In September of 2022 Ken Coghill was elected as the new Business Manager for the Bricklayers of Alberta. Under his new management, a 10% pay increase for the Commercial Masonry contract was established.
The Bricklayer’s Hall provides services such as guidance, representation, a legal contract (known as a Collective Agreement), training and more. We are legally empowered by Alberta Labour laws to represent you (The Membership). The Bricklayer’s Union bargains on your behalf for better wages, benefits, pension, and safety. These services are paid for with Union dues and the Bricklayers Hall works for the membership.
When was your last raise?
What is a Union?
A Labor Union is an organization formed by workers in a particular trade, industry, or company for the purpose of improving pay, benefits and working conditions. Officially known as a “labor organization” and also called a “trade union” or a “workers union”, a labor union selects representatives to negotiate with employers in a process known as collective bargaining. When successful, the bargaining results in an agreement that stipulates working conditions for a negotiated duration.
As a bricklayer working for a Union masonry contractor, a pension is included. The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) provides a minimal standard of living and with the rising costs of prescription drugs and dental fees putting strain on retirement savings. It is never too early to start thinking about your future. WITH A UNION CONTRACT IN PLACE EVERYONE HAS A PENSION.
• A member that has contributed 25 years into the bricklayer’s pension would generally qualify for up to $3000 per month once retired at 65.
Bricklayers working for Local 1 do receive health benefits and this coverage is paid for by the employer and jointly administered by elected representatives. Our Health and Welfare plan covers not only you but also your family. Included in the benefits package are as follows: life insurance, prescriptions, vision, safety glasses, dental, massage and chiropractor.
While working under a Union contract employees shall not be required to work in unsafe and unhealthy conditions without adequate measures to mitigate any risks. Refusal to work in these conditions shall not be a breach of this contract.
Alberta labor relation laws
Trade Union bargaining rights
The Labour Relations Code (“The Code”) allows a trade union that believes it has the employees’ support to apply to the Labour Relations Board (“The Board”) for bargaining rights. This is called an application for certification. The Union’s support is decided on a majority rule basis in a secret ballot vote conducted by the Board. Once certified, a trade union can require the employer to negotiate in good faith for the purpose of reaching a collective agreement.
Will the employer receive information about individual employees?
No. The privacy of employees supporting a certification application is protected. The Board is not required to divulge this confidential information about a person’s union affiliation (Section 14(6)).
These practices are examples of prohibited practices by employers:
• Terminating or disciplining an employee for joining or organizing a trade union (section 147 (a))
• Making it a condition of employment that a person does not join a trade union (section 147 (b))
This process is entirely confidential – your employer will never know you contacted by us or signed a union card.
Under Alberta’s Labour Code, if 40 per cent of the Bricklayers in a company want to join The Union, the certification process can be initiated.
If the level of support is above 40 per cent for the trade being organized, a ballot vote is scheduled by the Alberta Labour Board. This can be organized right on a job site to make the voting process simple.
If 40 per cent of a company’s employees within a Union Local’s jurisdiction sign petition cards, a formal vote on whether to unionize must be held. During and following this voting process, the law protects you from negative action by your employer.
The way this process usually begins is that anywhere from one person to a small group of employees call us, have a short chat, then meet with our Organizers.
It takes courage and determination to be part of an ‘organizing drive’ within a company, but the payoff is substantial. Our pay levels, vacation pay, health and welfare benefits and pension plan are industry leading.
• Usually, an employee contacts a Union Organizer. Sometimes, Organizers approach employees.
• Union Organizers generate employee support by having employees freely sign a petition, or “card”. These are individual and confidential. Neither your work colleagues nor your employer will know if you signed a card.
• In Alberta, at least 40 per cent of the employees in the Union’s jurisdiction must sign a petition card to initiate a certification vote at a company.
• Union support is confidential throughout this process.
• The Union applies to the Alberta Labour Relations Board to obtain the right to represent employees with their employer.
• The Government investigates to ensure the cards are authentic – they may call you to ask if you signed a card. Please note: your employer will still not know you signed a card.
• If the petition cards show support of more than 40 per cent of the employees, a secret ballot vote will be held (50 per cent + one is required for The Union to become the employees’ representative)
• The Labour Board certifies The Union as the employees’ official representative.
• The Alberta Bricklayers negotiates an agreement on your behalf, with your assistance and input, and with your final blessing through a ratification vote
Alberta Labor relations
UNFAIR LABOUR PRACTICES