Jun 27, 2017

2017 SEA Tripartite meets on industry issues

Pension, recruitment, training, top agenda

PARTNERS IN THE Southeast Area Tripartite Alliance met April 10-12 in Destin, Florida, to review construction industry developments involving the Boilermakers, signatory contractors and owners.

Among the key topics addressed were changes to the Boilermaker-Blacksmith National Pension Trust and Boilermaker initiatives to ramp up training and recruitment.

CSO Executive Director John Fultz (now IVP-NE), along with Boilermaker National Funds Chief Operating Officer Lori Jasperson and BNF Director of Retirement Plans Christine King, provided an overview of the benefit trusts and explained recent revisions to the national pension and the underlying reasons why changes are necessary.

Jeffrey Hughes, the newly-appointed Director of National Training Services, said he will focus on evaluating instructor performance not only in the Southeast Section but also across the United States. He said special attention will be given to ensure that instructors who perform at their best either in a classroom or shop setting will be assigned accordingly. One area that needs improvement, he stressed, is the pass rate for Common Arc weld testing, the program that certifies Boilermakers before they report to a job site.

Tim Simmons, the newly-appointed Director of National Recruitment Services, explained how the union is identifying potential Boilermaker construction members, testing them and placing qualified new members on jobs. Simmons stressed the need to ensure that Boilermakers can fully man every job opportunity so that man-hours and benefit fund contributions are maximized.

MOST National Administrator Skipper Branscum walked conference participants through an abbreviated version of the Boilermaker Code program, which has earned high praise for changing attitudes and behavior on the job. Code training is being provided at locals across the country and, in some cases, on job sites.

Other presenters included Mike Skaggs, TVA’s Executive Vice President for Operations, who provided an update of work on Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2; Southern Company Craft Labor Manager Keith Metcalf, who discussed his experience and interaction with the Boilermakers and other skilled trades, along with developments in the power generation industry impacting his company; Bank of Labor Market President Mike Snowden, who described the bank’s national outreach efforts; Department of Government Affairs Director Cecile Conroy, who provided an overview of legislative and political developments under the Trump administration; and Director of Health and Safety Services Mark Garrett, who spoke about safety issues.