Saturday, August 13, 2011

Contract Negotiations Update

Informed sources say that the District Council of Carpenters and the Contractors Associations have tentatively agreed to a new five-year contract that calls for a 5-percent reduction in wage and benefits in the first year.

Currently union carpenters earn $85.03 per hour in wages and benefits, after giving back a $2.13 contractual raise on January 1, 2011.

The tentative agreement calls for an immediate $4.25 per hour give-back, on top of the $2.13 give-back, totaling 7.5 percent or $6.38 in wage reductions.

The "huge give-backs will set wage and benefit levels back to approximately 2008 if the agreement is ratified by the council delegates," the source said. 

Negotiations for the carpenters are being led by Frank Spencer, who was appointed in 2009 by the general president of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America to oversee the district council after several of its officials were indicted for bribery. He's negotiating new deals with a half dozen contractor associations. Current rules forbid the 25,000 members of the carpenters union from ratifying their contract.

On April 21, 2011 Spencer said “that the District Council will not consider any proposal that includes a reduction in wages." 

A source familiar with the negotiations says the tentative agreement also calls for returning the $2.13 per hour give-back, with increases of $0.42 cents per hour each year, over the five year contract.

On Friday afternoon, several rank-and-file members I spoke with said the District Council should listen to the membership and reject the agreement reached with the Contractors Associations.

"If our wages are cut and stay the same for the next 5 years, while prices go up, that means our purchasing power is steadily going down. If we can’t buy as much 5 years from now as we can today, then our standard of living has gone down, the union should reject it. When they say, "give back," I say fight back," said an angry carpenter who wanted to remain anonymous.

"Re-up the negotiations till next June 30th - when the EST, President, VP, Delegates and newly created RO positions are filled and all are seated and in place; or does the UBC International fear having the men lead their own affairs under the Council Local system, a member posted.

There has been no official word on the contract agreement, a message posted on the councils website says "the District Council and Contractors Associations have agreed to extend the current terms and conditions of our contracts until Friday August 12, 2011."

(John's note: I suggest you speak with your delegates and call the District Council Monday, tell them you reject any contract that includes a reduction in wages.) 


  1. The people that represent and negotiate for the carpenters union ara a joke. We have no true leadership. True sellouts are what they are. We should be getting raises, especially after we already gave back $2.13 in January. Negotiations should have started with getting back our $2.13hr right from the start to let them know we mean business. Then if you wanted to be generous no raises for the first yr and then appropraite raises the next four years. Our guys work hard and deserve every penny they earn. Why are we punching bags??


  3. This absolute bullshit no member should stand for this
    There should be an end to this wall and ceiling
    Association representing us who made these
    Guys are representatives there should also
    Be an end to company council delegates Also we
    Do have our option to strike we should walk
    Then have an arbitrator assigned to this matter
    And I think these corporations shouldcask for
    A rebate from the contractors for the difference
    In what they bid the current jobs that are active
    Now and will be being run from now on under
    This new agreement if passed you delegates should
    Be ashamed of yourselves if you don't fight this you
    Have become scabs if you let this take effect

  4. This is so freaked up. how are we surpose to survive with this kind of contract.No pay raises for the next 5 years when the price of everything is going up up up.How can these so called reps and delg go for this. We have been thru enough< my kids are growing and will need more things in the next ,5yrs. How am i gonna survive i think that the rep and delg are on the other side.there is nno way these ppl have our best intrests in mind. I cant believe they work for us. What a shame!!!

  5. They think we are a bunch of under educated holligans who can not take care of our own shit,they might be on to something look who we voted in as est after all we father like son. if we don't take cuts and freezes,better learn to speak Spanish because you will be working alongside our Mexican counterparts.

  6. The carpenters are gutless + most were guilty of working off the books. Anyone who has 20 years in knows this but where is Walsh ? This whole Walsh RO bs has been a sham. Scott Danielson needs to be prosecuted + that says it all !

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  8. i just want to make a correction in the wording of the 2.13 raise we did not recieve on jan 1 2011. we did not give back the 2.13 ,it was "taken away" from us,breaking a contract that was negotiated nearly five years ago.the trend has been set by the ubc to break our contracts at their will.

  9. So why haven't you used and applied your current Contract (CBA) and filed for Arbitration on the $2.13 per hour theft of Wages by Spencer.

    You have a contract, use it. File Charges with the NLRB and file charges in the District Courts!

    Whining about it on a blog, without taking any action accomplishes nothing! Actions speak louder than words.

    Get your heads out of your asses, get off the couch, be a man and go do something about it!Grow a sack.

  10. Permit app's are going way up, the market is set to explode with Projects long shelved.

    Watch the big Players Profit Margins soar, while they bend you guys over.

    And yet - how many of you have submitted Arbitration Demands, filed Court cases or are willing to walk and Strike for what you believe in? Few & and far between!

    Doing the boo-hoo, snivel, snivel on a blog does what? Oh yeah, it allows you to vent while the UBC's McCarron, Spencer, BTEA'S Coletti and the rest of the sellouts laugh their asses off and ignore you - all the while cutting deals and Lining their own Pockets.

    Any of you men own $3k dollar suits like Coletti & McCarron?

    Ahh, what the hell, we'll be distracted by the DC Elections & Football will soon start.

    Wanna be the next EST and garner some respect from the men, and their Vote - lead a successful Strike action, stick to it and walk off every damn job in the Council - and, enforce it, the old fasioned way if need be.

    Any potential leader should have had this plan in effect 6-months ago, as you were all fully aware that the Contract would Expire while under the LMRDA Trusteeship imposed by McCarron. Whoe ver does this, got my vote.

    This is where you shall separate the men from the boys and where you find your next EST.

  11. Why can't carpenters elect the people who negotiate for them? Why can't we participate and have a word in the negotiations? Are we simply going to accept the cuts?
    It's time we stood up for ourselves!

  12. So this is the best our international leadership could do huh? Makes ya wonder who's side they are on now doesn't it?
    I am on a job that was bid on 3 years ago and now that contractor gets to pocket $4.25 an hour from each member, even though he bid the job with our raises included -it was not bid on with us giving back $4.25 an hour!
    This give back should have never happened but since it has it should not effect any job that has already been awarded!
    This is extortion and they should not be allowed to negotiate our contract without our elected delegates in place!

  13. Current rules forbid the 25,000 members of the carpenters union from ratifying their contract.

    Show me the rule???

    It must be council correct because it is not in the UBC Constitution.

  14. Does it say otherwise, - that we do ratify ?

  15. If the delegates vote yes to accept this contract,we should be able to find out who bitted which way- so we never vote for them again.

  16. I meant voted instead of bitted.

  17. The $2.13 raise was part of a contract, the contract was broken, who broke the contract? Spencer did

  18. No deal on the table yet so stop spreading the BS rumors and rallying the troops for nothing. If it happens print it, but if it doesn't, don't. I got my whole jobsite all pissed off for nothing!

  19. John M: OK, guys I am signing off. I am going to have sex with my nice.16 Apr 11, 22:35 John M: rough sex Donny Arana: I hope she doesnt hurt you. : John M ;I hope she does...bye


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