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The National MCAA Update

A Weekly News Update from MCAA

Anne Newcombe, Editor, Ph: 1-800-556-3653, Fax: 301-990-9690

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Volume 4, Number 3 - January 18, 1999

TIRED OF ICE AND SNOW? SO ARE WE… AS ICE STORM HITS NATION'S CAPITAL – Mother Nature showed her general displeasure when she sent the Washington, D.C. area a whopper of an ice storm on Thursday night, cutting off power to businesses (including MCAA) and homes. Our phones were also knocked out, so if you tried to call us on Friday, please call again. Power was restored to MCAA by Saturday morning … While we were shivering in the dark -- people at Walt Disney World Resort were enjoying the 78° sunny weather by golfing and generally enjoying all the attractions of this fantasy world. You can still make plans to enjoy all this by registering for MCAA's 1999 convention (February 21-25), plans already made by more than 2200 MCAA members, their families and guests. Of course, the great weather is far from the most important reason to register. Depending on your individual preference, the most important reason might be the excellent educational program … the opportunity to see Barbara Bush, Terry Bradshaw and Dave Barry in person … the better-than-ever parties … or the chance to network with your peers from all over the country. Whatever your reason, you can join those who are already registered by calling 1-800-556-3653 for a convention guide and registration form …or register online at

SAFETY DATA NETWORK ANNUAL REPORT FORMS ACCEPTED UNTIL JANUARY 18 -- To encourage the widest use of MCAA's Safety Data Network, the deadline for submitting your Annual Report Form has been extended until midnight tonight We encourage you to participate in the important part of our Safety Excellence Initiative. Forms may be faxed to 301-990-9690.

LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW WE CAN HELP YOU ONLINE! – If you would like to learn more about how best to use the Internet or the MCAA home page as a business resource, MCAA staff will be online for a "live conference" Wednesday, January 20 at 8:00PM Eastern Time. To participate, just use your "Members Only" username and password to access the conference site, and follow the link displayed at the top of the MCAA Home Page or the "Members Only" page labeled "Live Conference". If you are a current member and you do not yet have a password, you can get one at:

MCAA’S EXECUTIVE AND BUDGET COMMITTEES MEET – Last month MCAA’s Executive and Budget Committees met to prepare the association’s 1999 budget for submission to the Board of Directors at its February 20 meeting. In addition to working on the budget, MCAA’s Executive Committee: reviewed the status of the association’s Reserve Fund; agreed to proceed this spring with needed renovations and improvements to the MCAA National Office; reviewed several additional cost savings measures that have been taken at MCAA in the areas of printing, shipping and mailing and health care coverage; discussed the status of MCAA’s current Business Services and explored several potential new programs; approved distribution to the Board and membership of revisions to MCAA’s bylaws; reviewed MCAA’s policies governing travel expense reimbursement for members participating in association activities; discussed several issues involving local affiliated associations in the areas of territorial jurisdiction, name identification and appropriate methods to best achieve membership growth; finalized 1999 national committee appointments; reviewed the programs for the 1999 MCAA Midyear and MSCA Education Conferences; discussed the recommendation of the Government Affairs Committee that MCAA reestablish a Political Action Committee; and agreed to enhance MCAA’s services and programs for plumbing contractors in light of the very high level of interest in MCAA being exhibited by union plumbing firms around the country.

ARCHITECTS, ENGINEERS & DESIGNERS TO LEARN ABOUT MCF's QUALITY PIPING MANUAL – The Mechanical Contracting Foundation's widely-used Guideline for Quality Piping Installation will be presented to architects, engineers and contractors on January 28 at a Quality Piping Seminar sponsored by CAUSE, consisting of Mechanical Contractors D.C. Association, Plumbers Local 5 and Steamfitters Local 602. The seminar will discuss how the manual can be used in achieving industry standards for quality piping in facilities and will emphasize how design consultants, engineers and installing contractors benefit from having the mechanical industry's recognized standards in one place.

1999 DUES REPORTING FORMS TO BE MAILED NEXT MONTH The 1999 MCAA/MSCA dues reporting forms will be in the mail to members during February 1999.

DAVIS-BACON ACTImproved wage and fringe benefit data verification methods used, but further reform needed --The General Accounting Office found that the Department of Labor's initiatives to improve data collection for determining prevailing wages are steps in the right direction, but that additional improvements are needed. According to a report issued January 14, the DOL's wage and fringe benefit verification methods have made prevailing wage determinations more accurate. Successful methods include telephone calls to contractors and third parties to verify written data, and obtaining payroll documents from contractors through the mail. The GAO found that both methods did not significantly add to the amount of time required to verify wage and fringe benefit information, and that corrected information could be used to more accurately determine prevailing wages. The GAO did find that one DOL data verification method--on-site audits of payroll records--did not produce more accurate prevailing wage determinations. Problems with on-site audits include the time and expense of traveling, the inability to quickly obtain wage and fringe benefit data, and the verification of information from employers whose total workforce is too small to markedly change incorrect prevailing wage determinations.

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