ORBA Supports MPP Michael Harris' Proposed Legislation to End Closed Tendering of Construction Projects

TORONTO, May 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Road Builders' Association (ORBA) is supporting legislation introduced today by MPP Michael Harris to end closed tendering of construction projects in municipalities and school boards in Ontario.  Representatives from ORBA were on hand to participate in the press conference and to watch the introduction of The Fair and Open Tendering Act in the Legislature.

"We support a fair, equitable and open tendering process in which all companies can compete for work," said John Blake, President of the ORBA. "This tendering process helps to ensure the best value-for-money for the taxpayer."

Closed tendering situations can occur when a public employer is organized by an affiliated construction union and forced to accept the provincially negotiated collective agreement for Industrial, Institutional and Commercial work.  These provincial agreements typically contain tight contacting out restrictions that require public employers to close tendering to only contractors and workers who are organized by a particular union.  This can restrict all other union and non-union contractors from participating in the publicly funded projects.

Closed tendering restrictions apply in school boards and cities across the province including Toronto, Sault Ste Marie, Hamilton and the Greater Essex County School Board. The Region of Waterloo is also at risk of being subject to this type of situation if they are unsuccessful in their ongoing battle with the Carpenters Union at the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

"Restrictions on competition in the City of Hamilton are estimated to have cost the City's tax payers millions of dollars for no added value," said Geoff Wilkinson, Executive Director of ORBA. "We are happy to see Legislation put forward to close this loophole in the Labour Relations Act and prevent unfair tendering practices."

ORBA's Board of Directors passed a resolution calling on the Government to stop closed tendering in public employers at their April meeting.  ORBA is pleased to see that MPP Harris has taken action to end this unfair and fiscally irresponsible practice.

The Ontario Road Builders' Association is the voice of the majority of road building contractors who build and maintain Ontario's provincial roads. In addition ORBA boasts approximately 100 associate members who supply products and equipment to the industry. To learn more about ORBA go to www.orba.org

SOURCE: Ontario Road Builders' Association

For further information:

If you have any questions about the news release, please do not hesitate to contact Patrick McManus (patrick@orba.org or 905-507-1107 ext. 225) for more details.

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Ontario Road Builders' Association

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