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TRAINING THURSDAY: The New Labour Relations Code and You: How the Code Changes may impact your Business

Significant changes have taken place to the Labour Relations Code recently, and we want to keep you updated with our two-hour The New Labour Relations Code and You seminar November 1 in Burnaby!

The Labour Relations Code sets out requirements for unionized companies. However, the Code also sets out the rules that apply to non-union companies that Unions are seeking to certify. There have been important changes to the Code that you will want to understand and prepare for.

This two-hour seminar will outline the recent significant changes to the Labour Relations Code that are important to both union and non-union companies, including:

  • Changes to employer free speech rights
  • Faster voting period
  • New raid period rules for construction companies
  • Easier first collective agreement arbitration access for unions
  • Section 54 adjustment planning changes
  • Extended freeze period after union certification
  • Increased fines
  • Filing requirements for collective agreements
  • Expedited arbitration changes

Register for this or any of our other upcoming sessions at www.icba.ca/courses.

 

TRAINING THURSDAY: Strategic & Cost-Effective Step Code Compliance for Part 9 Buildings

Concerned about how to achieve your Step Code targets effectively? We have the course for you! Our half-day Strategic & Cost-Effective Stop Code Compliance for Part 9 Buildings workshop is in Burnaby October 29, Victoria November 7, and Kelowna November 18!

This course will not only enhance your comprehension of the Step Code for Part 9 buildings, it will enable you to prioritize the energy conservation measures you consider for your projects based on construction cost and energy impact.  By attending this seminar, you will:

  • Refresh your understanding of building science fundamentals
  • Understand the Step Code performance targets, and to what extent their achievement is influenced by:
    • Building envelope components (windows, wall assemblies, etc.)
    • Building airtightness
    • HVAC equipment selections
  • Improve your ability to:
    • Facilitate an efficient design and documentation cycle, from acquisition of development permit through to submission of the building permit application
    • Ensure design details, particularly related to airtightness, are successfully implemented in the field
  • Learn to predict which Step Code projects will be especially challenging
  • Be able to identify and rank the most cost-effective measures for achieving Step Code targets, and estimate corresponding cost premiums
  • Expand your knowledge about high efficiency mechanical systems and their relevance to Step Code, including:
    • Common and not-so-common options for hot water heating, space conditioning and ventilation
    • Proper application, selection, and installation of equipment

And, you’ll earn 4 CPD Points from BC Housing!

Register for these or any of our other upcoming courses at www.icba.ca/courses.

ICBA OP/ED – Special Interests Driving the NDP Agenda

By Chris Gardner, President, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association
This op-ed first ran in The Vancouver Sun on October 7, 2019.

Taxpayers, small businesses and those looking to put their investment dollars to work in British Columbia cannot be blamed for wondering how much more the playing field can be tilted against them by the NDP Government.

The signs of an economic winter are everywhere: slumping retail sales, tanking real estate sales, job losses, the forestry fallout, and exports down. No wonder the Business Council recently cut back its growth forecast for B.C. for the next three years.

Ask most small business owners, and they will tell you they’re worried about the future. In Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses surveys, the optimism of B.C. business owners is now the lowest in the country (and still falling). An ICBA survey showed 51% of construction contractors felt John Horgan’s government was on the wrong track in dealing with business; only 8% said they were satisfied with how the NDP is treating them.

Fairness, balance and even-handedness in Victoria is deliberately being replaced by a policy agenda defined by special interests.  In just two years, Horgan has doubled the amount taken in taxes from businesses. And, when you add the additional taxes paid by individuals, the NDP have raised taxes by nearly $6 billion. It’s a breathtaking number.

Last month, 46 business associations, representing every part of the provincial economy, pulled out of the NDP’s review of WorkSafeBC, citing a “clear apprehension of bias” on the part of the reviewer appointed by Victoria. What was promised as an open and transparent process was anything but – it has been tilted firmly in favour of the NDP’s long-time supporters at the B.C. Federation of Labour.

One wonders if the NDP’s sinking fiscal fortunes is a reason why: WorkSafe gets all of its revenue from employers and is sitting on reserves of more than $2 billion. Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and PEI have all refunded employers when surpluses hit record levels.  However, employers in B.C. are not expecting to get any of their money back any time soon.

Horgan’s approach to governing for special interests has also manifested itself in his building trades union-only monopoly on the Pattullo Bridge, the Broadway Skytrain expansion, and Highway 1 construction projects. Horgan has frozen out 85 per cent of the men and women in construction in B.C. to give an expensive, sweetheart deal to his building trade union donors and supporters.

The message from the NDP Government is clear: fair and open bidding doesn’t matter in B.C. You have to play ball and support the NDP’s favoured unions to get taxpayer-funded work.

It’s offensive and unfair that thousands of B.C. owned and operated construction companies are being passed over by their government for work on projects all B.C. taxpayers are funding.

Another insult to everyday British Columbians is watching the NDP’s train-wreck on ride-sharing.  The NDP spent the last two years doing everything they could to slow the emergence of ride-sharing in the province. What we are about to see here will satisfy no one – not the taxi industry, not Uber and Lyft, and certainly not the travelling public. The end result will be a far cry from the ride-sharing models that have revolutionized choice in transportation in cities around the globe.

When it becomes more expensive to employ people, the price of goods and services go up. When taxes on your local small business increase, so do the prices you pay. When provincial construction projects become more expensive, the government passes that bill on to taxpayers. When a government puts special interests first, it makes life less affordable – a frightening thought in a place already as wildly expensive as B.C.

When you look at the scorecard, taxpayers, workers and small businesses looking for a fair shake from their government are not doing well. Higher taxes and regulations that do not make sense are turning away investment, jobs and opportunity.

It is easy to see why more people come to the conclusion that the system all-too-often seems rigged and that their own government is working against them.

IN THE NEWS: Horgan & Mayors Doom Massey Commuters To Another Decade of Traffic

Yesterday, ICBA put out a news release and music video calling on Premier John Horgan to reverse his mistake cancelling the Massey bridge project. The story has picked up a lot of press:

TRAINING THURSDAY: Negotiation Skills Workshop

Do you sometimes feel like you’re being taken advantage of when it comes to sitting down at the negotiation table? Our Negotiation Skills Workshop is here to help! Many people fail in negotiation because they walk away from the table when they could have done much better. In our one-day course, you’ll learn a proven, practical step-by-step approach to win-win negotiations and how to protect yourself from “hardball” negotiators.

Here’s what the course covers:

  • The most common negotiating mistakes people make and how to avoid them
  • Understanding the difference between Collaborative “win-win” and Competitive “hardball” negotiations and how to know what game you are playing
  • The characteristics of highly effective negotiators
  • Understanding the different sources of negotiating power
  • How to strengthen your bargaining position
  • How to create an open communication flow that allows you to deeply understand the other party
  • The 5-step process to quickly and effectively plan and prepare for your negotiations
  • How to determine your “walk-away point”
  • How to defend yourself against “hardball’ negotiators
  • How to counter the 5 common manipulative strategies being used against you
  • How to create win – win outcomes that ensure the other party lives up to their end of the bargain

You’ll also earn 1 Gold Seal Credit and 7 CPD Points from BC Housing.

Our next session is October 9 in Burnaby! You can register for any of these sessions, or any other ICBA training course, at www.icba.ca/courses.

Don’t miss your chance to register!

NEWS RELEASE: Horgan Must Make Up for Massive Massey Mistake

BURNABY—The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) released a new music video today, calling on Premier John Horgan to admit he made a mistake cancelling the 10-lane bridge in 2017 that would have fast-tracked a real solution for the province’s biggest traffic jam.

Everybody’s Stuck at Massey (Horgan Killed That Bridge Dead) was released on Facebook and YouTube this morning. It is a follow up to another parody released by ICBA last month – Traffic’s Back (Horgan’s Parking Lot) – which has been viewed more than 80,000 times on Facebook.

“John Horgan and the Metro Vancouver mayors have tunnel vision on this project – they cannot see past their own bias to the broader infrastructure needs in the south Fraser, and it is commuters and taxpayers who are paying the price for their mismanagement,” said Jordan Bateman, VP-Communications for ICBA. “In 2017, strictly because it was the BC Liberals who approved it, Horgan killed a ten-lane bridge that was $900 million under budget and would have been more than half-built today – stranding thousands of drivers and transit users for another decade.”

A Metro Vancouver task force yesterday voted to recommend a new eight-lane tunnel, but did not look at any cost analysis, business plans or timelines. The task force also undersized the new tunnel, restricting the new lanes to transit use only.

“Every day, the Massey’s three rush hour lanes are jammed, causing the biggest backup in B.C., and one of the worst in Canada,” said Bateman. “The mayors and John Horgan’s solution is to replace those three jammed lanes with exactly the same number of lanes. It’s ludicrous to spend billions on something that will last half a century and not substantially increase capacity or give relief to drivers.”

The tunnel option is more about the provincial government punting a new crossing down the road, Bateman said. Not a single dollar has been allocated for a new Massey in the province’s three-year spending plan, and a new tunnel will require years’ worth of new study and environmental applications.

“Given the Premier’s preference that this be a tunnel and that the process start over from scratch, it does not seem like he is terribly committed to building any new crossing at Massey,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “Because of its sweetheart deal with its building trades union supporters – cutting 85 per cent of construction workers out of building those projects – this provincial government is grossly overspending elsewhere. Now the cheques are coming home to be cashed, and the government is out of money to do anything at Massey. Sadly, it’s the Massey drivers who are paying the price for the government’s union monopoly and incompetence.”

Both videos point viewers to BuildMassey.ca, an ICBA website where people can email Horgan and Transportation Minister Claire Trevena, demanding an adequate new crossing be built.

Links:

  • Everybody’s Stuck at Massey (Horgan Killed That Bridge Dead) – ICBA’s new 1990s-style parody: Facebook and YouTube
  • Traffic’s Back (Horgan’s Parking Lot) – ICBA’s 1970s-style parody, with 80,000+ Facebook views: Facebook and YouTube

FACT CHECK: When it comes to training numbers, unions love their fudge

The BC building trades unions aren’t exactly known for their efficiency or effectiveness, which is just another reason why they are losing market share (and having to rely on unfair monopolies being handed to them by their friends in the John Horgan NDP government).

In their annual report on training, they had some numbers that should make even the most ardent trade unionist pause.

The first number we’d like to point out is this:

That sounds great, doesn’t it? Of course, we know the truth – only 18% of all trades apprentices in BC are affiliated with any union, according to the BC Government’s numbers. Check out this graph:

Indeed, according to the government’s official statistics, only 5,260 apprentices are sponsored by any union.

The building trades fudge their annual report number by including “trainees.” We don’t blame them – their numbers are so pitiful they need to spin them somehow.

(We would humbly point out that ICBA directly sponsors more than 1,200 apprentices and directly trains 4,000 people a year—and that doesn’t include the thousands and thousands of apprentices and others trained by our member companies.)

To train those 7,387 folks, the building trades claim this:

That 52 trainees per union staffer. Or an average of one trainee per paid staffer per week. Not much of a workload!

And guess what – that translates into unbelievable cost:

That’s $2,900+ in union dues being spent on each trainee. Or, if you prefer, $151,937 on every single one of those 141 “full time and part time staff” the unions brag about.

This is wildly inefficient and expensive. Union members should be asking their locals why it’s so bloody expensive to employ these trainers and to train these people.

Fun fact about ICBA: we have 5 full time staff dedicated to our 1,200+ apprentices, 4,000+ trainees, and helping our 2,000 member and client companies train their folks. And it’s not costing $150K+ per staffer to do this work. (We also contract instructors – experts in their fields – to do the hands-on training work.)

No one should ever cheap out on training or apprenticing. But the building trades seem a lot more concerned about sucking every dollar possible from their workers than they do in providing them with good value.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Bluebeam Revu

Does your office use Bluebeam Revu? This award-winning software is used by some of the largest construction companies in the world and our training department wants to teach you how to use it! We have two courses coming up in Langley that will help you learn how to better use this software.

We’re starting with Field Quality and Deficiency Management with Bluebeam Revu on September 26. This course will provide you and your staff with the knowledge and skills to get the quality of work on your projects under control, and how to develop an effective tracking system that is easy to manage. You’ll also earn 7.5 CPD Points from BC Housing!

On September 27, we’re offering Document Control with Bluebeam Revu, which will teach you document control practices using the software. You will learn how to take plain PDF construction documents and create smart PDFs that can give project teams accurate and up to date information at all times. This course will give you 1 Gold Seal Credit and 7 CPD Points from BC Housing.

We also have Bluebeam Basics on September 24, and Estimating with Bluebeam Revu on September 25!

Register for these or any of our other upcoming sessions at www.icba.ca/courses.

CONSTRUCTION MONITOR: Open Shop Dominant in Trades Training

The Fall 2019 edition of ICBA’s Construction Monitor is out, and it looks at the role of open shop companies in training apprentices. 

It’s their last seemingly plausible claim to fame and relevance: the notion that the B.C. Building Trades unions play a uniquely important role in training construction workers.

Their only problem: it’s a complete myth.

At ICBA, we’ve always known the open shop is leading the way in apprenticeships, and now we’ve proven it. Data obtained from the Industry Training Authority shows an even smaller role in apprenticeship training for the old-school unions than most might have guessed.

In B.C. today, non-union construction companies – like the ones who make up ICBA – sponsor four times as many apprentices as unions. Open shop accounts for 23,172 – or 81.5 per cent – of the 28,432 British Columbians currently pursuing construction trades certification. The unions’ share is only 15 per cent.

Apprenticeship training is fundamentally important to the long-term health of our industry and to our provincial economy. And ICBA members and other open shop contractors are the ones taking on the largest share of this crucial responsibility.

The Building Trades often forget that learning a skill and mastering a craft happens on the job working side-by-side with colleagues who have experience and expertise.

All of this makes the NDP Government’s move to Building Trades-union-only monopolies on major taxpayer- funded projects so offensive. Freezing out 85% of construction workers is unfair, discriminatory and costly to workers and taxpayers.

For the full Construction Monitor, click HERE.