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Dean Review Consultation Questions

Written submission to Dean review

Submission number: DR-82

Name of organisation making submission: DR-82 CLAC

Responses to questions in submission form


Section A - The Public Interest in this Review

1. What do you understand by public interest?

Generally, public interest involves the protection and promotion of the well-being of society. With respect to the ability of the Ontario College of Trade’s (“College”) mandate to serve and protect the public interest, we would have to differentiate between control and value. We submit that the College is only in direct control of consumer (public) protection and the economic impact of the trades as a whole. Although the College values the impact of health and safety and environmental protection, we submit that these are essentially a residual benefit of a self-regulating body that performs its function to the highest level of professionalism and in accordance to the standards it sets for its constituents/members. Moreover, health and safety and environmental protection are difficult to measure, as there are too many other factors that need to be considered as having the a direct impact on the public interest.


2. Who should the College serve? Who is “the public” in the public interest and what groups make up the public?

The College serves a number of parties in its role in serving the public. First off, the College does not serve itself. Therefore the College must ensure that every decision it makes must be made in a manner that is transparent to the public as well as consistent to the standards it sets for itself. It also must openly and honestly take into consideration any and all competing interests of all the public parties to which it serves, regardless of the issue. A regulatory body, like the College, that is not open, unfair and lacks transparency in its decision making process will set itself up in conflict with its mandate to "… serve and protect the public interest in carrying out its objects and its functions under this Act." (Sec. 10 of the OCTAA). The historical criticism of the College, which will be further identified in our submissions, has consistently been aligned to claiming the College be self-vested and is by default, primarily concerned with increasing its membership and broad reach across the trade sectors. This could be accomplished by creating more compulsory trades or limiting the number of apprentices that may be engaged in the learning of a trade. It is our view that there are two categories of parties that comprise of the public: 1. Tradespersons, apprentices and prospective tradespersons (members of the College and those who might be compelled in becoming a member) 2. Purchasers and benefactors of the services provided by tradespersons, apprentices and prospective tradespersons The first category includes any individual who engages in any scope of practice of the trades that falls under the oversight of the College. This could include individuals who are required to be members of the College because they perform work in a compulsory trade or individuals who voluntarily take out membership with College and who work in a voluntary trade. This group would also include any individual who works in a voluntary trade who would be impacted by any decision that the College makes regarding their trade (including scope of practice, reclassification or apprentice to journeyperson ratios). Furthermore, this group would also include any apprentice or individual who is seeking to become a skilled or qualified worker in their respective trade. Finally, this category would also include individuals who perform work in the "underground economy", such as those individuals who perform work in a compulsory trade who are not qualified or certified to performs such work. The second category is fairly wide-spread. In its basic terms, this would include any party that would purchase or acquire the goods and services of an individual listed in the first category. This would include purchasers of trade services such as the general public or employers that hire the individual performing the trade directly. Other groups that would be included in this category would be those organizations that provide support to individuals listed in the first category, including trade unions, employee associations, employer associations, and training providers, etc.


3. How should the College make decisions in the public interest where different segments of the public may have opposing interests?

As previously stated, the College must make decisions that impact the public in an open, fair and transparent manner. This is imperative in decisions where parties with competing interests are involved. As a default, if a potential decision, as a result of a College process, will affect any number of interested parties, and where such decision may pose a level of risk or harm to the public or have an economic impact, then the College must provide clear notice and relevant information to the public upon which they might reasonably rely. It is our proposal that the College establish an at arms-length Council (“the Council”) that could independently research, investigate and confirm the necessity of any proposed process or decision. This Council could obtain, in an objective fashion, relevant information from industry resources, expert witnesses or even from parties who may participate in the College’s processes. Any request for a reclassification of a trade or a proposal to amend the Scope of Practice (“SoP”) for any given trade, must be made to this Council before going to broader public consultations. Once the Council has confirmed the necessity of a public consultation, it would direct the College to publicly announce the intention of the College to hold public consultations. The announcement would initially invite the public to provide information upon which it believes the College decision making process should rely upon. Accompanying the notification would be the information that the Council has already agreed to be relevant, including College membership statistics, journeyperson and apprenticeship numbers or apprenticeship completion rates, to only name a few. Any party that proposes alternate or additional information must provide the same in writing to the Council which would be then publicly posted. Subject to a reasonable deadline, the Council would consider all the new information through a consultation process and would ultimately accept or reject the information on the basis of being verifiable or credible. Subsequent to this process, the Council would direct the College to post notice of official consultation on the original decision application and would accompany the notification with the agreed to relevant information. The safe guard in this process, which has been a point of frustration for CLAC in its interactions with the College decision making processes in the past, is that the industry does not have comprehensive, relevant and verifiable empirical data upon which to rely in making an evidence based-submission that may impact the trades. In fact, the interested parties either interpret the same information differently, or provide different evidence on the same facts. Additionally, the current process does cause any party to be subjected to evidentiary reply or cause a party to disclose it's evidence prior to the public proceedings. Where the College requires parties to make clear and complete submissions, it has been the experience of CLAC that the review panels allow for an unfair amount of latitude for any presenter to stray from the evidence as outlined in its written submission, even to go as far as to allow for additional evidence to be presented that was not included in the party’s original written submissions. Finally, during the public consultation proceedings, the College should mandate (through regulation) that any request for an amendment to the status quo must by default be rejected unless the review panel is convinced, on the basis of the empirical evidence presented, that a change is necessary. The empirical evidence that would be required in order to amend the status quo needs to be prescribed as requiring a high threshold. This will ensure that the process allows for an even playing field on the part of all parties, including those individuals who cannot reasonably access certain empirical data upon which to develop their positions. We have to remember that all sorts of interested parties are invited to participate, including well-resourced trade unions and sophisticated industry associations all the way down to the individual tradesperson or apprentice who wishes to participate in shaping the future of their own trade in a meaningful way. CLAC provides further submissions on this topic in #20, below.


4. Is the College currently protecting the public interest?

The College is not protecting the public interest to its full potential. From the outset, the College has been challenged in focusing on establishing itself as a viable regulator in a complicated industry. This College oversees four unique sectors, dozens of trades and occupations, with varying levels of participation and the College ultimately represents individuals who are not mandated to join. Only those individuals practicing trades that are deemed compulsory are required to join (and fund) the College, which requires the distribution of resources in order to fulfill the College’s mandate to serve the trades as a whole. Therefore, from the very beginning, the College has had to convince its own membership to be engaged in the mandate and to participate in a meaningful way. The measurement of the lack of buy-in can be demonstrated by reviewing the number of active members currently registered with the College compared to the total number of potentially impacted tradespersons and apprentices that exist in the Province. Therefore, if the tradesperson and the apprentice is a key public interest catergory to whom the College serves, then one could conclude that it does not even effectively serve the entire membership. To date, the College has primarily focused on registration, enforcement and ratio reviews. It has been our experience, that the College has not clearly communicated its mandate and objectives to the public. This is evidenced by the lack of transparency regarding the selection of College officials (trade, division and governors), decision making processes and the College’s resistance to posting minutes and decisions of the respective trade and divisional boards. Clearly the College can do better in protecting the public interest by becoming more transparent and intentional in its goal to promote and grow the trades as a viable career option. There is always room for continued improvement in this area.


5. How should the College advance the public interest?

A common theme amongst proponents of reclassification is that the purpose of making a trade compulsory is primarily for the consideration of health and safety. We would argue that health and safety is a residual benefit of the standards of professionalism and mentoring relationships that exist in the workplace. Ontario has a strong health and safety framework in place as provided for in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, a rigorous building code framework and other legislated requirements enforced by the Ministry of Labour and other regulatory bodies. The College certification and qualification process is only a small piece of the overall health and safety system. Any evidence to the contrary simply does not exist, or is impossible to obtain. Instead, we believe the College can advance the public interest in 2 key areas: public protection and economic impact. For the benefit of our suggested category of public parties in #3, above, that being purchasers and benefactors of the services provided by a trades person, we would propose that the College continue to ensure that individuals who perform work in a compulsory trade are certified to perform the work of that trade. However, the College should focus its resources on developing a complaints based enforcement process. The enforcement division of the College should respond and investigate the complaints of the public that unqualified workers are performing work in a compulsory trade. It has been our experience that the College enforcement division has unnecessarily focused on current qualified individuals and workplaces. This perception puts the public at odds with the actual mandate of the College and undermines the confidence that the public should have in the College. Moreover, the College should work with the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (MTCU) to develop clear and consistent learning outcomes that the Ministry’s training delivery agents (TDA) deliver, and ultimately to determine what criteria that the certificate of qualification assessment exam verifies. The second method by which the College can advance the public interest is to ensure that the decisions of the College do not negatively impact the economy as a whole. The College has role in improving the economy, whether that be the financial economy or the labour economy. Both of these have an overall impact on placing the province of Ontario in a position to compete on the national and international stage. Our experience has been that individuals who reside in Ontario and who either are already in the trades or who are seeking to enter the trades, look to other provinces for work opportunities. We submit that the College has a direct impact on the labour economy to the extent in which the people of Ontario can participate in the labour market by becoming tradespersons. Furthermore, the College’s mandate and focus should be on the promotion of the trades (attraction), apprenticeship completion (retention) and supply and demand of tradespersons. The College places artificial labour economic barriers upon individuals entering the trades as a career, particularly in the compulsory trades. We have argued in the past that the College would serve the public economic interest by relaxing the ratio’s so as to provide more opportunities for workers to enter the trade. It has been our experience that individuals cannot enter a compulsory trade because of the restrictive apprenticeship-to-journeyperson ratios. Additionally, the reclassification of any given voluntary trade to a compulsory status will further impact the economic interest of the public. Workers who currently perform their work in a voluntary trade would potentially be barred from performing the duties subject to any prescribed verification or assessment of their skills and abilities in that trade. If an individual has performed the work with great skill and ability and for whatever reason cannot verify their competency in the trade through a formal assessment process, then how are we serving the public interest if that worker can no longer perform the trade in which rely upon to earn a living. Furthermore, if the alternative is to simply “grandfather” any individual who has performed the work without requiring a formal assessment process, then we are systemically undermining the status of the trade by issuing a “ticket” to any tradesperson with experience, and would effectively “water down” the status of the trade certificate. It has been our experience that the Employer is in the best position to verify the actual skills and competency of the worker in a voluntary trade, which has served the public well for generations.





Section B - Issues Related to Scopes of Practice (SoPs)

6. What impact do SoPs in regulation have on your daily work activities or on the way you conduct business? What aspects of an SoP are important to the work of your trade? Please explain.

As a trade union in the construction sector, CLAC negotiates contracts on a “wall-to-wall” basis. This means that all workers employed by a construction employer are covered by one collective bargaining agreement. Currently, as indicated in the consultation guide, the state of the Scope of Practice (“SoP”) for most of the trades are inconsistent and out of date. The current SoPs were introduced in a completely different economic time, and since then technological and trade practices have advanced to a point where the SoPs need a complete, and comprehensive public review. Notwithstanding, the current reality is that the CLAC workforce and signatory contractors find it difficult to solely rely on the SoPs (either explicitly in a compulsory trade, or intuitively in a voluntary trade) to determine which individual worker is qualified to do what work on the job site. Where no other competing craft unions are in play (who bring along their own internal jurisdictional issues as reviewed in #26 and 27, below), CLAC members and signatory contractors can complete a job efficiently and safely by utilizing the SoPs as a guideline, or by assessing the competency of the worker to perform any given duty. Any element of work that falls under the scope of a compulsory trade is performed by that trade, as per current industry practice.


7. Do you agree with the suggestion that trades may have core elements as well as peripheral elements?

Yes


8. What should be the key elements of an SoP? In particular, should the SoP for a trade list all of the tasks, activities or functions in which an apprentice should be trained, only those that are unique to the trade, or only those that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? Please explain.

The key elements of an SoP are those elements that can be defined as “core” and “peripheral”. The core elements of an SoP are those tasks that are considered unique to a trade and that pose a risk of harm to the public if they are not performed by a worker who is qualified to do the work because of knowledge, training and experience. The peripheral elements to the trade are those that are identified in the consultation document to be less essential, less complex and non-hazardous. These elements may be common amongst other trades and may be core in some, and peripheral in others. The SoP should identify and list separately, both core elements and peripheral elements to the trade. Therefore, when the industry is seeking to develop training standards or to sort out the elements of the trade that may be considered compulsory, the SoPs would provide clear direction on what is core and what is peripheral. Not including the peripheral elements would cause a void with respect to those particular elements of the trade that should be mastered. This would create a disservice to the industry.


9. How should a review or change in SoP be carried out?

We believe that a decision making process for a review or change in the SoP is laid out in number #3, above. A review or change in SoPs should be carried out in a manner that is transparent to the public as well as consistent to the standards that the College sets for itself. It also must openly and honestly take into consideration any and all competing interests of all the public parties to which it serves, regardless of the position on where the SoP should land.


10. Can or should the existing SoP provisions support the College’s diverse functions (e.g., apprenticeship training, enforcement, classification reviews)? Please explain.

We don’t believe that the current state (format and content) of the SoPs assist the College’s diverse functions. As indicated in #6 above, the state of the SoPs are out of date and are inconsistent with the actual practice in the workplace. Secondly, the apprenticeship training system has advanced with the same technological advancements and has most likely moved beyond the need to rely on the SoPs in their current state. Learning outcomes and standard testing are becoming more aligned to national standards of trade practice. Once the structure and content of the SoPs is improved, then they can be utilized to support the College.


11. Should the entire SoP for a compulsory trade be enforceable or be subject to enforcement? Please explain.

If the SoP is structured in a manner as we suggested in #8, above, that is both core and peripheral elements are included, but identified and listed separately, then only the core elements could be subject to enforcement. If the SoP does not distinguish between core and peripheral tasks then the entire SoP cannot be subject to enforcement.


12. Could the College benefit from a distinct list of compulsory activities that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? Please explain.

Yes, the College and the public would benefit from a distinct list of compulsory activities. This list could be utilized to inform the public of potential risk of harm should anyone engage in any of the listed activities when carrying out work or engaging with a tradesperson to perform the work. Moreover, this list could also be valuable in any future public review of the SoPs. This list should be deemed to be empirical evidence and should be verified as accurate and relevant through an arms-length Council as outlined in #3, above.


13. What is your understanding of what an overlap between SoPs is?

Our understanding is that multiple trades may perform the same task in carrying out their respective duties or assignments. These could be defined as common elements, and would include both core elements and peripheral elements. Any given worker could, given adequate knowledge, training and experience perform the common tasks. An issue arises when particular interest groups decide to separate the trades (either voluntarily or through OLRB proceedings) so as to create “jurisdictions” of work in order to alleviate inter-trade disputes. This issue occurs regardless of the competency of the worker to perform the work, and even exists when resolving jurisdictional overlaps between two voluntary trades. The outcome would be an artificial act of mandating compulsory trades without taking into consideration the competency of the work being done.


14. Do overlaps between SoPs in regulation have an impact on your daily work or on the way you conduct business? Please explain.

Generally, in the CLAC workplace environment of wall-to-wall collective agreements, the overlap of SoPs has the greatest impact when they involve core elements that are unique to any given compulsory trade. However, the industry has generally accepted the current state of compulsory trades and has behaved accordingly. In a closed shop environment, or where a particular construction employer is subject to unionized jurisdictional restrictions, then the overlap of the common elements that may be claimed (and confirmed by the OLRB) by a particular craft union will cause an inefficient and conflicting work environment. Finally, should any voluntary trade be considered for reclassification, then it is imperative that consideration be given to the overlap of common elements with any other trade’s SoP, especially where the trade may be negatively impacted by a reclassification decision (i.e. reducing or limiting the scope such that the SoP of the voluntary trade is reduced, or transferred to the applicant trade).


15. Does the application of the third legal interpretation principle on overlapping SoPs pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople, or other workers on the job? Please explain. If so, what can and should be done about it?

The application of the third legal interpretation does not generally pose a risk of harm to the public. If any element of the work is included in the SoP of any voluntary trade, then it would be a reasonable assumption that the respective element could be considered a peripheral element of the compulsory trade. It would, however, be a concern if any given SoP is out of date and not relevant to how the work is performed to date. Structuring the SoPs as we have suggested in #8 above, would alleviate the confusion and allow for the flexibility of the trades to sort out any overlap between them. The mitigation of the risk of harm would be to defer to the duties of the workplace parties as found in the Occupational Health & Safety Act, including but not limited to the principle of the Internal Responsibility System and the duty of the Employer at Sec. 25.2(h) to “…take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker”.





Section C - Classification or Reclassification of Trades as Compulsory or Voluntary

16. What makes a compulsory trade compulsory and what makes a voluntary trade voluntary?

CLAC could find no definitive answer in our research to this question. Little history or evidence exists on why certain trades (currently 22) have obtained compulsory status in Ontario. Our experience in participating in the Review of the Classification of Trades for Sprinkler and Fire Protection Installer Trade and in the subsequent decision, the review panel did not provide a definitive answer to this question. We believe that on a go-forward basis, the College must determine, in an open and transparent process, an answer to this question, on a case-by-case basis. Each trade must be evaluated independently, and we submit that the College should err on the side of status quo before making a reclassification decision. Intuitively, we believe that any trade that includes core elements (as described in #8, above) that are both unique to the trade and that demonstrate a risk of harm to the public, may be considered compulsory. A voluntary trade is simply a trade that is not compulsory, but that falls under an SoP.


17. Is the current classification of trades as either compulsory or voluntary aligned with the College’s duty to serve and protect the public interest?

Our interpretation of this question is whether the current status of the trades as compulsory (i.e the 22 compulsory trades) and the remaining as voluntary aligned with the College’s duty to serve and protect the interest. We believe that the current status is not detrimental to the College’s mandate to protect the public interest. Our other interpretation of this question is whether the process by which the College classifies trades as either compulsory or voluntary is aligned with the College’s duty. In this instance, our answer is no. The current process is flawed, which we believe prompted this review. We believe that the process must be based on a transparent and open process and that the decision making process must include empirical evidence that all parties can rely upon. Additionally, the College must place the onus on the part of the requesting trade board to produce evidence that would support a reclassification. Failing to meet a high threshold of evidence, the request must be denied. Furthermore, each trade board must be mandated to investigate other mitigation strategies that may systemically eliminate the risk of harm as an alternative to reclassification. This may include improving the standards as set in the OH&SA Act and its Regulations or to defer to other governmental bodies or authorities whom are in most cases, better equipped to mitigate the risk of harm. These governmental bodies or authorities may include, but are not limited to the Ministry of Labour, TSSA, Canadian Standards Association or the Electrical Safety Authority, or the Ontario Building Code.


18. Is it reasonable to assume that there may be elements in the SoP for a trade that are inherently hazardous or that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople, or other workers on the job?

Yes, but a public review of the SoP must confirm that the elements are in fact hazardous and that the risk must first be attempted to be mitigated by any other systemic means other than reclassifying a trade.


19. Could compulsory certification be limited to either the core elements of a trade or those tasks, activities, or functions that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? What kind of impact would these approaches have on your daily work or on the way you conduct business?

We believe that compulsory certification could be based, but not limited to, the core elements of a trade. Furthermore, compulsory certification should only be considered as a last resort as a systemic mitigation of the risk of hazard. The impact would be significant if it was found that certain core elements in one trade were found as core or peripheral elements of another trade, causing the other trade to be banned from doing the elements in question. This would especially be true if it was found that the core elements of risk could have been mitigated in some other means other than compulsory certification.


20. Should the College continue to rely on an adjudicative review panel approach (i.e., the Ontario Labour Relations Board model) or should a different model be considered? Please explain.

Subject to the resolution of our procedural concerns, as listed below, the adjudicative model may be the best model in order to make a decision. Failing to resolve these procedural issues would undermine the adjudicative model and we would therefore seek a different model. The procedural concerns are outlined as follows: 1. The lack of public rationale prompting the initial request for reclassification; 2. The lack of empirical evidence available to the public 3. Burden of proof on the interested parties Initial Request: CLAC requests that the College direct the trade board, when making a request for a review of their trade, to post minutes, rationale and evidence that the trade board relied upon to cause for a request for a reclassification review. It has been our experience that the trade board is not required to provide such rationale, and that the review proceedings carry on relying on the interested parties of public to present the evidence. The Lack of Empirical Evidence: CLAC has expressed concerns in previous proceedings, and we again state them in this submission. Our concern is regarding the lack of empirical and comprehensive evidence available to the interested parties presenting to a review panel in order to make a classification decision under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 (OCTAA), and specifically, Ontario Regulation 458/11 made under OCTAA (the Regulation). A review panel has the authority to “conduct reviews and make determinations … on classification of trades as compulsory trades or voluntary trades” under section 21(2) of the OCTAA. Under section 21(3), the decision of the review panel is “final and not subject to appeal” and cannot be “altered or set aside in an application for judicial review or any other proceeding”. In making such determinations, members of a review panel have an obligation under section 22 to “serve and protect the public interest”. Therefore, a review panel is given broad authority to make decisions regarding the regulation of trades in Ontario, with the limited constraint of ensuring their actions serve and protect the public interest. A major concern of CLAC is the fact that the empirical data examined by the review panel in making their determination, that is, the criteria set out in the Regulation is not readily available. The Ontario College of Trades and its registrar are in the position as the gatekeeper and repository of such information. As the Ontario College of Trades has only been in full operation since April 2013, all relevant information for the period prior to this time would be held by the MTCU. However, such information is not available from the College or the MTCU. In fact, as indicated above, the Trade Board for a given voluntary trade can make a request for a review without providing any evidentiary basis for the request, leaving it to the review panel to consult with the public and receive this critical information (if available), third hand. The review panel is unable to test the submissions against objective empirical data, but instead must make a determination based solely on the written and oral submissions of interested parties who are likely biased in one way or another to the outcome of the reclassification process. This process is fundamentally flawed, and as such we propose that the College direct a review panel to dismiss any such request due to a lack of empirical data upon which to base its decision. Burden of Proof: we propose that any party seeking a change to the status quo must prove, through empirical evidence that a change is necessary. That party must present first. At the very least, CLAC proposes that the obligation rests on the trade board to outline their rationale in initiating the request for a review, and to demonstration that the public interest would benefit from a reclassification.


21. How should expert opinion be obtained?

As per #3 above, we believe an independent, at arms-length Council would be tasked with obtaining and vetting expert opinion on any matter of concern with respect to a College review process (reclassification, SoP, or ratio reviews). The Council would obtain expert opinion through public interviews of proposed experts or by retaining expert advisors. The College’s Registrar could be considered as an expert advisor and could provide the Council with the necessary statistical membership data that would be utilized in any College review proceeding.


22. Are the current criteria for trade classification reviews set out in O. Reg. 458/11 consistent with the public interest? Please explain.

No. In our experience, and found in our written submission to the Review of the Classification of Trades for Sprinkler and Fire Protection Installer Trade, dated November 8, 2013, we proposed that there was no empirical evidence available to the public that could assist the review panel in determining the impact on scope of practice for the trade (i), health & safety (ii), the environment (iii), or the classification of similar trades in other jurisdictions (v). Most of our submissions surrounded the economic impact on the public, including financial impact and labour (supply/demand). We proposed that there was not enough evidence, or that the proponents of reclassification had not established any explicit reasoning for reclassification. In our experience, any evidence heard in that proceeding was in our opinion, to be deemed subjective and anecdotal, rather than to be empirical. This is concerning for the public interest as it causes interested parties to put forward evidence that may never be tested.


23. Are the criteria specific, clear and measurable enough to inform you of what data and evidence are needed to meet those criteria?

We submit that the criteria, specifically the impact on health and safety and the environment are impossible to measure (on a correlative basis) and are therefore unclear. We proposed in both the reclassification review as well as the various apprentice to journeyperson ratio review processes that the College track and measure the effect, if any, the above criteria in order to determine the efficacy of the change. For example, now that the Sprinkler and Fire Protection Installer trade is compulsory (or will be following the phase-in period), the College should perform a longitudinal study to determine the effects of the change on the above criteria. This might provide evidence (or lack thereof) that a reclassification impacts the criteria as listed. We proposed the same methodology for the ratio reviews, particularly those trades that experienced a gradual relaxation of the ratio in a compulsory trade (i.e. Plumber: 3:1 to 2:1). Now is the time to monitor the efficacy of a change from the status quo. We do, however, maintain that all reviews be paused until such time that core statistical data becomes available from the College.


24. Are the existing criteria the right criteria?

No. Subject to a restructuring of the SoPs, the only two criteria that should be considered is the direct impact on the risk of hazard to the public and the economy (both financial and labour).





Section D - Decisions of the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB)

25. Do the scopes of practice (SoPs) in regulation reflect the way in which work is actually assigned in your trade or sector?

Although the SoPs have generally formed the way in which the trades conduct their respective trade elements, CLAC’s wall-to-wall approach to the construction sector relies upon ensuring that every worker that completes any given element of the work has the adequate knowledge, training and experience to perform the task safely. The wall-to-wall model provides for efficiency and construction best practices by encouraging all workplace parties to work together to complete construction projects safely, on time and on budget.


26. Do you agree with the notion that most jurisdictional disputes arise from peripheral elements of the trades? Please explain.

Peripheral and core elements are not necessarily considered in the jurisdictional disputes. The resolution to a jurisdictional dispute is established in a labour relations context, argued by labour relations practitioners, without explicit consideration to the SoP of a given trade. The jurisdictional dispute process is a method of conflict resolution between two or more interested parties that do not arise necessarily out of the concern for health and safety, but more so on the competitive viability of the craft union.


27. What consideration should the College give, if any, to the decisions made by the OLRB in jurisdictional or work assignment disputes under the Labour Relations Act? If the College were to adopt the OLRB's decisions, what impact would that have on your trade and the way you conduct business? Please explain.

The College should give very little consideration to the jurisdictional decisions made by the OLRB, considering that the impetus of the decisions arose out of a competitive dispute between two or more craft-based unions in defining their internal scope of work assignments. There may be some value in reviewing the decisions as part of the fact finding process, but it should carry very little weight. Placing a disproportionate amount of weight on the OLRB decisions will only endorse a labour relations model that applies to less than 30% of the construction market. Furthermore, where the unionization rate decreases you move across Ontario (outside of the greater Toronto area), relying on the OLRB decisions would put significant strain on the construction labour market to complete construction projects in a timely and cost effective manner. If the College were to adopt the OLRB’s jurisdictional decisions without considering other factors as included herein, then this would negatively impact CLAC members and signatory contractors, as well as the open construction sector as a whole. It would be an artificial reclassification of the trades based on private interests of the craft-based unionized construction industry. The impact would be a crippling of the Ontario construction sector. As stated before, each trade that is considered for reclassification must be reviewed on a case-per-case basis independent of the OLRB jurisdictional decisions.





Section E - General Response and Comments

28. Please provide additional comments below, if any.

In conclusion, CLAC supports this review of the key areas of the Ontario College of Trades. CLAC appreciates the ability for key stakeholders to be involved in the shaping of the policies and mandate of the College, including scopes of practice of the trades, enforcement and ratio reviews. CLAC has concerns regarding procedural matters and transparency, but we believe that these concerns can be addressed with an open and transparent review such as this one. Thank you for the opportunity to make this submission. We look forward to meeting with the Reviewer in the near future to further discuss our submission and to make further clarifications, where necessary. ABOUT CLAC CLAC brings a unique perspective to the trades. CLAC is Canada’s multi-craft construction union representing skilled tradespersons working in every sector of the construction industry in the province of Ontario. Every day, thousands of CLAC members in Ontario build bridges, roads, water and waste treatment plants, high-rise buildings, and retail shopping centres. Founded in 1952, CLAC is a union built on principle. Its name reflects the principles of dignity, democracy, freedom, justice, responsibility, and respect for all. Its goal is to establish a true partnership between employers and employees for the benefit of all. Through innovation and using a new model of advocacy and construction organization, CLAC has experienced remarkable growth in Ontario and across Canada. Its members have an enviable record of doing their work competently and safely, with results that count them among the leaders in their field. CLAC is an independent Canadian labour union representing over 56,000 workers in a wide range of industry sectors—construction, health care, retail, service, transportation, manufacturing, and mining. The union serves its members from 15 regional offices in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. CLAC’s head office is in Mississauga. A Multi-Skilled Union CLAC organizes construction workers of all trades in a particular company into a single bargaining unit. In labour relations jargon, this is known as wall-to-wall bargaining, where construction workers in compulsory, voluntary, and uncertified trades are organized together in a single unit. This multi-skilled approach creates an efficiency not met through any other model, eliminating trade silos and encouraging all workers to work together to complete construction projects safely, on time and on budget. Training for the Future CLAC provides training support for its members to acquire, maintain and upgrade their skills. Courses are designed to keep members up to date with legislative requirements and codes, as well as provide them with applicable health and safety training. CLAC established training centres in Ottawa, Sudbury, Grimsby, Mississauga, and Chatham, and opened a provincial training facility in Cambridge in 2009. CLAC works closely with Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) apprenticeship offices in Ontario and in cooperation with community colleges and training organizations. By working together, CLAC ensures that those entering the construction trades acquire and develop the knowledge and experience for a skilled workforce for tomorrow’s projects.