MCAA Key Accomplishments 2009-2010
Thank you to members of the Mason Contractors Association of America, the only national association focused exclusively on representing the industry’s mason contractors. As it comes time to renew your annual dues, we would like to update you on some of the initiatives from last year that your membership dollars had a direct impact on:
Glove Issue UpdateThe MCAA petitioned OSHA for a repeal of the glove rule. In 2010 the MCAA received a ruling that states gloves are required in areas that have a potential exposure to mortar. A field study by a safety officer should be done in order to rule out tasks that do not require gloves. While this is not the full repeal the MCAA was seeking, the MCAA continues it’s discussion for a rule that will make sense for masons without needing a full field test to indicate whether gloves are necessary or not.
Brick Void UpdateThe MCAA has been working to stop a change to ASTM C-216. The change would increase the void size permitted in bricks. Contractors have expressed concern over the impact the change will have on entire masonry systems and the costs associated with such a change. Productivity and mortar consumption have been cited as key areas of concern. The MCAA asked member firms to sign up for ASTM and become voting members of the C-15 committee which oversees C-216. Late last year we had about 30 new contractor members become voting members of C-15. We’re hopeful that the current ballot out on this issue will close in our favor.
Independent Contractor IssueThe MCAA has been working as a part of a coalition of industries to fight the trend of contractors making all their employees independent contractors. Such practices give a huge competitive edge to contractors who are cheating the government out of matching payroll taxes, workman’s comp insurance, and medical benefits among other things. The MCAA has made numerous trips to DC to lobby Congress on this and other key political issues.
New E-Safety Program AvailableA new e-safety program is available online to members of the MCAA. The new program gives contractors great access to a multitude of safety related programs, training topics, reporting tools and tracking tools. The fee for members for one year access is just $25.00. This is one of several new member benefits offered in 2010-2011.
Launch of MCAA WebinarsEarlier this year the MCAA launched a new webinar program. Four programs were offered in April and May and a new schedule has eight planned for June and July. The topics are varied and offer discounted rates for attendance. Members not only save on rates for attending the webinars, but also save in travel costs and time away from the office by taking these live programs. The MCAA will be offering these same live webinars on-demand on the MCAA website in the year ahead. These are great programs intended to help increase you and your staff’s knowledge of trends in our industry. All programs receive MCAA certification credit.
Legislative IssuesThe MCAA just completed our annual conference in DC. In one day, the MCAA and our participants saw over 50 Congressmen and Senators and lobbied them on the following positions: 3% Government Withholding Tax, Estate Tax, Alternative Minimum Tax, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Independent Contractor issues and MILCON Construction. For details on these issues, check out the MCAA website. The MCAA made quite a few different trips throughout 2009-2010 and had many face-to-face sit downs with targeted Senators and Congressmen to make our positions on these issues known. In addition, the MCAA had a meeting at the Pentagon with representatives in April to discuss the Army’s current construction methods.
Mason Contractor CertificationThe MCAA has nearly 100 contractors working towards their certification and has 18 currently certified. Several states have inquired in 2009-2010 about the possibility of adopting the certification program and making it required in their states in the future. The MCAA has added a tremendous amount of on-demand, online educational opportunities to our website in order to make certification courses easily accessible and more economical to attain.
Because of your support in the MCAA, we are able to achieve measurable success that will undoubtedly impact your bottom line as well as the bottom lines of thousands of other mason contracting firms. Without your support this past year, several of the items we have listed would not have occurred. Of course our accomplishments and industry influence encompasses so much more than what we have listed here; however, it’s all made possible as a direct result of your commitment to the association. Every member of the MCAA shares in our successes and we have so many more exciting things planned for this upcoming year. We know that through your support, we will continue to have a positive impact on the future of the masonry industry.
About the Author
Mackie Bounds is Owner of Brazos Masonry, Inc., in Waco, Texas, and has served as Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President of the MCAA. In 1989, Bounds started Brazos Masonry, and his first act of business was to join MCAA. He has always been active in the masonry industry. He became the first subcontractor to be elected to the Board of Directors of the Central Texas AGC and subsequently was elected to the National AGC Board of Directors. In 1995, he was elected as the first President of the Central Texas Mason Contractors Association. Bounds spent eight years on the MCAA Executive Board, including two years as President from 2010-2012 and was the recipient of the 2013 C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award.