President's Message

 

There is no doubt that unionized construction in New Brunswick is experiencing a significant transformation due to the well-deserved retirements of senior leadership, contractors and front line trades persons. As we reach the midway point of 2015, I am pleased to report that here has been a lot of work completed to set a positive and prosperous future course for the NB Building Trades Unions (NBBTU) and its membership.

 

In February, 2014 the NBBTU membership initiated a 3 year strategic planning process called “Building from the Ground Up”. The strategic planning process resulted in 4 main priorities for the Council:

 

1. Leadership/Succession

This priority focuses on the need to establish the organizational supports required to ensure smooth leadership transition for incoming Executive Board members of the NBBTU.

 

2. Business Development/Sustainability

This Priority addresses the present day to day operations and the future growth of the Council and its members. The future depends of retaining the current membership of the NBBTU and as well as securing future members through innovative business development efforts.

 

3. Marketing & Communications

This priority will promote a “positive image’ of unions through the development of outreach strategies and rebranding efforts.

 

4. Workforce Training & Investment

 

The ‘backbone’ of the organized labour service delivery model is its highly trained workforce. This priority will ensure the Council will continue to seek ways to ensure that the workforce of the NBBCTC current ‘rank & file’ membership is supported through innovative training and members have access to the ‘best and the brightest’ future talent pool.

 

These priorities were refined in annual work plan which was approved by Council members which resulted in a full governance review and the 1st Tripartite Stakeholder Conference held on September 17th & 18th, 2014. The conference final report captured a number of stakeholder action items:

 

1. Establishment of a NB Construction Owners alliance

 

2. Workforce Regeneration Committee

 

3. Establishment of an “Operations Improvement” Task Force

 

4. Continued Dialogue!

 

The Council has also launched its website, established an apprentice training bursary, advocated for the adoption of 4 compulsory trades (approved July, 2014), provided support to for the TransCanada Pipeline Energy East project and the Lorneville Barge Facility.  The Council continues to support the deployment of NB-MAP, a mentor apprentice training program, in fact 240 mentors and 110 learners have been trained in 212 business days! NB-MAP recently launched a new program called New Boots which is focused on increasing the completion rates of female apprentices in NB.

 

One of the key values of the NBBTU and its member unions is our focus on our front line members and their communities. Over the last 15 months, the Council and its members continued to support community building activities such as sponsorships of local youth sport activities, in kind donations of skilled labour and our ongoing commitment to the Canadian Juvenile Diabetes Association.

 

As always, the NBBTU is the united voice of organized construction labour and 1st choice for construction excellence in New Brunswick.

 

 Very best,

Gary Ritchie

President

NB Building Trades Unions