Tentative Schedule

Friday - 9/23
9:00 a.m.
ICE Annual Meeting
6:00 p.m.
Eugene George Awards

Saturday - 9/24
12:00 p.m.
All Day - IMI/BAC International Apprentice Contest

More announcements coming soon!

IMI/IMTEF Launches Maternity & Childcare Benefits for BAC Members
The International Masonry Training and Education Foundation (IMTEF) is proud to introduce a paid maternity disability benefit to support pregnant women and new mothers represented by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC). Together with a childcare tuition benefit offered by the International Masonry Institute (IMI), these programs help make high-paying construction jobs with world-class health and retirement benefits more welcoming to women and to all parents.

“Childcare access and maternity accommodations are critical for working parents,” says IMI/IMTEF President Caryn Halifax. “We’re delighted to introduce these programs and look forward to continuing to find ways to support BAC craftworkers in all aspects of life, whether on the job or at home with their families.”

The maternity benefit allows pregnant BAC craftworkers up to a total 26 weeks of disability benefit for weeks they are unable to work at the trade because of their pregnancy and after delivery. Significantly, the benefit offers a guaranteed $600 a week, the equivalent of $15 an hour for a 40-hour work week.

Under the plan, women will receive 6 weeks of benefits after a traditional delivery, 8 weeks following a c-section, and up 20 weeks pre-delivery if they are medically unable to work. The benefit is effective June 1, but eligible craftworkers can apply online to avail of the benefit starting on July 1.
The childcare tuition benefit gives BAC members a 10% discount on high-quality childcare at KinderCare Education’s 1700 centers across the country.

Last year, a record 300,000 women worked in the trades, signifying substantial growth despite the pandemic. Yet, women still represent only 4% of the overall construction industry. As the union masonry industry continues to build a younger more diverse workforce, recruiting and retaining more women is key.

“We want to attract more women to careers in the trowel trades, not only to help us meet workforce demands in a booming construction economy, but to give more people a ticket to a middle-class lifestyle,” says IMI Co-Chair, ICE President and Back Brook Masonry President Michael Schmerbeck. “These programs are a shining example of the industry-wide good that happens when labor and management work together.”

For many tradeswomen, childcare access and pregnancy accommodations are essential in supporting their career growth, according to findings from a recent survey on tradeswomen retention and advancement conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). In fact, of respondents with children who considered leaving the trades, 70% said difficulty finding childcare, and 63% said lack of pregnancy accommodations, were important factors in their decision making.

IMI and IMTEF’s new benefits build on other important programs focused on recruiting and retaining women, like its annual Women’s Leadership Conference and partnerships with women-only pre-apprenticeship programs like Chicago Women in the Trades (CWIT) and ANEW – Apprenticeship & Nontraditional Employment for Women.

“Empowering women and workers with young families is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” says BAC President Tim Driscoll. “These programs will help ensure that BAC attracts the next generation of workers to our industry while providing them access to the best wages, training, and benefits for them and their families.”

A New Tool from CLRC to Help Explain the Economic Challenges faced by Contractors
The Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC) has developed a new report titled Contractor’s Cost Conundrum, which explains some of the very challenging economic and staffing challenges faced by contractors. The report, customized to your location, compares the cost of living (CPI) to the extremely large increases in the commodities (materials) purchased by contractors. Those increases dwarf the CPI, showing one big challenge faced by contractors. The report goes on to clearly explain another lesser known but critical difficulty, variability. It shows the extreme variability over time (which really means unpredictability) in the cost of construction commodities, spending on construction and even employment, all of which make planning very difficult.

The report can be useful in collective bargaining situations and supports associations and contractors by showing that the recent high CPI numbers are just one part of a larger story, a story with many challenges for contractors. It is also useful to simply better understand some key economic factors critical in running a company. The cost of a customized report is $750 for ICE affiliates.

For more information, contact Carey Peters, Executive Director at CLRC (865-414-2678).

Legislative and Regulatory Update
On June 10th, the House Education and Labor committee released an extensive report showing unionized workers get higher pay, better benefits and more flexibility in their work schedules compared to non union workers. The report also highlights this year's increased union activity, high profile organizing drives and a favorable public opinion towards them. The report and news release can be viewed here.

Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) of the House Education and Labor Committee, heard testimony from DOL Secretary Marty Walsh on June 14. As part of the Committee's oversight role, DOL's budget request was reviewed and Walsh testified about ongoing efforts to protect workers against wage theft and to bolster skills training and apprenticeship programs. The Chairman's opening statement is available here.

On June 21, 2022, the Biden administration released its Spring 2022 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. These semi-annual regulatory agendas outline federal agency goals for the months ahead. A searchable database of the comprehensive agenda is available here.

But the unified agenda includes the following current and proposed rule makings that ICE will continue to monitor and/or comment on as necessary.

Davis-Bacon: On March 18, 2022, the Department published an NPRM indicating its intent to undo most of the 1982 modifications made by the Reagan administration, while at the same time making more than 50 significant changes to Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) enforcement.The Department plans to issue a final rule in December 2022. 

Heat Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings: OSHA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on October 27, 2021, to explore rulemaking on a heat stress standard. To date, California, Washington, Minnesota, and the U.S. military have issued heat protection regulations. OSHA is scheduled to analyze the comments from the rulemaking beginning June 2022.

Infectious Disease: OSHA is looking at regulatory alternatives for control measures to protect employees from infectious disease exposure. Affected workplaces could include health care, correctional facilities, and laboratories. A rulemaking is scheduled for May 2023.

Joint Employer: The National Labor Relations Board expects to “engage in rulemaking on the standard for determining whether two employers, as defined in Section 2(2) of the National Labor Relations Act (Act), are a joint employer under the Act.” The Board plans to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking in September 2022.

For any questions on these items, please contact  ckeohan@centerhillsolutions.com.

CPWR Working in Hot Weather Resources
Summer weather creates additional safety hazards for construction workers -- heat, lightning, exposure to the sun, and more – and climate change is increasing those risks. To help workers protect themselves from heat-related illnesses and other hazards, CPWR offers a range of resources, including Toolbox Talks, Hazard Alert Cards, and infographics. Its Working in Hot Weather webpage also has collected relevant material from OSHA and NIOSH.

New Challenge from the Safe + Sound Campaign
OSHA’s Safe + Sound Campaign, which encourages workplaces to have strong safety and health programs, has announced the latest Find & Fix Hazards Challenge: Eyes onSafetyWorkplace inspections are an important tool for identifying hazards and resolving them. Whether you inspect your workplace on a regular basis or are just getting your workplace safety and health program started, conduct a safety walkaround to show how you have Eyes on Safety today: Take the Challenge! 

IRS Announces Increased Mileage Rate As of July 1
The IRS recently announced that the standard mileage rate will increase to the following:
  • 62.5 cents per mile for business miles driven 
  • 22 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

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