Lower Costs and Higher Profits
Did you know that there is a link between the kind of health and safety training SMART members receive and reduced workers’ compensation claims? According to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, “participation in health and safety training reduced workers’ compensation claims by 34 percent.” It’s simple mathematics. Hit the job running with a well-trained, highly skilled workforce. A crew that works more effectively and efficiently on any kind of project allows your business to be more productive and profitable. The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) supplies you with the trained technicians that you need in 24 hours or less; no wasted time or money running advertisements, recruiting and interviewing prospects who aren’t qualified. It’s nice to know that you’ll never have to call your competitors for assistance. You save time and money … and add profit by cutting out recruiting costs.
Being Flexible and Mobile
Imagine the opportunity to grow your business and increase your profit margin. Nothing will help you get there faster than your employees and a partnership with SMART. In today’s competitive market, every bid opportunity is important. Passing up a bid is not an option. Having the right number of workers that are skilled in the proper disciplines will give you the advantage you need to compete for more jobs and bigger jobs. Partnering with SMART gives you access to more jobs and makes you competitive in the marketplace. A flexible and mobile workforce puts you in position to answer the client’s needs at a moment’s notice.
Focusing On the Business At Hand
You started a sheet metal business because you’re good at the craft. Nobody loves the paperwork side of the business. When you partner with SMART, you spend less administrative time and reduce overhead. Medical, dental, retirement and other benefits are all covered and union-administered. Reduced administrative overhead means more time to concentrate on what you do best: running a successful, profitable business. The secret to running a successful business is grounded in satisfied employees who bring about satisfied customers. Satisfaction builds loyalty. SMART’s excellent retirement and health benefit programs assure business owners of a stable and reliable workforce for the long term.
It Pays to Partner With SMART
You can call day or night for skilled manpower. Continuous training for employees in our state-of-the-art facilities. Productivity is significantly increased. Labor costs are constant for the duration of your project. You and your employees are entitled to the best benefits in the industry. Access to our multi-employer network for contracting opportunities. Your growth potential is not limited by the skill or manpower available. No time or money spent on administration costs for health care and retirement plans. Organizational support for your business from a union that understands Labor-Management Cooperation.
WHAT IS THE CODE OF EXCELLENCE POLICY?
Our members demonstrate on a continuing basis skills and professionalism that are the industry standard. While we have recognized and continue to recognize the commitment of these individuals, our Code of Excellence Program is designed for SMART local unions to promote and establish a uniform best practices format that will instill a sense of pride in the union and bring out the best from all our members. The SMART Code of Excellence Program is our action plan to establish polices designed to demonstrate and showcase the skills and professionalism of SMART members. In essence, the Code of Excellence Program is a marketing and action policy designed to develop a pride of ownership in our members that demonstrates the professional workmanship and productivity provided by SMART members every workday on every jobsite.
The basic tenets of the Code of Excellence Program shall be to provide to SMART, the employer and client:
- Members of SMART who provide the highest level of quality at the highest level of performance;
- Who use superior craft skills; and
- Who have proven best work practices.
The Code of Excellence Policy is therefore a written policy of the culture of SMART designed to instill a sense of pride and professionalism in our membership. When adopted and implemented, the uniformity of this Code of Excellence Policy shall demonstrate to employers and their clients that contracting the services of SMART members is synonymous with contracting excellence.
The Code of Excellence Program is an internal SMART program and therefore not dependent on external forces. This allows the success of the Code of Excellence Program to rest solely within the control of the SMART leadership and members.
The Code of Excellence Program, therefore, must have the total support of the local union membership at all levels, and in particular the full commitment of local union leadership who must set the example in promoting the policies set forth.
With adoption and implementation at the local union level, it shall be incumbent upon the business manager, with the assistance of their business representatives, to participate actively in enforcement of all provisions set forth in the Code of Excellence Program.
CODE OF EXCELLENCE PROGRAM DESIGN COMPONENTS
The Code of Excellence Program is designed to be flexible and to be used in every local union within SMART. Specific issues of concern to local union leaders and memberships can be incorporated into the Code of Excellence Program; however, the key components of the Code of Excellence Program must be consistently applied if the program is to be successful.
The key components of the Code of Excellence Program and which must remain consistent are:
- Commitment: The Code of Excellence Program requires a commitment by the local union at every level of leadership, with membership acceptance, to abide by the responsibilities stated within the program.
- Business Manager: The business manager or his/her designee is empowered to address workplace issues with members and to communicate to employers the individual workplace needs requiring management involvement.
- Member Professionalism: SMART members have a responsibility to their union and fellow members to present themselves and represent their local union in a professional manner. This includes meeting employer and end user expectations about the work we perform.
- Member Responsibility: It is incumbent upon each member to assist each other in meeting our Code of Excellence Standards.
- Consequences: Members must clearly understand the consequences if we fail to meet the customer’s needs. Our ability as a union to ensure good wages and working conditions is directly related to our ability to perform.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CODE OF EXCELLENCE
The Code of Excellence Program is an internal SMART program. Therefore, implementation of the program shall be accomplished at the local union level using the following steps:
- Presentation to All Local Union Leadership: The program shall be presented by a SMART International representative to the officers and leaders of the local union.
- Adoption by Officers: Local union officers and leadership shall discuss the provisions of the program and develop necessary local provisions for inclusion into the document. After adoption by the officers, the local union leadership then commits, through a recommendation by the local union executive board, that implementation of the Code of Excellence Program be adopted by the full membership.
- Adoption by Membership: Following adoption by local union leadership, the program is presented to local union membership for adoption.
- Local Officers and Leadership Training: Upon request of the local union, the International will assist in training local union leadership on the goals and implementation of the program.
- Presentation to Local Union Membership: Presentations will be provided to the membership by the local union with assistance from the International. Through this process, the expectations necessary to achieve the acceptable level of professionalism and productivity for each SMART member will be discussed and defined.
- Presentation to Employer: Once the local union adopts the Code of Excellence Program, the business manager or his/her designee presents the program to the employer.
SMART MEMBERSHIP COMMITMENT
As we face unprecedented competition for the services provided by the membership of SMART, we must recognize our primary marketable qualities are our skills, productivity and professionalism. To succeed we must present to the end user, be it contractor or end user clients, the value in using SMART members. This requires that each member conforms to and supports the Code of Excellence Program responsibilities set forth below. As a result, our promise of professionalism and productivity is met every day by every member. The future of our membership and SMART is dependent upon our ability to establish our added value to the employers and end users within the sheet metal industry.
The Business Manager of the local union will have ultimate responsibility for implementation and administration of the Code of Excellence Program. The program structure is designed to ensure that the Business Manager or his/her designee shall be the first point to resolve Code of Excellence Program issues quickly and effectively.
Our responsibilities include the following:
- First and foremost, our members shall adhere to our core principle of productivity, eight hours work, for eight hours
- All members shall adhere to established contractual starting and quitting times and shall meet their responsibility to their fellow members and employers by arriving to work on time and ready to work.
- Break and lunch periods are limited to the time allowed by the contract or agreement(s).
- Members shall meet their responsibility not to leave the job site without proper approval.
- When absent, the member shall contact supervision in advance of their established starting time to confirm such absence.
- All members shall be productive and efficient, with idle time kept to a minimum.
- Personal cell phone usage shall be limited to appropriate break times or lunch periods, or emergency use as defined by the Business Manager.
- Members shall meet their contractual responsibility to eliminate work disruptions on the job.
- All members shall work toward the goal of completion of projects on or under the allotted time.
- Safety being a primary concern for both our members and contractors, members shall meet their obligation to perform work safely and effectively, following employer and industry established rules.
- Members will meet their contractual and personal responsibility to utilize proper safety equipment and safety methods.
- Members will participate in OSHA 10 courses as offered by the local union when required by their collective bargaining agreements.
- In meeting their responsibility as highly skilled and qualified craftsmen, all members shall carry the necessary and proper tools as required by the collective bargaining agreement.
- Members shall meet their responsibility in taking care of the equipment and tools provided by the employer.
Fitness for Duty
- Members shall meet their responsibility of being fit for duty by accepting work for which they have the requisite skills and training.
- Members shall exhibit and maintain a level of craftsmanship recognized to be within the industry standard.
- Members shall meet their responsibility to be fit for duty, with zero tolerance for substance abuse.
- As representatives of their local union and the employer, all members will be professional in appearance.
- The wearing or display of inappropriate materials shall not be tolerated.
- The Business Manager or his/her designee and leaders on the job shall work with other members who have displayed unacceptable work habits so that each member on the job meets a standard of quality and productivity second to none.
Labor/ Management Relations
- Members shall respect the property of the contractor and end users, and graffiti and other forms of destruction and waste will not be tolerated.
- Members shall respect all legal facility rules of the client and or end user.
- Activities which cast the International Association or the local union in disrepute shall not be tolerated.
- Any inappropriate behavior toward another member or group of members shall not be tolerated.
- Inappropriate behavior toward customer representatives or employer representatives shall not be tolerated.
- The goal of the SMART Code of Excellence Program is to promote professionalism within the total membership of SMART and a sense of pride in our membership.
The ultimate responsibility of managing the work and projects falls within the control of the employer. With such responsibility our signatory employers, and if applicable our employer associations, have a responsibility to manage their jobs effectively. Therefore, to build confidence and trust in the Code of Excellence Program, the employer must meet its responsibilities in addressing job performance issues, including the following:
- To address ineffective supervisors, including superintendents, general foremen, and foremen.
- To ensure proper job planning, supervision and layout to minimize down time.
- To make available the proper types and quantities of tools, equipment and materials to ensure job progress.
- To ensure proper maintenance, care, storage and security for employer-provided equipment and tools and employee-provided tools.
- To demonstrate to the customer the efficiency of our partnership, the employer will ensure there are adequate numbers of employees to perform the work efficiently and, conversely, to limit the number of employees to the work at hand.
- To provide the necessary job site leadership to eliminate problems and provide effective solutions.
- To instill in supervisors the necessary positive attitude that the SMART local union, their members and the employer are working together.
- To ensure that job site leadership takes the necessary ownership of mistakes created by management decisions.
- To eliminate unsafe work conditions and ensure that proper safety training, equipment and methods are utilized.
- To address concerns brought forth by the Business Manager or his/her designee. If the problem is not resolved at the lowest level of management, the Business Manager or his/her designee may choose to address the issue with higher levels of management.
- If the issue is not resolved, the local union or employer may call for a labor-management meeting to resolve concerns or issues.
- To treat all employees with dignity and respect.
- To discipline fairly and reasonably.
MEMBERSHIP DISPUTE RESOLUTION CRITERIA
The success of the Code of Excellence Program is dependent upon the acceptance and understanding by each member of the scope of their responsibilities as established within the program.
It must be understood that a truly successful workplace environment can only be achieved by participation of both SMART and the employer in meeting their responsibilities. The union’s role is to address with its members any individual problems that are brought to its attention to ensure the union’s obligation — to live up to the promise of providing a skilled and professional workforce to the employer and the end user — is maintained and improved.
- The Business Manager or his/her designee will work with members through a process of mentoring to correct and solve problems related to job performance.
- On a regular basis, the Business Manager or his/her designee will communicate with management on Code of Excellence Program issues. This will then be communicated to SMART members through the local union leadership.
- If an individual member is not meeting established responsibilities under the program and the correction of such adverse behavior cannot be achieved through mentoring between the local union leadership, member peers and the individual member, the local union executive board shall have the responsibility to review, evaluate and address such problems with the individual member. If the member is unwilling or unable to meet his/her obligation under the Code of Excellence Program, the local union shall be empowered to take necessary action up to and including filing of appropriate charges under the Constitution and Ritual of SMART.
The following is inconsistent with the conduct required under the Code of Excellence Program.
- Refusal of jobs or unavailable (no returned call) upon call from the dispatcher for work shall upon the third violation result in removal from the out-of-work list and placement in the “inactive file.”
- Not showing for work when dispatched, which shall be deemed to be a violation of the Constitution and may subject the member to local union charges and trials.
- Acceptance of employment or job under false pretenses, such as no adequate skills for the job, which shall also be deemed a violation of the Constitution and may subject the member to local union charges and trials.
- Conduct resulting in termination by an employer for cause, which shall be documented upon the attached form which is to be supplied by the local union. If the employer indicates that a terminated employee is not eligible for rehire, such designation shall be honored by the dispatch office for a minimum of 180 days. Provided that, if the local union determines to process a grievance contesting such a termination, such termination shall not be considered as being for cause until a Local Joint Adjustment Board, a Panel, the National Joint Adjustment Board (or any alternative procedures negotiated by the local parties) determines that such termination was for cause, or the grievance process is otherwise completed without invalidating the termination.
The Business Manager and or his/her designee, as well as the employer, must endeavor to correct performance problems with individual members at the workplace, so that their performance meets the standards of the Code of Excellence Program. However, there will be instances where the local union ultimately must withhold contractual referral privileges from those members that have demonstrated that they are either unwilling or incapable of meeting acceptable standards of workplace behavior. In such circumstances, employers have a reciprocal obligation to terminate employees for cause, rather than merely laying them off, so that such employees are not simply referred for employment with another employer. A disciplinary action plan shall be implemented which establishes a “Three Strikes Policy” for violation of the Code of Excellence Program provisions. Such a plan shall provide that, in any case where there are three separate instances within a 24-month period where the employee has been convicted of constitutional violation under points 2 or 3 or has been subject to termination under point 4, in any combination, the member’s referral privileges shall be suspended indefinitely.
The member may appeal the suspension to the Local Joint Adjustment Board, a Panel, the National Joint Adjustment Board (or any alternative procedure negotiated by the local parties), which shall have authority to reduce the period of any suspension of referral privileges, if it determines that fairness and equity require such action under the circumstances of the particular case or to terminate the suspension when it determines that the underlying causes for the suspension have changed so that the member deserves to be restored to referral privileges.
A sample copy of the Notice of Termination Form is attached as Exhibit A.
“We have improved our profitability and customer satisfaction since we started with the union. Our projects get completed on schedule, and the end product is top quality. We could not have accomplished as much as we have, in as short of a time, without being a union contractor.”Patrick Duane, President Superior Mechanical Systems, Inc.
“We do not have to negotiate with the health care providers, nor do we have to spend money on lawyers and investment companies to set up a pension plan for our employees. The most important value of this benefit is that we are able to spend more time bidding projects and winning more work.”John B. Rihl, President Costa and Rihl Mechanical Contractors
“Being with the union has made our company. We’ve had no growth constraints, and they allow us to get as big or small as we need to with a phone call.”Rick Heyn, President Bonner Sheet Metal