Residential and ICI contracts set to expire April 30, 2022
October 7th, 2021 9:45 pm     A+ | a-

By Andrew Pariser/RESCON
Where has the time gone? Where is the industry headed? When will we get rid of COVID-19 for good and what will the economic recovery look like?
These are just some of the questions the Metropolitan Toronto Apartment Builders’ Association (MTABA), Toronto Residential Construction Labour Bureau (TRCLB), and Durham Residential Construction Labour Bureau (DRCLB) bargaining committees are considering as they start to prepare to negotiate the 2022 to 2025 collective agreements.
By legislation, all collective agreements in the residential and ICI construction sectors expire April 30, 2022. In addition, other collective agreements align with this expiry date, including agreements in the sewer and watermain, heavy construction, and road sectors.
This means the winter and spring 2022 will be a very busy time.
What stays the same and what has changed
Each round of bargaining has certain similarities, including but not limited to:
  • agreements last for three years (as per provincial legislation);
  • we work with industry partners, including Ontario Residential Council of Construction Associations (ORCCA) and Construction Employers Coordinating Council of Ontario (CEECO) as industry on behalf of the industry;
  • settlements seem to only be reached after marathon bargaining sessions.
Rounds are also unique and reflect both current changes and challenges in our industry as well as future obstacles and opportunities taking into account both macro and micro issues impacting our jobsites and the broader industry.
To this end, we need to be mindful of the major events which have shaped the last three years and will shape the next three years, including but not limited to:
COVID-19 and enhanced sanitation and PPE on-site;
  • racist incidents, including nooses and a push to improve DEI initiatives in the industry, including a strong focus on attracting women into the trades;
  • stress to and in some cases a breakdown of the global supply chain.
How we prepare
As we prepare to negotiate, we need to first understand the key issues on our worksites, combined with the drivers of the housing/condo market. Secondly, we need to complete an economic analysis to better understand the economic realities facing builders over the next three years.

Specifically, what does the best research show on the current economic recovery, long-term impacts of COVID-19, historically low and potentially rising interest rates, and supply of labour?
Using this as a starting point, we can build scenarios and analyze proposals we need to make on behalf of builders as well as a respond to the proposals made by the union.
We also know that construction is a very interrelated industry when it comes to bargaining. This means that what we do as builders will impact subtrades and vice versa. As a result, the MTABA, TRCLB, and DRCLB will continue to play a leadership role in reaching out and co-ordinating events for the industry.   
Finally, best efforts lose value unless they are communicated and this means we need to hear from members, work with subtrades/construction industry, and engage in meaningful dialogue with the union.
If you have any questions, concerns, or issues you want raised in bargaining, please reach out to a bargaining committee member, Richard Lyall or myself.
2022, like other rounds, will undoubtably impact the future of the industry, which is why we have already started preparations.
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