Saturday, September 1, 2012

District Council Goes Paperless

Compliance Program Institutes New Method for Reporting Work Hours

Motorola ET1 Enterprise Tablets
It’s a new year at the District Council and our members will soon be working under brand new contracts. A proposed agreement with the Building Contractors Association has been posted on our website for member review. In addition, initial negotiations with the Association of Wall-Ceiling and Carpentry Industries were completed last fall. Your leaders are working hard to meet every condition to ensure members will be working under these new contracts in 2013.

The District Council Goes Digital

As part of the new agreements, the days of paper reporting for shop stewards will soon be over. One condition of the new Wall-Ceiling Agreementincludes the creation of a compliance piece that requires the establishment of a program for the website that enables shop stewards assigned to a job to log in and report member work hours in real time. This compliance program has been tested and approved and will be rolled out in the coming months.

After a pilot program, The DC and the Wall & Ceiling decided upon the best devices to use and the proper way in which to cover the cost for the these much-needed devices. It was decided that funds from Labor Management would be applied towards the purchase of potentially up to 1,000 tablets based on durability, reliability and costs. This program means that shop stewards will get access to devices that enable them to record member hours during work time. Employers will then be responsible for verifying the logged hours and reporting any discrepancies as part of this new work hour reporting program. “With the turnaround time for resolving disputes promising to be much faster, we believe this method will enable greater speed, accuracy and ethical reporting for investigating discrepancies,” said Michael Cavanaugh, VP of the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

Pilot Program

In order to test the efficiency of this new technology, a Pilot Program was carried out with shop stewards and employers at a select number of job sites. A limited variety of tablets were acquired in order to be used for this trial. Shop stewards received training for the user-friendly reporting system, and they provided valuable feedback. The Pilot Program was a tremendous success, and soon all of our shop stewards will be reporting hours electronically, using this brand new system that will greatly increase speed and accuracy. With this new system in place, the District Council is making great use of emerging technologies as we improve the way we do business. The Pilot Program required a great deal of collaboration between Executive Staff, Shop Stewards in the Pilot Program, the Review Officer and the Inspector General.

Weekly Shop Steward Reports Will Now Be Daily

After a lengthy process, the DC selected Motorola’s ET1 Enterprise Tablets as its new reporting device. Training of some 50 shop stewards per night on the use of the new devices began in late February and we anticipate a major roll out in early March. Once implemented, the DC will begin phasing out the paper-based Stewards Weekly Payroll Report. Previously submitted on a weekly basis, shop stewards will now be able to quickly and easily report hours on a daily basis. All of the tablets will be provided at job sites for the Shop Stewards.

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