Truth and Reconciliation day: Overtime pay for some but not all unionized construction workers on Monday

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Canadian Design and Construction Report staff writer

Some contractors were required to pay overtime for certain of their workers on Monday in recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR), a federally designated statutory holiday on Saturday, Sept. 30. Since the commemoration falls on the weekend, for workplace rules, it is recognized on Monday, Oct. 2.

“The construction industry is governed by Ontario Employment Standards legislation and presently the NDTR is NOT a legislated pubic holiday,” the Ottawa Construction Association (OCA) said in Thursday notice.

However, the holiday is recognized as a statutory holiday in some, but not all, collective agreements for unionized workers.

Collective agreements where the holiday is recognized include unions representing boilermakers, demolition workers, electrical, ironworkers, millwrights, Painters “A”, (but Painters “B” are excluded) plumbers, roofers, rodman, sheet metal, sprinkler and teamsters – overall representing 12 of the 26 agreements in a list provided by the OCA.

“All of this is to say that for unionized contractors you should be double checking your collective agreement obligations and for general contractors managing multiple trades on site you would be wise to check with all your subcontractors as to the application of this holiday to next Monday,” the OCA notice says. “If you are unionized and have this day recognized you can still have workers on site but premium pay will be required as per the agreement.”

The day recognizes “the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process,” the OCA says.

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