CLR-A is an employers' association representing construction companies in collective bargaining with the Building Trades Unions, collective agreement administration, labour law matters, and joint initiatives with other industry stakeholders.  We deliver comprehensive programs to foster safe, healthy and productive workplaces in the construction industry.  We support and invest in Construction Best Practices. 

What's New?

Notice

November 12, 2019

Please be notified that the Calgary office will be closing permanently on November 22, 2019. We request that you update our mailing address to the Edmonton location at:

203, 236 - 91 Street SW
Edmonton, Alberta
T6X 1W8

Long Standing President Neil Tidsbury Retires

Posted November 4, 2019

After a tenure of 40 years beginning in 1979 as a Labour Relations Officer then moving into the role of Vice President in 1983 and President in 1985, we sadly announce his retirement this year in October. He served as Secretary to and spokesperson for the Coordinating Committee of Registered Employers' organizations while representing CLR on numerous boards of directors, inter-organizational liaison, administrative tribunals, and multi-stakeholder initiatives.

He spearheaded the development and delivery of leading edge, multi-employer construction employee and family assistance programs, and programs to facilitate safety, substance disorder treatment and relapse prevention, audio-metric health, and training and development of supervision.

Neil developed strong working relationships among a broad range of union, government, owner/client and administrative tribunal stakeholders providing experience, expertise and creativity in the development and implementation of novel collective bargaining, collective agreement administration, safety, workforce development and contracting models.

He was a founding member of the Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA) Construction Best Practices Steering Team, the Construction Sector Council, Helmets to Hardhats and the joint Building Trades of Alberta/CLR Workforce Development Trust.

Neil was actively involved the COAA, serving on their Board of Directors and the COAA Best Practices Committees for the Canadian Model Review, Communications, Legislation and Contracts. Over his years with the Construction Sector Council he acted on behalf of the Board and Executive and the Committees for Project Review, Labour Market Information, Foreign Credential Assessment & Recognition and National Owners’ Forum Chair.

Neil successfully served on the:

  • ACA Standing Committees
  • CAREERS Builders of Alberta
  • National Construction Labour Relations Alliance
  • Lobbyist Registry
  • DARRP Board of Directors & Executive
  • ACR Workforce Working Group
  • AHS Addictions & Mental Health Research Partnership
  • Lt. Gov. Circle on Addictions and Mental Health
  • Calgary Chamber of Commerce
  • Problem Solving Committee
  • Resource Diversification Council
  • Syncrude 21 Liaison Committee - Secretary
  • Petro-Canada PLA negotiations
  • Jurisdictional Assignment Plan Board – Secretary
  • Charter Challenge Litigation
  • HSAN Board
  • Oilsands Safety Association advisory committee
  • Alberta Mental Health Board Industry Committee Co-chair

He received the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and in 2008 & 2019 the Don Currie Award of Excellence from the COAA.

Neil was an integral part of CLR & our industry and will be greatly missed. The Staff, Board of Directors and Membership of CLR will be forever grateful for his dedication, commitment, contributions and tireless work ethic but is collectively wished the very best as he moves forward on a new path of challenge and exploration.

 

Employees Entitlement to Time Off for Voting this Federal Election

Posted October 7, 2019

 
By Jessica Kruhlak, McLennan Ross, LLP


Election day is set for October 21, 2019 and with that comes an obligation, in some circumstances, for employers to provide their employees with time off to vote.

The Canada Elections Act (the "Act") requires that all eligible voters be entitled to three consecutive hours on election day to cast their vote. Eligible voters include all Canadian citizens, who, on polling day are 18 years of age or older.

Given this three hour entitlement for voting, employers must be aware that if an employee's work schedule does not allow for three consecutive hours within which they can vote, the employer is required to provide the necessary time off work, with pay, to allow for three hour entitlement, if requested by the employee. The time of day that this time off is granted is at the convenience of the employer.

The voting hours for the upcoming election are as follows:
Time Zone

Voting Hours (Local Time)

Newfoundland Time

8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m

Atlantic Time

8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m

Eastern Time

9:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m

Central Time*

8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m

Mountain Time*

7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m

Pacific Time

7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m


* In Saskatchewan, when daylight saving time is in effect for the rest of the country, voting hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (local time).

Example

If an employee located in Alberta is required to work from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on election day the employer is not required to provide any time off work, as the employee has over three consecutive hours to vote between 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. In contrast, if that employee is required to work 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the employee will not have three consecutive hours within which to vote. In this circumstance, if the employee requests time to vote, an employer would have three options:

 1.  Allow the employee to leave early, at 4:30 p.m.;
 2.  Allow the employee to arrive late, at 10:30 a.m.; or
 3.  Give the employee three consecutive hours off to vote during the day.

Pay Deductions and Prohibitions

It is important for employers to be aware that the Act bars an employer from deducting pay or imposing any other penalty on the employee for taking time off work to vote as contemplated under the Act. Regardless of how the employee is paid (hourly, piece-work or other basis), improper withholding occurs when an employee who takes time off to vote is paid less than what they would have regularly been paid had they not taken that time off.

Employers should also be cognizant that the Act prohibits an employer from intimidating, unduly influencing or interfering, by any other means, in the employee's entitlement to three consecutive hours for voting.

Penalty

Employers who do not meet the obligations set out above may be fined up to $2,000, or imprisoned for up to three months, or both.

Exception

The three hour voting entitlement does not apply to employees of transportation companies who are employed outside of their polling division and where providing the time off work would interfere with the transportation services.

Advance Polls

Advanced polling stations are open Friday, October 11, 2019 to Monday, October 14, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. An employer is not obligated to provide time off to vote on an advanced polling day. As such, in an effort to reduce employee requests for time off on election day some employers opt to circulate information about the advanced polling dates. However, advising employees of advanced polling dates does not relieve employers of their obligations to provide the requisite time off on election day.

This update is a general overview of the subject matter and cannot be regarded as legal advice.

 

CSTS 2020 is Here!

Posted September 27, 2019

Your ACSA is pleased to announce the launch of the new version of Construction Safety Training System (CSTS) 2020.
 

CURT Weekly: Owners See Increase in Suicide Rate in Construction Workers

Posted September 10, 2019

Study Finds Staggering Suicide Rate for Construction Workers According to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more male construction workers take their lives than any other industry.

The CDC report showed that the 2015 suicide rate for men in construction was 53 per 100,000. That is four times higher than the overall suicide rate.

Read More

Understanding Our Canadian Model E-learning Program Based On Version 6 (July 1, 2018) Of The Canadian Model For Providing A Safe Workplace

Posted July 8, 2019

Construction Labour Relations Alberta is pleased to announce the availability of an updated E- Learning Program based on Version 6 of the Canadian Model For Providing A Safe Workplace (Version 6 July 1, 2018). Registration for the program is available via the CLR-A website at www.clra.org.

Program fees are $30 (plus GST) per participant for CLR-A members and $40 (plus GST) for those participants who are not members of CLR-A.

This program is targeted for Front Line Leadership and anyone with a role in administering the Canadian Model. The program is approximately three hours in duration and can be completed in segments. This course was developed collaboratively between the:

  • Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) Boilermaker Contractors Association (BCA) Canada’s Building Trade Unions (CBTU)
  • CLAC
  • Construction Labour Relations - Alberta
  • Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta (ECAA) Energy Safety Canada (ESC)

If any question or concerns arise in respect to registering for the program please contact Shannon DeMaere (shannon@clra.org or (780) 451-5444) for assistance.

Thank you,

Ron C Cherlet
Labour Relations Representative

 

Announcement

Posted June 28, 2019

The CLR Executive Committee and Board of Directors are pleased to announce that, effective July 1st, 2019, Joe McFadyen will assume the role CLR President. The Association has benefited greatly from the wealth of experience from several industries and sectors Joe brought when he joined the CLR staff 7 years ago. We have every confidence in Joe as he takes on the tasks as the chief operating officer of the Association. Neil Tidsbury will stay on staff for a relatively short period in an advisory role, to complete some assignments and ensure an effective transition. Watch for an announcement of a function in the fall to recognize Neil’s contributions to the Association and industry.

 

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Update

Posted May 22, 2019

The technical training for the CONCRETE FINISHER apprenticeship program is currently on full suspension at SAIT (Edmonton Campus), but technical training will still be offered at SAIT (Calgary Campus).

Since the start of the economic downturn in 2015, apprentices have been hit hard by layoffs and weakening job prospects. With fewer job opportunities,enrolment in technical training has declined in many apprenticeship programs across the province, with several programs operating below sustainable levels.

Apprenticeship and Industry Training constantly monitors demand for technical training programs at post-secondary institutions and, if possible, adjusts seat allocations to match industry demand. When demand is consistently low, technical training may be suspended at one or more institutions or across the entire province.

Due to low enrolment, five apprenticeship programs will have technical training temporarily suspended, and nine apprenticeship programs will have technical training consolidated to one post-secondary institute or available only in specific periods. These changes will be effective in the 2019/2020 academic year. Please visit the Training Catalogue on the Tradesecrets website to see the schedule for all apprenticeship programs.

If the technical training component for an apprenticeship program is temporarily unavailable, apprentices can continue to advance in their program and receive certification by working with their employer to learn on-the-job, using the knowledge requirements and competencies outlined in their record book.

A list of alternate pathways to certification for apprentices is available here.

All technical training suspensions are considered temporary and will continue to be monitored by Advanced Education. Training could be re-instated if demand returns to a sustainable level. If so, apprentices will be notified.

Further information can be found at:
Apprenticeship & Student Aid | www.tradesecrets.alberta.ca
Advanced Education | www.iae.alberta.ca

 

Introduction to Health & Safety Committees and Representatives Online Course Now Available

Posted May 17, 2019

To take this free online course, please sign up for a free ACSA account or log into the ACSA student portal.

Your ACSA’s Introduction to Health & Safety Committees and Representatives (INTHSC) course is designed to inform workers and employers of the recently amended Alberta Occupational Health and Safety legislation regarding Health and Safety Committees (HSCs) and Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs).

This course includes when and how to form a Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee (JWSHSC), the committee functions, member duties, co-chair duties, employer duties, and member training. The course also addresses when HSRs are required, as well as their duties and functions. The course offers several free resources with customizable templates, providing workers and employers with the tools and ability to set up and run an effective JWSHSC.

Upon completion, participants will be able to

  • Recognize the legal basis for HSCs and HSRs.
  • List the roles and responsibilities of HSRs.
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of co-chairs.
  • List mandatory content in the HSC's rules of procedure (terms of reference).
  • Summarize training requirements.
  • Describe the Internal Responsibility System.
  • Explain the criteria used to determine if an HSC or HSR is needed.
  • List workers' rights relating to OHS.

Part two of this course is tentatively scheduled to go live at the end of this month. Please visit our course information page for updates.

Take the INTHSC Course

View trainer list

 

10th Anniversary Eric Newell 'Kidz in Careers' Golf Classic

Heritage Pointe Golf Club, Calgary, AB

Posted May 10, 2019

Join us for a day of golf in support of Alberta youth.

Enable tomorrow’s workforce today.

The Eric Newell ‘Kidz in Careers’ Golf Classic pays tribute to former Syncrude CEO and CAREERS founding chair, Eric Newell, and raises funds so more of our youth can succeed. 10 years since the first tee off, we couldn’t be more proud to continue the work Eric started – helping Alberta youth on their path to rewarding careers.

Register now at http://www.careersnextgen.ca/kicgolf

 

November 2018 Wage Adjustment

Posted October 2, 2018

Since the last wage adjustment in 2014, the average benchmark WTI daily oil price has stayed below $65, and no wage adjustments have been triggered.

For the June — August 2018 period, the daily average was $68.65. The referenced 2017 CPI Change for Alberta All Items was 1.55%. Accordingly, the wage adjustment to take effect November 4th, 2018 will be 1.55% ± 2 = 0.775%. This adjustment will be applied to the journeypersons in industrial work, with the rates for other industrial classifications calculated proportionately. The effect of this adjustment on wages for commercial/institutional work will depend on the provisions of the respective collective agreements.

Draft wage schedules have been developed, and as soon as they are confirmed by the respective unions, they will be distributed.

For some projects, Special Project Needs Agreements have set wage rates that will be unaffected by this adjustment. For work on such projects, consult the project agreements posted at www.clra.org, or call a CLR Labour Relations Rep for assistance.

 

Pipelines and the Investment Climate

Posted July 12, 2018

There is a thoughtful international perspective on Canada’s investment climate at  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-opec/opec-to-canada-build-pipelines-or-watch-investment-flow-south-idUSKBN1K02PF

Canadian Model Version 6.0 - Now Available!

Posted June 28, 2018


Note: Most CLRa collective agreements will continue to apply the Canadian Model v5 until amended. 
 
The Construction Owners Association of Canada (COAA) and Energy Safety Canada have released the updated Canadian Model for Providing a Safe Workplace (“Canadian Model”) Version 6.0; a best practice guide for alcohol and drug guidelines.

    1. Drug panels have been updated to follow the U.S Department of Transportation update issued in January 2018.
    2. Marijuana limits have not changed: illegal or legal, the safety issues of working while at risk of being impaired have not changed.
    3. With the advice of a panel of medical experts a number of clauses have been updated to improve clarity.

Extensive information and FAQ is available at https://www.coaa.ab.ca/library/canadian-model-version-6.

 

SPNA Modular Yards

Posted June 1, 2018

 

The SPNA for Modular Yards has been updated.  For updated rates, as noted on the Schedules G & L, please contact CLR.

 

May 2018 Wage Calculation

Posted March 6, 2018

To determine whether there will be a wage adjustment in May, the daily price of benchmark WTI Oil be averaged for the December through February period.  For December, 2017 through February, 2018, the average price was $61.29.  Because this was less than the $65.00 threshold in the formulae, there will be no adjustment to wages for Industrial, where applicable non-industrial, work in May, 2018. 

The next calculation will look at benchmark oil prices for the June through August period, to determine whether there will be a wage adjustment in November, 2018.

 

2018 Vehicle and Travel Allowances

Posted January 2, 2018

 

Finance Canada posted “Government Announces the 2018 Automobile Deduction Limits and Expense Benefit Rates for Business” (see http://www.fin.gc.ca/n17/17-131-eng.asp ). The relevant provisions of that release are:

1. The limit on the deduction of tax-exempt allowances that are paid by employers to employees who use their personal vehicle for business purposes for 2018 will be increased by 1 cent to 55 cents per kilometre for the first 5,000 kilometres driven, and to 49 cents per kilometre for each additional kilometre to reflect that, since the last change to this limit, the per kilometre costs associated with owning and operating an automobile have increased by roughly 1 cent. ...

Accordingly, pursuant to the standard provisions of most collective agreements, the vehicle allowance will rise to 52 cents per kilometre effective the first pay period following May 1, 2018, through April 30, 2019.

The provisions agreed at Framework Bargaining for 2011 and 2015 addressing initial and return allowances, and rotational leave allowances will result in the following adjustments:

Initial and Return Allowances:


(i)up to 200 kilometres - $88.00 each way;
(ii)200 kilometres to 300 kilometres - $124 each way;
(iii)300 kilometres to 375 kilometres - $150 each way;
(iv)over 375 kilometres to 475 kilometres - $224.00 each way, or actual airfare if suitable proof of air transport is provided to the Employer.
(v)over 475 kilometres - as mutually agreed between the parties to this Agreement to a maximum of $344.00 each way or air fare inclusive of taxes in the event this is the most practical method of accessing the project/jobsite.

 

Rotational Leave Allowances:

(a)On jobs located beyond a three hundred (300) kilometre radius to a maximum of four hundred and seventy-five (475) kilometres from the centre of Edmonton or Calgary or other hiring hall location, the Employer shall:
(i)Pay an allowance of $174.00 after thirty-five (35) calendar days of employment on the job and thereafter for each subsequent thirty-five (35) calendar days of employment on the job. 
Where the employee accepts Employer supplied transportation he shall not be entitled to the above allowance.
(ii)Allow employees five (5) working days leave after each thirty-five (35) calendar days of employment on the job.
(b)On jobs located beyond a four hundred and seventy-five (475) kilometre radius from the centre of Edmonton or Calgary or other hiring hall location, the Employer shall:
(i)Provide a negotiated transportation allowance, not to exceed scheduled airline air fare where scheduled air service is available, or pay an allowance of $312.00 where airline service is not available, after thirty-five (35) calendar days of employment on the job and thereafter for each subsequent thirty-five (35) calendar days of employment on the job.

 

The $150 allowance in section 11.01(a) of Special Project Needs Agreements based on Template A, applicable when bus transportation is provided because air transportation is not practical, will increase to $153 effective on the first pay period following May 1, 2018.

Representatives of the Building Trades of Alberta have reviewed and concurred with this information.

Marijuana & the Safety Sensitive Worker

Posted December 8, 2016

 

Employers struggle with decisions respecting the safe deployment of workers using medically authorized marijuana.  The federal government is now moving towards a model of legalization, regulation and restriction of marijuana use generally in the adult population, and the challenges for employers maintaining safe workplaces is likely to escalate.  But there has not been solid information guiding employers and informing employees in respect to understanding this drug, the effect it may have on the individual worker and in the workplace, particularly with respect to safety sensitive duties, and what type of guidelines should exist in terms of procedure and policy for those individuals using the drug.

Dr. Brendan Adams has exhaustively researched these issues and has drafted a resource paper: “Marijuana and the Safety Sensitive Worker”.  Please find it as well as a useful Q&A, by clicking on the link below. It can also be downloaded in PDF form.

Marijuana and the Safety Sensitive Worker.
PDFs: main document / appendix document

 

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