Thursday, April 21, 2011

Update on Monthly Delegate Meeting Held on April 13, 2011


(John's Note: Do you think the "Rally 4 Solidarity" had anything to do with the council's sudden attempt of keeping you informed?)

Your District Council leadership is committed to keeping you informed of developments and activities affecting our members. Below is a brief summary of the issues raised during the recent NYCDC Delegate meeting on April 13, 2011:

Increased Transparency

In response to suggestions from the Delegates to be more transparent, the Council now provides on the website updated names and contact information on Council staff, including email addresses.

Contract Discussions

The District Council leadership has been meeting with the Employers regarding our upcoming contracts. We have been clear with the Employers that the District Council will not consider any proposal that includes a reduction in wages. We are about increasing market share and man hours. If we are successful in our discussions with Employers regarding contract language that doesn’t impede productivity, it will be a win for both sides. The Employers also raised the issue of an 8-hour work day. We have already led the industry in addressing the current downturn in the economy. However, we will not address the 8-hour work day issue until we have an opportunity to review what the other crafts and subtrades have committed. We want to work on a level playing field.

AFL-CIO Questionnaire

There was a questionnaire circulated by the AFL-CIO to solicit information regarding wage rates from our union carpenters. This questionnaire was not distributed by or is associated with the UBC or the NYCDC. Our union carpenters are part of the Building Trades and not a part of the AFL-CIO. There is not a movement by the UBC to become part of the AFL-CIO.

Carpenters Poll and other Research

Periodically, the Council surveys the membership on its concerns and priorities. During 2010, a comprehensive research project was conducted. That information is available to members who want to review the report. To schedule a time to review the report at District Council offices, please contact Director of Operations, Matt Walker, at (212) 366-7530 or MWalker(at) to make an appointment. In addition, later this Spring, the Council will post a summary version of the research on the web site.

395 Hudson Street

There have been internal discussions about relocating our headquarters to another site to accommodate the growth in the apprenticeship program. No decisions have been made at the current time. While we are not currently considering a new building, we will continue to review options for a location that will fulfill our future needs. The District Council leadership is working with a committee, which includes a combination of staff and rank and file members of our union, on this effort. Our current location, 395 Hudson, is and will continue to be owned by our Pension funds and its Trustees.

Dock Builders

There have been discussions about expanding the Dock Builders local 1456 jurisdiction. These discussions are premature and are ongoing. No decisions have been made. They contribute to our union in a variety of significant ways that are valuable to our organization. We are committed to putting our members to work and capturing man hours. Our goal is to expand market share for our members and ensure they have long-term work opportunities. We are moving forward in the most effective way to expand markets for our members.

Time Capturing Device

The NYCDC has instituted a pilot program in 12 locations that will help increase our effectiveness and reduce fraud in our union. We are using a time capturing device that has the ability to scan the bar codes of our UBC cards. These devices can help provide real time information about the hours our carpenters are working, account for overtime and provide a statement of work. We are working with the Contractors on the use of these devices. Look for more information soon on this new approach to eliminating corruption in our council.

As you can see, good things are taking shape within our New York City union and we are putting a positive and progressive program together to rebuild this operation in to one that is committed to the highest level of honesty, efficiency and transparency. We want to make this Council a model for the rest of the labor movement. Together, we can move forward in the right direction.

If you have any questions, please contact Matt Walker, Director of Operations, at (212) 366-7530 or





I would ask that if you would like to leave a comment that you think of Local 157 Blogspot as your online meeting hall and that you wouldn’t say anything on this site that you wouldn’t, say at a union meeting. Constructive criticism is welcome, as we all benefit from such advice. Obnoxious comments are not welcome.