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, 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

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


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 ). 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