The PGAA had our Annual General Meeting on Friday 2023-06-16. The meeting was attended by twenty-seven members. The meeting minutes are as follows:
PGAA AGM-2023-06-16-Via Microsoft Teams
The meeting was called to order at 08:00 and it was determined with 27 people online that we have a quorum.
- Gary Porter opened the meeting with an Update on PGAA activities for the 2022/23 season.
As mentioned in our invitation to this AGM, the Provincial Glaziers Association of Alberta (PGAA) is overdue for our Annual General Meeting. Per some of my recent correspondence, our industry is wrought with change, manpower shortages are affecting our, and every industry, globally, and recent government changes have been both a blessing and a curse. With the external changes facing us, we need to come together, to understand the impact of changes, determine the best path forward, and to protect our industry and our companies.
Twenty-five years ago, the PGAA was established to be the provincial voice of the glazing industry. The purpose was further defined as:
- Speak for the commercial glazing industry, in Alberta, on matters of provincial concern and interest.
- Promote the pursuit of excellence within our industry.
- Achieve and maintain compulsory certification through continuous apprenticeship training.
- Support SAIT and NAIT in publicizing and filling apprenticeship classes.
- Promote safety and environmental responsibility for the public and our glaziers.
- Promote harmonious working relationships among our members, and industry, for the benefit of the industry as a whole.
- Provide opportunities for the exchange of opinion and coordination of efforts among members.
- Encourage ethical conduct in all matters by members.
- Promote the glazing trade and construction trades overall, to potential future employees, through various mediums.
- Discuss and spread the word of new technologies, approaches, and methodologies, to all members.
- Move contract glazing work, or selected aspects therin, to a compulsory or restricted trade position, where certification and training are mandatory.
So where have been as an organization the past few years? Ten years ago, we were developing the master glazier program. The Master Glazier Program was the brain child of Richard Neal. It was also supported by Ed Dalzell (a former instructor at SAIT). SAIT did a viability study on the program and came back to a group of us and said industry wanted this. At least a dozen individuals spent a considerable amount of time creating courses and generating funds to develop it. As Jim stated, however, the program did not attract the attention it deserved. The doors and related hardware course was $750.00 to enroll. If that course saved one door from being reordered the course would have paid for itself. At a joint meeting with GAMA, CSC and ABEC Jim asked if anyone would consider taking the course and no one said yes. Eventually, the plug was pulled on the entire program.
Following the Master Glazier Program, the PGAA was seemingly adrift. Fairly well financed, thanks to fund raising done for the MGP, but without a clear direction. We spoke of many things , without any decision, maintaining a bit of advocacy through our affiliation with the Alberta Construction Association (ACA) and the Alberta Trade Contractors Council (ATCC). When COVID hit in 2020-03, the PGAA was already losing volunteers and adrift. The only real objective at the date was to elevate glazing to a compulsory trade, but as with many associations, once COVID started, activity died.
In 2021-10 we had a meeting to discuss the future. In the 21 months since our last meeting, we were financially well, but non-existent otherwise. While the Glass and Architectural Metals Association (GAMA) had a semblance of continuity, it appeared that the Glass Trades Association (GTA) had died off completely. Where the GTA and GAMA were always very social organizations and the PGAA was set up to do more government lobby work, aside from sitting on three ACA committee, Government Action, Safety, and Contracts, PGAA had done nothing. No membership fees, no keeping track of members, no contacts since 2020-03, and certainly no events. Suggestions at that time included merging the three organizations into one, or disbanding entirely. The former would need some signs of life from all three as a minimum, and the latter just did not seem like the right approach. We were losing seats for both NAIT and SAIT, saw a dwindling number of registered apprentices, and it was not looking positive for our associations or our industry.
In 2021-12, through the Alberta Construction Association (ACA), working with three members we put together, through Trade Pathways, a program to bring young candidates into the trades (carpenters, glaziers and roofers were the first three trades involved) in the Edmonton CMA. The program kicked off in 2022-05 and has shown good success. It is now set to move into Calgary and to be opened up to all glaziers.
Again in 2022-02, we talked about many issues, inactivity, no fees for two years, the role of provincial (advocacy) and locals (social events, local advocacy) and getting bums in the seats at both SAIT and NAIT. We also talked about maintaining the three, amalgamating, or disbanding. Another meeting was planned for 2022-03.
We actually met in 2022-04. Discussion revolved around the perception that the PGAA had done nothing for anyone, ever, versus the behind the scenes advocacy work (master Glazier program, prompt payment (through the ACA and the Alberta Trade Contractors Council (ATCC)) and other areas like WCB, OH&S, CCDC, etc.) which went unheralded and unrecognized. Another meeting was planned with those attending asked to summarize their positions, in writing for further review. This meeting never happened.
My personal opinion, then and now, is that the PGAA is too important, as an advocacy arm, to let it die.
At this time Trevor Whyte, Jonathon Greenland, and I started to meet and talk regularly, with communications opened up to the new Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Board who were just replacing the old Apprenticeship Industry Training board.
The Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act (STAE) was proclaimed on 2022-07-20, right on the heels of the Designated Trades and Restricted Activities Regulation of 2022-07-06, which removed compulsory and optional certification trades, making all recognized trades designated with restricted activities. We began, in earnest, trying to meet with AIT or Skilled Trades and Professions, to understand, clarify, and rectify the issues we saw with these documents.
Many other trades were on a similar path to the PGAA with their own versions of the MGP. All wanted to be compulsory trades. This drove the government to get rid of compulsory trades and to make us all Designated Trades….with restricted activities. The need for further education and upgrading, just like other professionals (doctors, lawyers, engineers, and skilled trades), is mandatory. No longer is a journey person designation the end of learning. The micro-credentialing proposed for all trades, in the vein of the MGP and similar endeavors by other trades, is real, is coming, and will be a necessary step towards net-zero goals and the continued evolution of products, technology, and code/safety requirements.
Construction is changing. Less input from architects, cut and paste specs that do not suit jobs well, more litigious players, contracts where risk is downloaded to the lowest possible points, and a race to the bottom amongst many. The glazing industry is changing. More complex products, larger openings, more difficult designs, more complex installations, and safety that needs to be taken seriously. Today’s companies need more skilled, better educated people. None of this is disappearing.
As we also say that we were losing seats and potentially losing our programs at both SAIT and NAIT, we got very active in helping to get bums into seats, including Trevor Whyte coming up with a pilot program for a $500.00 bursary for 2022/3 first year students to help them financially as the first year with EI was seen as a problem.
As fall hit and we realized that we would be OK for classes at both schools, activity again waned. Volunteerism at a provincial level is a lonely business. Not a lot of recognition, not a lot of gratitude, and no free golf.
Since that time, we have resurrected the PGAA website (www.pgaa.ca), continued to deal with the STAE and DTRA issue, as PGAA, via the ATCC, ACA, and the CCA, and have strived to keep members up to date on the ramifications of the Act and to get a committee together to help us to move forward with righting the STAE and the DTRA ahead of enforcement which will likely start in the fall of 2023. Unfortunately, this has seen very little traction to date.
On top of this, we are into a major manpower crunch, driven by pure demographics and a choice to have less children which started in the seventies, along with a focus on university educations over trades. We have known that this was coming for decades, but the impacts hit us very hard at the same time as COVID. This issue is global and affects all industries and is a major issue that will affect all of our companies. Too many baby-boomers with forty years of experience and skills are leaving the market, to be (or NOT) replaced with half their number with little to no experience and precious few skills. This is not good for our economy, our industry, or the prospects of productivity and getting project completed.
In Alberta, the population grew by 165.464%. By age groups, the under 20 group increased by just 57.450%, going from 41.180% of population in 1971 to just 24.424% in 2020. In the same period he work force, or 20 to 59 group increased by 205.790%., from 27.145% of overall population in 1971 to 55.781% in 2020. Much more of the population driving the economy. Lastly, those 60 and over increased by 407.230%. This group was 7.231% of the overall in 1971, and 13.817% of the 2020 population.
This is a problem for Canada, and especially Alberta, that will be with us for generations and will likely not be solved by the advancement of AI and robotics. It is a global issue that no one has solved and dealing with it is where we are now. We need to all be thinking about how we will deal with this ongoing issue for the near term and long-term future.
We are in good shape financially, although certainly not in any position to hire a staff person.
Income Statement presented showing a loss of $15,677.47 for the year, $12,500.00 of which were bursaries to first year apprentices.
Balance sheet-PGAA has a bank balance of $45,580.76.
- Update on GAMA Activities for the 2022/23 season. Whitney….
GAMA has been discussing purpose, updating the contact list, using the website to communicate and getting butts in seats. Talking to AIT and SAIT to prevent cancellation of our program. Being more advocate for the industry. Increased social media presence. Talking about amalgamation. Had some great guest speakers and a great golf tournament. Five dinner meetings now, per year, with very good speakers..
- Update on GTA Activities for the 2022/23 season. Rick….
In hiatus through COVID. Back at it last fall. New delivery method for education from NAIT. Lost some members but are gaining some back. Fall golf tournament planned for this year. Four meetings per year. Roger Cloutier at NAIT spoke to the new NAIT Delivery System. It started with cabinet makers and is a European model. One week per month for six months. Companies could not let apprentices go for six weeks, apprentices could not wait for EI, so this new model fit the needs. Pitched to AIT who supported it, as did the Dean at NAIT. It starts in the fall (October). When polled GTA members 75 to 80% of GTA members approved. Four weeks per month, one year per week. Fill rate for cabinet workers shows significant growth.
Skills Try-A-Trade went well. Good attendance. 100 students less than last year. GTA volunteer activity is still a struggle.
Gary suggested that the GTA should be using the PGAA website more to advertise events and to get information out to members and non-members alike.
- Volunteer activity and interest, in the PGAA, GAMA and the GTA, are at a post-COVID low. Yet we are faced with an ever-changing landscape including supply chain, government interaction and regulations, and a generational manpower shortage, all of which have a massive impact on our industry, our ability to attract and retain good people, and our ability to evolve and thrive in a new reality. Where does the PGAA and the two local associations go from here? Talk about the potential loss of smaller construction associations. Has our purpose or mandate changed? Should it? How do we involve more volunteers?
Gary stated that per Rick, the more volunteers the easier it is to get things done. Stuart-too many people doing the same roles over and over again. There should be new blood coming in. We cannot fund a staff. GAMA has not increased their dues in many years. How do we all work together to have enough resources to get the work done?
Gary brought topic to where the separate associations will go from here… each association has a little money, and not a lot of expenses, but do our mandates need to change?
Stuart chimed in that yes we are lacking volunteers in all the associations, and with lack of engagement that leads to us getting into a rut, without fresh perspectives. While we have some money, we don’t have enough to hire anyone, so we are still reliant on volunteers. But if we were to increase our dues, then we would likely lose a lot of members.
Lisa Ledbury volunteered to step up. Jonathon Greenland, asked why are we doing two different models to deliver education, NAIT versus SAIT. John felt that it was not the delivery method that was the problem, but the curriculum. Clint stated that NAIT are trying to change their content, not the curriculum. The content is outdated. Something has to change. Whitney, stated that it was great that NAIT had made the delivery change. How do we get the curriculum updated. Program to house students. Change is never easy. Dylan S. supporting the NAIT delivery method. Curriculum is the issue. Jason, raised the issue that EI will not apply with the new NAIT delivery method. Per Clint, there is a $5,000.00 grant that the company can apply for. Banked overtime can help either. Dylan said that if they are off for 7 days, they can get EI but late. Richard Evolution says his guys like the NAIT delivery method. Jim says that the curriculum is fine, but the course content at SAIT has not caught up. It is outdated. We have roasted SAIT but no action occurs. Big problem wiping out the PAC/LAC. Government overloaded their employees to the point where there could not be any PAC/LAC meetings. Who is the problem with engagement. ATCC-what is taught is at the discretion of the instructor. NAIT is slowly changing content on their own. He has to teach the curriculum. This is not an issue here. Cost of content is an issue. Dale England stepped in. SAIT is trying to do their best. Bound by curriculum. Governmental exams coming back, so they need to teach it. Content absolutely needs to be updated. SAIT does know this, but does not know what to do. COVID killed development. Nice that we are talking but we need calm direct meetings with all parties. Jim says that he has offered to meet with SAIT to update content for years. They have not taken him up on this. Door hardware specifically. Must be current. He is still available for this. Richard Munro brought up a fundamental issue with SAIT which is the real problem. SAIT’s ability to take what we are giving is the real issue. Stuart added that with NAIT and SAIT’s declining numbers, they will lose interest. It is incumbent upon us to decide what is good for employers, what are the benefits for industry, what is good for the employees (for their jobs and their futures), and what resources are required to update the programs.
Gary Porter observed that it sounded like the outdated curriculum is the largest issue, and asked how can we address that. It was agreed that the PGAA needs to strike a committee to update content at both SAIT and NAIT. We need the two to be together on this.
CCA/ECA education funds might be a source of scholarship funds for members apprentices.
Jonathon / Trevor three tiered approach. Manufacturer as tier one, tier two up to two stories, and three tiers as serious. Safety is a major trade issue.
Richard Munro-Government likely not to enforce things. Businesses are charged with ensuring that their people are competent. Some GCs enforce, some do not. In a price driven market it may never change.
- Update on the current PGAA board, such that it is. We have no president, vice-president, or past-president. Our by-laws call for these? Do we have anyone who wants to step up and take a leading role in this organization?
Lynn Allan-Education Chair
Whitney Wilson-President GAMA
Rick Makepeace-President GTA
Per Dale, we need more direct conversations, but who is we…..
Our success is based on the cumulative knowledge and efforts of our people, not just a few, but of many. Is our industry worth our time and our effort, or isn’t it?
Richard Munro is able to step up-let his GAMA membership lapse. Jim has vowed to never step up again. He will be PGAA president again. Need P, 1VP, 2VP, safety person. Stuart is able to step up. What is our direction?
GAMA has a lot of holes to fill. What about amalgamation? Rick stated that the GTA would be against such a move.
The following volunteers have put their name forward to be part of the PGAA board, they will meet and establish official roles within the board.
- Richard Munro
- Jim Brady
- Stuart Cantrill
- Lisa Ledbury
- Jonathon Greenland
- Taylor Wight
- Lynn Allan
- Mae Whyte
- Gary Porter
- Plus the presidents of GAMA and GTA
Roles to be determined at a future PGAA meeting. Likely the third week of July.
- Dealing with the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act (STAE) and the Designated Trades and Restricted Activities Regulation. What is right with this legislation? What is not? What needs to be done with it? How do we get there?
Speak to the STAE and the DTRA.
With the pending announcement of a new Cabinet, it is important that ATCC members have a consistent message that can be delivered at every opportunity over the next few weeks and months. New Ministers, Chief of Staff, and Deputy Ministers will be seeking to engage industry as they plan and roll out their Ministry priorities. We encourage you to meet with them often and be deliberate and consistent with messages you deliver.
1.Apprenticeship Training – All Training institutions must teach a provincial standardized, minimum threshold curriculum and test all students with provincial standardized examinations.
- The curriculum and exams must be developed in consultation with relevant industry representation.
- Training Institutions may teach enhanced curriculums at their discretion.
2.Standardized curriculum and examinations must be developed in consultation with employers, apprentices, training providers, and the registrar.
- The government needs to provide a clear path to the construction trades on how this will be accomplished.
3.Development of training programs that could be deemed to be within the scope of work of an existing trade (ie: micro credentialing) will only proceed on the basis of full consultation with and approval by the impacted trade(s).
- ATCC’s position is that minimum requirements for micro credentials within the construction trades should be a journeyperson certification, ie: micro credentials are an addition to.
4.The current provincial board must be repopulated to reflect the demographics of the construction industry. The current board representation is narrow and inappropriately weighted to favor specific interests, (ie training institutions and unions).
The STAEA regulations have opened a pathway for employers to deem individuals competent to perform work within their trade’s scope of work, but only as ‘deemed qualified as a journey person. These ‘deemed qualified’ journey people, or certified journey people, can supervise registered apprentices at a ratio of one journey person (or ‘deemed qualified’) to two registered apprentices. Labourers are no longer allowed. The government has not provided any criteria for this ‘deemed qualified’ status, nor do they intend to provide the means to record or track individuals who have been deemed competent by an employer. They will however, as the registrar, track registered apprentices and certified journey people. In this manner they will not understand the actual workforce size for any trade. While this is a pathway to help resolve current labour needs, it throws open the door to a downward spiral of unregulated and poor-quality workmanship and ultimately, becomes a safety issue.
- Defining the path forward.
- Update our database to be effective for communications.
- Discuss increasing our value proposition to members.
- Strike a STAE/DTRA committee, to provide changes to the government.
- Strike a committee to help SAIT and NAIT update their course content.
- Get a proper board back in place to govern the actions of the PGAA.
- Further explore amalgamation.
Following this meeting, can Rick Makepeace (GTA) and Stuart Cantrill (GAMA) provide their current membership lists to update our database. Invite for a first meeting of the new group to be sent out next week.