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Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) Jobs in BC

An innovative new building model for public infrastructure is opening up exciting opportunities for tradespeople in BC. Find out what the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) is, what projects are part of this framework, and what CBA jobs are available for our union members in BC.

What is the Community Benefits Agreement and what does it do?

BC’s Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) is a collective agreement applied to multiple major infrastructure projects in the province. For example, the Broadway Subway, the new Pattullo Bridge, and the upcoming BCIT Trades and Technology Complex are all CBA projects, among others. The CBA supports construction workers by diversifying the skilled trades labour pool and by creating more welcoming and respectful job sites.

The CBA is a 2018 agreement between a provincial Crown corporation, BC Infrastructure Benefits (BCIB), and the Allied Infrastructure and Related Construction Council (AIRCC). The AIRCC is an umbrella organization made up of 19 construction unions. Together, these two organizations work with contractors to supply the tradespeople for CBA projects.

The CBA model promotes local and equity hiring, apprenticeship training, and a safer and more inclusive jobsite culture for workers. When the collective agreement was written, the AIRCC gave up seniority to make way for Priority Hiring, a new hiring mechanism designed to bring new workers into the industry and to provide them with consistent work.

Priority Hiring means qualified Indigenous, local, and underrepresented workers get priority access to jobs. That means Indigenous workers, women, 2SLGBTQ+, people of colour, new Canadians, and people with disabilities can get jobs they’re qualified for, without the pressure of overcoming possible biases.

When workers are hired, they become employees of BCIB, which is the employer on CBA projects. Contractors still supervise the day-to-day work, but BCIB is the employer, meaning skilled tradespeople who work on one CBA project have access to the full network of projects through their employer. Additionally, when workers get hired by BCIB for a CBA project, they join an AIRCC-affiliated union corresponding with their trade so that they can receive the benefits and support that unions provide.

There are CBA projects underway throughout BC, and several on the way:

Program of CBA Projects:

Upgrading the Trans-Canada Highway 1

The first project announced under the Community Benefits Agreement was the four-laning of the Trans-Canada Highway 1 from Kamloops to the Alberta border. The goal of this project is to create a more modern road that will allow people and businesses to move people and goods efficiently and safely through the province. You can find more information about this program on this Ministry of Transportation page.

Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project

The Pattullo Bridge, which connects the communities of Surrey and New Westminster, is being replaced with a new four-lane bridge that will feature improved connections, dedicated cycling and walking lanes, and new safety barriers.

Broadway Subway Project

This CBA project is an extension of Vancouver SkyTrain’s Millennium Line West from VCC-Clark Station to Broadway and Arbutus streets. This 5.7-kilometre extension involves adding six new underground stations.

Cowichan District Hospital Replacement Project

The completed $1.45-billion replacement of the hospital in the North Cowichan municipality of Vancouver Island will offer 204 inpatient beds, seven operating rooms, improved emergency department capacity, and additional space for diagnostic imaging and outpatient services to cater to the local population.

Future CBA Projects

The provincial government has announced additional projects to be built under the CBA, including the new BCIT Trades and Technology Complex in Burnaby and the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain project, which will extend the Vancouver SkyTrain’s Expo Line 16 kilometres to improve regional transit services.

Advantages of the Community Benefits Agreement

The CBA offers several benefits for tradespeople and local communities. Prioritizing the hiring of local residents (versus hiring temporary foreign workers, a common practice in the construction industry) ensures that tax dollars are reinvested in local communities, fosters a skilled local workforce and ensures a legacy of employability for local residents, and helps address the current and projected shortage of tradespeople.

As aforementioned, the CBA prioritizes the hiring of equity-seeking tradespeople, including women and Indigenous peoples. Tradespeople and apprentices working under the Community Benefits Agreement receive union wages and benefits that ensure a favourable quality of life.

Given the significance of the projects themselves and the exciting model under which they’re carried out, we look forward to both helping deliver CBA projects and the jobs they will provide for our members for years to come.

Join Us and Find CBA Jobs in BC

Current openings

Have a look at our job board to get an idea of current CBA jobs available through our contractors.

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