Blog

Viewing: Members
Page
of 2

Helping Hammers: Boston Fire Department Moon Island Posted by on

As union carpenters, we understand the importance of training, from reaching our full potential as crafts workers to making sure we're as safe and whole going home as we were arriving at the job. For members of the Boston Fire Department, training is even more important. Day in and day out, they're working to save the lives and property of the people of Boston. That’s why Boston Firefighters Local 718 recently enlisted the help of the New England Carpenter Training Fund for our latest “Helping Hammers” endeavor.As part of their supervised training, union carpenter apprentices built a structure to be used in Rapid Intervention and Thermal Imaging Rescue training. It was built at the Boston Fire Training Academy on Moon Island in Quincy, MA, and will be invaluable to their ongoing firefighting and lifesaving training programs.





Members Make the Difference: John Burrows Posted by on

Spring elections are coming up soon in many cities and towns in New England. At least one member is putting his name on the ballot in his hometown. Brother John Burrows, a member of Local 275, is running for a seat on the Planning Board in Billerica.

Burrows is a 15-year member of the union and last year attended the ".300 Hitters" program at the UBC's International Training Center in Las Vegas. He called the experience "amazing" and said it influenced his decision to run. Another factor was something he learned while doing a Union Participation Program (UPP) event.

"I've always been active in the local with the volunteer organizing committee. But when I organized a UPP effort in Billerica to build dugouts, I found out that 90 union carpenters lived in town," he said. "Planning Board has a say in the zoning and what the town's people want and what works for Billerica. To be a part of a community, you have to be involved."

While employment at the Billerica Mall has fallen to a quarter of what it once was and the downtown area has become stagnant, Burrows says the Planning Board has been slow to approve worthwhile projects. He feels like his election to the Planning Board could tip the balance toward approval of positive developments in town, including a rumored solar farm.

Burrows is currently working as a carpenter steward for Turner Construction at Massachusetts General Hospital's Waltham campus. He also recently applied for a position as a Business Manager/Organizer with the New England Regional Council and is scheduled to attend a "Three Day" in Las Vegas next month.

In addition to union carpenters, Burrows has been getting help from members of IBEW Local 103. Members interested in helping can contact Burrows through Local 275 or on his campaign Facebook page "Burrows for Planning Board."





Carpenters Appreciation Night is around the corner Posted by on

70 BIG prizes, 3 ways to watch LIVE on March 11! Come to the Carpenters Center in Dorchester, watch from the comfort of your home or hang out at one of FIFTEEN viewing events throughout New England. All members welcome at all locations. Additional door prizes available at all live events with 25+ members! For details, click here.





Retirement Seminar scheduled for March 21st in Boston Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar "Planning for Retirement" on Saturday, March 21, 2015. The seminar will be held at the Carpenters Center located at 750 Dorchester Ave., Boston, from 8:30-12:00 pm.

Seating is limited, so register early! Members can register online at CarpentersFund.org or by contacting the Seminar Registration Line at 978-253-5100.

Breakfast will be available at 8:00 AM.

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the seminar include:

Choosing your Pension, Annuity and Health Benefit Options

  • Reviewing your eligibility for retirement
  • Customized Pension Benefit calculations
  • Understanding which of our Benefit Plan options fit best with your lifestyle
  • Explore your Annuity Benefit options
  • Explanation of our Retiree Health Benefit Plan
  • Overview of Social Security Benefits

Essentials for Estate Planning

  • Protecting the assets you've accumulated
  • How to plan for the transfer of assets
  • Avoiding probate
  • Keeping your documents current




Helping Hammers: Peddocks Island Chapel Restoration Posted by on

This past summer, apprentices with the New England Carpenters Training Fund ( NECTF) completed work on a unique project on Peddocks Island, one of the largest islands in Boston Harbor. Over a hundred apprentices traveled to the island over the course of a year for onsite hands-on training restoring the Peddocks Island Chapel.

Considered one of the most historic of the thirty-four Boston Harbor Islands, Peddocks has the longest shoreline of any of the islands and a very diverse landscape making it very attractive to visitors. With many of the island’s buildings in severe disrepair, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) implemented a plan to preserve the island’s history while keeping it safe for visitors. One of the most significant projects was the restoration of the most iconic feature of the island: the chapel located near the island’s main dock.

The scope of work needing to be done at the chapel was daunting, and the Boston Harbor Island Alliance reached out to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the NECTF asking for help with labor on the $1.8 million chapel restoration project.

The island experience offered a unique work opportunity for apprentices. While being taught general work conditions and site safety, apprentices also learned the logistics of planning to work in an isolated environment and how to adapt and adjust accordingly.

NERCC produced this documentary video of the work the apprentices completed at the chapel, including footage from various stages of the project and interviews with some of the people involved.

Peddocks Island is open to the public and accessible by private boat or by ferry. Visit Mass DCR or BostonHarborIslands.org to learn more.





Sisters represent NERCC at UBC Women's Conference Posted by on

Thirty-one Sisters from New England just returned from the fourth International UBC Women’s Conference held at the International Training Center in Las Vegas. 467 members from across the UBC participated in the learning and networking forum.

A key goal of the conferences is to provide women with tools for becoming involved UBC members. During the conference members were able to meet other Sisters in the Brotherhood committee chairs to exchange ideas and discuss goals; meet with women who are full-time staff on councils across the UBC; attended panels including a contractor panel that discussed maintaining hiring goals; and hear from Senator Amy Klobuchar, the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the United States Senate, who compared her own experience to that of women working in the trades.

Vi Davis (above), a 22-year members of Carpenters Local 67, attended the conference, and was able to share her unique experience as a member of the union family. Sister Davis proudly brought her son, Isaac, into the union. He is a third-year apprentice out of Local 67. The two currently work together for Manganaro on the UMass Boston General Academic Building project.





Carpenters recruit by showing off training center Posted by on

There's welcome news for construction contractors in New England worried about a current or looming skilled labor shortage. Today, more than 900 students currently enrolled in vocational high schools or programs are visiting the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, Massachusetts today.

During their visit, they're learning more about the comprehensive training programs available in the diverse carpentry trade. They're also seeing some of the most sophisticated facilities in the country, combining state-of-the-art shop and work space with classrooms, dormitory, dining and recreation space.

Though some students may have experience in limited aspects of the industry, today's tour gives them a comprehensive view of the trade, work conditions and career opportunities available to trained, motivated and supprted trades workers.

A lack of skilled trades workers is consistently cited in surveys by employers as a limiting factor for company growth and their ability to deliver consistent quality work. Contractors signatory to the Carpenters union have the advantage of joint training programs and fairly negotiated wage and benefit packages that attract the most qualified applicants.

For more information on training programs visit nercc.org/training





Free flu shots at Carpenters Center Posted by on

Carpenters Care is offering free flu shots at the Carpenters Center this month. Check out the schedule - no appointment necessary.





Retirement Seminar scheduled for November 15th Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar “Planning for Retirement” on November 15, 2014. The seminar will be held at the New England Carpenters Training Center located at 13 Holman Road in Millbury, MA, from 8:30-12:00 pm. 

Registration will begin on October 14th. 

As of October 14th members can register online at CarpentersFund.org or by contacting the Seminar Registration Line at  at 978-253-5100 to reserve a spot. 

Seating is limited. 

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the seminar include...

Choosing your Pension, Annuity & Health Benefit Options...

  • Reviewing your eligibility for retirement
  • Customized Pension Benefit calculations
  • Understanding which of our Benefit Plan options fit best with your lifestyle
  • Explore your Annuity Benefit options
  • Explanation of our Retiree Health Benefit Plan
  • Overview of Social Security Benefits

Essentials for Estate Planning...

  • Protecting the assets you've accumulated
  • How to plan for the transfer of assets
  • Avoiding probate
  • Keeping your documents current

 





Labor Guild releases Fall schedule Posted by on

The Labor Guild's School of Labor Management Relations has released its schedule of classes for the fall semester. Classes begin September 15th and run through November 10th. All classes are held in one of two periods between 7:00 - 9:30 PM.

Classes will return to SEIU 1199's Dorchester facility for the Fall 2014 term. Local 1199 is located in the Corcoran-Jennison Building, 150 Mount Vernon Street, Dorchester, at the Bayside Expo Business Center. 

A full class list is available at laborguild.com.

The mission of the Labor Guild is to provide engaging, high-quality, affordably-priced Labor-Management education. Each term, 8-10 courses are offered in a variety of topic areas including: labor law, negotiations, union goverance, leadership, public speaking,and economics. 

For more information, visit laborguild.com or call 781-340-7887.





Senate Republicans' Latest Attack on Davis-Bacon: A Sign of the Future? Posted by on

Republican Senator Mike Lee from Utah has filed Senate Bill S2617 which, if passed, would pave the way to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. That would put millions of carpenters at risk of being paid less than the prevailing wage. Visit the UBC's website here to learn where your government representatives stand on Davis-Bacon, and vote for those who support the basic right of earning a fair wage.





Rebuilding a community, not just a building Posted by on

In early 2009, an electrical fire damaged a Worcester building that served as a home to the Stone Soup Community Resource group, a collection of volunteer organizations. With plenty of community support, but scarce funding, the group faced an uncertain future. Local 107's Dave Minasian was an active member of Stone Soup and was able to organize help from friends in the union and the New England Carpenters Training Center to join an effort to make the space usable again.

YouthBuild Boston served as the general contractor on the project. YouthBuild helps low-income young adults between the ages of 16-24 work towards their GEDs, while learning job skills through training and pre-apprenticeship programs. In need of skilled labor to partner with, Local 107 member volunteers and apprentices working under the direction of NECTC instructors stepped up and became an integral part of the rebuild process.

The green rebuild included fire repairs, energy retrofit weatherization work, electrical and heating system updates, and wheelchair accessibility improvements.





Retirement Seminar scheduled for September 6th in NH Posted by on

**As of 8/28/14 this seminar has reached capacity and registration is now closed. Please check back for information about the next seminar, to be held around November. 

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar “Planning for Retirement” on September 6, 2014. The seminar will be held at the The Executive Court Banquet Facility located at 1199 South Mammoth Road in Manchester, NH (click here for directions) from 8:30-12:00 pm. 

Seating is limited. Members should contact the Reservation Desk at 978-253-5100 to reserve a spot

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the seminar include...

Choosing your Pension, Annuity & Health Benefit Options...

  • Reviewing your eligibility for retirement
  • Customized Pension Benefit calculations
  • Understanding which of our Benefit Plan options fit best with your lifestyle
  • Explore your Annuity Benefit options
  • Explanation of our Retiree Health Benefit Plan
  • Overview of Social Security Benefits

Essentials for Estate Planning...

  • Protecting the assets you've accumulated
  • How to plan for the transfer of assets
  • Avoiding probate
  • Keeping your documents current

 





The Carpenters and Boston Cares Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Training Fund teamed up with Boston Cares, the region’s largest volunteer mobilizer, to help them with their campaign to build 500 beds for children in need in 2014.

Instructors from the NECTF helped complete the design for the toddler beds so that they can be easily assembled by volunteers with minimal training. In advance of each volunteer day, member apprentices mill the lumber and prep all of the stock. Corporate and individual volunteers then assemble the beds at various locations, including the Carpenters Center and New England Carpenters Training Center. 

According to the Mass. Coalition for the Homeless, more than 1,500 Greater Boston school children do not have a bed, which affects their self-esteem, ability to learn, and likelihood of graduating from high school. Boston Cares works with social workers at several non-profit partners to find homes for each bed.


Volunteers assemble beds at the New England Carpenter Training Center. 
 




Carpenters win right to choose representation at Electric Boat Posted by on

Carpenters in Local 1302 at Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut have successfully beat back an effort by the Metal Trades Council (AFL-CIO) to eliminate their rights and fold them into other unions. This is the first situation in the country where carpenters have stood up, fought back and defeated this piece of the national AFL-CIO's campaign against the UBC.

In 2011, the national AFL-CIO's Metal Trades Department issued a directive to Metal Trades Councils across the country to remove UBC-affiliated locals from their council and prohibit them from continuing to represent the interests of their carpenter members. In February this year, the Metal Trades Council barred Local 1302 from participating in contract negotiations with Electric Boat. The new collective bargaining agreement reached in April removed any reference to the Carpenters union. Shortly thereafter, the MTC stripped Local 1302 of its ability to represent carpenters in the adjustment of their grievances and began a campaign to have carpenters join local unions affiliated with the Laborers, Boilermakers and Painters.

"We tried to get a solidarity agreement with the Metal Trades Council, but it got shot down by their national people," said Bob Tardif, Chief Steward of Local 1302. "Once they shut us out of negotiations, we started to look at our options and talk to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. We wanted to keep our identity and Mark (Erlich) said that whatever resources we needed, we would have."

As a result of a petition filed by NERCC and Local 1302, a Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board has issued a decision allowing carpenters at Electric Boat to have a "severance election." The election gives carpenters the right to choose the Carpenters union to bargain with the shipyard, separate from the Metal Trades Council, which represents all other trades workers. Voting for the Carpenters union will allow Local 1302 carpenters to continue their 70-year history of membership and representation by the Carpenters union, rather than be dispersed to other unions.

The election is scheduled for later this month, though the Metal Trades Council and Electric Boat may appeal the decision to the full National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

"If the vote isn't unanimous, it will probably be really close to unanimous," said Tardif. "Right now, we're all really proud to be members of the Council and get the support we've really needed, from the Executive Board, the Delegates and everyone else.

Congratulations to the courageous union carpenters of Local 1302 for standing together and winning this important fight .





Bay State Drywall carpenters win union election Posted by on

 In an election held last night in Southeastern Massachusetts by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), carpenters employed by Bay State Drywall voted for union representation from the Carpenters union by a 10-8 margin. The Freetown-based company is one of a group of contractors in the Fall River-New Bedford area, sometimes referred to as "drywall alley," that draw carpenters from the substantial Portuguese population. During peak season, they typically employ 40-50 carpenters and have been one of the larger nonunion companies in the market.

Representatives from the New England Regional Council of Carpenters have become familiar faces to Bay State employees over the years thanks to countless jobsite visits, which created a level of trust. When there were disputes with the owners over restoring pay cuts made during slow times, the workers decided to go forward with a union election.

Negotiation of an agreement with Bay State cannot start until after the NLRB resolves a union challenge to the uncounted ballots of six employees that Bay State had argued should be included in the election. Those employees are primarily tapers and the Council has taken the position that they do not fall under the definition of a carpenter bargaining unit. A Board ruling on the matter may take as long as two months.

"I'm proud of the carpenters who had the courage to stand up to the company and proud of our staff that led the organizing drive," said Mark Erlich, NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer. "NLRB elections are not that common in the construction industry and this victory sends a message that we will use every tool at our disposal to represent working carpenters in New England."





Seasonal allergies or the common cold? A message from the Carpenters Care team Posted by on

Summer brings beautiful blossoming flowers and trees but it also brings pollen and dreaded seasonal allergies. Allergies are caused by our immune system mistaking an otherwise harmless substance as an invader and triggering the production of antibodies. This response causes symptoms in our nose, throat, lungs, sinuses and eyes that can be hard to differentiate from a common cold. The first step when you have symptoms is to speak with your doctor and determine if you have a cold or allergy.

There are a number of things you can do to relieve seasonal allergies:

• Minimizing exposure is important. Stay indoors on dry, windy days or days when the pollen count is high. The best time to venture outside is after a good rain when the pollen has been washed out of the air.
• Make sure to remove and wash clothes that have been worn outside and take a shower to clean pollen off of your skin and hair.
• Keep pollen out of your home by keeping doors and windows closed especially when pollen counts are high. There are a number of websites that display pollen counts including weather.com.
• Speak with your doctor about taking medication to manage your allergy symptoms, there are many over the counter options and your doctor can help determine what might be the most helpful for you.

Seasonal allergies can be unpleasant but with the right combination of avoidance and possible medication your allergy symptoms can be minimized or kept under control. Please feel free to call the Carpenters Care team at 781-222-0930 if you are struggling with a cold or allergy.





NERCC to be recognized at White House Summit Posted by on

The efforts of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, as part of the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues to increase women’s participation in the construction trades, are being recognized nationally at the White House Summit on Working Families this Monday. NERCC Business Representative Liz Skidmore will represent the NERCC and the PGTI at the event, which is being hosted by the White House and the Department of Labor and the Center for American Progress. Both President Obama and Vice President Biden will be attending the event.

The White House planning committee for the Summit asked the National Task Force on Tradeswomen's Issues for two "Best Practices" for getting more women into the trades. The Task Force presented them with the Minnesota Vikings stadium project, which set hiring goals and has hired a lot of women, and the work being done in New England by NERCC and the Policy Group on Tradeswomen's Issues (PGTI), which is convened by Skidmore, Susan Moir of UMass Boston Labor Resource Center, Brian Doherty of the Boston Building Trades and Janet Jones of the Dorchester Roxbury Labor Committee.

The PGTI has established a multi-stakeholder strategy of bringing key players together over time to build relationships, share expertise, identify and implement solutions. The group has met at the Carpenters Center every other month for six years and includes city, state and federal officials; General and sub-contractors, academics, compliance officers, tradeswomen, and union leaders. During this time they have published two reports: Unfinished Business, an analysis of all research done on tradeswomen in the last 25 years in the US with policy recommendations and Finishing the Job, a how-to manual for meeting hiring goals on specific construction projects. 

Women's employment has risen from 3% to 6% of all hours worked in Boston over the last few years, a statistic made even more significant when considering the simultaneous increase in the number or work hours over the past two years.

Additional work being done by PGTI that has earned them recognition as a national best practice includes moving from 35 years of supply-only (recruitment and pre-apprenticeship training) to a supply and demand strategy that includes the supply work and adds demand - working to improve compliance with hiring goals. As a result of their work, the Integrated Science Center at UMass Boston building project, which is the first project in Boston that has met hiring goals for all three established goals (residents, minorities and women) over the course of the project.

PGTI has also compiled compliance numbers online in searchable, downloadable databases by a number of entities including the City of Boston, UMass Boston (for their $700 mil PLA), and the MA Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards. These databases are now being used by GCs and project owners to review past compliance history and in evaluating which contractors to hire.

As stated on the summit’s website, “the White House Summit will convene businesses, economists, labor leaders, policymakers, advocates and citizen to discuss policy solutions that can make a real difference in the lives of working families and ensure America’s global competitiveness in the coming decades.”

Learn more about the work of the PGTI by visiting their website here. To follow the events happening during the White House Summit on Working Families click here.





Take your career to the next level Posted by on

 The NERCC has developed a uniquely tailored program with Wentworth Institute of Technology's College of Professional and Continuing Education which allows members to earn college degrees at a discounted tuition rate and a schedule that fits the needs of working carpenters.

On June 25th members can participate in a lunchtime webinar to learn more about the program.Click here to learn more about the program including curriculum requirements, academic schedule, and the application process. 





Governor Malloy speaks to rank-and-file Posted by on

At a recent event held at the UAW in Farmington, CT, Governor Dannel Malloy spoke with rank-and-file carpenters and other tradespeople to talk about the industry and issues at the state house.

The Governor spoke specifically about PLA projects and upcoming work that he has secured to get the construction industry moving in Connecticut.One project in particular involves the announcement of a "historic agreement" made with United Technologies Corporation (UTC), which plans to invest billions in research, development, facilities and capital expenditures around the state over the next five years. Plans include construction of a new headquarters for Pratt & Whitney, a unit of UTC, which will create an estimated 1,500 construction jobs.

Governor Malloy has been supportive of construction projects and PLAs noting that, “project labor agreements ensure that we have the best trained workforce in place for our more important projects."

 

 





NERCC awards $59,650 in scholarships Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters announced that it has awarded $59,650 to 152 applicants as part of the 2014 Scholarship Contest.

The NERCC Scholarship Fund is supported by settlement agreements between the union and contractors and other contributions. Its function is to help members and dependents who are attending school with the ever-increasing costs of a college education. Students must be enrolled in post-high school program and maintain a “C” average in at least three, three-credit courses to apply. All applicants must complete an essay, which is read and scored by a panel of judges who do not know the identity of the writers.

Applicants were required to write an essay of between 500 and 1000 words on the following topic: Union workers at Boeing Co. in Seattle recently vote on a proposed contract that eliminated their pension plans in exchange for guarantees of future jobs. What are your thoughts on this controversy vis-à-vis the role of the company and the role of the unions? If you were a union member there, how would you have voted and why?

A $5,000 first prize was given to Kaitlyn Benoit, daughter of Floorcoverers Local 2168’s Daniel Benoit. A second prize of $3,000 was awarded to Joseph Cunningham, whose father, Peter Cunningham, is a member of Carpenters Local 33.

Congrats to all of the scholarship recipients! 





One Day in Boston - the Bed Project Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters particapted in the One Day on Earth project on April 26th to film stories about the future of Boston.

On April 26, 2014, the NERCC and Boston Cares teamed up to work toward a goal of making 500 beds. At the Carpenters Training center in Dorchester, volunteers from both organizations came together to build 30 beds in about 2 hours. 

NERCC teamed up with Boston Cares earlier in the year to help with the Bed Project, see pictures from these additional volunteer efforts by clicking here

 

The Carpenters and Boston Cares | Bed Project from ellen webber on Vimeo.

One Day on Earth started in September of 2008 with the goal of creating a unique worldwide media event where thousands of participants would simultaneously film over a 24-hour period. On April 26th, 2014 hundreds of filmmakers, non-profit organizations, and inspired citizens documented stories and investigated 10 questions for the future of Boston as part of a city-wide, participatory media-creation event. The resulting media will be showcased in an interactive geo-tagged archive and a TV series on the future of the American city. In addition, local media partners will showcase the most powerful and inspiring videos created during the one-day filmmaking event.





Carpenters support event for low wage workers Posted by on

In the last year, fast food workers across the country have been building a campaign to raise wages in their industry. The campaign has given energy to efforts to raise the minimum wage nationally and in states and communities across America. But the fast food industry isn't the only one where massive profits are generated and an unreasonable gulf exists between the compensation given to employees in corporate offices and those on the front lines.

From health care to hospitality and construction to customer service, too many workers are being paid too little for working so hard. In Massachusetts, an upcoming event aims to elevate their cause.

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is joining individuals in Boston and Springfield on June 12 to support low wage workers. Hosted by Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, the Low Wage Worker Day of Action will bring information and focus attention on people who work hard and still struggle to support themselves and their families. More than that, it will encourage workers to begin standing together and acting together in a way that will make a difference.

The event matches the efforts of the Carpenters union who monitor nonunion construction sites and build relationships with nonunion carpenters. All too often, nonunion carpenters are not provided the wages and benefits they deserve, given the level of skill required and risk present on today's construction sites.

In Boston, the event will be held at Copley Square, in Springfield it will be at the Mount Calvary Church at John Street and Plainfield Street (Rt 20A). Both events will take place from 4-6 pm. Union carpenters, friends and families are invited and encouraged to participate.





Rego honored at State House Posted by on

Congratulations to Local 1305 Representative Dan Rego for being honored with the Portuguese Heritage Award! Rego was given the award at a ceremony at the State House in Boston by the Portuguese American Legislative Caucus.

In addition to being a full-time Council Representative and active member of the community, Dan is a City Councilor in Fall River, where he lives with his family.





Carpenters endorse Coakley for Mass Gov Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters today endorsed Martha Coakley for Governor of Massachusetts, citing her experience making government work on behalf of fairness for workers and honest business.

"As Attorney General, Martha Coakley has been an advocate for working families and consumers," said Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the NERCC. "Her Fair Labor Division sought to limit the impact of the underground economy - protecting workers and leveling the playing field for employers that play by the rules. As a candidate for Governor, she recognizes that growing income inequality is one of the major problems facing our society. Coakley knows that advocating for workers and supporting unions is the best method to rebuild the middle class. The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is pleased to endorse Martha Coakley for Governor. We believe she will bring the lessons she has learned as Attorney General to the corner office and make Massachusetts a stronger and more equitable Commonwealth."

Coakley was proud to have the support of the Carpenters union, which boasts a strong reputation for campaign and political activism among its members.

“Together, we can create a fair economy on our terms, by leveling the playing field, protecting our workers and creating good jobs at fair wages with quality, affordable health care," Coakley said. "I am honored by NERCC's support and look forward to working with them to make Massachusetts prosperous and fair."

NERCC is the regional governing body of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, one of North America’s largest building-trades unions, with nearly a half-million members in the construction and wood-products industries. NERCC advocates for all working carpenters, unionized or not, because they believe that all workers deserve fair wages, benefits, and safe working conditions.





NECTF hosts graduation ceremony Posted by on

On May 1st, the New England Carpenters Training Center hosted a graduation ceremony for the 2013 New England Carpenters Training Fund Apprentice Graduates. 129 members, representing 20 locals, completed their training in the apprenticeship program in 2013. Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters was the Keynote speaker.

Four members were specially recognized with awards given out at the ceremony. Local 107 member Corey Wagner, Local 94 member Alex Palmisciano and Local 56 member Thomas Stone each received the Golden Hammer Award. This award is given out each year to one member from each of the trades represented in that year’s graduating class. It is awarded to the graduate demonstrating outstanding craftsmanship and dedication to the profession.

Local 33 member Emerson Ocampo received the Zachary Constant Award, recognizing the graduating apprentice who displays an all-around commitment to the craft, the union and the community.

Congratulations to all of the graduates!





Retirement Seminar scheduled for May 31 Posted by on

**Update: As of 5/8/14 this seminar has reached capacity and registration is now closed. Please check back in August for details on seminars coming up this Fall.

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar “Planning for Retirement” on May 31, 2014. The seminar will be held at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center located at 1657 Worcester Rd in Framingham (click here for directions) from 8:30-12:00 pm. 

Members can click here to register online or contact the Reservation Desk at 978-253-5100. 

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the seminar include...

Choosing your Pension, Annuity & Health Benefit Options...

  • Reviewing your eligibility for retirement
  • Customized Pension Benefit calculations
  • Understanding which of our Benefit Plan options fit best with your lifestyle
  • Explore your Annuity Benefit options
  • Explanation of our Retiree Health Benefit Plan
  • Overview of Social Security Benefits

Essentials for Estate Planning...

  • Protecting the assets you've accumulated
  • How to plan for the transfer of assets
  • Avoiding probate
  • Keeping your documents current

 





Reminder - Scholarship Applications due April 11th Posted by on

Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 New England Regional Council Scholarship Program. Last year 106 students applied and a total of $52,000 was awarded, including the top prize scholarship of $5,000.

Please review eligibility guidelines before applying. Guidelines and applications may be downloaded from nercc.org/scholarship and are available at locals union affiliates. The deadline for applications to be returned to NERCC is APRIL 11, 2014, 5:00 p.m. No exceptions! If you have any questions about the application, please call Malerie Anderson at (617) 307-5112. Winners will be notified in June.





Our Work - MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Posted by on

Thanks to Local 475 Carpenter Steward Dave Grange for the tour of the new field headquarters for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, currently under construction in Westborough. The visually impressive design is matched only by how energy efficient the facility will be. The building is expected to produce 370 mwh/year while consuming only 303 mwh/yr.

The brand new 45,000 square foot facility will include office, lab, meeting, classroom and event space upon completion in May 2014. The $25 million project uses 6 1/2" structural insulated panels, automated windows that coordinate with the HVAC system, geothermal heating and cooling and 800 roof-mounted photovoltaic panels to achieve LEED Gold Certification. It is located on the site of the former Lyman School in Westborough and abuts 1,000 acres of conservation land, which is home to deer, birds and other wildlife that are open to limited hunting.

There will be an indoor fish pond accentuated by large eye-catching skylights. The orientation of the building and extensive use of windows will allow the interior to take advantage of lots of natural light. On the exterior, the multi-colored, patterned rain screen and subtle use of exterior wood features help a modern building blend well with a rustic setting.

Columbia Construction is the Construction Manager on the project. Other union contractors participating include Salem Glass, Manafort Brothers, McDonald Drywall, K&K Ceilings and Capital Flooring. More details on the energy features of the project are available on the project page at mass.gov here.





Save the date - Retirement Seminar coming up in May Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar “Planning for Retirement” on May 31, 2014. The seminar will be held at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center located at 1657 Worcester Rd in Framingham (click here for directions) from 8:30-11:30 am.

Members should check back in the coming weeks for registration information. 

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the seminar include...

Choosing your Pension, Annuity & Health Benefit Options...

  • Reviewing your eligibility for retirement
  • Customized Pension Benefit calculations
  • Understanding which of our Benefit Plan options fit best with your lifestyle
  • Explore your Annuity Benefit options
  • Explanation of our Retiree Health Benefit Plan
  • Overview of Social Security Benefits

Essentials for Estate Planning...

  • Protecting the assets you've accumulated
  • How to plan for the transfer of assets
  • Avoiding probate
  • Keeping your documents current

 





Our Work - New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal Posted by on

Local 1305 Business Manager Ron Rheaume took his camera along when he visited the site of the South Terminal being built in New Bedford, MA. The $56 million terminal will be a first-in-the-nation facility designed to support offshore wind turbines. It will also handle high-volume bulk and container shipping, as well as large specialty marine and industrial cargo. The project is providing good jobs for NERCC members from Local 1305, Pile Drivers Local 56 and others.





NECTC teams up with Boston Cares Posted by on

Apprentices from the New England Carpenters Training Center are working today at the Carpenters Center with volunteers from Boston Cares to construct thirty beds as part of the Boston Cares Bed Project, which has committed to building 500 beds in 2014 for children in need.

Ahead of the volunteer day, apprentices prepped the stock for the beds: cutting head boards, bed slats and rails. Apprentices are now helping the Boston Cares staff lead volunteer work crew comprised of students who are all Gates Millennium Scholars participating in a week-long alternative spring break program.

“The whole concept of this building, from the very beginning, was that not only would it be a training center for the Carpenters union, but it would be a convenient place for the community and all the organizations that we have relationships with to use,” said Mark Erlich, NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer.

“We have benefitted from the economy and job possibilities in the City and it’s only right that we give back. This is one of many examples of our efforts to do that.”





Members participate in St. Patrick's Day parade Posted by on

Members from Carpenters Local 107 participated this past Sunday in the 32nd Annual Worcester County St. Patrick's Day parade. Parade organizers estimate that about 7,000 people participated in the nearly two-hour parade that marched down Park Avenue from Mill Street to past Elm Park.

For more pictures, visit Local 107's Facebook page by clicking here





Wentworth to host Spring Open House Posted by on

The NERCC has developed a uniquely tailored program with Wentworth Institute of Technology's College of Professional and Continuing Education which allows members to earn college degrees at a discounted tuition rate and a schedule that fits the needs of working carpenters. On March 25th, Wentworth is hosting an Open House for individuals interested in learning more about the program.

Date: March 25, 2014

Time: 5:30 PM

Location: 107 Dobbs Hall, 500 Huntington Ave., 1st Floor

Register online by clicking here





Carpenters support USPS workers Posted by on

A dozen carpenters in New Hampshire joined a rally of more than 100 to support United States Postal workers in Concord, New Hampshire this week. The event was held to protest the visit of California Congressman Darrell Issa, who was in town for a Republican fundraiser. Issa has proposed ending Saturday mail delivery and outsourcing USPS work and jobs. His motives are highly suspect, since the USPS has operated at a budget surplus recently.

NH Labor News has more on the event.





Meet Our Community - Brian and Dustin Posted by on

Brian Braasch and Dustin Johnson, members of Carpenters Local 1996 talk about being union carpenters.





Carpenters Care getting noticed Posted by on

What is the future of health care? Union carpenters may be finding out through "Carpenters Care by Iora Health," a practice that serves members and is creating talk among health care policy experts. The practice was solicited by the New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund to open two practice offices, one in the Carpenters Center in Dorchester and the other at Lahey Hospital in Burlington, Massachusetts. It aims to focus more patient care on individual attention and preventative care with tremendous flexibility to meet the needs and schedules of patients.

The practice was included in a "CommonWealth" magazine article about ways practice innovators are helping to "Heal Health Care." Local 1121 millwright Jerome Foureau is included in the article, describing his experience of losing 32 pounds, changing his diet and looking forward to doctors visits since he started visiting Carpenters Care last summer. The story is posted online and can be read free of charge.


 





Meet Our Community - Rich Brow Posted by on

 It’s not often you have to bring your passport for a volunteer project with the Carpenters union. But as Local 107 member Rich Brow can tell you, it’s not never, either. Read more of his story here





One last job for the Mayor Posted by on

On the eve of his last First Night as mayor, Tom Menino called on help from his friends at the Carpenters union one last time and union carpenters gladly stepped up. Menino was set to participate in the First Night parade and the honor of building his float fell to Lyle Hamm, Paul Gangemi and Jim Barr.

The three donated their time to turn a trailer bed into a replica of one of Boston's famed Public Garden "Swan Boats." They attached one of the swans and park benches to the decking, then built safety railings along the side, with a contoured shape that matched the pontoons on the actual swan boats.






Allegheny showcases concrete finishing system Posted by on

Union signatory contractor Allegheny Contract Flooring has produced a video promoting its new concrete finishing system. The “Supercap” system allows for time and cost savings for work on new or existing concrete slabs. The system also takes advantage of Greenguard certified, low alkali technology to contribute toward LEED status.

Members of Floorcoverers Local 2168 are working with Allegheny and the Supercap system to improve quality and sustainability while shortening construction schedules and saving projects money.

Click here or on the image, above, to watch the video on Alleheny's website. 





Building a future for Essex Agricultural Posted by on

Thanks to Chris Marzullo, a Local 26 member working as a Foreman for G.O. Services. Brother Marzullo sent us pictures of a pole barn they're building for the new Essex Agricultural School in Danvers, Massachusetts. The new school building itself is being built by union carpenters employed by Gilbane and their subcontractors. The pole barn is one of several out-buildings that are or will be completed as part of the project.

 





Walsh unites Boston, elected Mayor Posted by on

Buoyed by the support of a broad coalition that included union workers, minority communities, small business owners and middle class residents, State Representative Martin J. Walsh was elected Mayor of Boston last night, defeating City Councillor John Connolly. Walsh will succeed the enormously popular Thomas Menino, who is the city's longest serving mayor.

The following statement is from Mark Erlich, Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, which endorsed Walsh in both the primary and general election. Erlich is also a Boston resident.

"Last night, Marty Walsh was elected to serve as the next Mayor of Boston. Marty's victory has implications far beyond the city's borders. Boston is, in many ways, the primary economic engine of New England and the leadership at City Hall sets the tone for the regional development and construction industry. For the past 20 years, Mayor Tom Menino has been a staunch ally of construction's union sector and his stance has helped our members find gainful employment in Boston and beyond.

"Marty's election will only serve to further elevate the profile of unions in our region. As a building trades leader who spoke proudly of his involvement in the labor movement, his victory flies in the face of the prevailing political winds that dismiss or attack the value of unions in today's society. Marty had to withstand withering attacks in the Boston media that claimed he would bankrupt the city by not being able to stand up to the city's public employee unions. Marty never backed down from his loyalty to organized labor as the best vehicle to re-build the middle class in the city.

"This election has national implications. While there have been a few Senators and Congressmen that have been clear about their pro-union beliefs, it is far more rare to find someone running for an executive position -- Mayor or Governor -- who doesn't feel the need to criticize unions in an effort to show they are "fiscally responsible". Marty made it clear that you can be committed to running a sound budget in a major American city and still maintain respect for trade unions.

"Marty was also able to win the support of nearly all of the elected officials from the city's minority community, demonstrating that today's labor movement is welcoming, diverse, and inclusive.

Marty is a personal friend of ours, a friend of the Carpenters, a friend of labor, and a friend of all those people who want to work, play by the rules, and have a chance at the American Dream.

Thanks to everyone who worked to get Marty Walsh elected. It can be the beginning of a new era for labor and politics."





Carpenters on election day Posted by on

Boston voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new Mayor and City Council. Many of these race extremely close, so we urge you to vote and encourage others to vote. If possible, be active on election day in support of candidates endorsed by the Carpenters union.

Members will gather for election day activity at 11 am at a location nearest their home. Locations are listed below.

Dorchester--McKeon Post
East Boston--973 Saratoga Street
East Boston--18 Meridian St
Hyde Park--214 Neponset Valley Parkway
Jamaica Plain 668 Centre Street
Mattapan--Russell Auditorium
South Boston--Ironworkers Local 7
West Roxbury--46 Rockland St, West Roxbury
Fields Corner--1157 Dorchester Ave
Roxbury--155 DudleySt
West Dorchester--Russell Auditorium
CoC/4 Corners--Russell Auditorium
Charlestown--Teamsters Local 25
Back Bay/Beacon Hill/South End--11 Beacon St
JP/Hyde Square--315 Centre St

 





Mayor Menino and HUD Secretary Donovan celebrate revitalization project Posted by on

An event was held yesterday to celebrate the start of a major revitalization project happening in Dorchester’s Quincy Corridor. Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino joined U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan to celebrate the project, which is funded by a first-in-the-nation Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant.

Members stand with Boston Mayor Tom Menino and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan at an event held at the Quincy Street Corridor Redevelopment Project.

Project Developer Dorchester Bay EDC and the City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development received $20.5 million through HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiatives grant program. Boston was one of five cities nationwide to receive the first-ever Implementation Grants.

At the start of the event, Jeanne Dubois from Dorchester Bay EDC raises her arms to celebrate the work being done by union carpenters on the project. 

The project will include redevelopment of the distressed Woodledge/Morrant Bay HUD-assisted housing development, community improvements such as community facilities, parks, gardens, economic development, job creation and asset building, and supportive services for residents of Quincy Heights and the surrounding Quincy Street corridor.


 





Retirement Seminar to be held - register today! Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar “Planning for Retirement” on November 16, 2013. The seminar will be held at the Wyndham Boston Andover Hotel located at 123 Old River Road in Andover, MA (click here for directions) from 8:30-11:30 am. RSVP by November 1st by clicking here to fill out an online registration form. Members can also register by calling 617-482-4000.

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the seminar include...

Choosing your Pension, Annuity & Health Benefit Options...

  • Reviewing your eligibility for retirement
  • Customized Pension Benefit calculations
  • Understanding which of our Benefit Plan options fit best with your lifestyle
  • Explore your Annuity Benefit options
  • Explanation of our Retiree Health Benefit Plan
  • Overview of Social Security Benefits

Essentials for Estate Planning...

  • Protecting the assets you've accumulated
  • How to plan for the transfer of assets
  • Avoiding probate
  • Keeping your documents current

Click here to find more information about the seminar, including the online registration form.





2013 Carpentry Expo Posted by on

The 2013 Carpentry Expo was held last week at the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, MA. Over 1,000 students, representing 43 high schools attended the event. Students, along with their teachers, were given guided tours of the training facility by members of the NERCC staff. 44 NERCC apprentices participated in the event working on projects throughout the facility. These live demonstrations gave the students a better look at what a career as a union carpenter might look like.

Live demonstrations included: Infection Control Risk Assessment, Interior Systems, Flooring, Residential Wood Framing, Scaffolding Erector Certification, Cabinet Installation, Door Hardware, Finish Carpentry, Welding, Concrete Formwork, Insulated Concrete Forms, Pile Driving, Under Water Welding, Exterior Siding, and Stair Layout and Framing.





Dear Carpenters Care Posted by on

Do I need to wear sunscreen if I am not at the pool or the beach? 
This is a question we are often asked. Many of you work outside for extended hours and even though it is work and not play, the simple answer is “yes,” you should protect your skin from prolonged sun exposure. Ultra violet rays are linked to an increase in certain types of skin cancers, aging and sagging skin. This includes the skin on the top of your head and the skin under your hair. Especially for those with thinner hair, applying sunscreen or wearing a hat is the healthy choice. Wearing sunglasses with UV protection is also a good way to avoid harmful rays.

If I need to wear sunscreen, is applying once in the morning enough to protect my skin?
The brand of sunscreen you choose should come with directions on how long it lasts and when reapplication is necessary. As a general rule of thumb, reapply every four hours or after excessive sweating or swimming. Keep in mind that the sun is at its strongest from 11 AM until 2 PM. Sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher is recommended. There is no evidence that an SPF over 35 is beneficial.

While a sleek summer bronze may look good now, its benefits will be long forgotten years down the road if you are coping with skin disease and aging. It does not need to be a top of the line sunscreen spray bottle – it just needs to be sunscreen!

If you have a question or are interested in learning more about Carpenters Care please call 1-781-222-0930 or email infoboston@iorahealth.com.

In Health,
Your Carpenters Care Team





Meet Our Community - Eamonn Murphy Posted by on

Brother Eamonn Murphy left Ireland to seek a career in Boston in the summer of 1998. In February of the following year, he joined Carpenters Local 33 as first year apprentice. From the onset, Brother Murphy showed a thirst for knowledge and has fully embraced the opportunities available to all members of the Carpenters Union. He now works as an Estimator and teaches other union carpenters as an instructor at Wentworth Institute of Technology’s College of Professional and Continuing Education. Read more of his story here

 





Carpenters Care - FAQs Posted by on

What is Carpenters Care?

Carpenters Care is a new primary care doctor’s office designed specifically for Carpenters and their families. The practice is conveniently located, features evening hours so that you do not have to miss work, consists of a team that knows who you are, focuses on preventive care that keeps you healthy, requires no co-pays, and excludes all of the hassle of going to traditional doctor’s offices.

Carpenters Care is a completely voluntary primary care doctor option, open to members of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and their dependents age 18 and over who currently have healthcare coverage from the New England Carpenters Benefits Fund.

Learn more at CarpentersCare.com

 





Meet Brother Murphy Posted by on

The following video story about Local 33 Brother Eamonn Murphy, a carpenter who has participated in the Wentworth Program as both a student and an instructor was recently posted in the Meet Our Community section of nercc.org. Click here to see more stories.