Social benefitsThe Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) administers the complementary social benefits plans, which are notable for their diversity and variety in light of the needs of the clientele, and also for the innovative health programs that they offer.
The pension and insurance plans in the construction industry were created in 1963. They are private plans funded entirely by people practising an occupation or trade and by employers. They are universal in scope, since the employer and union associations determine the contributions as part of the process of negotiating the collective agreements in the construction industry. This universality enables people who are insured to maintain their coverage even if they change employer or work region.
These self-administered and self-insured plans are supplemented by a fund in which workers in designated trades accumulate money in order to add to their basic plan, as well as a health promotion and management program, CONSTRUIRE en santé.
These plans also provide the possibility of concluding reciprocity agreements for workers from outside the province who come to work in Québec and for Québec workers who are called upon to work outside the province.
These plans have been developed by the employer and union associations working closely together. This has made it possible to create plans adapted to the needs of the industry, and they are continually being adjusted to the needs of the sector and to social realities.
Application of the collective agreements is one of the basic mandates of the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ). The CCQ takes a number of actions within its field of application to ensure respect for the collective agreements and the provisions of the Act Respecting Labour Relations, Vocational Training, and Workforce Management in the Construction Industry (Act R-20): inspection, criminal and civil lawsuits, interpretation of the collective agreements and the field of application of the Act, management of jurisdictional conflicts, and other areas.
To this are added activities related to union membership, recognition of the representativeness of associations, and administration of all compensation funds that the parties deem necessary to ensure that workers’ salaries will be paid.
To fulfil this mandate and to prevent misunderstandings in the interpretation of collective agreements and the field of application of the law, the CCQ favours preventive conciliation with all actors concerned in order to resolve disputes at the source and ensure uniform interpretation.
All activities linked to application of the collective agreements are essential both to ensure fair competition among employers and to protect working conditions for the labour force.
Special measures must be taken to ensure that there is a balance between supply of and demand for labour in a context such as the construction industry, with its major economic and seasonal fluctuations.
The analysis of labour-force movements for each trade and each region of Quebec and the rules concerning labour management must be based on an excellent knowledge of these labour movements, as well as entries to and exits from the industry, in order to have a capacity to react quickly to respond to employers’ temporary or specific labour needs.
The labour management by the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) is done through labour pools corresponding to the industry’s trades and occupations. This system ensures a pool of a sufficient quantity of available workers and refers these workers to the employers who need them. Other aspects of labour management include verification and application of the regulations concerning hiring and mobility of labour, the making of interprovincial agreements and terms aiming to encourage worker mobility outside of Quebec, and the implementation of measures to make sure that workers have the skills they need.
Training and Qualification
Having a sufficient quantity of workers of appropriate quality available is a necessity for an industry such as construction, with its specific characteristics.
The implementation of a system for vocational training and qualification aiming to ensure that the construction industry has a sufficient quantity of skilled workers was entrusted to the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) when it was founded in 1987. Such a system is a decisive factor in the availability of a sufficient number of qualified workers.
The CCQ accomplishes this mandate by creating measures and activities linked to initial training, on-site apprenticeship, and upgrading of the labour force. The system based on these measures and activities is implemented through a unique model of cooperation between union representatives, employer representatives, and government partners.