Let’s maximize community benefits from public construction
On July 16, 2018, Premier John Horgan announced that upcoming Government of B.C. projects will be constructed using a Community Benefits Agreement.
The new Agreement will come into effect starting with the reconstruction of the Pattulo Bridge in Metro Vancouver. It will require employers to recruit locally, provide apprenticeship and other skills training, and offer Indigenous people and women the chance to succeed in well-paid jobs.
The announcement was good news for workers and communities. It followed a year-long campaign by IUOE Local 115 and the BC Building Trades.
The Agreement will support:
Local Hire. Under the B.C. Community Benefits Agreement, local workers and local companies are guaranteed a full and fair opportunity to benefit from government-funded projects, with a special commitment to hiring workers within a 100 kilometre radius of the construction site.
Indigenous Workers. Indigenous people will be given first priority for hiring and training.
Women in Trades. Women in trades and other disadvantaged groups will finally get priority in all hiring and training on government-funded projects.
Apprenticeship Opportunities. Projects will target an apprenticeship ratio of 25 per cent, variable on a trade by trade basis and in paramount consideration of workplace safety.
Union Wages. Every worker will be treated fairly and paid a union wage for their work.
Under the Community Benefit Agreement, any contractor in the construction industry can bid on and perform project work. The provision for union wages means workers will be paid fairly for their skills and be able to support their families. The agreement includes a no-strike, no-lockout clause, so there will be no labour disruptions for the duration of the project.
If you support the Community Benefit Agreement, here’s what you can do:
– Learn more by visiting the Government of B.C. website.
– Write to your Member of the Legislature to tell them you support the government’s decision to advance the interests of working people. You can identify your MLA and send them an email through the B.C. Legislative Assembly website.
– Encourage your co-workers and fellow union members to learn more.
Examples of how IUOE Local 115 campaigned for you:
IUOE 115 Business Manager Brian Cochrane published an article in the Province newspaper in November, 2017.
Brian Cochrane wrote a letter to Premier John Horgan in December, 2017.
Local 115 communicated the benefits of past project agreements, such as on the recently completed John Hart Generating Station Replacement.