New construction framework

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Local hiring, more apprentices on site and more opportunities for Indigenous workers and women are key elements of Community Benefits Agreements.

By Corry Anderson-Fennell BCBT Director of Communications

It’s happening!

B.C. workers will benefit from public infrastructure projects like bridges and highways in innumerable ways, thanks to the new construction model unveiled by the provincial government in July.

The model prioritizes job and training opportunities for Indigenous workers, local residents, women in trades, apprentices and people with disabilities. It also ensures workers receive union wages and benefits for the duration of a given project.

And it closes the door on temporary foreign workers in cases where local, B.C. or Canadian workers could do the job first.

“Today is a great day for workers, for their families and for the communities in which they live,” said Tom Sigurdson, executive director of the BC Building Trades (BCBT).

The new model is a Community Benefits Agreement or CBA. Used in jurisdictions throughout North America, CBAs can secure work, skills training and fair wages to qualified local residents and populations who are traditionally underrepresented in the skilled trades sector.

“Certain sectors of our province have been ignored for far too long,” said Sigurdson. “Under a Community Benefits Agreement, these groups will have opportunities to contribute and invest in their communities while essentially building B.C.”

B.C.’s new CBA framework includes a target apprenticeship ratio of 25 per cent, variable on a trade by trade basis and in paramount consideration of workplace safety.

It also ensures continuous work through a no-strike clause.

Any contractor in the construction industry may bid on a project and perform the work.

Sigurdson calls B.C.’s new construction model a progressive and forward-thinking roadmap that will ensure B.C. remains prosperous.

“We have a skilled trades shortage coming our way, and this will secure full and fair opportunities for Indigenous workers and women, and training for apprentices.”

The announcement comes just a few months after the launch of the Community Benefits Coalition of BC. Started by the BCBT, the coalition has grown to include local companies that believe that projects paid for by B.C. taxpayers should provide tangible, long-lasting benefits that go beyond the mere project itself.

The Pattullo Bridge replacement and the expansion of the Trans- Canada Highway between Kamloops and the Alberta border will be the first projects to be built under B.C.’s new Community Benefits Agreement framework.

For More Information: 

Contact the BC Building Trades office
(778) 397-2220

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