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Testing out the blog posts.
Testing out the blog posts.
We are saddened and troubled by the recent events in Minnesota, Georgia and Kentucky. They demonstrate the gap that remains between the promise of America and the reality facing too many Americans.
We applaud and support the tens of thousands who have come out to participate in peaceful rallies and the law enforcement officers who have responded professionally in kind.
Violence from opportunists or overzealous police, however, must be clearly and directly condemned. Not only does it extend the damage to our country, it generates finger-pointing and excuses for people to avoid getting to the root of our problems.
Over the years, the Carpenters union has had to confront our own difficult past, when people of color were discouraged from joining or actively excluded from our ranks. While we have made significant progress, we recognize that there remains more work to be done.
Confronting injustice--be it racial, economic or gender-based injustice--is complex and uncomfortable. But the issues are too serious and too widespread to ignore simply because they are difficult.
The North Atlantic States Carpenters union is renewing our commitment to do our part through self-examination, outreach and discussion with impacted communities. We hope that by doing so, we will expand opportunities and advance equity to people who still may not consider our trade or organization a viable option for themselves.
We also hope our union and our members will take an active and positive role in our communities on a wider discussion of racial injustice.
School Board and Budget elections: Proceeding, as scheduled, on June 9. All registered voters will be emailed an invite to vote, including postage.
Presidential primary: Courts currently ruling primary to be held on June 23.
ALL other state primaries and special elections: Proceeding, as schedule, on June 23. (more information below)
Village and Town elections: Proceeding, as scheduled, on September 15.
Details on state primaries and special elections:
Every registered voter in New York is being mailed an application to vote by absentee ballot. The application comes with a return, postage-paid envelope. Voters must fill out, sign and mail the ballot back to their local board of elections by June 22. Absentee ballots can also be requested here.
• Make sure you are registered to vote at your current address. You can confirm your voter status here.
• You should receive your ballot no less than 32 days before the election. Once it’s filled out, you must mail it back by the day before Election Day (Monday, June 22nd). For your ballot to count, the Board of Elections must receive it no later than 7 days after the election on June 23rd.
You can vote early in person, from June 13-21st at locations determined by the county boards of election, OR at your polling place on June 23rd.
Endorsements by local unions in June 23 elections:
Local 276: NY-27 Chris Jacobs (R)
Local 277: AD-138 Harry Bronson (D)
Local 279: NY-17 David Carlucci (D) and Anthony Scarpino for Westchester Co. DA (D)
As a reminder: effective May 4th, members working under agreements in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine will no longer be receiving paper or e-stamps as receipts for hours paid on their behalf to the Benefit Funds. Members will be able to verify hours paid, both current and historical, using the Funds’ "Member Self-Service Site." This is a system that has been in place for members in Massachusetts and Northern New England for a number of years. It is now available to members in Rhode Island and Connecticut and will continue to be enhanced to allow future access to additional information including account balances for members.
Info included on:
Mass Carpenters Ceasing Work
Mass Carpenters Ceasing Work
Last week, carpenters stopped working on sites in Massachusetts due to abnormally dangerous conditions and will not return to work until it is safe to do so. This is NOT a strike, but a step taken in accordance with provisions in the Labor Management Relations Act. Members who have stopped working in Massachusetts can collect unemployment benefits.
There have been many questions about why this was done in Massachusetts and why not in other states in our council. There were several factors that came into play, including the availability of PPE, the density of sites, ability of contractors to maintain safe sites and the number of infections and deaths in Massachusetts and communities where members had been working.
This was not an easy decision and it was not made lightly. Throughout this crisis, the union has continued to work with our signatory contractor partners to develop plans to keep sites as safe and clean as possible so that when the time is right to return, you will be sufficiently protected.
The $600 increase to unemployment benefits funded by the CARES Act has started to show up for members in some states in our council. The increase was not immediate because the federal government had to clarify guidelines for states to participate and then states had to opt in. Still, the two-week turnaround from passing the bill to actual account deposits has been welcome efficiency.
The $600/weekly increase in benefits will be in place for about four months before returning to regular schedules.
The trouble for some members continues to be getting unemployment claims processed so they can start receiving benefits. The state of New York scheduled a two-hour shutdown of their system last week to install upgrades that will help it handle the unprecedented demand it is facing. Other states are struggling to upgrade on the fly or clear out a backlog in processing by hiring scores of new workers.
Massachusetts has announced that it will soon deploy an online unemployment system in Spanish. On Friday it launched a Spanish version of its COVID19 text alert system.
Massachusetts Congressman Richie Neal, the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, has said the direct stimulus checks of up to $1,200 per individual will start to be processed and sent early this week. Estimates on how long it will take for all of the more than 60 million checks to be sent are probably unreliable at this point. The IRS will use direct deposit information submitted with recent tax returns to deposit checks where possible and mail checks to others. The amount of an individual's stimulus payment will be determined by their adjusted gross income for tax years 2018 or 2019. It will include up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, with $500 increases for children. Stimulus amounts will decrease and phase out at certain incomes.
Members should remember that unemployment benefits and stimulus money are considered income and are taxable. Be sure to plan for this to avoid trouble when filing your next return.
All union meetings for the month of April have been cancelled. If your local union was scheduled to have elections or votes for contract allocations, please check in to see how and when those issues will be handled.
A legitimate concern for many members out of work is the continuation of health care benefits for themselves and their families. Rules vary from plan to plan, but often there are ways that members that do not earn the full requirement of work hours in a period to qualify for coverage may still get coverage. It may include purchasing hours or combining the number of hours from two consecutive qualifying periods to meet a stipulated threshold. It is important for members to read plan summaries and contact their fund office to see which provisions exist in their plans and how they apply to their individual situations.
The UBC is currently working with a coalition in Washington on potential remedies that could help members receive health coverage through our funds. The Alliance for Health Care has identified four priorities, which they are presenting to Congress:
1. Aid for Americans who have lost their jobs or been placed on furlough by covering the cost of continuing their health coverage through the crisis
2. Support for financially struggling employers and health funds offering critical health coverage
3. Enhance availability and affordability of coverage in the individual market for Americans seeking coverage through Medicaid and the Federal or state-based Marketplaces
4. Promote policies that support our health care workers on the front-line of this crisis
We will share information about any progress or success from the effort as it is available.
If you need help connecting with available services--public or union--please reach out to your local union. Staff are responding to calls, email and social media and have been able to help members with many common problems. Though they may also be able to help you understand basic provisions of benefit funds, members are encouraged to contact their funds directly to learn how plan benefits and rules may apply to their individual situation.
Finally, if you are struggling with substance abuse, anxiety or fear, please use confidential support services available through the union.
Members in New York can call Magellan/Independence Administrators at 800-688-1911. Members in MA, CT, RI, ME, NH & VT should contact Paul Greeley or Jeff Smith from the Carpenters Assistance Program at 617-782-0100 or visit KGA online 24/7 at https://my.kgalifeservices.com/o/carpenters
Thomas J. Flynn, the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters has been appointed General Secretary-Treasurer of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, following the retirement of Michael Capelli. UBC General President Douglas McCarron made the announcement in a memo to the UBC General Executive Board and regional council Executive Secretary-Treasurers, with both Capelli’s retirement and Flynn’s appointment effective immediately.
Following the move, Rich Monarca, President of NASRCC appointed Joseph Byrne as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer Pro Tem. Byrne had been serving as the Business Manager for Carpenters Local 327 and Regional Manager for the Boston carpenter local unions.
Byrne has appointed Richard Pedi to serve as Regional Manager for the Boston carpenters local unions and Rile Rhodes as the Business Manager for Local 327.
Byrne has also named Bill Banfield as the Assistant to the Executive Secretary-Treasurer for NASRCC, overseeing the local unions in New York.
Executive Secretary-Treasurer Tom Flynn notified employer partners that he is directing union carpenters to cease working in Massachusetts effective April 6, 2020 until it is safe to do so because "it has become apparent that working on construction sites in Massachusetts is abnormally dangerous and that continuing to work on construction sites poses an immediate threat of harm to the health and safety of my members and the public."
The North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters joined other members of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council in voting yesterday to call on Governor Charles Baker to suspend all non-emergency construction in the state.
Though the union had fought to keep construction sites open and safe during the early stages of the current pandemic, it became increasingly clear that safe site protocols either could not or were not being implemented consistently.
An increasing number of union members have stopped working due either to the direct impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on themselves or their family or because they were concerned with spreading the virus through construction site contamination. Some general contractors and subcontractors had also suspended operations in the last few weeks.
Staff from NASRCC have witnessed a dangerous lack of response from "leaders" in the nonunion sector of the industry. On sites in Lynn, Chelsea, Bridgewater, Brookline and Revere a host of troubling practices--including vanloads of workers unloading at sites and clusters of people working and taking breaks shoulder-to-shoulder--have been witnessed and recorded. Contractors responsible for the sites include Dellbrook, Callahan, P&B Partitions and Ray-Con.
Building Trades Councils in Maine and New Hampshire are considering similar measures to call for action by their governors, while the Rhode Island Building Trades issued a response asking Governor Gina Raimondo to maintain construction as an essential industry.
Governor Baker and others in the region, had initially ordered stay-at-home orders but listed construction as an essential industry. But last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tightened the restrictions on the construction industry, allowing only emergency or response-supporting projects to continue. He did so with the support of the building trades in the state.
Last week, Vermont became the last state in the region to issue a stay-at-home order and listed only emergency construction and construction projects directly related to COVID-19 response efforts to continue.
In a month that can only generously be called "unique," there is good news from the New England Carpenters Guaranteed Annuity Fund this week, which announced its annual return and a bonus for participants.
“The North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters is pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees of the New England Carpenters Guaranteed Annuity Fund has approved a bonus to all participants with an account balance in 2019 of 3.09%.
"In addition, participants with accounts in the New England Carpenters Guaranteed Annuity Fund were already credited with the guaranteed return of 3.41% for a total of 6.50%. Accounts will be credited with the bonus in the coming weeks and viewable in the online self-service portal. Participants will also receive their annual Guaranteed Annuity Fund statement in May reflecting the bonus amounts.”
The North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters has created nasrcc.org/corona as a resource for members and contractors for information related to the ongoing public health crisis and the union's response. It will be regularly updated and link to state-by-state government resources.
The construction industry is being exempted from new rules established by the United States Department of Labor that allow Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs. "IRAPs" are informal programs with reduced regulation that may receive funding from the federal government. The exemption for the construction industry is the result of efforts by unions and members to educate the Trump administration about existing apprenticeship programs in the industry that are privately funded and have a history of providing sufficient and successful training.
UBC General President Doug McCarron began making the case after being appointed to serve on the President's Task Force on Apprenticeship, which ultimately suggested IRAPs. During the comment period before new rules were published, regional councils and members of the UBC sent letters to the Department of Labor and urged elected officials to weigh in on behalf of a construction exemption.
Anti-union groups had lobbied to allow IRAPs in construction so they could access government funding and claim credibility for programs that aren’t serious efforts to train trades workers. They are expected to file suit over the exemption.
This past week, Governor Cuomo officially presented his Executive Budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Over the next several weeks, the Governor will work with the Senate and the Assembly try to reach agreement on a final budget by the annual April 1 deadline. There are a number of items within the budget that are relevant to our members and while there’s a lot of work to be done before it’s finalized, we wanted to keep you updated on where things stand.
The Governor’s budget proposal includes potential developments on a prevailing wage expansion. Specifically, the Governor’s plan would combine every type of state and local subsidy – including grants, tax credits and IDA financial assistance – and if the total public funds amount to 30 percent of a project’s construction costs, the prevailing wage would be triggered.
There will be a lot of discussions and debate before any of this is finalized, but this is a promising start to the legislative year. As always, we’ll be following all of these developments very closely, and we will keep you informed as we move forward.
Earlier this week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his State of the State Address. This annual speech lays out the Governor’s priorities for the year and provides a framework for the issues that will be debated in Albany over the next several months. Our members were on hand and out in force, and were acknowledged in the Governor’s opening remarks along with our partners in the labor movement.
The Governor’s 2020 agenda, Making Progress Happen, includes a number of ambitious economic development projects that should deliver opportunities for our members. Some of the big ticket items include:
• $14 million to build a new mid-station lodge at Whiteface
• $9.4 million to upgrade Lake George Wastewater Treatment Plant
• Second Round of funding for Upstate Airport Revitalization (first round was $200 million)
• $10 million to help transform Buffalo’s North Aud Block
• $9 million to help build a year-round indoor drone research facility in Rome, NY
• A comprehensive education and workforce STEM training center in Syracuse
• Incentivizing businesses to move into downtown Rochester through the use of ESD Grant and Excelsior Tax Credits
• $100 million in economic development investments to communities along the Erie Canal. Projects include:
o Brockport loop connecting SUNY to Empire State trail land
o Canalside pocket neighborhood to be built in Canastota
o Renovation of Guy Park Manor and construction of a pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam
The next step will be the presentation of the Governor’s Executive Budget later this month, which will start to lay out the details of how the state will pay for all of these ideas. We will be following all of these developments very closely in the days and weeks ahead, and we will keep member in New York informed as we move forward.
2019 was an eventful year for the Carpenters union in Albany. Our main legislative focus was to expand the prevailing wage law. Too often, developers participating in “public-private partnerships” have gamed the system and exploited cheap labor with our tax dollars. It hurts union carpenters and reputable contractors—both union and nonunion—who pay good wages to good workers. Our legislation would close that loophole.
The heated debate went to the last days of the legislative session before falling short. We have not given up. Defining prevailing wage will be front and center again this year and we are already laying the groundwork to take it over the finish line in 2020.
In 2019, the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters (NASRCC) was the driving force behind the creation of the Blue Collar Coalition. The Blue Collar Coalition-NY is made up of our partners in organized labor who are dedicated to making sure that all workers on publicly funded projects are paid a fair wage for a fair day’s work. We are fighting to ensure that workers of every race, color and creed are given a real chance at a middle-class life.
Throughout last year’s legislative session, the Blue Collar Coalition ran digital campaigns across social media and news sites to push the New York State legislature to define public work and pass prevailing wage legislation. If you haven’t already, we invite you to like and follow the Blue Collar Coalition on Facebook and Twitter; and check out our ads on YouTube. You can find more information at www.bluecollarny.com.
We also organized successful events that you may have been a part of, including our Tax Fraud Days of Action; a lobby day rally in West Capitol Park; and a pre-budget deadline rally inside the Capitol. We also saw numerous opinion pieces by our allies that laid out our case for decision makers, including: New York Daily News: Say yes to more prevailing wage: Requiring higher pay for laborers in all public works is good for New York’s middle class; Gotham Gazette: Fair Wages are Good for the Economy, Albany Should Pass an Expanded Prevailing Wage; Amsterdam News: A fair wage for working men and women; and Syracuse Post Standard: Prevailing wage is an investment in Syracuse community.
We have a lot more planned for 2020 and will be in touch in the weeks ahead with updates and ways that you can get involved to make a difference. We want to thank you for all of your work this year and we look forward to a productive legislative session that benefits union carpenters. Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.
Pile Drivers Local 56 was recently awarded $100,000 in workplace training grant funding from Vineyard Wind and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the Governor's office. It was one of several grants awarded to support marine-based energy construction.
Local 56 will use the funds to train 45 members through a program at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy called GWO. That specialty program has five modules, including one that focuses on safety aspects related to moving workers and materials between vessels while at offshore locations.
"There's really no training like this available elsewhere," said Dave Borrus, Local 56 Representative. "Mass Maritime will have the certified instructors for the program, so we'll combine this funding with their resources. It will be a great benefit for our members and the union contractors that employ them."
Some great news out of Somerville!
to all of the NERCC staff and members who have done so much over the
last few years to advocate for standards in Somerville. Rank-and-file
participation in rallies, public meetings and coalition building was
crucial. There were also many conversations with US2, local leaders and
our union employers, including Cranshaw and subcontractors, that helped
bring us to this point.
Together, our members and our union has completed the first phase of work, winning the job. Now begins the second phase, using our skills to build a successful project.
UNION CARPENTERS JOIN TOGETHER TO PROTECT COMMUNITY FUNDING AND STAND AGAINST $2.6 BILLION STOLEN IN CONSTRUCTION TAX FRAUD
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and its local unions will host a series of events in tandem the April 15th national tax deadline. Rallys, demonstrations, forums, and press conferences will illuminate the rampant tax fraud in the construction industry and impacts at the local, state, and national level. Each year labor brokers and contractors cheat their tax obligations by misclassifying their hires and paying an estimated 1.2 million workers ‘off the books,’ robbing taxpayers of up to $2.6 billion through lost federal income, employment taxes, and state income taxes.
These dishonest tactics deprive city, state, and federal budgets of tax dollars and ethical businesses the chance to fairly compete for work. Local neighborhoods lose funds necessary for school improvements, infrastructure maintenance, veteran assistance, and capacity for first responders.
When employers engage in tax fraud, workers can't collect unemployment when a job finishes and they get laid off. When they get hurt, all of the medical costs get paid by the worker and/or the taxpayers, instead of workers comp insurance. They miss out on years of Social Security contributions. Sometimes, employers commit wage theft and refuse to pay or fully pay workers for their work. This not only impacts workers directly, but also indirectly impacts every other taxpayer, since it puts a greater burden on public services.
Events will educate the public on the magnitude of illegal construction employment practices in New England, discuss the effects on local towns, and call for a unified front against this insidious activity. Speakers will include tax fraud and wage theft victims and NERCC, state, and local leaders fighting against these issues.
New England’s event series will take place from April 11 until April 23rd. For a list of specific event times and locations, please check nercc.org/doa. Additional events will be held by other regional councils of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Together these groups will work to elevate the conversation around construction industry tax fraud and the associated costs to American taxpayers and their communities.
Interested attendees can find more information on these events at the NERCC Website and RSVPs are encouraged through the NERCC Facebook. For more information on Construction Industry Tax Fraud, visit the UBC’s site, Standing Up to Tax Fraud.
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is seeking an experienced and strategic leader to serve as its Political Director. The Council represents over 28,000 carpenters, pile drivers, shop & millmen, and floorcoverers working in New England and New York state.
This is an incredible opportunity for a talented leader to grow and build a sophisticated political program in a union with a long, successful history of advocating for workers and their families.
Working closely with the Council leaders, the Political Director will shape and set the agenda for the Council’s political program, which seeks to empower members to take action that will help them and their families. The Director will strengthen the political capacity of local unions, union staff and members to hold power in their communities, and at the state and federal level.
The Political Director will lead electoral, legislative and issue-based campaigns to advance this aim. The Director will build and maintain relationships with key political figures, including federal, state and city elected and appointed officials, contractors, labor unions and community organizations.
The ideal candidate is an excellent communicator with a deep belief in the power of union membership and collective action, a commitment to elect champions for working families and a desire to build independent political power for NERCC members and families.
The firm of Grossman Heinz is conducting the search. For the full job description please visit their website.
Tom Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters has appointed Krystal Green to fill a vacant seat on the union's Executive Board. Green is a third-year apprentice in Connecticut Local 326. She will take the place of John Cunningham, who resigned from the Board.
"Sister Green is a smart, motivated member who will bring new perspectives to the Executive Board," said Flynn. "That's extremely important to our union's future and I look forward to her contributions. I'd also like to thank Brother Cunningham for his many years of dedicated service to the Board."
Green is a 32-year old member who has been an active participant in GenNext and Sisters in the Brotherhood, programs that educate and activate younger and female members, respectively. She has also been to International Training Center of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters in Las Vegas for both the 3rd Year Apprentice Program, the Journeyman Leadership Program (".300 Hitters") and a conference related to UBC political action.
She said she was "humbled, grateful and looking forward to contributing everything I can. This is a tremendous opportunity and shows our union's commitment to diversity and inclusion. Being a union carpenter is my life. I'm going to represent my Brothers and Sisters to the fullest and we're going to do great things together."
Green fills one of seven Executive Committee seats and is the first female, first African-American, first apprentice and only the second rank-and-file member to serve on the Executive Board since NERCC was formed in 1996.
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Green is making her home in Hartford. She's currently working for Red Line Wall Systems, an interior systems contractor, on a residential project at 81 Arch Street. Her entry into carpentry and the union began when she participated in a Job Funnel Program in the city, a program that allows people to explore various construction trades and prepares them for apprenticeships.
Brother Manny Gines is working with Heart 9/11 to coordinate members interested in volunteering their skills to help in Puerto Rico. Following Hurricane Maria, many are still living in homes that need repairs. Union carpenter volunteers are doing that work, as well as establishing an apprentice program that will enable Puerto Ricans to learn our trade and start on a great career path.
Volunteers will travel to Puerto Rico for a week at a time, either from Wednesday through Tuesday or Monday through Sunday. Airfare will be provided and volunteers will room in rented houses with showers and meals made provided. Typical workdays are 7a-3:30pm.
Members interested should read and complete all documents linked below, forwarding them to Brother Gines at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to Manny's attention at 508-752-6714. If you have any questions, please email Manny at email@example.com.
Click here to fill out the initial volunteer form.
Desire for stability, cooperation and competitiveness key to early negotiations and agreement
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC), the Labor Relations Division (LRD) of the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts (AGC MA) and the Building Trades Employer Association (BTEA) have agreed on a 4-year extension of their current collective bargaining agreement, pending ratification by the employer organizations and a vote by union members. The agreement covers commercial carpentry work in Boston, Eastern Massachusetts and Northern New England as well as floorcovering and piledriving in Northern New England. It extends an agreement that was set to expire on August 31, 2019 until August 31, 2023.
Tom Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of NERCC said the agreement is the result of a strong partnership based on long-term trust and shared goals between the union and employers.
“Our members and the general contractors and subcontractors who employ them understand how we rely on each other to succeed,” he said. “Extending this agreement creates a level of stability and predictability that means so much in our industry. It reaffirms our commitment to each other and to working together to confront the challenges we face, both now and in the future.”
The agreement provides specified increases to the current compensation package for each year, with those increases divided and made in March and September of the given year.
Rather than negotiating wages and benefit packages individually, collective bargaining agreements between the union and employers traditionally provide for an hourly wage and benefit rate that is then allocated to hourly wages and contributions to benefit funds, training programs and other programs. Members will consider the need for benefit plan funding and increasing hourly wages when voting how to allocate increases.
In the last two years, the union has been working to ensure the long-term strength of health and retirement funds, which are jointly overseen by labor and management trustees. While all funds are in good health according to federal guidelines, the union recognizes the need to make occasional adjustments in plans and funding to maintain benefit security.
“Workers and employers in every industry have concerns about the log-term viability of health and retirement benefits,” said Flynn. “Our union’s ongoing focus on maintaining a balance between our plans, funding and keeping union employers competitive is vital. Communication on that and other issues is at the core of our relationship with employers and played an important role in reaching this agreement to extend our contract.”
In addition to financial increases and slight changes to language in the collective bargaining agreement, the union and management agreed to expand dialogue surrounding industry concerns. Joint labor-management committees will be established to have ongoing discussions about staying competitive in this constantly changing market and positioning union carpenters to be market leaders long term.
Tom Comeau, Chief Operating Officer of Commodore Builders and Chairman of the Labor Relations Division (LRD) of the AGC, believes that the commitment to holding down costs shown by Tom Flynn and NERCC will continue to make the AGC MA and signatory BTEA partners the premier construction teams in Massachusetts.
“The partnership developed between the LRD of the AGC, the NERCC, and the BTEA, will allow us to continue to focus on the overall value, level of quality, safety, and schedule delivery that our clients have come to count on for their projects.”
Tom Gunning, Executive Director of the BTEA said the extension provides valuable stability in a very competitive industry.
"It sends a message to owners and developers that the goals of this partnership are to sustain our competitive advantage and continue delivering a quality product at an economical cost," he said. “Together, we’re delivering quality training programs, consistency in our labor-management partnership and a benefit structure that protects a carpenter’s future.”
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters represents 28,000 members in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine and upstate New York. Hundreds of construction employers are signatory to agreements within NERCCs geographic jurisdiction. They include project and construction managers, general contractors and subcontractors performing various aspects of carpentry work, including metal frame and drywall, concrete, wood framing, doors and hardware and finish carpentry.
The Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts works closely with all facets of the industry to offer fair business practices for 200 members from Cape Cod to the New York border. As the leading commercial construction association in the Commonwealth, AGC MA provides member benefits and business resources for the state’s building industry. The Labor Relations Division of AGC MA assists member firms that are signed to one or more of the basic trades with issues including: contract negotiations; agreement interpretation; mediations and arbitrations; and labor and jurisdictional disputes.
The BTEA is an active, aggressive, trade association for union construction contractors defining the skyline throughout New England. The contractor members of the BTEA represent the majority of the signatory subcontractors with NERCC. It is committed to providing a forum for contractors to exchange viewpoints and ideas, support partnerships between business and government resulting in economic development. It creates networking opportunities that generate business opportunities for contractors, offers technical assistance, monitors regulatory reform efforts and legislation on a state and national level.
The New England Carpenters Training Center, this week, hosted the "September Slam," welcoming more than 130 first-year apprentices to their first session at the Millbury facility. It is the first of 16 weeks they'll spend in classrooms and workshops with instructors during their four-year apprenticeship.
Members were organized into 12 groups and rotated through four classes: Ergonomics, Scaffold User, Fall Protection and Aerial Lift. Each class was broken into 3 stations, which were run by different instructors and focused on different aspects of the trade or work skills that will help them successfully navigate the industry and their careers.
While first-year apprentices have already been working in the field, their time at the training center is an opportunity to focus more directly on honing their skills. They'll return to the job with more knowledge, confidence and skills that enable them to produce quality work more efficiently.
Executive Secretary-Treasurer Tom Flynn says giving apprentices separate training periods is a good mix for developing carpenters. "The industry is extremely demanding. Margins for contractors are very tight. First-year apprentices may feel like they're being thrown into the deep end of the pool and asked to swim. These early training weeks are important for them to gain skills and the confidence that they can keep up with the expectations set on the job."
Tom Fischer, Executive Director of the New England Carpenters Training Center, says it's important to strike a balance between teaching basic skills and keeping apprentices prepared for what they see day-to-day on the job.
"They've got to ramp up pretty quickly," he said, "so we're challenging them and showing them quite a bit in their first week. At the same time, they're with instructors and other first-years and we're working a curriculum developed by the UBC that we know is the best in the industry for apprentices at this stage."
Next week, the group will return to work on jobsites throughout the region. They'll be back in Millbury in a few months with more experience, more confidence and ready to take the next step in building their careers. In four years, they'll graduate to full journey-level status--complete with the full rate--and know they've got the ability to work on virtually any jobsite in the country. They'll continue to train throughout their careers, both to keep their basic skills sharp and to keep up with new products, tools and techniques. But it will be the foundations they're starting to create this week, in their initial training, that will have set them up for success.
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters has endorsed the following candidates in targeted races in New York. Members are encouraged to VOTE and participate in campaign activity for candidates they support.
For more information about specific candidates and to learn more about campaign activity, please contact your local union.
Andrew Cuomo (D)
Kathy Hochul (D)
Sean Patrick Maloney
New York State Assembly
Don Boyajian (D), 107th District (Washington, Rensseleaer, Columbia) Local 291
Jamie Romeo (D); 136th District (Monroe) Local 276
Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D, Sen Dem Leader) 35th District (Westchester) Local 279
David Valesky (D); 53d District (Madison, Oneida, Onondaga) Local 277
Timothy Kennedy (D); 63d District (Erie) Local 276
In New York City and the counties of Dutchess, Erie, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester, polls open at 6 am and close at 9 pm.
In all other counties, polls open at 12 noon and close at 9 pm.
Absentee ballots can be requested in person up to Tuesday, September 12 and submitted the same day.
Today is Election Day in Massachusetts and the Carpenters union has targeted several key races in the state. First and foremost, members are encouraged to VOTE. Polls are open until 8pm.
Members looking to continue the reputation of union carpenters as campaign volunteers that hit the streets and make a difference, can do so after work at the following locations:
For Congressman Mike Capuano
25 Russell Street
(Home of Diane Masters)
For Dan Koh, candidate for Congress
61 Market Street
55 Union Street
For Shannon McAuliffe, candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney
750 Dorchester Ave
225 Centre Street
401 Revere Beach Blvd.
Last Saturday, a group of carpenters volunteered to work on the roof of a home union carpenters are building for Cpl Paul Skarinka, a wounded Army veteran, as part of a team with Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors and Commodore Builders. We decided to thank one of them with a pair of tickets to tonight's New England Patriots preseason opener.
Mark Berube was randomly selected as the winner. Brother Berube is a member of Carpenters Local 330 currentely working for Century Drywall at the Hub on Causeway, in front of the TD Garden. He's also in his third year at Wentworth, where he's persuing a degree through a program set up by the school and the union.
When asked what motivated him to volunteer last week, Berube said: "I just want to help and I think any volunteer projects/programs that our union does are great and if I can be a part of any of those, I will give my time. I am very grateful for the union. It has helped me and my family in many ways and I just love what we stand for and the things we try to accomplish."
Mark stopped by the Carpenters Center to pick up the tickets from Communications Director Bert Durand. Thanks to Mark for giving up overtime work last Saturday and for being a great representative of our union. Enjoy the game, Brother!
Here's a peek at training the UBC created for concrete polishing, a popular feature in modern buildings, by NECTF Floorcovering Instructor Brian Redshaw. The Carpenters union invests in curriculum development and training programs that ensure the products and methods used in today's building meet the expectations of both product manufacturers, building designers and end users. It's a model for collaboration and collective success and one of the things that makes the our union a great fit at all levels of the construction industry.
This month, Congress will be pushing to update the Farm Bill, which governs policy that affects farms and food. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) is part of the Farm Bill and is in danger of being cut drastically. To bring awareness to the importance of SNAP for people at risk of hunger, organizations across Massachusetts are coordinating a “SNAP Challenge.” LU 346 Business Rep John Manning will be taking part in the challenge.
“I was on the phone with State Representative Jim Hawkins and he asked me if I’d be interested in joining him in this challenge and I thought I had the opportunity to learn a lot by walking in someone else’s shoes so I committed to join him in the challenge,” said Manning.
“I’ve been fortunate as an 18-year member of the Carpenters union. I’ve made a very good living and always have been able to provide for my family. I live within a budget, of course, but I can’t imagine only having $23 to purchase food for the week.”
From Monday, June 11th to Friday, June 15th, participants will live on the average individual SNAP allowance in Massachusetts ($4.56 per day) to afford everything they eat and drink for the week.
"I hope my participation in this challenge can raise awareness of how necessary this resources is to people struggling to make ends meet.”
The SNAP Challenge is an action in solidarity with the millions of low-income Americans for whom SNAP is a vital resource. Participants will learn how difficult it is to afford nutritious food, to stay healthy, and to avoid hunger. They’ll be encouraged to consider what life would be like if the benefit weren’t available, if they had even less to spend.
Help us support Brother Manning by commenting on and sharing our daily posts chronicling his week. #MASNAPChallenge
Effective May 30, 2018, the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters was dissolved and local union affiliates were merged into other existing councils, including the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. The local unions newly affiliated with the New England Regional Council include geographic jurisdiction throughout the state of New York, with the exception of New York City.
Local unions 291, 290, 279, 276 and Local 277 are now affiliated with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. New York State will be transferred to a local union affiliated with NERCC closest to where they live and members of Local 252 who reside in New York are now members of Local 51 in the New England Regional Council.
In order to keep members informed, a list of frequently asked questions has been compiled with answers. Members are encouraged to visit nercc.org and the council’s social media sites regularly for updates. They should also continue to communicate with their local unions and attend union meetings.
What does this mean?
If you are a member of one of the locals referenced, we welcome you to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. You are now part of an organization that covers New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island, representing more than 28,000 union members. We believe the new structure of our council will enable us to more efficiently use resources and service both members and the industry.
What’s going on with my local?
The numbers and geographic jurisdiction of local unions have not changed. Local union staff, local union offices and local union meetings have not been changed at this time. Local union executive boards remain in place.
Will dispatch of members change as a result of the merge?
Members in New York locals will continue to use the Mix 20/20 system.
Will monthly dues go up? What about our union meetings?
There have been no changes made to union dues, local union office locations or union meetings.
How will we be represented at the regional council?
Eastern District Vice President Mike Capelli will be working with Executive Secretary-Treasurer Tom Flynn and the New England Regional Council Executive Board to establish a process and structure for electing and seating delegates. An initial plan may be created to ensure short-term representation. David Haines and New York Regional Manager Bill Banfield will continue to work on many day-to-day operations in the state as will other staff previously assigned to New York State and the New York State local unions.
What is the status of our contracts, wage rates and benefit fund contributions?
All collective bargaining agreements existing between the union and contractors in New York remain in place. There are no changes to wage and benefit rates or working conditions as outlined in those agreements.
Have there been changes made to benefits or benefit funds?
There have been no changes made to the benefit funds or benefit plans for members in New York locals. All contributions will continue to be made to the same funds at the same rates, as established in the applicable collective bargaining agreements. Likewise, all benefits will continue to be paid in the same manner by the same funds.
In time, the funds associated with the former Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters may be dissolved and funds merged into existing funds in councils now representing covered members. In such a case, you will receive communications from the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the benefit funds involved.
Have there been changes made to apprenticeship training?
The training and apprenticeship funds and programs have not been changed. Members scheduled for training should continue to attend classes and sessions at the same locations.
In time, the training funds and programs associated with the former Northeast Regional may be merged into the New England Carpenters Training Fund. In such a case, apprentices would receive communications from the fund and other information would be distributed by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters to members.
If I have more questions, where can I get answers?
Executive Secretary-Treasurer Tom Flynn and other members of the council executive board and senior staff will be attending local union meetings throughout New York. Business agents and organizers will also be available to answer questions on an ongoing basis. Frequently asked questions will also be answered on a regular basis using NERCC Alerts, our text-based platform. To subscribe to NERCC Alerts, text NERCC to 91990 on your mobile phone.
This morning, UBC General President Douglas McCarron announced that the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters was dissolved and local union affiliates were merged into other existing councils, including the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. The local unions newly affiliated with the New England Regional Council include geographic jurisdiction throughout the state of New York, with the exception of New York City.
Local unions 291, 290, 279, 276 and Local 277 are now affiliated with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. Additionally, members of Local 251 who reside in New York state will be transferred to a local union affiliated with NERCC closest to where they live and members of Local 252 who reside in New York are now members of Local 51 in the New England Regional Council.
This move follows a decades-long trajectory of aligning regional councils with membership and market share. UBC General President McCarron said "Creating opportunities for our members and employers is the foundation of every decision we make. Since the last reorganization, we see further opportunities to consolidate council jurisdictions to match the construction markets throughout the Eastern corridor."
The expansion of the New England Regional Council will not only significantly increase the union's market share growth opportunities, but will also strengthen their members' collective bargaining power with other sectors.
Tom Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters welcomed the staff and members of the New York-based local unions.
"We see this as a tremendous opportunity to increase the voice of our members on the job and at the bargaining table throughout the area. While there is work to be done in joining our operations, we're confident that work schedules for our members and employer-contractors will not be interrupted during the process. We look forward to a stronger future with increasing market share for union carpenters and contractors."
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters will be communicating with members on nercc.org, using social media, other technology and through their local unions. We hope to answer all relevant questions as quickly as possible.
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC) is pleased to announce that Lyle Hamm, the Executive Director of the New England Carpenters Training Fund (NECTF) has accepted a position as Senior Technical Coordinator with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC). He will begin work as a Senior Technical Coordinator at the union’s International Training Center (ITC) in Las Vegas in August.
NECTF has selected Tom Fischer to succeed Hamm as the Executive Director of the Fund. Fischer is a 32-year member of the union. He is currently a Technical Coordinator for NECTF.
Hamm is a 34-year member of the Brotherhood who was named the Executive Director of NECTF in 2011.
Tom Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of NERCC, thanked Hamm for his work with NECTF and wished him the best in Las Vegas.
“We’re very happy to see the talent and success Lyle has demonstrated here In New England recognized by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters,” he said. “He has been offered a tremendous opportunity and we’re confident our loss will be a tremendous gain for the UBC.”
Bill Maheris of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, who serves as the NECTF Co-Chairman said the board was also excited about Fischer taking over as Executive Director.
“Tom brings a breadth of experience in construction, teaching, curriculum development and administration. We think his unique combination of skills will benefit our instructors, union members and the employers who rely on the skills and professionalism our programs develop.”
Fischer has extensive experience as both a commercial and residential carpenter and close to twenty years of experience as an educator and administrator in both high school and within the New England Carpenters Training Fund.
At Hopedale High School, he was an Engineering and Design teacher and also served as the Unified Arts department head and a curriculum coordinator.
He worked with the Massachusetts Department of Education and Secondary Schools as a member of the Assessment Development Committee, assisting the department in the review and development of MCAS test questions and scoring rubrics in order to assure alignment with the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks and MCAS performance standards.
For sixteen years he has been an instructor with NECTF, with certifications to teach numerous areas within the program. He developed the curriculum currently being used by NECTF for OSHA 10 and 30-hour Construction Safety course.
The New England Carpenters Training Fund is jointly administered by labor and management trustees and offers apprenticeship programs and lifelong skills upgrade training for members of locals union affiliated with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. It operates 14 training centers, including a residential facility in Millbury, Massachusetts.
The union and contractors annually invest $11 million in training, ensuring the most qualified pool of skilled workers in the construction industry. The four-year apprenticeship provides classroom, workshop and jobsite employment experience. Both the apprenticeship and skills upgrade classes are provided at no cost to members, meaning union carpenters earn decent wages and benefits while they train without accumulating tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.
NERCC and NECTF work closely with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters to develop curriculum focused on both technical skills and professional development. They have also created “Career Connections,” a skills and professionalism curriculum used by more than 30 vocational high schools and programs in New England.
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters regrets to announce the passing of Woodframe Local 723 carpenter Luis Rodriguez following a jobsite fall yesterday in East Boston. The accident occurred at the site of Paris Village, a new 32-unit residential building being framed by Northeast Framers.
Rodriguez, 48, lived in Worcester and leaves behind his wife, Evelyn Villegas, and four children.
“We are grieving for Brother Rodriguez, his wife and the friends he had, both on the job and away from work,” said Local 723 Business Agent Craig Ransom. “Though he was new to the union, he was a Brother to all of us—every carpenter--as soon as he started working with the tools. We will remember him and honor his memory by doing more to prevent similar, future accidents. This is a very sad time for Local 723.”
The loss of Brother Rodriguez is a tragic reminder of the need for safety training, the proper use of safety equipment and making safety a priority while working. When a carpenter leaves their home and family in the morning, we all need to work together as an industry to ensure that they return safely at the end of the day.
Local 723 is making arrangements to offer assistance to Brother Rodriguez’ family. Details of the arrangements will be shared with affiliates and members who wish to contribute when they are available.
Here's a shot of Piledrivers Local 56 Steward Tony Thompson, at his job at the Fore River Bridge in Quincy, Mass., where piledrivers are installing the fender system under the bridge. He's been a member since 1984.
On what it means to be a union member, Tony says, “It's hard to describe what the union means to me. The word that comes to mind is everything! It has provided for my family, provided great health insurance, and will provide for my wife and I in our retirement. Like I said, Everything!”
Representatives from the New England Regional Council of Carpenters attended the annual shareholder's meeting for Washington Trust yesterday in Westerly, Rhode Island. They attended as representatives of Carpenters union benefit funds in New England and other regional councils in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.
Business Representative Derek Adamiec and Researcher Ben Branchaud spoke at the meeting about two proposals, one related to the company's auditor and another regarding CEO pay ratio disclosure and the effect of the recent Tax Reform act as it relates to the $1 million cap on taxable compensation.
Local 330 Business Representative Derek Adamiec (right) with Ned Handy, CEO and Chairman of the Board for Washington Trust.
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters has been attending shareholders meetings for companies either based in or operating in New England for several years. While day-to-day operations for companies are not discused in the meetings, they are an avenue for the union to advocate for responsible corporate governance within companies in which union funds invest.
The meetings provide a valuable opportunity for the union to begin or continue relationships regarding their investment in development or construction of their own facilities. That was the case with Washington Trust. During his presentation at the meeting, President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Gim discussed an affordable housing initiative Washington Trust had started. Following the meeting, Adamiec and Branchaud were able to approach company leaders and discuss ways in which the union and the company might work together on the initiative.
The Attorney General’s office has ruled that the MBTA violated the law by failing to publicly bid construction of a new parking garage at the North Quincy MBTA station. The ruling, which requires construction of the garage to be put out to bid, was issued in response to a bid protest filed by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.
Thomas Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the union, applauded the ruling.
“This decision is a welcome, common sense application of public construction laws. The garage is on MBTA property, the MBTA will have oversight on construction, the garage will serve MBTA customers and the MBTA will maintain the revenue from the parking spaces. There is no basis for the MBTA to avoid its obligations to the public and the garage needs to bid under public procurement laws.”
The MBTA issued an Invitation to Bid for the investment and development of two parcels at the North Quincy MBTA station. The project, as currently designed, would include residential and retail units and a parking garage to replace the 852 parking spots now onsite for MBTA users.
Flynn said there should be significant interest in bidding for the garage when it is put out to bid and is pleased it will be an open and fair process.
The ruling of the Attorney General’s office can be found here.
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is pleased to announce that participants in the New England Carpenters Guaranteed Annuity Fund will be awarded a near-record bonus in their accounts for 2017 of 10.02%!
In addition, participants with accounts in the New England Carpenters Guaranteed Annuity Fund will also be credited with the guaranteed return of 1.86% for a total of 11.88%. Accounts will be credited in the coming weeks and viewable in the online self-service portal. Participants will also receive their annual Guaranteed Annuity Fund statement in May reflecting the bonus amounts.
Congratulations to the Champions of the New England Regional Finals in the Drywall and Floorcovering Olympics. Jose Sanchez Hernandez, from Local 336 is the Drywall winner. Michael Jacques is the Floorcovering Winner. Both will represent the New England Regional Council of Carpenters in the Eastern District competion in May and try for a place in the national finals at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters' International Training Center in Las Vegas in June.
Hernandez works for Century Drywall, who also employs Victor Gutierrez, the runner-up.
Jacques works for Business Interiors, as does Jose Zayas, the runner-up in the Floorcovering competition.
Eight drywall participants earned a place in today's competition at the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury through competitions throughout the region last month. They represented their local unions and their employers, the leading interior systems contractors in New England.
Six members from Massachusetts and Connecticut were selected by union representatives and contractors to participate in the floorcovering competition.
All participants in today's regional finals earned a $200 Red Wing gift card. First and second place finishers in the drywall competition were given PLS Laser Systems. First and second place finishers in the floorcoverers competition were given Hilti laser range finders.
Recently, the New England semi-finals of the 2018 UBC Drywall Olympics were held at NECTF training centers throughout New England. Each of the four locations had two members move on to the next round, which will take place at NECTF Millbury on March 17th. Congrats to all 30 contestants who were chosen to compete throughout the region and good luck to those who move forward to the finals next month!
1st Place: J Gill Marquez-Hernandez, Century Drywall - Local 327
2nd Place: Pierre Sirois, Sweeney Drywall - Local 328
1st Place: Victor Muro Gutierrez, Century Drywall - Local 330
2nd Place: Roberto Raposo, Citywide Contracting - Local 330
1st Place: Jason Chiarini, Connecticut Acoustics - Local 326
2nd Place: Martin Dulac, Murry Enterprise LLC - Local 326
1st Place: Alan Hall, North & South - Local 352
2nd Place: Chris Barber, Central Ceilings - Local 339
At the January 31, 2018 meeting, the Council Executive Board voted to pay 6 months of Local Union dues for all Active members who are in good standing as of March 31, 2018.
This action will pay your 2018 dues from April through September. If you have already paid your dues for all of or part of 2018, your dues will be credited 6 months going forward from your last month paid.
The Council Executive Board was able to grant this dues holiday as a result of the cost savings attained through the consolidation of our Locals.
Congratulations to union carpenters in Billerica, Mass! Monday, members attended a meeting where a Responsible Employer Ordinance was passed that will allow the town to stop construction on projects where basic laws are being violated.
Union carpenters Matthew Corum, Tyler Tranni, James Kwedor, Scott Linstrom and Ismael Vicente (pictured, with Carpenters Local Union 339 Representative Kevin Kelley) were among the Billerica residents who attended the meeting. Thanks to them for coming out to make a difference in their community!
The ordinance passed by a 4-1 vote, with one member of the Planning Board abstaining. It prohibits contractors debarred in the past three years; prohibits contractors found to be in violation of workers comp, misclassification, payroll taxes, income taxes prompt payment, prevailing wage and other wage and hour laws. It requires contractors to carry required workers' comp insurnce; properly classify workers as employees, not independent contractors; and comply with the Massachusetts Health Care Reform law.
Rather than rely on multiple state or federal agencies to react, the ordinance gives the town authority to suspend a project's building permit.
"If any person or entity that is subject to the foregoing fails to comply with any of the qualifications and conditions with respect to work on the project, this Permit shall be deemed temporarily suspended and all construction work on the entire project shall cease immediately upon issuance of a stop work order until further notice.”
By suspending the building permit, general contractors and construction managers are not able to skirt responsibility for the subcontractors they hire for their projects.
Wednesday, 5:00 PM
Florian Hall, 55 Hallet Street, Dorchester, MA
Carpenters Local 328
3rd Thursday, 5:00 PM
3rd Wednesday, 7:00 PM
3rd Thursday, 5:30 PM
January in Shrewsbury, February in Chicopee, March in Shrewsbury, and so on through the year.
2nd Thursday, 5:00 PM
Shriners Auditorium, 99 Fordham Road, Wilmington, MA
2nd Monday, 6:00 PM
American Legion Hall, 821 South Main Street, Sharon, MA
2nd Wednesday, 6:00 PM at the Maine, NH and Vermont Local Union Halls
New Hampshire: 920 Candia Road, Manchester, NH
3rd Wednesday, 5:30 PM at the Maine, NH and Vermont Local Union Halls
New Hampshire: 920 Candia Road, Manchester, NH
Vermont: 5 Gregory Drive, Burlington, VT
The New England Carpenters Benefit Funds (NECBF) is distributing information about its upcoming merger with the Connecticut and Rhode Island funds in January. A letter and an FAQ (list of frequently asked questions) is being mailed to members. They are also available online here.
NECBF is committed to providing--and helping you understand--the best benefits in our industry. Your benefits. In addition to the information in the letter and the FAQ, changes will be discussed at upcoming local union meetings. Members are also encouraged to call with any questions they have. You can continue to call the fund office that has served always served you:
New England Carpenters Benefit Funds--800-344-1515
Connecticut State Carpenters Benefit Funds--800-922-6026
Rhode Island State Carpenters Benefit Funds--401-467-6813
Brother Manny Gines is working with Heart 9/11 to coordinate members
interested in volunteering their skills to help in Puerto Rico. Following
Hurricane Maria, many are living in homes that leave them exposed to
rain and other elements. Volunteers will be repairing tin roofs and installing tarps on roofs for temporary protection until FEMA provides long-term repairs and
Volunteers will travel to Puerto Rico for a week at a time, either from Wednesday through Tuesday or Monday through Sunday. Airfare will be provided and volunteers will room in rented houses with showers and meals made provided. Typical workdays are 7a-3:30pm.
Members interested should read and complete all documents below, forwarding them to Brother Gines at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to Manny's attention at 508-752-6714. If you have any questions, please email Manny at email@example.com.
Click here to fill out the initial volunteer form.
Carpenters, Jared Allen, Commodore Builders Team Up To Build Home for Wounded Warrior
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is proud to announce its partnership with Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors, Commodore Builders and other sponsors in the construction of a new home for United States Army Corporal Paul Skarinka and his wife, Jennifer, and their two children in Hanson, Massachusetts.
A ceremonial groundbreaking for the project is being held Monday, October 16 at 8:15 am at 684 State Street in Hanson.
Corporal Skarinka was eight months into his first tour with the U.S. Army when his unit came under enemy fire outside of Baghdad on September 13, 2004. Suffering a severed artery and serious damage to his left arm and leg from a rocket-propelled grenade, Corporal Skarinka has undergone 22 surgeries as well as amputation of his left leg and partial amputation of his left arm.
Corporal Skarinka currently works as an EMT/paramedic with the Plympton Fire Department and Brewster Ambulance Service. He and his family live in a home they won in Bridgewater, but it is not handicap accessible or conducive to his needs as a recent amputee. His new home will be fully handicap accessible and tailored to his injuries.
“Union carpenters are honored to be a part of this project, assisting a family and an individual who has given so much for our country,” said Tom Flynn, executive secretary-treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. “We like to put our skills and our tools to good work and we know from our union’s experience across the country with Jared Allen’s Home for Wounded Warriors how effective his team is at coordinating these construction projects.”
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters represents more than 18,000 trades workers employed by more than 1,200 general contractors and subcontractors. Because many members are serving or have served in the U.S. military, a strong bond has always existed between the Carpenters union and the soldiers who protect our freedoms. The union is an active participant in the Helmets to Hardhats program, which connects military service veterans training and career opportunities as they transition from active duty and union carpenters frequently donate their time and skills for projects that benefit veterans or active service personnel. http://www.nercc.org/
Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors was formed by the four-time National Football League “All-Pro” defensive end in October of 2009. Then with the Carolina Panthers, Allen had just returned home from a USO trip to U.S. military bases in the Middle East. Moved by the commitment, dedication, and sacrifices that our soldiers make every day to protect our freedom, he wanted to say thank you to every soldier in the only way that he knew how. The mission of Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors is to raise money to build and remodel handicap accessible homes to suit the individual needs of our injured United States military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. https://www.homesforwoundedwarriors.com
Commodore Builders is a general contractor and construction manager that has been signatory with the Carpenters union for many years. They are a certified Massachusetts Veteran Business Enterprise. Founder and CEO Joe Albanese joined the United States Navy after graduating college and retired as a Captain from the United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps in 2009, after 28 years of service concurrent with his civilian career. Albanese is the chairman of the New England Center and Home for Veterans. http://commodorebuilders.com/
Local 67 will reopen for business at
10 AM in a temporary location:
750 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02125
Regular business hours will start Wednesday.
One hundred carpenters got together in Cambridge during their lunch hour for a rally. Joining them were Mayor Denise Simmons, Vice Mayor Marc McGovern, City Councilor Tim Toomey and State Representative Marjorie Decker, all of whom spoke out about the need for contractors to obey the law and respect workers.
Development in Cambridge has been hot, but companies like Callahan and Nauset have landed projects, bringing with them a business model that takes often takes advantage of subcontractors that rely on wage theft, payroll fraud and other tactics used in the underground economy.
"I am not going to tolerate in our city wage exploitation in our city," said Simmons. "Not here, not ever."
The city passed a resolution condemning Callahan and urging them to clean up their act. Yesterday's rally was another action to put contractors and developers proposing projects in Cambridge on notice that treatment of carpenters on their projects being watched and something they should pro-active steps to protect.
State Representative Marjorie Decker showed she knows how the game is played and made it clear she doesn't like it.
"We know it's a great city to do business in. You will make a lot of money doing business here. The materials cost the same, so how do you make your money when you don't pay a prevailing wage, when you misclassify someone? When you misclassify someone, you are STEALING from people's families! You will not get away with this in Cambridge and I will keep fighting for this at the State House."
Protecting our standards is a never-ending fight in every part of our council. Active members and supportive elected officials, like the ones who rallied in Cambridge are essential to any success we hope to achieve.
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