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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.

MERIT CANADA: Building Confidence in Canada – Growing National Prosperity

ICBA is a member of Merit Canada.

Merit Canada, representing more than 70 per cent of Canada’s construction industry—today released Building Confidence in Canada: Growing National Prosperity, a five-pillar plan to unleash significant, sustainable and shared prosperity for all Canadians as we enter a new decade. The five pillars are:

  1. Investment, Trade and Growth;
  2. Open and Fair Government Procurement;
  3. Responsible Resource Development;
  4. Building Enabling and Sustainable Infrastructure; and,
  5. Skills, Training and Education.

“A growing economy provides people with jobs and governments with tax revenues to pay for health, education and social programs,” said Walter Pamic, Merit Canada Spokesperson. “Merit Canada is providing the blueprint to support a strong construction sector which employs approximately 1.5 million men and women, grow our economy, and ensure prosperity for all Canadians.”

“The stakes are high in this federal election,” said Pamic. “On October 21, we encourage all Canadians to think carefully about the challenges our country is facing and to cast a ballot for candidates committed to the investment, jobs and opportunities required to support the important health, education, and social programs upon which we all depend.”

Please visit www.meritcanada.ca/decision2019 to read the detailed blueprint.

Merit Canada is the national voice of Canada’s provincial Open Shop construction associations. Its roughly 5,000 members employ more than 100,000 Canadians. Merit Canada is the voice of the approximately 70 per cent of the construction contractors and the men and women working in construction who build more than 70 per cent of the industrial, commercial, and institutional, and residential construction projects across the country. Merit Canada was created in 2008 to fight for fairness and transparency in government infrastructure project procurement on behalf of construction contractors and workers. Through its provincial partnerships in seven provinces across Canada, Merit Canada helps Open Shop employers develop the next generation of construction trades workers.

IN THE NEWS: Company explains why Horgan’s union monopoly hurts taxpayers

Surrey’s LMS Reinforcing Steel Group s one of BC’s great success stories – and a proud ICBA member. But they’re part of the 85% of the BC construction industry that the Horgan NDP don’t want working on the new Pattullo or Broadway subway.

And it’s taxpayers who will be hurt most, as they explained to Business in Vancouver:

While LMS has worked on many of B.C.’s largest infrastructure projects over the past 20 years, it won’t be working on the $1.4 billion Pattullo Bridge project.

LMS runs a non-union shop, and the BCNDP’s government’s project labour agreement for the bridge project essentially excludes LMS workers.

“Our price would probably be 20% lower than what they’re going to receive for bids now,” McNeil said. “This NDP position has really forced us not to price our work.”

In other words, the company isn’t even bidding on the project.

McNeil said the impact of that decision has more implications for taxpayers than for LMS, which has plenty of work.

“The cost will escalate. You’re taking out one of the two largest companies in B.C. [which] won’t price the work.”

Tell John Horgan to smarten up at www.johnsoldout.ca.