NRCA Applauds Supreme Court Ruling NLRB ‘Recess’ Appointments Were Unconstitutional

NRCA applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that President Obama’s “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 2012 were unconstitutional. The decision comes in response to litigation supported by NRCA and other employer groups that challenged the constitutionality of the appointments in court. In the case of NLRB v. Noel Canning, the court ruled unanimously that President Obama violated the Constitution’s Recess Appointment Clause when he made the recess appointments to the NLRB.

On Jan. 4, 2012, President Obama appointed three new members to the NLRB as recess appointments, bypassing the normal Senate confirmation process for president nominees to executive branch positions. The Constitution allows the president to make such appointments without a Senate vote of approval when Congress is in recess. However, Congress was in pro-forma session at the time of the appointments. In making the appointments, President Obama argued they were valid because Congress does little work during pro-forma sessions. However, the Supreme Court disagreed, ruling (9-0 on the judgment, 5-4 on the reasoning) that Constitution empowers the president to fill executive branch vacancies only during recesses of sufficient length, and affirmed that pro-forma sessions are valid sessions of Congress.

NRCA supported the litigation challenging the recess appointments because of concerns over the NLRB’s activist regulatory agenda that could adversely effects employers and workers. It is imperative NLRB appointments and appointments to other government agencies be subject to the normal Senate confirmation process whenever possible. NRCA represents union and open-shop contractors and supports policies that maintain an equitable balance in labor-management relations.

It is unclear what immediate impact this ruling will have on the NLRB’s operations and regulatory agenda. However, it likely calls into question the validity of past NLRB decisions that involved board members appointed via recess appointments, and such rulings could be overturned as a result. Additionally, the decision may significantly constrain the agency’s agenda moving forward given the legal confusion it will create concerning past recess appointments and related rulings.

NRCA is pleased with this major legal victory and will continue working to represent roofing industry employers from intrusive government regulation in the legislative, regulatory and legal arenas.

NRCA Launches Web Resource for Homeowners, Business Owners, Building Managers and Consumers

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has launched www.everybodyneedsaroof.com, a website that is a comprehensive resource for homeowners, business owners, building managers and consumers.

With a roof system being one of the most crucial components of every structure purchasing a new roof system or repairing an existing one is one of the most important investments a consumer can make.

www.everybodyneedsaroof.com, which launched June 23, provides the public with helpful information regarding roofing, common roof system maintenance, what to do following major weather events and natural disasters, and assistance finding an NRCA roofing professional to ensure the proper repair or replacement of a roof system.

“Buying a roof is one of the most important decisions a homeowner will make, and consumers have a lot of choices,” says NRCA Executive Vice President William Good. “NRCA wants to ensure homeowners are able to make the best, most informed decision possible and believe this new website will be an important and useful tool for finding the best roofing contractors and roof systems.”

NRCA Offers New and Updated Technical Publications

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has added several new and updated publications to its library of technical offerings, including a publication that provides guidelines for complying with building codes.

Guidelines for Complying with Building Codes Using ANSI/SPRI ES-1 is NRCA’s newest publication, addressing building code compliance with ANSI/SPRI ES-1, “Wind Design Standard for Edge Systems Used with Low Slope Roof Systems.” The document provides guidelines and technical information about the design, materials, fabrication and installation of edge-metal flashings for compliance with ANSI/SPRI ES-1 and applicable requirements of the International Building Code.

Also recently released is NRCA Guidelines for Architectural Metal Flashings, which includes comprehensive information about metal used in low- and steep-slope roof systems. It also gives design considerations such as joinery, protective coatings and galvanic action.

In addition, the updated version of NRCA Guidelines for Asphalt Shingle Roof Systems 2014 is a more comprehensive look at NRCA’s best practice guidelines and technical information regarding the materials, design and installation of asphalt shingle roof systems.

For more information about NRCA’s newest publications and other technical offerings, visit NRCA’s website.

NRCA Updates Its Online Bookstore

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has updated its online NRCA Bookstore, designed to provide roofing professionals with quicker, easier access to all the association’s educational resources.

Launched in May, the NRCA Bookstore now has several new features including a Live Chat that will allow customers to obtain instant access with NRCA’s customer service team to get instant answer to questions about a product.

In addition, the bookstore offers:

  • Convenient search and sort functions
    New and useful product categories
    New releases and feature products
    A more user-friendly, intuitive design

For more information, visit the NRCA Bookstore.

NRCA Supports Commercial Roof Depreciation Legislation

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) strongly supports bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress on May 22 to reform the outdated depreciation schedule for commercial roofs. This legislation, which replaces the current 39-year depreciation schedule with a 20-year schedule, will remove an obstacle in the tax code that limits economic growth in the roofing industry, thus facilitating the creation of an estimated 40,000 new jobs among roofing contractors and manufacturers. It also will benefit millions of small businesses nationwide and advance energy efficiency within the commercial building sector.

NRCA wishes to commend Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) for sponsoring the House bill (H.R. 4740) and Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) for authoring the companion legislation (S. 2388) in the Senate. NRCA looks forward to working with these and other lawmakers to enact this legislation as the congressional tax-writing committees consider possible changes in tax policy that will help grow the economy and create jobs.

There has been a need for depreciation reform since the depreciation schedule for nonresidential property was increased from 15 to 39 years between 1981 and 1993. The average life span of most commercial roofs is only 17 years, according to a study by Ducker Worldwide. This has caused building owners to delay the full replacement of older, failing roofs in favor of limited, piecemeal repairs. Moreover, building owners who install new roofs before the current 39-year schedule has elapsed are required to depreciate roofs at different schedules, causing paperwork burdens for businesses.

This legislation will rectify this problem by providing the 20-year depreciation schedule for commercial roof retrofits that meet a benchmark energy-efficiency standard. Depreciation reform for energy-efficient commercial roofs will provide significant energy, environmental and economic benefits by reducing energy costs for businesses of all types that install new roofs.

Depreciation reform for commercial roofs enjoys the support of numerous business, labor and energy efficiency groups, including the National Roofing Contractors Association; United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers; and the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association. For more information, please contact NRCA’s vice president of government relations Duane Musser, or manager of federal affairs Andrew Felz at (202) 546-7584.

This Week: NRCA and United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Jointly Support National Safety Stand-Down

This is a joint statement attributable to William Good, executive vice president of the National Roofing Contractors Association, and Kinsey M. Robinson, international president of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers

On behalf of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers (UURWAW) and National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), we would like to voice our support for the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, organized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), taking place throughout the U.S. from June 2-6, 2014.

The latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show 65 workers in the roofing industry died in 2012 from falls that occurred as they were doing their jobs. Those numbers are not just cold statistics but reflect 65 families that have been changed forever by the loss of a loved on—a spouse, father, mother, son or daughter whose death has left a void in the hearts of family and friends.

The National Safety Stand-Down is an effort to focus company and worker attention on the significance of fall hazards in construction and emphasize the importance of effectively implementing fall-protection systems on every project. NRCA and UURWAW encourage their members and all involved in the roofing industry to participate in the National Safety Stand-Down by delivering focused fall-protection awareness toolbox talks at the start of each day during that week and throughout the year. Special materials have been developed by UURWAW and NRCA for this purpose that can be accessed on our websites and printed for use each day.

Let’s pledge to continue the efforts to increase awareness of fall hazards, not just that week but throughout the year so all workers are safe performing the critical, quality work they do and are able to go home to their families each day!

NRCA Is Accepting Applications for Its Future Executives Institute

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) now is accepting applications for its Future Executives Institute (FEI), a comprehensive, powerful three-year program focused on leading and managing a successful roofing business. FEI’s first session is slated to be held Sept. 28 — Oct. 1. Classes will take place at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management campus in Chicago.

FEI, which is taught by Kellogg professors, industry leaders and field experts, offers participants an in-depth look at management theory and practice. Those who attend also benefit from unique industry networking opportunities while developing their leadership and communication skills.

“It is rare to have access to such accomplished and insightful minds in such a focused setting,” says 2013 FEI graduate, Marc Farrell, manager at A.W. Farrell & Son Inc., Salisbury, N.C. “NRCA has done an excellent job providing us with the opportunity to make improvements to ourselves, our companies and our industry.”

FEI provides basic business information, current industry topics, leadership and personal development opportunities, and team building exercises. Class size is limited to 30 roofing professionals to allow for in-depth conversations and class relationships during the three-year program.

The deadline for early-bird applications is June 1, 2014. Those who apply by this time will receive notice if they are accepted by June 16. The regular application deadline is Aug. 1.

Learn more about FEI or apply for the program.

Presentation Proposals Sought for 2015 IRE

Hanley Wood Exhibitions has issued a call for presentation proposals for the 2015 International Roofing Expo (IRE). Researchers, educators, consultants, technical experts and industry leaders are encouraged to share their knowledge and business expertise as presenters for IRE the educational conference program.

The International Roofing Expo is the must-attend event for commercial and residential roofing professionals to stay abreast of market directions, trends and cutting-edge technology. Formerly owned by NRCA, the show was sold to Hanley Wood Exhibitions in May 2004. The official show sponsor is NRCA; the official show publication is Roofing Contractor; and the digital destination and official residential publication is Replacement Contractor.

The 2015 event will take place Feb. 24-26 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The educational conference historically presents the latest trends in the roofing industry to help attendees expand their technical knowledge and grow their businesses.

“We are seeking top-tier industry innovators well-versed in the most relevant topics and issues facing roofing professionals today,” says Brandi McElhaney, Senior Conference Manager. “To make a significant contribution to the industry, we encourage you to submit a proposal.”

Experienced speakers with proven, dynamic presentation skills and in-depth knowledge are encouraged to submit proposals. Sessions are 90 minutes in length and should contain timely, practical information that can be immediately utilized in the workplace. Submissions should focus on applications-oriented, real world, problem-solving content, and must not include commercial or promotional messages or content.

    The multi-track educational program includes:
    • technical training
    • workplace safety training
    • leadership and management strategies
    • green building trends
    • legal and human resources issues
    • financial management training
    • sales and service best practices

    The primary audience of the educational conference includes:
    • commercial and residential roofing contractors
    • architects and designers
    • building owners and facility managers
    • manufacturers and suppliers
    • owners, general managers, and CEOs of roofing businesses
    • sales professionals and estimators
    • superintendents and foremen
    • industry consultants

“The conference offers speakers the opportunity to establish their position as industry experts to a broad range of roofing professionals,” said Bill Good, Executive Vice President of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “We encourage members, associate members and others involved with the industry to submit their proposals as soon as possible.”

The deadline for submitting Call for Presentations proposals is April 15, 2014. Session proposals should be submitted via the automated submission form. Questions should be directed to Brandi McElhaney, Senior Conference Manager, via email or by calling (972) 536-6392.

NRCA Testifies about OSHA’s Proposed Crystalline Silica Rule

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) provided testimony on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed rule to amend its existing standards for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The testimony was part of a three-week public hearing process held by OSHA.

“In roofing, as OSHA understands very well, our overriding safety concern is falls. The best safety practices in the industry include keeping roofing workers away from the edge of the roof, protecting them from tripping on the roof, and minimizing their trips up and down ladders,” said NRCA Executive Vice President William Good, who testified on behalf of the association. “Unfortunately, we fear the new rule will dramatically increase the risk of falls, because of the nature of roofing work.”

Good explained that in the roofing industry, silica exposures are limited to operations where tile roofs are being installed because the tiles need to be cut to fit in place on the roof. The proposed rule’s engineering controls would require roofing workers to either use wetting or vacuuming, both of which could introduce new tripping hazards because they involve placing hoses on rooftops. In addition, wetting would result in slippery tiles, which is particularly dangerous on steep-slope roofs.

Visuals of a typical tile roofing job site were presented during Good’s testimony to illustrate NRCA’s concern.

“Ours is a unique industry with unique hazards, and a one-size-fits-all approach to reducing silica exposures not only won’t work for us but will likely, in fact, create other hazards that are more immediate and life threatening,” Good continued.

OSHA’s public hearing on the new crystalline silica rule is scheduled to conclude April 4.

National Roofing Week: July 6-12

To increase recognition of the significance of roofs to every home and business across the U.S., promote the good deeds of the roofing industry and stress the value of professional roofing contractors, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) announces National Roofing Week will take place July 6-12.

The roof is one of the most important components of a home or business’ structure, yet it is often taken for granted until it falls into disrepair. During National Roofing Week, NRCA encourages its members to participate by engaging in their communities and informing the public about the essential role roofs and professional roofing contractors plan in every community.

“Professional roofing contractors provide a vital service to their communities. Many NRCA members donate resources and time to charitable events and support organizations in cities and towns across America,” says NRCA President Nelson R. Braddy Jr. “National Roofing Week will enable NRCA members to highlight their community involvement and educate consumers regarding the importance of hiring a professional roofing contractor when a roofing need arises.”

NRCA contractor members are encouraged to promote the importance of having a roof to children by having them participate in the “Everybody Needs a Roof” Children’s Art Contest. The contest is part of National Roofing Week and is open to children in grades 1-8 who are relatives of NRCA contractor members or their employees. Entries are now being accepted.

Contest winners will have their artwork featured on all 2014 National Roofing Week material and additional promotional material to be displayed at industry events throughout the year, including the 2015 International Roofing Expo and NRCA’s 128th Annual Convention in New Orleans.

In addition, NRCA will host a community service day during NRCA’s Midyear Meetings in Chicago, where members will volunteer their services on a roof system repair in the Chicago area. Contractor members throughout the U.S. are encouraged to give back to their communities in a similar way during National Roofing Week.