January 9, 2013
TDSB skilled trades contract renewal draws fire
Some unionized and non-unionized contractors say the Ontario government’s decision to renew the Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council’s contract with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is a “slap in the face.”
“While the McGuinty government strong-arms teachers and school boards to accept its austerity measures, they are renewing their sweetheart deals with a few privileged, old-style trade unions. That hypocrisy is costing taxpayers in Toronto and across Ontario millions,” said Sean Reid, federal and Ontario director of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA), whose member companies’ workers are primarily unionized by the Christian Labour Association of Canada.
PCA says despite their qualifications, their member companies are prevented under Ontario law from working for the TDSB and other public jurisdictions in Ontario because they are affiliated with the wrong union.
A recent study by Cardus, a Canadian think-tank, found that construction monopolies are costing Ontario taxpayers over $250 million every year. It says 25 per cent of Ontario taxpayers are affected by municipal labour monopolies in construction and that the City of Toronto alone could save almost $60 million using open tendering practices.
A Toronto Star investigation documented cases of inefficiency by the Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council, including $3,000 to install an electrical outlet and $143 to attach a pencil sharpener to a wall.
Merit Canada, which represents eight provincial open shop construction associations, is in favour of an open tendering approach for all projects that spend public funds.
“It is inconceivable that an organization that has been found to be inefficient in a provincially sponsored report and whose former workers are under police investigation has had its contract renewed. In no other sector could a service provider that has been documented to be costing far more than it should be rewarded with a new contract that lasts until 2014,” said Merit Canada president Terrance Oakey.
The Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council is comprised of the various building trades unions, which were part of the Working Families Coalition that spent millions of dollars to re-elect the Ontario Liberals in the last two provincial elections, says Merit.
“Short of trying to line up allies before the next election, there is no rational explanation for renewing this contract,” explained Oakey.
“The Board does not want it, the work is proven to be inefficient and more expensive than necessary, and former employees of the Council are under police investigation.”
According to Merit, as of June 2011, the Canadian construction sector employed 1.26 million Canadians with 900,000 working in the “open shop” sector.
DCN NEWS SERVICES
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
- PCL Constructors works on Humber River Regional Hospital in Toronto
- Tower Hill unveils 56-storey condo tower project
- Hundreds of workers to be out of work as Caterpillar Inc. is set to close Toronto factory
- OPG $1 billion proposal to bury nuclear waste up for comment
- London association withdraws from COCA
- 20 Most Popular Stories
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 316 projects with a total value of $2,787,806,637 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Friday.
$90,000,000 Richmond Hill ON Prebid
$82,000,000 White River Twp ON Tenders
$40,650,000 Markham ON Prebid
- VIDEO: Competing in the trades
- Provinces need to loosen up apprenticeship rules
- Way Up on Westwood
- Building Up On Bayview
- Barrie Construction Association rolls with motorcycle ride for cancer
- Vimy Ridge memorial gets new visitor centre
- Minnesota Vikings unveil new multi-use stadium plan
- Proposed Ambassador Bridge twinning draws Windsor mayor’s ire
- Construction on pedestrian tunnel to Billy Bishop Airport continues to make progress
- Construction Site Arson
- Journal of Commerce Update for the week of May 20th, 2013
- Industry reacts to surprise B.C. Liberal majority
- Calgary Airport Tunnel
- Worker at centre of union sign up allegations speaks out
- Calgary program aims to get more people into the trades
- Midrise in the City
- Veterans battle barriers into the trades
- Government makes changes to online tendering
- SNC-Lavalin maintains that new bribery allegations have been resolved
- B.C. faces a tough battle for top talent
- Keyano College building state of the art training facility
- Essential skills can play a vital role in an apprentices' success
- Taking a closer look at the risks in green building for contractors
- Colleges conduct construction research in addition to teaching
- Skills Canada BC Competition
- Lower Mainland high school trades program is unique
- Construction Learning Forum aims to educate
- High schools looking for more industry participation
- Industrial construction supervisor program takes off
- Saskatchewan bill passed
- Edmonton garners support for regional cash for arena
- Feds pledge $5 million for Vimy memorial
|ALEX’S ECONOMICS BLOG|
Reed Construction Data Canada’s Chief Economist Alex Carrick discusses current developments in the North American economic environment with emphasis on the construction industry.
- An Overview of Prices and Sales in the Diverging U.S. and Canadian Housing Markets (April 25, 2013)
- Canada’s Precarious Dependence on the Commodity Price Super-Cycle (April 22, 2013)
- Twenty major upcoming residential and transportation terminal construction projects - April 2013 (April 15, 2013)