UA Canada Standard for Excellence

We represent over 10,300 skilled members, trained to the highest standards in the fabrication, installation and servicing of all aspects of the piping trades: plumbing, gas (including medical gases), heating and cooling systems. Our members have expertise in residential, low-rise and high-rise systems. Many are also trained to work in especially important commercial facilities such as power stations, pharmaceutical and medical-research plants, supermarket and commercial refrigeration and hospitals.

Our contractors are among the most demanding and quality-conscious in the world, with over 350 signatories to our collective-bargaining agreements.

UA Standard for Excellence Overview

The UA Standard for Excellence policy is a Labour-Management commitment to uphold the highest industry standards in the workplace and ensure customer satisfaction. The program is designed to promote UA members’ world-class skills and safe, efficient work practices on the jobs performed by our signatory contractors for their customers.

Member and Local Union Responsibilities:

To ensure the UA Standard for Excellence platform meets and maintains its goals, the Local Union Business Manager, in partnership with his implementation team, including shop stewards and the local membership, shall ensure all members:

    • Meet their responsibilities to the employer and their fellow workers by arriving on the job ready to work, everyday on time (absenteeism and tardiness will not be tolerated).
    • Adhere to the contractual starting and quitting times, including lunch and break periods (personal cell phones will not be used during the workday with the exception of lunch and break periods).
    • Meet their responsibility as highly skilled crafts persons by providing the required tools as stipulated under the local Collective Bargaining Agreement while respecting those tools and equipment supplied by the employer.
    • Use and promote the local union and international training and certification systems to the membership so they may continue on the road of life-long learning thus ensuring UA crafts persons are the most highly trained and sought after workers.
    • Meet their responsibility to be fit for duty ensuring by zero tolerance policy for substance abuse is strictly met.
    • Be productive and keep inactive time to a minimum.
    • Meet their contractual responsibility to eliminate disruptions on the job and safely work towards the on-time completion of the project in an auspicious manner.
    • Respect the customers’ property (waste and property destruction, such as graffiti will not be tolerated).
    • Respect the UA, the customer, client and contractor by dressing in a manner appropriate for our highly skilled and professional craft (offensive words and symbols on clothing and buttons are not acceptable).
    • Respect and obey employer and customer rules and policies.
    • Follow safe, reasonable and legitimate management directives.

Employer and Management Responsibilities:

MCAA/MSCA/PFI/MCPWB/PCA/UAC and NFSA signatory contractors have the responsibility to manage their jobs effectively, and as such have the following responsibilities under the UA Standard for Excellence.

    • Replace and return to the referral hall ineffective superintendents, general foremen, foremen, journey workers and apprentices.
    • Provide the Union hall with the necessary documentation to support these actions.
    • Provide worker recognition for a job well done.
    • Ensure that all necessary tools and equipment are readily available to employees.
    • Minimize workers downtime by ensuring blueprints, specifications, job layout instructions and material are readily available in a timely manner.
    • Provide proper storage for contractor and employee tools.
    • Provide the necessary leadership and problem-solving skills to job site supervision.
    • Ensure job site leadership takes the necessary ownership of mistakes created by management decisions.
    • Promote to owners and clients the UA/Contractor Associations partnerships and avoid finger pointing when problems arise.
    • Encourage employees but if necessary be fair and consistent with discipline.
    • Create and maintain a safe work environment by providing site specific training, proper equipment and following occupational health and safety guidelines.
    • Promote and support continued education and training for employees while encouraging career building skills.
    • Employ an adequate number of properly trained employees to efficiently perform the work in a safe manner while limiting the number of employees to the work at hand thereby providing the customer with a key performance indicator of the value of the UA Standard for Excellence.
    • Treat all employees in a respectful and dignified manner acknowledging their contributions to a successful project.
    • Cooperate and communicate with the Job Steward.

Problem Resolution through the UA Standard for Excellence Policy:

Under UA Standard for Excellence it is understood, that members through the local union, and management through the signatory contactors, have duties and are accountable in achieving successful resolutions.

Member and Local Union Responsibilities:

    • The Local Union and the Steward will work with members to correct and solve problems related to job performance.
    • Job Stewards shall be provided with steward training and receive specialized training with regard to the UA Standard for Excellence.
    • Regular meetings will be held where the job steward along with UA Supervision will communicate with the management team regarding job progress, work schedules, and other issues affecting work processes.
    • The Job Steward shall communicate with the members’ issues affecting work progress.
    • The Business Manager or his designee will conduct regularly scheduled meetings to discuss and resolve issues affecting compliance of the UA Standard for Excellence policy.
    • The Steward and management will attempt to correct such problems with individual members in the workplace.
    • Individual members not complying with membership responsibility shall be brought before the Local Union Executive Board who will address such members’ failure to meet their obligation to the local and the UA, up to and including filing charges. The Local Union’s role is to use all available means to correct the compliance problem including but not limited to mandatory retraining for members after offences.

Employer and Management Responsibilities:

    • Regular meetings will be held where the management team and UA Supervision will communicate with the Job Steward regarding job progress, work schedules, and other issues affecting the work process.
    • The above information will be recorded, action plans will be formulated and the information will be passed on to the local union Business Manager.
    • Management will address concerns brought forth by the Steward or UA Supervision in a professional and timely manner.
    • A course of action shall be established to allow the Job Steward and or UA Supervision to communicate with higher levels of management in the event there is a breakdown with the responsible manager.
    • In the event that the employee is unwilling or unable to make the necessary changes, management must make the decision whether the employee is detrimental to the UA Standard for Excellence platform and make a decision regarding his further employment.

Additional Jointly Supported Methods of Problem Resolution:

    • In the event an issue is irresolvable at this level the Local or the Contractor may call for a contractually established Labor Management meeting to resolve the issues.
    • Weekly job progress meetings should be conducted with Job Stewards, UA Supervision and Management.
    • The Local or the Contractor may involve the customer when their input is prudent in finding a solution.
    • Foremen, General Foremen, Superintendents and other management should be educated and certified as leaders in the UA Standard for Excellence policy.

In short, our members are a vital part of virtually every industry in the United States of America and Canada.