MA Girls in the Trades Conference a Success!

 The Massachusetts union labor and management communities came together for the 3rd annual “Girls in the Trades” conference. More than 500 young women came for a day of workshops, demonstrations, and a job fair to learn more about opportunities in the building trades. The goal is to increase young women’s interest in productive, rewarding careers in the trades, and to grow their ranks in the industry long term.

“Today was great! More than 500 girls got to hear from women in the industry that the trades are not just for the boys,” said Hannah LaCivita, of the Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School.

(Jeff Sullivan, Business Manager of District Council #35, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and Tom Gunning of the BTEA were all in attendance.)

In addition to sponsorship from the BTEA, our affiliate the Paint and Glass Employers Association of New England (PFEANE/GEANE) were well represented.  Sharon Tankel, President of Hub Glass Services, a contractor member was invited to address the conference.  “If girls are thinking of going into the trades, my message to them is simple: go for it! The industry is changing and more women are joining all the time,” said Ms. Tankel.

(Sharon Tankel of Hub Glass Services after her speech)

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito offered support on behalf of the Baker Administration. “The work that I can do along with Charlie Baker is to make sure that each one of you has the opportunity, equal to everyone else, to work at whatever career, whatever job, whatever industry, and at whatever place in this great Commonwealth.”

MA Statewide Contracting Opportunities Still Available!

The Massachusetts Operational Service Division (OSD) has asked BTEA again to promote the 3 Tradespersons Statewide Contracts. They want to identify union contractors available to bid on some small to mid-size state contracts for trade services required by state facilities.

Interested in this opportunity? If you are, please read over the flyer below!

Continue reading “MA Statewide Contracting Opportunities Still Available!”

Painters & Allied Trades Apprenticeship

The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 35’s Finishing Trades Institute accept Apprenticeship applications 10 months out of the year. Below are the eligibility requirements:

*IMPORTANT NOTE* – ONLY 25 APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED PER MONTH. 

BEFORE BEING ACCEPTED AS APPRENTICES, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the application form furnished by the Finishing Trades Institute of New England
  2. Be 18 years of age or older
  3. MUST PRODUCE A VALID DRIVERS LICENSE
  4. Be an American Citizen or be lawfully permitted to work in the United States of America
  5. Produce a copy of his/her high school diploma or GED or Job Corps Completion Certificate
  6. Be physically able to perform the work required of the trade
  7. Complete a favorable interview with an assigned DC #35 Interviewer
  8. Attend, and successfully complete, Apprentice Information Session
  9. Pass a drug screening

Each applicant who meets all minimum requirements will be evaluated for acceptance.

The Painters and Allied Trades Finishing Trades Institute of New Engalnd is an Equal Opportunity Training Program. We encourage woman and minorities to apply.

ACCEPTED APPLICATION PROCESS:

Apprentices who are accepted in the program will be required to complete 6000 hours of on the job training together with 450 hours of related Classroom Instruction. The classes are from September through April.

All Boston FTI-NE Apprentices will attend 4 Full Time, One week training sessions, spread out over a one year time period between the months of September and April.

APPRENTICE STANDARDS:

Once a member beings work they will be required to join the union soon after their first day of work.  The apprentice initiation fee is $100.00 and is non-refundable. They then are initiated into their local. Apprentices receive a 1000 hour probationary period.

APPRENTICE PAYSCALE:

Apprentices receive an increase in their pay every 750 hours of work performed. The apprentice is responsible for turning in their pay stubs each 750 hours in order to receive that increase.

REQUIRED TRAINING:

  • 10 Hour OSHA (Occupational Health & Safety)
  • Scaffolding
  • First Aid/CPR
  • PFT (Pulmonary Function Test)
  • ALTA (Ariel Lift Training)
  • Fall Protection (FP)

PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO ACCESS THE FTI-NE ONLINE APPLICATION:

https://fti.unionlogic.net/fti-ne

 

 

In addition, Suffolk Construction and Wynn Casino are looking for active union members. They can submit an application for employment at the link below.

If you know of someone already in the union, please have them go to our website at www.surveymonkey.com/r/3WJRY66 to submit an application. We will notify unions and subcontractors of their availability.  Help spread the word!

OSHA Inspections Down in 2016

Given the increasing focus on safety, you would expect OSHA had a busy year.  However, continuing an ongoing trend, OSHA inspections dropped to the lowest level in 20 years.  This marks the 4th consecutive year that inspections have fallen.

In the Northeast, inspections of construction contractors have fallen by more than 30% over the last 5 years from about 6,800 to about 4,700 total.

Osha Inspections

The graph above illustrates the Northeast average compared to the average with its three biggest states. These declines in the Northeast make up about a third of the overall decrease in construction inspections nationwide.

The OSHA budget peaked in 2012, but was down by about 3% in 2016. OSHA has cited budget cuts as causing the decrease in inspections. However they have found citations 5% more often than in 2015. In addition, appeals of OSHA citations were roughly equivalent in 2015 and 2016 at around 9%. BTEA recommends our members always work with our legal safety consultant before settling a case with OSHA.

Opportunity to become a Statewide Contractor

OSD

Kindly be advised that the Massachusetts Operational Service Division (OSD) has informed the BTEA about Tradespersons Statewide Contracts coming March 1st!  The aim is to provide regional coverage for trade services required by state facilities.  This process will begin by soliciting bidders for the services below (UNSPSC codes in parentheses):

  • Boiler Services (72-15-10)
  • Drain Services (70-17-18)
  • Electrician Services (72-15-15)
  • Fencing (72-15-40)
  • General Contractors (72-11-11)
  • Generator/Turbine Services (72-15-43)
  • Glass/Window/Doors (72-15-24)
  • HVAC/Sheet Metal Services (72-15-12)
  • Painting Services (72-15-13)
  • Plumbing Services (72-15-11)

OSD will be posting this initial Tradespersons Statewide Contract TRD01 bidding opportunity by March 1st in COMMBUYS, the state’s online procurement portal. TRD01 introduces this first wave of Statewide Contract trade categories, with many additional trade categories to be posted in the coming months. Attached is an informational flyer on TRDO1.

Interested in this opportunity? If you are, please follow the steps below so you are notified when the procurement process begins.

  •  If you are new to COMMBUYS:

Interested vendors must take action toward becoming a Statewide Contractor by registering as a vendor in COMMBUYS. Set up a COMMBUYS business profile – free of charge – to be able to receive solicitation notices in your areas of interest; submit quotes; and, if awarded a contract, transact business with the Commonwealth and other public entities. For assistance, download the vendor registration job aid. For businesses that may be eligible to participate in the Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP), be sure to review the SBPP application job aid.

  • If you are already registered in COMMBUYS:

Ensure that your profile is current and representative of the services you provide in order to receive related notifications. Find guidance to update your vendor profile.

  • To receive updates about the Statewide Contract TRD01 bidding opportunity:

This step is critical to receiving additional information. Interested TRD01 bidders must acknowledge the bid in COMMBUYS to receive future TRD01 email updates from COMMBUYS. Notifications will include the posting of the TRD01 Request for Response (RFR) documents, expected over the next few weeks. To acknowledge the bid, vendors must login to COMMBUYS, navigate to the TRD01 posting (Using the Advanced Search, enter TRD01 in the Bid Description field), and select “Yes” on the Acknowledge Receipt and View Solicitation window.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or the Operational Services Division directly and speak with either the COMMBUYS Help Desk or Contract Manager Betty Fernandez at (617) 720-3133.

New Secretary of Labor

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Donald Trump has selected Andy Puzder to serve as his Secretary of Labor.  The CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc. which owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s is an interesting selection by Trump who had toyed with appointing Victoria Lipnic, the current head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and a former Workforce Policy Counsel to the House.

Puzder is an interesting man, he attended Kent State, but dropped out in 1970 following the Kent State Shootings.  In his own words, “I spent the next three years attending concerts and marching on Washington”. After moving to Cleveland he graduated college and got his law degree.  As a young corporate lawyer he helped rescue Carl Karcher, founder of Carl’s Jr. from financial troubles. Years later, when CKE Restaurants fell into more financial difficulties after purchasing Hardee’s, Puzder was named CEO by the Board and tasked with turning it around.

Mr. Puzder has not been without controversy during his tenure. Franchisees overseen by CKE have been targeted by DOL in the past. Hardee’s Food Systems was found in violation of wage laws and ordered to give back pay to a group of 456 workers in 2006 and 2007. This money was owed for overtime on hourly employees. It is perhaps unsurprising then that Puzder has signaled that he opposes the Obama Overtime Rule which has already been blocked by the courts, and is most likely dead on arrival in a Trump Administration.

In addition, advocates calling for an increase in the Federal Minimum Wage will find Puzder opposes large raises of the minimum wage. $15 per hour will be out of the question because Pudzer opposed the Obama Administration attempt to raise it to $10.10 from the current $7.25.  When asked about the effect of raising the minimum wage, Mr. Puzder said it could lead to increased automation because machines are, “always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall or an age, sex or race discrimination case.”

The effect of a business executive running the labor department will be interesting to watch. Like Mr. Puzder, the Secretary of Labor has traditionally been a loyal supporter of the president, but unlike Mr. Puzder, most former Secretaries of Labor were career bureaucrats not as well versed in the corporate and financial worlds.