VIDEO UPDATE: Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher for March 29, 2021

Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher reports from head office in Oakville, where he provides the latest analytics on the Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant and the Local 793 SUB Plan. He also discusses further improvements to the Local 793 Life and Health Benefits Plan. He welcomes new members from Super Sucker Hydro Vac Service […]

Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher reports from head office in Oakville, where he provides the latest analytics on the Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant and the Local 793 SUB Plan. He also discusses further improvements to the Local 793 Life and Health Benefits Plan.

He welcomes new members from Super Sucker Hydro Vac Service as a result of a successful organizing drive and provides an update on other ongoing organizing drives.

Business Manager Gallagher also reports on the reorganization of the area offices, including looking at new properties in the Sarnia, Thunder Bay, and Barrie areas, and puts out a call to members looking for a new career as an OETIO instructor.

In this video, Business Manager Gallagher delivers the following updates:

[00:44] – OEBAC sign up and running
[02:07] – Vaccine rollout a positive step toward normalcy
[2:50] – Potential new COVID-19 surge as cases remain high
[3:49] – Local 793 taking all precautions to reduce chances of infection
[05:18] – Report shows operating engineers are staying safe
[06:15] – By the Numbers: Summarizing Local 793’s Relief Grant and SUB Plan
[12:06] – Organizing success
[14:48] – Local 793 responds to false claims by Fowler Construction
[16:59] – Measures to improve the Life & Health Benefits Plan
[21:00] – Rethinking area offices
[26:10] – Wanted: OETIO instructors (tractor-loader-backhoe, dozer, mobile and tower crane experience)

Ontario 2021 Budget

On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, the Finance Minister of Ontario, Peter Bethlenfalvy, released Ontario’s 2021 Budget titled: Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy. The Ontario Construction Sectariat (OCS) has summarized the 2021 Ontario Budget, and it contains some initiatives and spending plans that are of interest to Local 793 and OETIO. Here […]

On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, the Finance Minister of Ontario, Peter Bethlenfalvy, released Ontario’s 2021 Budget titled: Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy. The Ontario Construction Sectariat (OCS) has summarized the 2021 Ontario Budget, and it contains some initiatives and spending plans that are of interest to Local 793 and OETIO. Here are some highlights:

Investment in Infrastructure

One of the key drivers of the government’s plan is to create growth through investment in infrastructure. This includes strategic investments in transit, highways, schools, hospitals and broadband. Planned investments over the next 10 years total $145.4 billion, including $16.9 billion in 2021-22. Key highlights include:

  • $30.2 billion over the next 10 years in hospital infrastructure.
  • More than $21 billion over 10 years to support the planning and/or construction of highway expansion and rehabilitation projects.
  • $200 million to provide infrastructure funding to larger, strategic projects and to sports facilities.
  • Doubling investments in the Indigenous Community Capital Grants Program, which will help address long-term infrastructure needs and fast-track shovel-ready on and off reserve projects. 

Helping Workers with the Cost of Training

Ontario is committed to helping workers learn new skills to further their careers. This includes: 

  • An estimated $260 million in support to about 230,000 people in 2021, the government is proposing a new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit, which would provide $2,000 per recipient for 50 percent of eligible expenses.
  • $85 million to support the Skills Development Fund to help training and employment organizations assist workers during the province’s economic recovery. The funded projects will give laid-off workers immediate access to training supports or new jobs, improve the quality of training, and support traditionally underrepresented groups. 

Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades

Ontario is investing a total of $288.2 million in 2021-22 in its Skilled Trades Strategy, which includes the following improvements:

  • Providing an additional $38.6 million over three years to expand the Specialist High Skills Major program.
  • Investing $3 million over three years in a new pilot bursary program for hands-on learning in the skilled trades.
  • Expanding the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP).
  • Developing a digital portal that will enable secure and convenient access to online information and services for apprentices.

Protecting Workers

Over the past year, Ontario initiated and implemented a wide range of measures to promote workplace health and safety, protect workers and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces. Ontario is building on these efforts by ensuring that resources are available for employers and workers through initiatives that include:

  • Providing free occupational health and safety training for health and safety representatives in up to 60,000 small businesses by investing $3.5 million annually over a three-year period.
  • Increasing funding for the Ontario Mine Rescue program by $2.9 million in 2021-22.
  • Renewing the occupational health and safety strategy for 2021-26.

Providing Employment & Training Supports

Ontario continues to support workers hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by investing an additional $614.3 million during 2020-21 and 2021-22 to provide targeted employment and training supports. This includes:

  • $85 million to support Skills Development Fund to help training and employment organizations assist workers during the province’s economic recovery.
  • $117.3 million to assist women, racialized individuals, Indigenous peoples, youth and people with disabilities who are facing the highest rates of unemployment during the pandemic.
  • $194 million to further support Ontarian workers with additional employment and training programs and services that are responsive to the province’s economic recovery.

 

CLICK HERE to view the complete copy of the 2021 Ontario Budget

CLICK HERE to view the OCS Bulletin on the 2021 Ontario Budget

Government of Canada announces substantial investment in OETIO

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and Pam Damoff, member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington, joined Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher at the Union’s head office and training campus in Oakville on Monday, March 15, to announce a substantial federal government investment in two projects. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE ANNOUNCEMENT […]

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and Pam Damoff, member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington, joined Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher at the Union’s head office and training campus in Oakville on Monday, March 15, to announce a substantial federal government investment in two projects.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE ANNOUNCEMENT

Business Manager Mike Gallagher

Joining Gallagher and a limited number of guests for the announcement were Local 793 President Joe Redshaw, Treasurer/Executive Director of OETIO Rick Kerr, as well as OETIO apprentices and instructors. All COVID-19 safety protocols were adhered to for the event, including gathering limits, social distancing, mandatory face mask-wearing, and having hand sanitizer stations readily available.

“The overall objective of the funds is to improve the quality of training in the skilled trades and help tradespeople prepare for available jobs in the workforce as our economy continues to grow – especially post-pandemic,” Anand said.

Funding for the two projects comes through the Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. It is part of the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) 2020 call for proposals that allocated $63.5 million over five years for 68 projects across Canada.

Both projects are funded 50 per cent through UTIP and 50 per cent through the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO).

The first project provides $698,000 to enable OETIO to purchase new equipment to ensure heavy equipment apprentices can meet the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Standards and evolving industry standards.

Heavy equipment upgrades include the purchase of a track excavator, a tractor-loader-backhoe, a bulldozer, and an autonomous remote-controlled excavator. These will allow OETIO to adapt to current technology and replace aging capital assets.

Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand

The second project is designed to respond to the impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure safety for all staff and students by shifting a portion of its learning to a virtual environment and adapting classroom settings.

The project received $633,700 to support program optimization in a post-COVID-19 environment, promoting innovation through apprenticeships. It will allow for the purchase of video equipment to record instructor lectures, demonstrations and tutorials, migration to Office 365, upgrades to classroom equipment and tablets, WIFI upgrades, classroom furniture and video recording of field exercises.

“We appreciate the support of the federal Liberal government allowing us to continue to provide high-quality training to both new apprentices entering the industry and to existing members seeking to upgrade their skills on the latest equipment,” Business Manager Gallagher said. “This investment is matched by the Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario, which represents an investment in OETIO and the entire construction industry to ensure we are able to purchase the latest equipment and train our apprentices.”

The investment from UTIP will also help reduce barriers in the trades among under-represented groups and ensure that skilled trades workers have the supports they require to succeed.

“The funding will also aid the participation of key groups in our labour force, like persons with disabilities, racialized minorities, Indigenous people and newcomers,” Anand said.

Local 793 has a long history of training those from key groups facing barriers and helping them get the training needed to launch well-paying careers in the trades.

“As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, I have been so proud of the work Local 793 has done in the Indigenous communities,” Damoff said. “Keep up the great work. Your reputation is second to none when it comes to training.”

Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington Pam Damoff


Watch the announcement below:

Happy International Women’s Day!

March 8th is a global day of recognition celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The earliest Women’s Day observance, called “National Women’s Day” was held on February 28, 1909, in New York City when 15,000 women marched through the […]

March 8th is a global day of recognition celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

The earliest Women’s Day observance, called “National Women’s Day” was held on February 28, 1909, in New York City when 15,000 women marched through the streets demanding shorter working hours, better pay, and voting rights.

Women of the world want and deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotypes and violence; a future with equal rights and opportunities for all. To get there, the world needs women at every table where decisions are being made.

Business Manager Mike Gallagher had a few words for this year’s International Women’s Day:

“I think it’s a very important day. It’s a day to celebrate the accomplishments of all women who fought very hard for basic human rights, such as the right to vote.

But there’s more work to be done for women’s rights. The union needs to do more. Recently I hired a female Business Rep., named Torie Coqu, who comes from three generations of union members. We hope she will be with us for a very long time.

I’d also like to congratulate IUOE International Representative Lorna Harnum, whose appointment to the Government of Canada’s Women in the Economy task force, was just announced today.

As a union, we can do more to encourage women to join our trade. We have a number of female crane operators and apprentices that have done very well. But there’s not enough women in the trades, and it’s important that the opportunity is emphasized to both boys and girls at an early age.”

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, nor to any one organization, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” -Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist, and activist

Karl Maria Stadler (1888 – nach 1943), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons