the project. They will receive union wages, union benefits and access to union training, safety programs and grievance servicing.

Myth

The low-bid model used by the BC Liberals provided better value for government money.

Fact

Multiple projects constructed under the low-bid model ran over budget:

 

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