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ORBA disappointed by the outcome of Bill 73


September 23, 2013
By ORBA

September 19, 2013, Toronto, ON (CNW) – The
Ontario Road Builders' Association (ORBA) was disappointed when members of the
Ontario Legislature voted against fair and open tendering.

September 19, 2013, Toronto, ON (CNW) – The
Ontario Road Builders' Association (ORBA) was disappointed when members of the
Ontario Legislature voted against fair and open tendering. Representatives from ORBA were on hand to
participate in the press conference and to watch the debate and vote on Bill
73, The Fair and Open Tendering Act.

"Public sector employers, such as
municipalities and school boards, are not construction employers as is currently
defined in the Labour Relations Act," said Geoff Wilkinson, Executive
Director of ORBA. "We are disappointed that MPPs did not understand that
the Labour Relations Act needs to be changed to prevent unfair closed-tendering
restrictions on publicly funded infrastructure projects based on union
affiliation."

Closed tendering situations can occur when a
public employer is organized by an affiliated construction union and forced to
accept the provincially negotiated collective agreement for industrial, institutional
and commercial work. These provincial agreements typically contain tight
contracting out restrictions that require public employers to close tendering
to only contractors and workers who are organized by a particular union. This
can restrict all other union and non-union contractors from participating in
those publicly funded projects.

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Closed tendering restrictions apply in school
boards and cities across the province including Toronto, Kitchener, Sault Ste
Marie, Hamilton and the Greater Essex County District School Board. The Region
of Waterloo is also at risk of being subject to this type of situation if they
are unsuccessful in their ongoing battle with the Carpenters Union at the
Ontario Labour Relations Board.

"Our Association has always supported
tendering practices that are fair, equitable and open to all qualified bidders
and workers," said John Blake, President of ORBA. "Open and
competitive tendering ensures taxpayers are getting maximum value for their
investments in Ontario's infrastructure."

ORBA's Board of Directors passed a resolution
calling on the Government to move forward with a legislative change to ensure
public employers are able to fairly and openly tender all construction projects
at their April meeting. Union and non-union ORBA members unanimously supported
the resolution on the principal of fairness.