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BC union fights based on Hotel California approach

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Interesting column in the Vancouver Sun today about the tight ties between the NDP and the labour movement. Though many readers may shake their heads at how these tight ties qualify as news, read on.

What’s at issue is conflict in the labour family. The Licensed Practical Nurses wanted to move from the Hospital Employees Union to the B.C. Nurses Union shows. That means the BCNU is now in the bad books of all the other unions – and the BC NDP. As the Vaughn Palmer points out, NDP Adrian Dix was as noticeable in his absence at the BCNU convention as he was noticed at the HEU confab.

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ICBA squad bowls for Big Brothers

Bowling Big Brothers

ICBA staff travelled back in time and out to the bowling alley to take part in the annual Bowl for Big Brothers for the fourth straight year. The team dressed the part for the 80s night theme and did their part to raise funds to help the charity.

The ICBA squad raised more than $700 that will go to help support the Big Brothers mentoring programs that help kids reach their full potential by heightening self esteem and enabling them to make healthy decisions.

You can get more information on Bowl for Big Brothers and the organization on their event website.

ICBA offers savings tips for nurses union

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One of our members recently got their hands on a tender bid for construction work with the BC Nurses Union.

The biggest and boldest part of the call for bids were three giant words:

UNION TRADES ONLY

Besides being a bit of overkill in terms of typography, it’s also a contract condition that will hurt the nurses.

That’s why ICBA President Philip Hochstein sent a letter to the nurses offering free advice on how the could save money on their construction work – and plough the money that flows from taxpayers, to nurses, to the union, back in to services for their membership. Open the contract to all bidders, including the more than 80% belonging to the Open Shop.

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Training Tuesday – Spotting Hazards

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ICBA’s Hazard Recognition and Control session on March 11 will give  participants the knowledge they need to understand the principle of hazard recognition and control as well as the methods used to ensure hazards are identified and adequately addressed in the workplace.

By the time the session is over, sessions participants will have the tools they need to identify hazards, assess them, and score them by priority. They will also learn methods to take the information gathered and develop Safe Work Procedures to mitigate the hazards.

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Trades training contest from ITA

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The Industry Training Authority has a contest running until March 5 looking for workers in the trades to complete the sentence “ITA. My ticket to…” as part of their Faces of the Trades promotion.

They’re looking for workers to tell their own story about how a career in the trades has positively impacted their life. Workers who share their thoughts on the benefits of  being a skilled trades worker get a shot a the price – a featured role in a short video and a $25 gift card from Tim Hortons. The hope is that the stories will highlight the benefits of trades training to the next generation of workers.

An entry form, details on how to apply, and contest rules are available here. The deadline to apply is March 5 so don’t delay!

 

The Cost of Family Day

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There was a solid analysis of the business cost of Family Day in today’s Vancouver Sun by adjunct professor John H. Redekop from Trinity Western University. Tallying up the holiday pay and bonus pay in both the public and private sectors, and adding in lost businesses for the businesses (many of them construction companies) who had to close for the day – Redekop estimated that the B.C. economy took a $200 million hit.

It’s a great lesson in the real costs of something that too many people think is free.

Training Tuesday – Treat Me Tender (Laws)

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There are rules around procurement in British Columbia and ICBA’s course Tender Law: Procurement in the Construction Industry aims to  provide a refresher and update on the current state of the procurement and tendering laws in BC. Keeping current on what rights and obligations is critical to those who wish to successfully participate in B.C.’s vibrant construction industry.

The tender process will be examined with an emphasis on how to make the best choices and minimize legal risks in the tender process and avoid costly situations for all parties.

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The BC Budget and Construction Companies

Budget

There has been  plenty of commentary about the provincial budget delivered last week in B.C. The budget is balanced, which in the big picture is good. It sends a message to the global investment community that B.C. is a prudent place – and a safe haven for investment.

ICBA’s major worry ahead of time was that the budget would be balanced by slashing critical investments in infrastructure. Though the total provincial capital budget (made up of government and Crown corporation projects) is going down (bad), it’s by a relatively small amount (good). Capital spending in B.C. will drop from $6.7 billion in 2012-13 to $6.2 billion in 2013-14, and then to $5.8 billion by 2015-16. As we pointed out in our recent Construction Monitor, infrastructure investment grows both the construction industry and the economy.

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