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A Message from the Incoming Executive Secretary Treasurer, James Barry

December 10, 2019

Brothers and Sisters,

It was with great pride and enthusiasm that I accepted the nomination to run for the position of Executive Secretary Treasurer of the IBEW Construction Council of Ontario (IBEW CCO). And it was a true honour to have been acclaimed to the highest position within the IBEW CCO. While acting as your Executive Chairman at the CCO for the last 4 ½ years, I was grateful for the consistent support that I received. I very much appreciated the confidence placed in me by the 11 local union Business Managers and Presidents who make up the Construction Council. In my new role, it is my personal goal to vigorously represent all the local unions’ interests with directness, honesty and integrity at the provincial table. As the newly elected Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Construction Council I aim to pursue and implement positive change within the CCO office with the collaboration of the Council’s Business Managers and Presidents.

My post-secondary education reflects my personal interest in business management. Prior to starting the electrical apprenticeship program, I studied business management at Algonquin College in Ottawa from 1984-1987. As much as I value my post-secondary education, I believe that it was my years spent working in the electrical trade while on the tools and taking an active role in my local union in Ottawa that truly enriched my education. The aforementioned helped to support my accomplishments— both as a long-serving Business Manager in Ottawa and, later, while working as your Executive Chairman at the Provincial level. My past position of Executive Chairman of the CCO gave me the opportunity to work directly with our signatory contractors and their provincial associations while negotiating and administering our collective agreements.

In doing so, I have always worked hard to represent the entire membership of the IBEW CCO in a consistent and professional manner. In addition, I am confident that my relationship with contractors from across Ontario and with their provincial association is one based on mutual respect. This relationship has been guided by our common interest in the continued growth of the unionized electrical construction industry in Ontario, and in the essential value of the 309A and 309C Certificates of Qualification.

This brings me to the fundamental issue of organizing, which is a key imperative of the IBEW CCO. As a union, we need to organize continually and creatively. It is imperative that we continue to pursue future growth aimed at achieving specific targets while making intelligent use of our resources. Organizing on a significant scale cannot succeed unless it receives significant organizational support and is informed by a sophisticated understanding of the labour market and the economy. In my previous position as Executive Chairman of the

Organizing Department, I had the pleasure of working with over two dozen extremely talented and dedicated Membership Development professionals hired by our 11 local union Business Managers. These organizers regularly shared new ideas and creative strategies with me and their provincial co-workers and, together, we confidently look forward to the continued growth of our membership. Organizing will be one of our top priorities as I assume the role as Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Construction Council of Ontario.

Without a doubt, we are all acutely aware of the need for positive and effective input into the Provincial Government’s regulation of the electrical industry. In the past year, we have worked together to provide government with an unprecedented level of information including the development of research reports, round table sessions, personal meetings and visits to our training centres to ensure the province makes informed decisions that uphold the integrity of our trade. Specifically, we need to ensure that the Provincial Government safeguards the integrity of our complete “scope of practice” for the 309A and 309C Certificates of Qualification as a restricted trade. As your Executive Secretary Treasurer, and with the help of our local union Business Managers and Presidents, we will continue to actively and aggressively pursue this goal— a goal that we share with the entire membership of the IBEW and with our signatory contractor partners from across the Province of Ontario. Whether you are a registered apprentice, a Red Seal journeyperson, or a retiree, I assure you that you will be represented with accountability, honesty and integrity at both the local and provincial level through your association with the IBEW CCO. I am also committed to increased communication to our membership so everyone can be aware of our activities and can be engaged in supporting our goals.

Finally, I want all members to understand how seriously I approach the responsibility of leadership of an organization such as ours. I look forward to the opportunity given to me to make each and every member proud of the IBEW CCO and the local union that represents them on a daily basis. I am excited to be working in collaboration with strong local union leadership from across the entire Province. Together, I look forward to building a bigger and better IBEW CCO in the many years to come.

Respectfully,
James Barry
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW/Construction Council of Ontario
and Fellow Member

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