Major Victory for Labor – President Biden Orders Historic Mandate Requiring PLAs on Federal Construction

Major Victory for Labor – President Biden Orders Historic Mandate Requiring PLAs on Federal Construction

 
 

Brothers and Sisters,

President Biden signed a historic Executive Order that will mandate Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on all federal construction projects valued above $35 million— creating good, union jobs for an estimated 200,000 construction workers across the country. 

PLAs are our best tool for guaranteeing that complex construction projects get executed with the highest possible standards of safety and efficiency. They also guarantee that the working people who build these projects reap the benefits of the development, by requiring all contractors bidding on the projects to meet union standards of training, wages, benefits, safety and working conditions. Therefore, PLAs help strengthen unions by evening the playing field competitively with our nonunion counterparts, who may otherwise underbid us by paying workers less or otherwise.

Local 6 is excited to see the Biden administration take an important step towards rebuilding our country’s infrastructure in a way that prioritizes and provides opportunities for working American families.

Fraternally,

Jim Lister

Business Manager/Financial Secretary
Insulators Local 6

Winter 2022 COVID-19 Updates

Winter 2022 COVID-19 Updates

Brothers and Sisters,

The health and safety of our members and families is our top priority, Local 6 will continue to keep our members up to date with the latest information regarding new COVID-19 guidelines and safety recommendations. Please continue reading below to learn more about the recent changes at the municipal and state level regarding COVID-19 orders.

Statewide Mask Requirement for K-12 Schools

On February 9, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced that the statewide mask requirement for K-12 schools will be lifted on February 28. The DESE and Massachusetts Department of Public Health will only require students and faculty to wear mask if they test positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact unvaccinated individuals, both asymptomatic and symptomatic.

Read DESE’s February 9 announcement here and visit Doe.Mass.Edu/COVID19/On-Desktop/Protocols to learn more about DESE’s COVID-19 protocols.

City of Boston Vaccine Mandate

Beginning on February 15, all individuals age 12 or older will be required to show proof of full vaccination status to enter certain indoor establishments in Boston. By Tuesday, March 1, children age 5-11 must show proof of one vaccine dose. Finally, by Sunday, May 1, anyone age 5 or older will be required to show proof of full vaccination status. The city is requiring that employees working at these locations be fully vaccinated as well.You can use the following to verify your vaccination status:

  • Original CDC vaccination card
  • Photo of your CDC vaccination card
  • Photo of any official immunization record
  • Uploaded image of CDC card or immunization record on City of Boston B Together app or any other COVID vaccine verification app
More information about Boston’s vaccine mandate can be found on the B Together Initiative page.

Booster Shot Eligibility
Vaccinated individuals ages 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot. The CDC has outlined the following criteria for booster shots:
  • Adults 18 years and older who received the Moderna vaccine are eligible for a booster shot five (5) months after second vaccination date.
  • Adults 18 years and older who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster shot two (2) months after vaccination date.
  • Everyone 12 years and older who received the Pfizer vaccine are eligible for a booster shot five (5) months after second vaccination date.

To find vaccination sites, visit VaxFinder.mass.gov.

Individuals who are unable to reach a vaccination site may participate in the state’s in-home vaccination program. Learn more at Mass.gov/Info-Details/COVID-19-In-Home-Vaccination-Program.

Testing Information

COVID-19 testing is widely available in Massachusetts. To find a testing location near you, visit Mass.gov/Info-Details/Find-A-Covid-19-Test. You can also purchase at-home COVID-19 tests at your local pharmacy.

As of January 15, all insurance companies and health plans are required to cover eight (8) free over-the-counter at-home tests for each covered individual per month. Click here for more information.

Free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests are also available for order and shipment through the United States Postal Service. There is a limit of one (1) order per residential address. Each order will contain four (4) tests. Click here for more information.Thank you all for your incredible efforts to keep our job sites and community safe thus far. We encourage you all to continue following the necessary safety measures outlined by the CDC to stop the spread of this virus. Together, we will emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient than before.

In addition to the updates provided by Local 6, be sure to regularly visit the Boston.govMass.gov and CDC websites to stay informed of developing COVID-19 updates as well.

Fraternally,Jim Lister
Business Manager/Financial Secretary
Insulators Local 6

Safety Resources – Construction Stops COVID

Safety Resources – Construction Stops COVID

 

Heat & Frost Insulators Local 6 encourages members, and all Construction Stops COVID partners and allies, to take a few minutes and watch the following presentation on workplace safety, mandates, resources, and best practices by Dr. Margaret Bourdeaux of Harvard Medical School.

We also encourage you to share this presentation widely with your friends, families, and personal and professional networks to help beat COVID-19 and protect our communities this winter.

Construction Stops COVID: Workplace Safety, Mandates, Resources, and Best Practices Discussion w/ Dr. Margaret Bourdeaux, Harvard Medical School

Thank You for Helping Support Our Veterans!

Thank You for Helping Support Our Veterans!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for MassBTC’s annual celebration honoring the Helmets to Hardhats veterans career pathway program!

The MA building trades unions and union contractors are proud to have raised nearly $40,000 for this model program, which changes the lives of veterans across our city, state, and nation, by allowing them to transfer their skills into new family-sustaining careers in the union building trades.

Jim Lister, Business Manager/Financial Secretary, and Business Agent Jeff Saliba were proud to attend the November 9th event and donate $1,000 on behalf of Local 6. Lister and Saliba were joined by union member Sal Gentile who benefitted from the Helmets to Hardhats program.

At Local 6, we understand that it is through events like these that we support workers from every background as they embark on family-sustaining careers in the union construction trades, including women, people of color, and returning veterans.

Election Day Tomorrow – Important Information

Election Day Tomorrow – Important Information

Election Day is tomorrow!

Cast your vote for candidates who will support and foster New England’s building boom, creating good union jobs and building a Boston that works for all. These candidates include Annissa Essaibi George for Mayor of Boston, and Bridget Nee-Walsh and Erin Murphy for City Council.

Make sure to make your plan to vote tomorrow:

  • Click here to find your polling location.
  • Polls are open in all precincts from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters who are in line when polls are closed at 8 p.m. must be allowed to vote.
  • You may be asked to show identification when you check-in. Bring one just in case!
    • Acceptable identification must include your name and the address at which you are registered to vote. Examples of acceptable identification include: a driver’s license, state-issued ID card, recent utility bill, rent receipt, lease, a copy of a voter registration affidavit, or any other printed identification which contains the voter’s name and address.
Thank you for doing your part to fight for working families, and helping build a Boston that works for all. Together, we can make sure our voices are heard at every level of government.

Happy Labor Day From Local 6!

This Labor Day, we celebrate our members and honor the hard-working men and women who have come before us, who paved the way for our rights and freedoms.

 

This year has marked significant progress for the labor movement — and has also highlighted the work still needing to be done. We won an important victory in New Hampshire, beating back the anti-worker “Right to Work” bill. We also lost AFL-CIO President and labor titan Richard Trumka earlier this summer.

To honor President Trumka’s legacy, we must fight to pass the PRO Act he fought so hard to pass. As Trumka said in an interview to NPR, “If you really want to correct inequality in this country — wages and wealth inequality, opportunity and inequality of power — passing the PRO Act is absolutely essential to doing that.”

The PRO Act would grant working people significant protections, strengthening our collective bargaining rights, and protect our ability to organize no matter the industry. I urge you all to contact your representative and tell them to pass the PRO Act before it’s too late.

Thank you again for all of the hard work that you do!

Rest in Power AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

Richard Trumka Photo
Richard Trumka Photo
Photo courtesy of the AFL-CIO.

On Thursday, August 5, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka passed suddenly at the age of 72. Richard was one of our nation’s fiercest, most effective advocates for working people, from his days as a rank-and-file Mineworker to his AFL-CIO presidency beginning in 2009.

From workplace safety to racial justice to retirement security to labor law reform and so much more, Richard never relented in the fight to ensure that working people are able to have lives of dignity and security.

We are grateful for his leadership and for commitment to fighting for working families. We send our deepest condolences to Barbara, Rich Jr. and his entire family.

As collective bargaining rights across the country come under attack, we continue to fight in Richard’s memory. Together, we can honor his legacy by moving towards a fairer world for all workers.

May he rest in power.

Mechanical Insulation Essential for Health Care Facility Savings

Updates

Originally published in High Profile

Mechanical Insulation is Essential for Strategic Cost Savings for Mass. Health Care Facilities

Healthcare facilities manage strict budgets, and are often forced to make tough decisions about where to allocate precious resources. In the new world of COVID-19, those resources are under unprecedented strain, and hospital owners, developers and facility managers are under even more pressure to be smart about expenses.

Research shows that professionally-installed mechanical insulation, when done right, is a crucial investment for large, mechanically-intensive facilities like hospitals, to optimize energy efficiency and generate massive cost savings.

study by the National Insulation Association (NIA) yielded that proper mechanical insulation can save a hospital 149 kBtu/sf/yr of energy per year on average, which is 78% or more of total energy use. That translates to up to $85 billion in savings annually, a shocking total that would indisputably be better used toward patient care, staffing, and critical PPE for caregivers.

When one considers the vastness of mechanical system applications in a hospital’s operations, versus many other commercial facilities, it becomes clear that energy efficiency must be top of mind for hospital operators. For example, the NIA noted that hospitals, which typically operate around the clock, year round, rely on steam and water for sterilization, humidification and laundry utilities. Hospitals must also ensure that the air in the facility is clean, filtered, and properly ventilated at all times, and that moisture, which feeds bacteria and fungus, is controlled, to maintain a safe environment for at-risk patients. All of these systems can be exponentially improved with the presence of quality mechanical insulation.


 

Mechanical insulation minimizes the energy required to achieve the right conditions for various operations, by controlling the environment through which air, gas, water and steam must travel. It directly prevents the condensation that would create unclean air in the facility. And in addition to saving hospitals millions of dollars on energy costs annually, mechanical insulation also extends the lifespan of other machines within the hospital, which caregivers rely on each day for patient testing, by ensuring that the machines don’t need to overwork in order to meet the conditions needed to perform.

Hospitals in Boston, some of the best in the world, depend on mechanical insulation to keep their budgets lean. Unfortunately, much of the rest of the state has not yet taken advantage of these benefits. So, why is mechanical insulation, which is the most obvious way to save money on energy, overlooked in many Massachusetts hospitals?

It’s because, to save money on the bottom line, a developer might mistake insulation for an unnecessary expense. But for hospitals and other commercial facilities that rely on heavy machinery to operate, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is a penny wise, dollar foolish mistake.

In any health care setting, every dollar counts. But in the case of mechanical insulation, the return on investment is so high that it becomes an imperative step for all health care facilities to take. Most hospitals do insulate their systems, at least in part, because without insulation, the energy and distribution systems loss would be so significant that the facility wouldn’t be equipped to sustain operations.

But there is also a critical gradient in quality of services available that must be taken into account when a hospital does choose to insulate its systems. The insulation trade is an unlicensed profession in the Commonwealth, so it is important to do your research and have a full understanding of the product you are receiving before potentially hiring an unqualified team that won’t ultimately be able to deliver the cost savings you seek.

For more information on how much your facility could save on energy costs each year with mechanical insulation, visit the Whole Building Design guide, which has a series of helpful calculators on its website.

Massachusetts thanks our front-line caregivers for their heroic and critical work throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Mechanical insulation is one small way to make sure that a health care facility’s resources are preserved.

Jim Lister is business manager/financial secretary at Heat & Frost Insulators Local 6.

 
 
 
In development and capital planning, we all know there are consequences in cutting corners. An expense that was cut in the beginning phases of a project to save money, may ultimately negatively impact the bottom line. Cutting corners, when it comes to mechanical insulation, is a huge “penny wise, dollar foolish” mistake, in both the long and short term.
 
Today, we see energy costs skyrocketing, yet many people overlook the most obvious steps to being more energy efficient. Professionally-installed mechanical insulation is a simple way to help you go green, saving you energy and money. And your return on investment begins immediately after installation. 
 
Whether you are developing a project for another buyer or planning to keep your building for years to come, professionally-installed mechanical insulation guarantees the highest possible property value.
 
That’s because your mechanical systems work around the clock, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Professionally-installed mechanical insulation prevents these systems from being senselessly overworked – saving the owner money by the minute. It will protect your heating and cooling systems from mold and condensation, ensuring the long-term protection of that equipment and avoiding future costs. And since the potential consequences of improper insulation are serious health hazards, having the proper systems in place to prevent these issues also extends the life of the entire building. 
 
Installing the proper insulation maximizes the effectiveness of heating and cooling systems and helps to significantly reduce energy loss. Reduced energy loss means increased efficiency, which saves you money and is better for the environment. 
 
The Massachusetts legislature is poised to pass a bill that will penalize building ownersby way of significant taxes, in exact correlation to the property’s carbon footprint. Where it is more prudent than ever to be more environmentally accountable, professionally-installed mechanical insulation is a necessity for any serious buyer, or developer. 
 
At Insulators Local 6, our highly-trained professionals employed by a select network of industry-leading contractors add value to clients across industries – medical, higher education, biotechnology, commercial ventures, industrial projects and more. We are ready for any challenge, and handle a broad range of solutions: Mechanical Insulation, Hazardous Waste Remediation, Firestopping, Sound Attenuation/Quiet Systems and Specialty Fabrication. 
 

Insulators Local 6 sets the standards for New England’s insulation industry, where a lack of proper licensing allows shoddy contractors to make a quick buck, by delivering what is ultimately a useless product to clients. By contrast, our team of professionals are certified by the U.S. Department of Labor and stand as a preferred source of labor on the Massachusetts’ COMMBUYS list, and the MassSAVE contractor lists. 

When you partner with Insulators Local 6, you’re guaranteed to have the highest-trained, safest team of professionals on your team. Our professionals will ensure that the job is done right and on time. 

 
And when done right, mechanical insulation is not an expense; it’s an investment.

Return to Work Memo

Updates

Return to Work Memo

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We are committed to keeping you apprised as details emerge regarding new safety and return to work protocols for construction. As always, the safety and security of you and your family is our number one priority.

Last week, Mayor Marty Walsh released an approximate timeline for the construction industry to recommence our work in the City of Boston. 
 
This is a big step forward for our union – which dominates our industry’s market share in the City of Boston – and an equally big step for the entire union construction industry, which has withstood an unprecedented blow during this pandemic.
 
We are fortunate and excited to pick up right where we left off – to return to our good, well-paid union jobs that have afforded us all a fair living. 
 
Local 6 benefits, which all of us and our families enjoy, are funded by hours worked. With construction projects reopening, the time has come that we return to work, as safely as possible, so that we can retain the current levels of these benefits. 
 
Our union jobs, and the benefits we have worked hard to earn for working people, help to build a more equitable and just construction industry. They are a pillar of our community values, a reality we have fought hard for over many generations and one we must defend.
 
Our community needs us, our economy needs us, and our families need us to get back to work as quickly and as safely as possible. But although we are all eager to regain a sense of normalcy, we need to make sure we are all doing our part to keep ourselves and our members safe.
 
Please take a moment to closely review the new safety protocols outlined in this memo, which were put forth by the City of Boston, and the State of Massachusetts, in conjunction with the CDC and OSHA.
 
It is critical that each Local 6 member understands these new safety and hygiene guidelines, so that we can immediately put them into practice as business reopens. 
 
We worked diligently with contractors as well as local and state legislators to implement these guidelines so that our members can feel confident and safe in returning to work. We remain available to you as we all move forward together, and we encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns. 
 
City of Boston COVID-19 STANDARD CONSTRUCTION Guidelines:
On Wednesday, April 29, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh issued new construction safety procedures, and also enacted new requirements for job permitting.

Mayor Walsh’s office issued the following timeline in regard to when Boston Construction will be allowed to recommence: 
  • April 27 – Release and implement new policies for emergency construction work
  • May 5 – Announcement of Return to Work dates; Essential Construction projects may begin site preparation to accommodate approved Safety Plans (see below) 
  • May 18 – Essential Construction may begin (schools, hospitals, etc.) WITH approved Safety Plans and appropriate safety preparation 
  • May 26 – All construction commences WITH approved Safety Plans and appropriate safety preparation 
Contractors are now tasked with the preparation of new, site-specific “Safety Plans” for each project, in order to ensure the health and safety of all workers onsite. 
 
Contractors MUST receive approval on their Safety Plan from either the ISD or Public Works Department before teams may pick up work.
 
Workers should review this worksheet issued by the City of Boston, which will serve as a BASELINE for additional worksite safety moving forward. Each of these requirements (unless approved by the City for exception) are required to be in place in order for work on any and all sites to move forward. These guidelines were created in conjunction with the CDC and OSHA.

In short, if you are informed that you should return to work on a given date, that means that your site will already be prepared to operate according to these guidelines, in advance of that date. 
 
Please note that if the work site fails to uphold safety standards or abide by its own Safety Plan, it may result in suspension or termination of work in progress, or revocation of the City’s permit for the work.
 
 
Massachusetts State COVID-19 Construction Guidelines:
 
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has also issued state-wide guidelines for construction worksites moving forward. All of these procedures must be followed on each job site, both union and non-union, in ADDITION to any guidelines put forth by local municipalities (i.e., City of Boston guidelines mentioned above).

Contractors must distribute BOTH State and Municipal guidelines to employees on all job sites, for review in a site-wide safety stand down.
 
The key takeaways from the State guidelines are as follows:
 
  • On-site COVID Officer – Each construction site must have a site-specific, COVID-19 Officer (who may also be the Health & Safety Officer). This person will submit a daily report to the project owner representative, certifying that the contractor and all subs are in compliance will all COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • Zero Tolerance Policy – There will be ZERO tolerance for sick workers reporting to work. If you are ill, stay home. If you begin feeling ill while at work, go home. And if you notice a coworker who is exhibiting symptoms, you should encourage them to go home, and/or alert your supervisor, or the work site COVID-19 Officer.
  • Safety Stand Down – All job sites statewide will require a safety stand down so the Contractor may distribute the appropriate materials to workers, and review, in detail with the full team, the expectations for safety and hygiene moving forward.

The number one priority of Local 6 is the safety of our members. Please review both the City of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts safety guidelines in their entirety, so that you understand the responsibilities that you hold, and those that your employer holds. 
 
This is absolutely essential to keeping our work sites safe and healthy for all. 
 
Local 6 has remained in close coordination with our fellow building trades unions, as well as state and local officials to outline these necessary, new policies that will allow us to continue our work safely.
 
We will continue to prioritize and advocate for the safety of our members, and we want you to know that you can count on us to uphold and enforce these new standards.
 
To stay up to date on further COVID-19 developments, visit the City of Boston COVID-19 webpage: https://www.boston.gov/news/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-boston
 
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and please do reach out with questions or concerns. 
 
 

Fraternally, 
  
Jim Lister
Business Manager/Financial Secretary
 
Jeff Saliba
Business Agent 
 
Heat & Frost Insulators Local 6
617-436-4666