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Hamm joining UBC new leader announced for NECTF Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC) is pleased to announce that Lyle Hamm, the Executive Director of the New England Carpenters Training Fund (NECTF) has accepted a position as Senior Technical Coordinator with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC). He will begin work as a Senior Technical Coordinator at the union’s International Training Center (ITC) in Las Vegas in August.

NECTF has selected Tom Fischer to succeed Hamm as the Executive Director of the Fund. Fischer is a 32-year member of the union. He is currently a Technical Coordinator for NECTF.

Hamm is a 34-year member of the Brotherhood who was named the Executive Director of NECTF in 2011.

Tom Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of NERCC, thanked Hamm for his work with NECTF and wished him the best in Las Vegas.

“We’re very happy to see the talent and success Lyle has demonstrated here In New England recognized by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters,” he said. “He has been offered a tremendous opportunity and we’re confident our loss will be a tremendous gain for the UBC.”

Bill Maheris of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, who serves as the NECTF Co-Chairman said the board was also excited about Fischer taking over as Executive Director.

“Tom brings a breadth of experience in construction, teaching, curriculum development and administration. We think his unique combination of skills will benefit our instructors, union members and the employers who rely on the skills and professionalism our programs develop.”

Fischer has extensive experience as both a commercial and residential carpenter and close to twenty years of experience as an educator and administrator in both high school and within the New England Carpenters Training Fund.

At Hopedale High School, he was an Engineering and Design teacher and also served as the Unified Arts department head and a curriculum coordinator.

He worked with the Massachusetts Department of Education and Secondary Schools as a member of the Assessment Development Committee, assisting the department in the review and development of MCAS test questions and scoring rubrics in order to assure alignment with the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks and MCAS performance standards.

For sixteen years he has been an instructor with NECTF, with certifications to teach numerous areas within the program. He developed the curriculum currently being used by NECTF for OSHA 10 and 30-hour Construction Safety course.

The New England Carpenters Training Fund is jointly administered by labor and management trustees and offers apprenticeship programs and lifelong skills upgrade training for members of locals union affiliated with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. It operates 14 training centers, including a residential facility in Millbury, Massachusetts.

The union and contractors annually invest $11 million in training, ensuring the most qualified pool of skilled workers in the construction industry. The four-year apprenticeship provides classroom, workshop and jobsite employment experience. Both the apprenticeship and skills upgrade classes are provided at no cost to members, meaning union carpenters earn decent wages and benefits while they train without accumulating tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.

NERCC and NECTF work closely with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters to develop curriculum focused on both technical skills and professional development. They have also created “Career Connections,” a skills and professionalism curriculum used by more than 30 vocational high schools and programs in New England.

Carpenters mourn loss of member Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters regrets to announce the passing of Woodframe Local 723 carpenter Luis Rodriguez following a jobsite fall yesterday in East Boston. The accident occurred at the site of Paris Village, a new 32-unit residential building being framed by Northeast Framers.

Rodriguez, 48, lived in Worcester and leaves behind his wife, Evelyn Villegas, and four children.

“We are grieving for Brother Rodriguez, his wife and the friends he had, both on the job and away from work,” said Local 723 Business Agent Craig Ransom. “Though he was new to the union, he was a Brother to all of us—every carpenter--as soon as he started working with the tools. We will remember him and honor his memory by doing more to prevent similar, future accidents. This is a very sad time for Local 723.”

The loss of Brother Rodriguez is a tragic reminder of the need for safety training, the proper use of safety equipment and making safety a priority while working. When a carpenter leaves their home and family in the morning, we all need to work together as an industry to ensure that they return safely at the end of the day.

Local 723 is making arrangements to offer assistance to Brother Rodriguez’ family. Details of the arrangements will be shared with affiliates and members who wish to contribute when they are available.

​Friday is for the Members Posted by on

Here's a shot of Piledrivers Local 56 Steward Tony Thompson, at his job at the Fore River Bridge in Quincy, Mass., where piledrivers are installing the fender system under the bridge. He's been a member since 1984.

On what it means to be a union member, Tony says, “It's hard to describe what the union means to me. The word that comes to mind is everything! It has provided for my family, provided great health insurance, and will provide for my wife and I in our retirement. Like I said, Everything!”

Carpenters Attend Washington Trust Annual Meeting Posted by on

Representatives from the New England Regional Council of Carpenters attended the annual shareholder's meeting for Washington Trust yesterday in Westerly, Rhode Island. They attended as representatives of Carpenters union benefit funds in New England and other regional councils in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.

Business Representative Derek Adamiec and Researcher Ben Branchaud spoke at the meeting about two proposals, one related to the company's auditor and another regarding CEO pay ratio disclosure and the effect of the recent Tax Reform act as it relates to the $1 million cap on taxable compensation.

Local 330 Business Representative Derek Adamiec (right) with Ned Handy, CEO and Chairman of the Board for Washington Trust.

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters has been attending shareholders meetings for companies either based in or operating in New England for several years. While day-to-day operations for companies are not discused in the meetings, they are an avenue for the union to advocate for responsible corporate governance within companies in which union funds invest.

The meetings provide a valuable opportunity for the union to begin or continue relationships regarding their investment in development or construction of their own facilities. That was the case with Washington Trust. During his presentation at the meeting, President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Gim discussed an affordable housing initiative Washington Trust had started. Following the meeting, Adamiec and Branchaud were able to approach company leaders and discuss ways in which the union and the company might work together on the initiative.

AG Rules MBTA Violated Bid Law Posted by on

The Attorney General’s office has ruled that the MBTA violated the law by failing to publicly bid construction of a new parking garage at the North Quincy MBTA station. The ruling, which requires construction of the garage to be put out to bid, was issued in response to a bid protest filed by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

Thomas Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the union, applauded the ruling.

“This decision is a welcome, common sense application of public construction laws. The garage is on MBTA property, the MBTA will have oversight on construction, the garage will serve MBTA customers and the MBTA will maintain the revenue from the parking spaces. There is no basis for the MBTA to avoid its obligations to the public and the garage needs to bid under public procurement laws.”

The MBTA issued an Invitation to Bid for the investment and development of two parcels at the North Quincy MBTA station. The project, as currently designed, would include residential and retail units and a parking garage to replace the 852 parking spots now onsite for MBTA users.

Flynn said there should be significant interest in bidding for the garage when it is put out to bid and is pleased it will be an open and fair process.

The ruling of the Attorney General’s office can be found here.

NECBF Annuity Bonus Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is pleased to announce that participants in the New England Carpenters Guaranteed Annuity Fund will be awarded a near-record bonus in their accounts for 2017 of 10.02%!

In addition, participants with accounts in the New England Carpenters Guaranteed Annuity Fund will also be credited with the guaranteed return of 1.86% for a total of 11.88%. Accounts will be credited in the coming weeks and viewable in the online self-service portal. Participants will also receive their annual Guaranteed Annuity Fund statement in May reflecting the bonus amounts.

NERCC Reps for Drywall and Floorcovering Olympics Selected Posted by on

Congratulations to the Champions of the New England Regional Finals in the Drywall and Floorcovering Olympics. Jose Sanchez Hernandez, from Local 336 is the Drywall winner. Michael Jacques is the Floorcovering Winner. Both will represent the New England Regional Council of Carpenters in the Eastern District competion in May and try for a place in the national finals at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters' International Training Center in Las Vegas in June.

Hernandez works for Century Drywall, who also employs Victor Gutierrez, the runner-up.

Jacques works for Business Interiors, as does Jose Zayas, the runner-up in the Floorcovering competition.

Eight drywall participants earned a place in today's competition at the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury through competitions throughout the region last month. They represented their local unions and their employers, the leading interior systems contractors in New England.

Six members from Massachusetts and Connecticut were selected by union representatives and contractors to participate in the floorcovering competition.

All participants in today's regional finals earned a $200 Red Wing gift card. First and second place finishers in the drywall competition were given PLS Laser Systems. First and second place finishers in the floorcoverers competition were given Hilti laser range finders.

Congrats to drwyall olympics participants Posted by on

Recently, the New England semi-finals of the 2018 UBC Drywall Olympics were held at NECTF training centers throughout New England. Each of the four locations had two members move on to the next round, which will take place at NECTF Millbury on March 17th. Congrats to all 30 contestants who were chosen to compete throughout the region and good luck to those who move forward to the finals next month!

1st Place: J Gill Marquez-Hernandez, Century Drywall - Local 327
2nd Place: Pierre Sirois, Sweeney Drywall - Local 328

1st Place: Victor Muro Gutierrez, Century Drywall - Local 330
2nd Place: Roberto Raposo, Citywide Contracting - Local 330

1st Place: Jason Chiarini, Connecticut Acoustics - Local 326
2nd Place: Martin Dulac, Murry Enterprise LLC - Local 326

1st Place: Alan Hall, North & South - Local 352
2nd Place: Chris Barber, Central Ceilings - Local 339

News on Monthly Dues Posted by on

At the January 31, 2018 meeting, the Council Executive Board voted to pay 6 months of Local Union dues for all Active members who are in good standing as of March 31, 2018.

This action will pay your 2018 dues from April through September. If you have already paid your dues for all of or part of 2018, your dues will be credited 6 months going forward from your last month paid.

The Council Executive Board was able to grant this dues holiday as a result of the cost savings attained through the consolidation of our Locals.

Members in Billerica get a win Posted by on

Congratulations to union carpenters in Billerica, Mass! Monday, members attended a meeting where a Responsible Employer Ordinance was passed that will allow the town to stop construction on projects where basic laws are being violated.

Union carpenters Matthew Corum, Tyler Tranni, James Kwedor, Scott Linstrom and Ismael Vicente (pictured, with Carpenters Local Union 339 Representative Kevin Kelley) were among the Billerica residents who attended the meeting. Thanks to them for coming out to make a difference in their community!

The ordinance passed by a 4-1 vote, with one member of the Planning Board abstaining. It prohibits contractors debarred in the past three years; prohibits contractors found to be in violation of workers comp, misclassification, payroll taxes, income taxes prompt payment, prevailing wage and other wage and hour laws. It requires contractors to carry required workers' comp insurnce; properly classify workers as employees, not independent contractors; and comply with the Massachusetts Health Care Reform law.

Rather than rely on multiple state or federal agencies to react, the ordinance gives the town authority to suspend a project's building permit.

"If any person or entity that is subject to the foregoing fails to comply with any of the qualifications and conditions with respect to work on the project, this Permit shall be deemed temporarily suspended and all construction work on the entire project shall cease immediately upon issuance of a stop work order until further notice.”

By suspending the building permit, general contractors and construction managers are not able to skirt responsibility for the subcontractors they hire for their projects.

New Year, New Locals, New Meeting Times! Posted by on

Carpenters Local 326
1st Wednesday, 5:30 PM
Middletown Elks Crystal Ballroom, 44 Maynard Street, Middletown, CT

Carpenters Local 327

Last Wednesday, 5:00 PM
Florian Hall, 55 Hallet Street, Dorchester, MA

Carpenters Local 328
3rd Thursday, 5:00 PM

VFW, 114 Mystic Ave, Medford, MA

Carpenters Local 330

3rd Wednesday, 7:00 PM

14 Jefferson Park Road, Warwick, RI

Carpenters Local 336

3rd Thursday, 5:30 PM

Alternating locations: Italian American Club, 26 Dewey Road, Shrewsbury, MA and Knights of Columbus, 460 Granby Road, Chicopee, MA.

January in Shrewsbury, February in Chicopee, March in Shrewsbury, and so on through the year.

Carpenters Local 339

2nd Thursday, 5:00 PM

Shriners Auditorium, 99 Fordham Road, Wilmington, MA

Carpenters Local 346

2nd Monday, 6:00 PM

American Legion Hall, 821 South Main Street, Sharon, MA

Commercial Carpenters Local 349

2nd Wednesday, 6:00 PM at the Maine, NH and Vermont Local Union Halls

Maine: 65 Rainmaker Drive, Portland, ME

New Hampshire: 920 Candia Road, Manchester, NH

Vermont 5 Gregory Drive, S. Burlington, VT

Interior Systems Carpenters Local 352

3rd Wednesday, 5:30 PM at the Maine, NH and Vermont Local Union Halls

Maine: 65 Rainmaker Drive, Portland, ME

New Hampshire: 920 Candia Road, Manchester, NH

Vermont: 5 Gregory Drive, Burlington, VT