BAC Best Hands
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Nov 2017 2017 Summer Newsletter


From the Directors Desk of Rich Tolson:

Happy summer!  My hope for you and your families this summer is for full employment, safety,  health, and time to spend together!
 With that being said, I will let this edition of our Unions newsletter speak for itself. Featured in this edition is testimony to a couple of BAC giants who helped forge the standards we enjoy today. We also have a section on the future of our industry with the statewide apprentice contest. That can be seen on our Facebook page as well. We have also included efforts to protect the standards and conditions we have through the job actions our members have participated in. We can ALL be proud of the volunteer efforts we make from memorials to college scholarships to Diabetes research! These are all things that we should be proud of and should let everyone know we do. Here’s my point. So many in this country believe that Unions are the problem. That notion could not be further from the truth. We can’t be afraid to tell people that. Whether they are family or friends, we should always let them know how proud we are to belong to a Union. Organized Labor only represents approximately 12% of the workforce. If we are the problem, what the hell are the other 88% doing? I am tremendously proud to be the Director of this great Union and the members Brothers and Sisters,
Summer 2017 Issue
we represent. You should be proud of all you do as well. Don’t be afraid to share that pride with everyone you meet! In Solidarity,
Richard E. Tolson Director

Above is an exerpt from the director.. to see the entire newsletter please open the PDF link in the beginning of this article.

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Mar 2016 2015 Winter


Brothers and Sisters,  2015 was a very eventful year that saw construction activity in New Jersey finally turn in a positive direction. Although the obstacles we face still present challenges, hours and opportunities for our members have increased.    During the course of 2015 we have been able to initiate and accomplish the following:

 • State wide annuity fund • Expanded training opportunities  • Improved health benefits • Continued marketing campaign and launched an ad     campaign on radio • Improved website • Organized more employers (see list on page 2)   • Celebrated 150 years as an International Union

 In addition to the above, much more was accomplished and there is still more to be done. With your support, involvement, and confidence, we will achieve all we set out to do.

 Throughout this newsletter you will see many of the efforts your Union is involved in. We hope you take as much pride in these efforts as we do. On behalf of all the officers and staff of the District Council and Locals #4 and #5, we wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and a peaceful and productive 2016!

In Solidarity,

Richard E. Tolson

(This is a special edition that is LOADED with images and content. Please open the PDF document at the top of the section to view all of the content in this newsletter.)

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Jul 2015 Summer 2015


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Brothers and Sisters As the summer months begin, I am happy to report that hours of employment have increased to levels that we have not seen in over 5 years! Although this is much welcomed news, we can’t forget the misery of the longest downturn in our industry we have ever experienced and the lessons learned. But this turn around in fortune wasn’t just handed to us, but rather obtained through much effort and commitment! 

As our industry has changed, your Union has made many adjustments to overcome the challenges presented. With a national sentiment opposed to organized Labor, a growing number of employers taking advantage of an unchecked, undocumented workforce, and an unwillingness of the current state administration to enforce existing Department of Labor regulations, the playing field we are up against has never been more tilted. Yet, with the leadership of your two Local Unions, and the faith and determination of our membership, we have survived. Remember, what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger!  

Your Union continues to educate the building and design community of the benefits of structural masonry and Director’s Report with the support of IMI we continue to influence owners, developers, general contractors and designers of the benefits of all types of masonry that you install. IMI has also developed a “Historical Masonry Preservation Certificate” that we continue to have adopted as a requirement with agencies such as the NJ School Development Authority, the NJ Department of Community Affairs, as well as private industry. In light of the horrific fire in Edgewater, NJ this past year, your Union has offered testimony to include masonry firewalls as a requirement to the states building codes. All of our efforts, whether through our Structural Coalition, IMI’s Campaign for Jobs, our own internal marketing efforts, and certainly the daily efforts of your Unions representatives, are focused on creating more man-hours for the people we represent. 

Please remain aware though, that much of our success hinges on our members ability to deliver what we are selling. For a long time now, the BAC has marketed us as representing the “Best Hands in the Business”. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are the most highly-trained and highly-skilled trowel trades workers in the state. But, it is not us we need to convince. It is owners, developers and general contractors throughout the state. We must also convince our non-union competition of the value of our topnotch training programs. It is in this safety and skill levels that we differentiate ourselves. But every one of us must be part of this philosophy. We all must strive to be the best at what we do and present that on a daily basis. Our Journey level members must take an active role in the development of our apprentices on the job site. We must all take advantage of all the other opportunities that are available through The Labor Movement means just this; it is the last noble protest of the American people against the power of incorporated wealth. Wendall Phillips 1871 Still true today-2015 your Union straining centers. As we work to create more job opportunities, your Unions leadership is working to raise the level of professionalism as a standard throughout the industry. You, our members, must buy into this and accept that it is an improvement we all must make. 

This September, at the International Unions convention, we will celebrate 150 years of existence as a Building Trades Labor Union. I encourage all of us to research our Unions history, to recognize the professionalism that existed right down to how our members dressed on the job. Let’s reflect and reestablish the pride and love for our crafts that should always be on display. Let us all work to raise our standing in the construction industry and let us all be open to continual training and education regardless of how long anyone may be a member of this Union.  

If you have ever visited cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and Boston, you obviously have witnessed buildings with tremendous amounts of brick, stone, concrete and other elements our crafts. It was a time when “Bricklayers were Kings”.  With your Unions internal initiatives, our marketing efforts, IMI’s efforts, and your commitment to continual improvement, we will certainly put ourselves in a position to reclaim the throne within the construction industry! In solidarity,

Richard E. Tolson Director

International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers

Administrative District Council of New Jersey  Summer 2015 Issue Locals # 4  & 5

Secretary/Treasurer Report

 During the course of the last three months, most of you have been asked by your Field Representative to sign a Political Action Check-Off Authorization Form. This signed form allows the Employer you are working for to deduct .52 cents an hour from your pay which is forwarded to the Union for Political Action when benefits are paid on your behalf. Some members signed the forms without question. Some asked questions and some of those groaned and then signed and still others needed detailed explanation on what the money is used for. This varying reaction displayed by the membership I believe is a representation of what we all feel about politics and those involved with it. 

This leads me to relate to you my thoughts on 3 events I attended in late May of this year. The first event was the Passaic County Building Trades annual beefsteak. As I sat there at the table chatting with other BAC members, I looked around the room. There were a couple hundred tradesmen and trades women filling the room doing the same as we were. Telling stories of current or past jobs and the people they worked with. They weren’t white, black or Hispanic. We were all there as union trades people and as Americans. I began to think to myself that everyone in the room belonged to a union and wanted the same things. Good wages, benefits and working conditions. They were Dad’s and Mom’s, sons and daughters. Little league coaches, volunteers to their communities and want what everyone else wants. To be able live a decent life and take care of their families. The same as every other American. 

The next event was the promotion of a very good friend and a 30 year plus BAC brother who became a Deputy Fire Chief with the Paterson Fire Department. During the reception that followed, I was talking to another dear friend, a retired Paterson Fire Department Chief and former BAC brother. In the conversation were two other Paterson firemen, one I have known for years and the other I had just met. Shortly into the conversation, the horrible day of September 11th came up.The three began to talk of their experience that day. Their trip across the Hudson River to New York on a ferry with other Paterson firemen. The eerie walkup to the site from the south. All other efforts to get to the site were from the North. On arrival at the site seeing no one except a lone Fire Chief from Queens standing by himself. He had lost his whole company.  

They and the NYFD Chief were all alone. They asked the Chief what they could do. They immediately entered the Marriot hotel which was across the street and made their way up 40 plus stories in the darkened stairwell to the roof carrying whatever equipment they could find. I was told it took them an hour and a half to make the climb….but they did it. They spent the next several hours on that roof pouring water onto adjacent buildings trying to keep the fires from spreading until more help could arrive. They stayed for the next couple days helping in the recovery effort.   

As I listened to every word with my mouth literally opened I thought to myself I have known my friend for 25 years and In ever knew this story. The part I found so amazing was the look of admiration and respect they had for each other as they described in detail their heroic efforts. They weren’t black, white or Hispanic that day. They technically weren’t even firemen. They weren’t on duty when they made the decision to go. They were Americans. They were human beings. Going to help other Americans and human beings in need. They didn’t ask for anything then or today. They volunteered. Just like Local 4 and other trade members did and countless other first responders. There was much more to their story, but I could never give it the justice it deserves. 

 On Saturday, May 30th, I attended the BAC North East Regional Apprentice contest in Philadelphia, Pa.  Our ADC had 4 Apprentices competing amongst apprentices from Maine to Virginia. There was BAC Representatives from the IU, Region and States. Contractors and suppliers as well as a Pennsylvania state Assembly woman were also in attendance. As I walked around the event and observed the fine young men and women working hard to complete their project, it again occurred to me that these young people want nothing more than to learn a craft from the best trained people in the industry. Take care of their families or future families through good wages and health care and be able to retire with dignity. Something the BAC, which will celebrate its 150 year anniversary this September, and other Unions have been fighting for decades, even centuries. Again, there was no race, gender or ethnicity. All Americans, all wanting the same thing. This was all demonstrated again at the awards ceremony later in the evening.  

Unfortunately in today’s world, there are people in the political arena who do not share these same ideas and values of good wages, benefits and working conditions. They find a problem with like-minded people collectively bargaining for a better life. Some politician seven have a problem with contractors who want their workers to enjoy these conditions. They attempt to pass laws and in many states are successful passing laws that limit and sometimes prohibit unions in trying to provide workers these wages and benefits. Whether it’s “right to work”, which basically allows a worker to enjoy union conditions without belonging to a union or doing away with “prevailing wage”, which is the union wage on government projects regardless if it’s union or not funding government pensions. These actions all have the intentions of making unions a thing of the past.  There are still other politicians who try to divide us through race or ethnicity and even by gender. Dividing us to take our eye off the true issues and to have us focus on exaggerated issues or issues the media wants us to see. They mostly use this for their own political gain or power but comes at the expense of us, the American people. 

There are still other politicians who will stand and proclaim their support for unions and all we stand for but when called upon to take specific action to support BAC issues are nowhere to be found. So when asked to sign the PAC Authorization form and the .52 cents is deducted for each hour, it is to fight for what we all want and deserve. It is deducted to endorse and support political candidates that have our same visions and believe in giving every worker and employer a level playing field. It is deducted to support those who believe whether you are a tradesperson, especially with 

the BAC, you are paid a fare wage and benefits for your hard work and most importantly you go home safe to your family at the end of the day. It’s deducted to support those who believe in health care and retirement with dignity. It is deducted to support those who believe in building better schools, hospitals, infrastructure and promoting an environment for businesses to grow and build. Our wages, benefits and safe working conditions don’t just happen. They have been hard fought for 150 years through collective bargaining, huge sacrifices by those before us and, yes (groan) political help. I 

understand some politicians don’t share all our individual values. They certainly don’t always share mine, but taking care of ourselves and our families should be on top of the list. Next time when you have to sign an authorization form…. groan a little less….. and know the deduction is part of helping keep our way of life. Sincerely,

John F. Capo Secretary Treasurer

To see the rest of this newsletter open the PDF document at the top of this section

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Dec 2014 Winter 2014


(* Please note that if you wish to see all the full images and notes associated with this newsletter the only way to do so is to open the pdf link above. The file may take up to two minutes to load due to file size. Please be patient)

Directors Report - Winter 2014 - Rich Tolson

Brothers and Sisters,

My initial wish to all of you and your families is for a peaceful holiday and Christmas season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

As 2014 progressed, opportunities for our members increased and hours are finally on the rise! After 5 years of a stagnant construction economy in New Jersey, more and more projects are finally getting in the ground. Through the tireless efforts of all your Union representatives, our Union contractors are being awarded more jobs that put our members back to work. This increase in hours has not only helped our members in regards to take home wages, but has had a positive effect on our Local pension funding levels and has allowed us to once again improve the health care benefits we can offer. Those improvements are listed under the administrators report inside this newsletter.

In addition, as of January 1, 2015 the Local 4 and Local 5 annuity plan is merged in to one statewide plan, the New Jersey BAC Annuity Fund. You should have already received correspondence regarding this change and any effect it may have on your account. The combined resources of the two plans makes for a stronger, more efficient fund that allows for greater leverage on our part on behalf of the participants.

On September 1, 2014, our International Union wisely re-merged Local 2 with Local 5. This reconsolidation of membership provides for more strength, solidarity, and efficiency of all of our efforts. Local 5 will now function the same way Local 4 has throughout the existence of the ADC since 2006. 

We continue to improve our use of electronics to serve all of our members from apprentices, to journey workers, to retirees. Recently, IMI conducted a web based training seminar for our staff that improves the tracking of not only apprentice training, but journey worker training and certification as well. In 2015 we look forward to rolling out an IMI training card that has all of a members training and certifications recorded electronically on a QR code. In addition, this card will have the member’s picture on it to assure authenticity.

Externally, we will continue to promote your Union and our industry through our Structural Coalition, the IMI led initiative of Campaign for Jobs, and our ongoing marketing effort started two and a half years ago. 

Internally, we will continue to provide upgrade and cross-craft training for all journey workers. We will continue to try and raise the bar within our industry to differentiate our members from the non-union. Recognizing our members as “Master Masons” and all the training that requires will further enhance our claim that we are the “Best Hands in the Business”. Under the leadership of IU President Jim Boland, the national apprenticeship task force will be bringing up to date and making consistent all of our training throughout the country. We will be sharing all this information as it progresses on a continual bases at the monthly membership meetings, so I encourage all of you to attend and be informed.

And speaking of getting involved, I want to end by reminding you once again that no one is going to hand us anything. The assault on Unions is national and concerted. We all must be involved to fight back effectively. When elections come, we must have members participate in Labor walks, phone banks, and other efforts to elect Union-Friendly candidates. When it comes to taking to the streets to protect our area standards, more members must be willing to walk picket lines. It is disgraceful when your Union has to man a job action and must rely on the same people every time. This applies to ALL members, those that work out of the Hall and those that are fortunate enough to work steady for a company. The only way our Union can overcome the obstacles and challenges we face, both internally and externally, is to stand together as the BAC has done for the past 150 years. Now is no time to abandon that philosophy!

Richard E. Tolson


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Secretary/Treasurer Report - John Capo

Your Vote Does Matter 

“You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing there will be no results”
. Mahatma Gandhi, the preeminent leader of the Indian Independence movement in British ruled India.

For many of us becoming inspired to vote in any election for any candidate from either party seems to be happening less and less. In fact statistics show that more than half of registered voters didn’t vote in the past several elections. In addition, a recent Gallup poll revealed, of all registered voters, 46% are registered as Independent, not identifying with either party. That percentage is at an all-time high. 

Another Gallup poll from January of 2014 showed 65% of Americans stated they are dissatisfied with our Government. Whether we feel it is our do nothing Congress, corrupt politicians, wealthy legislators who are out of touch with middle class family issues or lobbyists and big money interests controlling who wins elections, we have come to the conclusion our vote does not matter. So we ask ourselves…. why vote?

Being Secretary Treasurer has given me many opportunities to work with state and local politicians from both parties dealing with important issues to BAC. At times I feel these politicians have let BAC down due to their lack of understanding our issues. Rather than complain, I decided to do something about it and get involved. This past November I ran for Passaic County Freeholder. I knew it would be a huge commitment and sacrifice but reminded of Gandhi’s quote, it was an easy decision to make. Unfortunately the result did not turnout in my favor but I can assure you it was not due to lack of effort.

This article isn’t about me. It is about our obligation to vote. The obligation to vote once a year. Twice if you vote in a primary. Voting is a right that we don’t always take seriously. A right our veteran’s fought for and some gave the ultimate sacrifice. A right where in other countries, citizens are literally dying for the opportunity to freely cast a vote for who governs them. I am not writing this to preach or lecture. I am giving a perspective of the hard work and sacrifice it takes to run for office. For several months it involves campaigning 7 nights a week and all weekends. From attending dinners and fundraiser, youth sporting events, union meetings, street fairs, town picnics and walking door to door, it’s a major undertaking. Like many others who run, I didn’t do it for personal gains. I did it to try to make a difference. There are good people running for and currently holding office who want to do the right thing. I know, I was one and had the honor to run with another. 

Yes, your vote does matter. In my recent election campaign, in a county with the highest property taxes in the Country based on percentage of median income, voter turnout was only 32.2%. We deserve better. Our children and grandchildren deserve better. If more voters took the responsibility to be informed and fulfill their obligation to vote, a cement finisher from the BAC could be a Freeholder. If we don’t take the time to vote, in my opinion, we dishonor all the hardworking, honest and loyal people who make the sacrifice to run for political office and the volunteers who sacrifice as well. More importantly we dishonor all those, going back to the start of this great nation, who gave so much for all we have today. We cannot have the opinion “I’m only one vote, it doesn’t matter.” It is our obligation, our duty, as Americans to participate in the process of electing our government officials who will make decisions that will set the course of our towns, counties, states and country for decades to come. It’s that important. 

George Jean Nathan, literary magazine founder, once quoted “Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” If you are one of the 65% of Americans mentioned earlier not happy with our government and don’t vote you have no one to blame but yourself. John Quincy Adams, our sixth President of the United States gave us a quote to think of when we feel our vote doesn’t matter. “Always vote for principle, though you may not vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” 

John F. Capo
Secretary Treasurer


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BAC ADC Local 4 Presidents Message - Kenneth Simone


Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season. Currently there are 15 members on the job referral system. This number was up to 300 members on the job referral system not that long ago. When times were tough many members left the trade to find other options to support their families. Construction Unions have had it the worst through this recession than any time I can remember in my 35 years of membership. But as work picks up we cannot become complacent. We need to organize new and former members and contractors so when hard times come again we will be stronger. Our apprentice program is stronger than ever. As it has been said many times these young men are the future of our Union. I respectively ask that all Forman and Journeyman take interest in helping these young men on the job sites. It is imperative that our apprentices become the next generation of the best hands in the business. When my father got in the union 60 years ago, a journeyman said to him "why are you getting into this business kid its shot. “There's no future for you."  He is now 78 and retired and enjoying a Pension from the Union that lets him continue his quality of life he had when working. My point is, don't be that journeyman with negative input to our future journeymen. As long as you apply yourself the opportunities are endless. You get out of it what you put into it. 

I would like to wish the best of luck to Russell Herman, Jason Fidalgo and Anthony Randazzo, our three apprentices who will be competing in the National Apprentice Competition Spec Mix 500 in Las Vegas and best of luck to Local 5 member Mark Wells who will be representing New Jersey in the journeyman competition for the fastest bricklayer. 

Local 4 continues to battle a project in Montclair called Centre Verde. This project is being developed by LCOR which is partially funded by the California Teachers Pension Fund (CALSTRS). Some of the actions that we have taken are as follows;

  • Hand billing of all of the colleges in Essex County

  • Bannering at the job site

  • Hand billing at the job site 

Future actions being discussed are a mass rally or picket line. Your local needs all members to participate in these actions when called upon. We cannot leave it to the same members to always participate in these actions. We all enjoy the benefits of belonging to the union, we all need to fight for our future.

Kenneth Simone
BAC/ADC Local 4



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BAC ADC Local 5 Presidents Message - Kevin Duncan


Brothers and Sisters,

Late summer and early fall saw the work environment improve greatly.  Hopefully, this will continue to be the trend leading to a lasting sustainable recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression.  The hardships our membership has endured since 2008 are immeasurable. Hopefully this is a new beginning.  Hunterdon and Somerset Counties still remain slow, but next year, Raritan Valley College in Branchburg will have a new building starting as well as a Costco in Flemington.  Mercer County has picked up somewhat and should be in good shape next year.  Middlesex County continues to be strong with new projects on the books for 2015.  Monmouth, Ocean, Gloucester, Cumberland and Camden counties have picked up. There seems to be more work opportunities appearing on our Search Engines (Dodge, CIS and PCN.) The ADC and the Staff of Local #5 will continue to do our utmost to secure the opportunities that present themselves.

Part of our struggles still continue from the attack on Unions in general and this climate certainly did not change at the national level with this last election cycle.  There are many challenges that lie ahead. We continue to help and support those who support us. The ADC and Staffs of the Locals are always working, reaching out to various entities, cities, towns and politicians.  If needed, it is incumbent upon everyone to become engaged in the process to protect and improve the conditions and standards that we all enjoy.

I would like to thank all those who helped on the foundation for Bob Vazquez in Union Beach. Bob and his family lost their home an all their belongings in Super Storm Sandy.  Bob’s family has a long history with I.U. Executive Vice President Gerard Scarano’s former Local #35.

Also, I would like to thank everyone who participated in the Labor Walks and Phone Banks this election cycle. Taking time out of your Saturdays is truly appreciated.

Congratulations to former Presidents Kirk Gerety of Local #2 and Donald Engelhardt of Local #5 on their retirements. Their years of service to our organization is immeasurable.  Also, congratulations to Kirk for winning his election to City Council in Somers Point, NJ.

In closing, I wish everyone a safe, healthy and joyous holiday season and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Kevin B. Duncan

BAC/ADC Local 5


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From e Desk of Nick D'Orazio


Brothers and Sisters,


With work on the rise and a very promising year in 2015, we at the BAC/ADC of New Jersey Locals 4 & 5 want to make certain if you are unemployed and seeking work that you are putting your name on the Out Of Work List. As well as removing your name from the list once you are gainfully employed. If you have never used the Out Of Work List, the phone number and directions are as follows;

  • Dial 1-877-353-7607

  • You will be prompted to enter your Social Security Number

  • You will be prompted to enter your 4 digit pin.

(Your pin is the last four digits of your social security number)

  • Follow the directions to add or remove your name from the Out of Work List, as prompted. 

Important – Our Out Of Work List and our RoboCall System work off of the same database, if you are currently not receiving any prerecorded telephone calls from the ADC or your Local, please contact either Jeryl Hernandez at Local 4 973-244-9962 or Lisa Wysinski at Local 5 609-324-0500 extension 211, and update your records.

We at the BAC/ADC of New Jersey are constantly trying to promote social media with our membership, through our website, and through Facebook. I have the pleasure to inform you that BAC Local #4 member and instructor Keith Inglin will be working hand in hand with the leadership of the ADC and the Locals, to bring to you the most current information in a timely fashion.

Additionally, there are three Facebook pages available to our members. Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers / ADC of NJ Locals 4 & 5, BAC Local 4 NJ, and BAC Local 5NJ ApprenticesThese three pages are regularly updated with meeting and training information. 

Please take the time to check out the website and like us like-facebook on Facebook.

Nicholas D’Orazio

Office Administrator


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BAC Local 4 Apprentice and Training - Robert Alesandro

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I  very happy to report this has been a very good year work wise for our apprentices. At times were up to 98% employed and it looks like we will finish the year aroun 95%

We will be offering PCC training February 9th through 27t, week days only, from 7:00am to 3:30pm (must attend all days)

Related and cross training will start in January run into March. Anyone interested in improving their skills can come to the training center Monday through Friday from 7am till 3:30pm.

The next OSHA 30 cass is scheduled for February 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th (must attend all days)

The next Global Harmonizing System (GHS) class is scheduled for February 14th, starting at 7am.

For those who are interested in the above classes and/or training, please call the training center to sign up (973) 227-6650 between 7:00am - 3:30pm.

The local 4 Apprentice Contest is scheduled for March 14th (all 4 levels). The winner of Local 4's contest will compete at the state contest to be held in Bordentown scheduled r May 16th.

Congratulations to Russell Herman, Local 4's 2014 Apprentice of the Year.

Also, congratulations to Jason Fidalgo, Russell Herman and Anthony Randazzo, who will be representing Local 4 at the MCAA'a Apprentice Contest in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 4th. Good Luck!

Bob Alesandro
Local 4 Apprentice Coordinator/Training Director



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BAC Local 5 Apprentice and Training - Tom Feeney



Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would like to congratulate Aaron Scheuerer on successfully completing his apprenticeship. 

As the fall related training semester comes to a close, it's time to prepare for the winter/spring semester. Be aware that the training is not lonely intended for Apprentices, but for journeymen as well. The Certifications that are offered will be a requirement for all members in the near future, so take advantage and get a jump start on your future. 

In review of our records, it shows that many of our members have not taken OSHA 30. Not having a card may hinder an opportunity for employment somewhere down the line. OSHA 30 is offered four time a year; January, March, September and November. Please take a look at the web site for the related training schedule. It will be posted around the third week in December 2014. 

With work opportunities increasing, about 90% of our Apprentices are working, and next year looks even better. Journeymen, please take the time to assist in developing our Apprentices.

Tom Feeney 

Local 5 Apprentice Coordinator/Training Director


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BAC Local 4 & 5 Annuity Funds - Gary Mercadante


Dear Annuity Participant, 

The Board of Trustees of the Local 4 and Local 5 Annuity Funds are pleased to announce that effective January 2, 2015 the two funds will be merging into the New Jersey BAC Annuity Fund. Both funds had Fidelity Investments as their Investment vendor and the provisions of the two plans mirrored each other, so it made sense from an administrative standpoint, to have one Annuity fund for the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers in New Jersey. 

By merging the funds, we save on professional fees by having only one investment manager, one attorney, one consultant, and one accountant, instead of one of each of the professionals on each fund prior to the merge. We also have more bargaining power with Fidelity as one group with the combining of Local 4 and Local 5 annuity participants. 

By now you already received at least one letter from Fidelity Investments regarding the New Jersey BAC Annuity Fund transition and you will continue to receive correspondence from Fidelity which should answer any questions you may have. 

Please read the information carefully that you receive from Fidelity and as always if you have any questions, call Fidelity or the Fund Office at 1-800-324-5881.

Gary Mercadante


Local 4 & 5 Benefit Funds 



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BAC Health Funds - Gary Mercadante



Dear Participant,

The Trustees of the New Jersey Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Health Fund (“the Fund”) have made changes to the Plan of benefits (“the Plan”) effective January 1, 2015. Please read the changes to the Plan carefully as summarized below:

Please continue to use the Horizon Advantage EPO identification card that you currently have been using. You  will not be issued new cards for the new year January 1, 2015. All the information on your current card is correct. 

DENTAL BENEFIT : The Trustee of the New Jersey BAC Health Fund have approved a reduction of the amount of hours required for eligibility for the Dental Benefit ( $2,500 per family per year) from 1,500 hours to 1,200 hours effective January 1, 2015.


LAB CORP ONLY FOR ALL LABWORK SERVICES: Please remember that any Lab work services that you may require must be done through Lab Corp or sent to Lab Corp even if it’s done in a doctor’s office. You should tell your doctor when he takes blood in his office that he must send it to the Lab Corp. If it’s sent anywhere else it will be considered out-of-network and you will be responsible for the total bill. 

OUT -OF-NETWORK SERVICES NOT ELIGIBLE: Please remember that there are no out-of-network benefits eligible for payment. It is the member’s responsibility to make sure that the physician he or she is seeing for a service is in the Horizon BC/BS network. All out-of-network expenses will be your responsibility. If you are unsure of the network status of your physician visit online Horizon BC/BS at Click the “find a provider link” and it will bring you to the online directory. 

Please call the Health Fund Office at 1-800-649-9998, if you have any questions. 

Gary Mercadante




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BAC Health Funds - Side Notes



  • $500.00 Reimbursement Expires December 31, 2014

The $500.00 reimbursement was a one year only provision put in the plan to help defray the cost of out of pocket expenses that our members were incurring during the 2014 plan year. Please remember that you only have until March 31, 2015 to submit your paid claims with a completed claim form to Administrative Services, Inc. If you need claim forms, please contact the fund office at 800-649-9998 and we will send them to you.

  • Banked Hours Option

The banked hours option will still be available to those participants that have earned between 121 and 999 hours, in a calendar year. This means that participants may choose to save the contribution hours they earned in the previous plan year so that they may combine their past hours with their current hours to obtain eligibility in a future plan year. Example – Using your 2013 and 2014 hours for eligibility in 2015. Under this option the first 120 hours of contributions are retained by the fund for administrative expenses of the plan. Example – A participant earned 800 hours in 2013, 680 of those hours can be combined with 2014 hours for eligibility in 2015. Any questions regarding banked hours, please contact the fund office at 800-649-9998.

  • Health Reimbursement Account Option

Due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, we can no longer offer the Health Reimbursement Account option to our participants. Therefore, as of December 31, 2014, the HRA option will be terminated. Any participant that still has contribution dollars left in their account, please remember that those contribution dollars expire 36 months after the end of the plan year in which they were earned. If not used within that period, the contributions will be forfeited. 

  • Buy Up Option 

The Buy Up option will still be available to participants who earn between 1 and 999 hours in 2014. You will have to buy up to 1,140 hours to obtain eligibility for coverage in 2015. Example – A participant with 800 hours in 2014 could purchase 340 hours times the contribution rate of $9.30 per hour to obtain coverage in the 2015 plan year. 

  • Pay Stubs

To receive credit from pay stubs for hours worked for eligibility in the New Jersey BAC Health Fund, the same hours MUST be reported on the shop steward reports for the respective jobs. If pay stubs are received without corresponding shop steward reports for verification, you will not receive credit for your hours.

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Jul 2014 Summer 2014

2014 Summer Newletter BAC ADC NJ

Director’s Report

In this edition of our newsletter, I want to bring all of you up to date on our job creating initiatives, as well as some of the volunteer efforts being made throughout the state.

  • Campaign for Jobs (C4J) – This is an initiative from the International Masonry Institute (IMI) that focuses on very specific jobs in our jurisdiction in the very early planning stages. Led by IMI’s professionals in design, sustainability, green building and building codes, the effort is made to influence owners and their design representatives to make sure as much of the products the BAC installs are used. Here is a brief listing of current projects/owners targeted; New Jersey City University, Rowan University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Cancer Institute of New Jersey at Rutgers and on a national level, Marriott Hotels.

  • New Jersey Structural Coalition – Our Structural Coalition is made up of the BAC, Masonry Contractors of New Jersey and IMI. Through this coalition we have hired a professional structural engineer. Every month our engineer, along with one of the two IMI architects, visit firms throughout our jurisdiction doing preservations on the benefits of building using masonry as the structural component of their building. We also present how we can be competitive not only in the overall cost but in scheduling as well. To date, the coalition has met with architectural and engineering firms. We have also met with the NJ Schools Development Authority (SDA), the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA), as well as local school boards. 

  • Legislative – The legislative process has become more and more of a day to day effort of your Union and your representatives. But the result of that has been the passage of “Direct Hire” agreements as well as “Responsible Bidders” requirements. Through the direct efforts of your Union representatives, we have passed these types of agreements, a government entity hires our BAC members directly to do work. Under “Responsible Bidders” requirements, Department of Labor (DOL) apprentice training as well as health care benefits is mandated on employers. This benefits our Union employer partners and therefore our members. 

  • Marketing – “Retooling, Refining, Realigning – Rebuilding America’s Oldest Craft Brick by Brick” was adopted almost two years ago now. We continue to meet with private developers in an effort to convince them of the benefits of using BAC members on their projects. We continue to offer cross craft and upgrade training to our members, as well as training new products and systems on the market like “Rain Screen” to make sure we are positioned to install the work properly when called upon. We must continue to ensure that we are without question “the Best Hands in the Business”. Internally, we continue to build a database on everyone doing business in the construction industry throughout our jurisdiction. Currently, we have over 1,000 contacts! 

  • These are a few of the efforts being made on behalf of you, our members, to create opportunities for you to go to work. Working together with our International, IMI and our contractor partners, we are covering every aspect of our industry like never before. As the construction economy begins to improve, we are well positioned to take advantage of every job opportunity available. There are still some areas of our state that remain slow, and we suggest that everyone be willing to travel to secure the work where we have it. We strongly urge everyone to learn about new products and training, as well as upgrade your crafts as necessary. This International Union has not been around since 1865 by mistake. We ALL must remain involved and diligent to make sure that proud tradition continues! 

  • The leadership of your Union will continue to work to level the playing field, raise our visibility, provide effective and beneficial training, and identify the REAL problems we face and offer solutions to overcome them. All this is to provide opportunity for our members to go to work. We will do our part. Will you?

    In solidarity,
     Richard E. Tolson

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Jul 2013 Summer 2013

Brothers and Sisters,

By now everyone should be aware of the new 3 year Collective Bargaining Agreement. Let me assure you that in the economic times we live in, negotiations are not an enviable situation to be in. None the less, your BACNJ negotiating team listened to our members, protected and maintained our Union conditions, expanded our opportunities for jurisdictions, and increased our compensation in the 2nd and 3rd year of the contract. But trust me, it was not handed to us.


Some of the issues we had to protect were at the heart of our agreement. Foreman, Shop Stewards, apprentices, and ratios of New Jersey members on New Jersey jobs! The primary focus of our efforts was to craft an agreement that enabled us the greatest potential to get our members back to work. With the low level of competition we face in our industry, coupled with reduced amounts of our materials on jobs, we adopted an attitude of protecting our core principals and accepting that a wage increase at this time was not in our industries best interest. The fact of the matter is that what shows up on your year end W-2 is more important than the line item on our wage sheets. Having the levels of unemployment the Building Trades Unions have experienced over the last 4 years it is critical to get more members back to work at current wages than it is to increase income for those members who have been fortunate enough to have been employed. I am sure this approach does not make everyone happy, but this Union is still about representing ALL not a few.


I mentioned the expansion of jurisdictions within the new CBA. Your leadership team has reinforced our traditional jurisdictions that have been under assault by others for years. In addition, we have added to BAC’s ability to control our own destiny. Having listened to our employers for years describe competitive problems within our industry, we have now afforded them an opportunity to resolve those issues through the NJBAC. Change is never easy nor does it happen overnight, but it most certainly continues to happen.

If all of us within the Union and all of our employers fail to recognize that change is needed, plan for that change, and embrace that change, we will surely be left behind. A constant reminder of that’s sorely recognized by our plasterers is sheet rock.

Some of the other initiatives we continue to pursue to create jobs for our members are our ongoing marketing efforts; our legislative efforts to pass laws that help our members and enforce existing laws that protect our jobs. The New Jersey structural masonry coalition, with the support of IMI, continues to meet with architects, engineers, and everyone in the design community to provide resources that encourages the use of all of our products on as many projects as possible. 8 months after the devastation of Super Storm Sandy, we continue to try and convince government and agencies at all levels that there is a better way to rebuild.

The reconstruction of boardwalks as concrete promenades and seawalls is an important part of protecting our coast against the next storm. Under the direction of John Capo, collection efforts are improved making sure the money you earned is where it belongs, in your accounts! Additionally, I have reported at Union meetings that our funds office is close to launching online access to your hours reports. All of these efforts are driven by our commitment to creating opportunity for our members to go to work, to improve the overall BAC industry, to give full access and transparency, and to meet the needs of  our members and your families.

To that end, we will not rest.

Finally, I am happy to report on our annual golf outing. Through the hard work and dedication of our staff and the generosity of so many, NJBAC was able to give $25,000.00 to Diabetes Research and 3-$4,000.00 scholarships to our members children. That brings our totals to $240,000 to Diabetes and $84,000 in scholarships. This year’s scholarship winners were Morgan Gerety whose father is a member of Local #2, Gregory Michal whose father is a member of Local #5, and Stephen Fusaro whose father is a member of Local #5 as well. Congratulations to all of the winners and we wish them much success!

In solidarity,

Richard E. Tolson

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3281 Route 206, Suite 1
Bordentown, New Jersey 08505
(609) 324-9681
(609) 324-9685 Fax

BAC Local #4, New Jersey
14 Plog Road, Suite 1
Fairfield, New Jersey 07004
(973) 244-9962
(973) 244-9963

BAC Local #5, New Jersey
3281 Route 206, Suite 3
Bordentown, New Jersey 08505
(609) 324-0500
(609) 324-1505

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