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The GTA Construction Report – November 2010 – PAGE B3

TSMCA Continued from page B1


The increased emphasis by regulators to ensure that certification is in order is good news for the association’s members, many of whom are smaller businesses with 10 or fewer employees. All TSMCA members must hire unionized members, so they achieve competitive advantages by job-site efficiency and work quality rather than by skimping on labour costs. While unioniza- tion is not mandatory for certification, the risks are much greater that the non-union contractor will be tempted to take short- cuts. Now the costs of non-compliance are much greater.

Meanwhile, Peterson says the associa- tion has made significant progress in the past year on other issues, as well.

Prompt payment legislation The TSMCA is joining with other trade contractors groups to lobby for Prompt Payment Legislation, through the National Trade Contractors’ Coalition of Canada (NTCCC). “The provincial government has asked us to produce draft legislation,” Peterson said. Under the proposed legisla- tion, general contractors would be required to pay their sub-trades within 30 days of in- voicing, with significant penalties for late payment. “You’ve got to remember than on proj- ects, the sub-trade has several employees

on the job who needs to be paid weekly, as well as materials and other costs,” Peterson says. “We have to pay our bills in the next 30 days or the supplier won’t send the ma- terials for the next order. We’re the ones who have our home up with the bank and everything else.”

General contractors, meanwhile, don’t have to incur the direct expenses experi- enced by sub-trades – so they don’t feel nearly as much pain if payment is delayed. “The (Construction) Lien Act provides no more than a real court battle to get paid,” he said. “It doesn’t do anything for the trade contractor who has current obliga- tions to stay in business.”

Change Order Protocol GTA-area mechanical, electrical and sheet metal associations have been work- ing with the Toronto Construction Associa- tion (TCA) on a Change Order Protocol. “We’re working together to create a document that is designed to set the pa- rameters for cost and change notices. “There are labour cost burdens and other costs including insurance,” Petersen says. “Under the protocol, each trade would have a specific labour rate guide or production guide for doing certain things, for example, to fabricate and install duct work.”

“This is tied with SMACNA (see sepa- rate story), which has produced a labour productivity guide which sets out how much time labour resources are required for

specific types of projects,” he said. With clear guidelines and a protocol, change or- ders can be priced accurately and fairly, re- ducing disputes and complaints and hopefully litigation .

General industry trends

Peterson says overall, despite fears of a recession, the industry has fared reasonably well through the past year. “The market is

looking a little better for 2011,” he said. Notably, while many contractors are continuing to use off-site fabricators, an in- creasing number of larger contractors are installing their own fabrication equipment to give them more control and efficiency on their projects.

For more inforamtion, visit the TSMCA website at or phone (416) 798-5500.

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