TORONTO, Nov. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - The release of former Secretary of Cabinet and Deputy Minister of Labour Tony Dean's final recommendations provides a roadmap to ensure the long-term success of the Ontario College of Trades ("OCOT"). Labourers' International Union of North America ("LiUNA") Local 183 welcomes the Ontario Government and OCOT's acceptance of these recommendations, and calls upon all parties to support their transparent and effective implementation.
"Mr. Dean has delivered a solid report and we are encouraged that both the Ontario Government and the Ontario College of Trades have accepted his recommendations," said Joseph Mancinelli, LiUNA International Vice-President and Regional Manager of Central and Eastern Canada Region. "This report provides a good path forward to ensure that OCOT will work in the public interest and promote the trades in Ontario. Dean's recommendations strike the right balance for labour and business in the construction industry."
"LiUNA Local 183 participated actively throughout the OCOT Review process on behalf of the over 46,000 Ontario construction workers we represent," said Jack Oliveira, Business Manager of LiUNA Local 183 and LiUNA Ontario Provincial District Council. "Throughout his review, Tony Dean demonstrated a strong commitment to transparency and a rigorous analysis of the issues, and we appreciated his accessibility and openness with all participants. Our confidence in his independence, broad expertise and thorough understanding of the complexities of the construction sector was widely shared."
In accepting Dean's recommendations, the Ontario Government and OCOT recognize the importance of reforming the College to empower it with the focus needed to fulfill its important mandate. Dean's recommendations will help OCOT better dedicate its time, energy and effort on the original vision for the College: professionalizing and promoting the trades to youth and new Ontarians as an exciting and rewarding career.
Research conducted by The Gandalf Group confirms that the construction industry wants OCOT to focus on its core mandate, with over 80% of respondents indicating that promoting the trades is the priority. Furthermore, these recommendations will safeguard against the misuse of OCOT by any groups seeking to circumvent the Ontario Labour Relations Board and make stealthy attempts to grab jurisdiction from other unions. Feedback from the construction industry indicates that there is little support for OCOT replacing the OLRB's enforcement functions; respondents are twice as likely to say that it should not be considered, than to say that it should be a high priority.1
The recommendations presented in Dean's report will have significant positive impacts for trades and the construction industry, including:
- Reforming the classification review process to ensure that decisions on compulsory certification are determined by an independent and evidence-based process with risk of harm as the key factor;
- Creating an appeal mechanism whereby enforcement orders issued by OCOT inspectors can be reviewed by experts at the Ontario Labour Relations Board ("OLRB"), thus reflecting the OLRB's exclusive legal authority to make determinations on matters where work jurisdiction is dispute;
- Providing the OLRB with the ability to issue a stay on any enforcement order pending the outcome of an appeal.
It is vital that the Ontario Government ensure that the vision and intent of the final recommendations are translated into practical changes to OCOT. LiUNA Local 183 looks forward to working alongside the Ontario Government and OCOT to ensure that Dean's recommendations are implemented effectively and make a positive impact on tradespeople and the broader economy.
"LiUNA Local 183 believes that Dean's recommendations will go a long way towards providing the balance that has been missing from OCOT. They underscore the importance of evidence and expertise when making decisions that fundamentally impact tens of thousands of hard-working Ontarians and the well-being of a vital sector of our economy," said Oliveira. "Together, we can ensure that OCOT works for the tradespeople building Ontario up, the businesses that hire them and the greater public interest."
About LiUNA Local 183
LiUNA Local 183 is the largest construction local union in North America, representing more than 40,000 construction workers and their families in the Greater Toronto Area. Local 183 also represents approximately 8,500 members working in the industrial sector, including members working for employers contracted to provide cleaning and maintenance services to building owners.
About LiUNA Ontario Provincial District Council
The Ontario Provincial District Council (OPDC) is a certified council of trade unions made up of affiliates of the Labourers' International Union of North America (LIUNA). The LiUNA Ontario Provincial District Council represents eleven (11) construction local unions in Ontario with approximately 80 000 members representing over fifty (5) trade classifications. LiUNA locals also operate ten (1) Training Education Centres across Ontario.
1 Research conducted by The Gandalf Group through a telephone survey from September 28th to October 15th, 2015, among 402 businesses in the construction industry in Ontario.
SOURCE Government Liaison LiUNA