March 8, 2013

BTEA OPPOSES PROVISIONS OF PROPOSED CITY COUNCIL SICK LEAVE LEGISLATION AFFECTING UNION CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS

(Photo of City Hall)

The BTEA continues to express its concerns to the City Council regarding proposed city legislation that would mandate paid sick leave.  The legislation as currently proposed would force contractors to pay for five more days of sick leave for their workers. According to published estimates, this could result in an average cost to contractors of $2,500 per employee and $250 million annually across the New York City construction industry.

The BTEA has previously voiced its opposition to the legislation as currently written to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and one of the bill’s backers Councilwoman Gail Brewer.  Specifically, the BTEA has expressed its opposition to language in the proposed legislation that allows for the sick leave provisions to be expressly waived in collective bargaining agreements.  The BTEA has taken the position that requiring contractor associations to obtain such a waiver from the various bargaining units of the Building and Construction Trades Council, would require a renegotiation of the collective bargaining process and provide labor with an unfair advantage at the bargaining table.

“This [legislation] is only going to add to the burden of using union construction,” said BTEA President Lou Coletti.  “In the end, it is something that is going to get passed along to the developers.”

The City Council has scheduled a hearing on this legislation on March 22.  It is anticipated that a vote by the City Council on this bill could take place soon thereafter.

 

DEPUTY MAYOR HOLLOWAY TO ADDRESS CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY COMPLIANCE AND INTEGRITY INSTITUTE AT MARCH 14 SEMINAR

Cas Holloway
Deputy Mayor for Operations,
New York City Mayor’s Office

Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway will serve as a keynote speaker at a BTEA sponsored seminar on March 14 entitled “The New NYC MWBE Law: Compliance for Construction Contractors.” The seminar, which is being offered by the BTEA through its Construction Industry Compliance and Integrity Institute (CICII), will be held at the Sheraton Times Square, located at 811 7th Avenue in Manhattan, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

The March 14 Seminar will focus on the City’s newly enacted MWBE Law and will include panel discussions featuring City officials and contractors, offering advice and information to contractors on the law’s provisions.  Among the issues to be covered in the panel discussions are MWBE construction contract opportunity requirements, policies and procedures; the certification process and commercially useful function standards; establishing project goals, best effort and waiver requirements and model prime contractor compliance approaches.

For more information on this seminar, please contact Lena Vega-Wystup at the BTEA at lvega-wystup@bteany.com or by phone at 212-704-9745.  Information can also be obtained from the BTEA’s website at www.bteany.com.

 

BTEA ANNUAL AWARDS DINNER TO BE HELD ON APRIL 25

 

BTEA SAFETY COMMITTEE HEARS REPORT ON FIRE SAFETY VIOLATIONS

Carol Karlin, Executive Director of the New York Fire Safety Academy delivered a report on construction site fire safety violations, at the February meeting of the BTEA’s Safety Committee.

According to Ms. Karlin, the New York City Fire Department’s (FDNY) Construction, Demolition and Alteration (CDA) unit noted 221 violation order items in January 2013, with the following areas in need of attention:

  • Portable fire extinguishers (recharge/replace/mission on site/not tested/not inspected/missing tags/empty);
  • Remove accumulations of combustible material/building material/rubbish/old lumber/old plywood/obstructions/housekeeping or ammunition round clips/water collecting/general maintenance/scaffold blue tarp/remove combustible with fire retardant treated material;
  • Remove discontinue storage/use of flammable/combustible liquids/unsecured tanks/portable fuel devices;
  • Signs/lighting missing/illegible in floor/stairway/halls/egress-exit/electrical devices/cover electrical circuit boxes/electrical equipment rooms/floor numbers; and
  • Missing “no smoking” signs at corresponding places/smoking prevention action plan notarized need due to evidence of smoking found in site.

The FDNY’s CDA Unit is responsible for inspections at construction sites, ensuring they comply with the NYC Fire Code.  In 2012, the CDA completed more than 28,890 inspections and audited 3,670 of those inspections. 

 

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY SAFETY REPORT SEMINAR TO BE HELD ON MARCH 21

 

 


 

The BTEA’s Safety Committee will host a Construction Industry Safety Report Card Seminar on March 21.  Presenting a statistical analysis on construction safety accidents and fatalities over the past year will be Kay Gee, Area Director for the Manhattan Office of OSHA, and Michael Alacha, Assistant Commissioner for Engineering and Emergency Operations for the New York City Department of Buildings.  This presentation would have been provided at the BTEA’s November 2012 Safety Conference that was cancelled in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  There is no admission fee for this seminar.

Details for this seminar are as follows:

BTEA Construction Industry Safety Report Card Seminar
Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
Seminar Presentation: 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York
20 West 44th Street
(Between 5th& 6th Avenues)

In order to be admitted to the seminar, you must contact Lena Vega-Wystup at the BTEA at lvega-wystup@bteany.com or by phone at 212-704-9745, by Tuesday, March 19.