April 17, 2017

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Union Contract Wage & Benefit Increases May 1st
Some of the Union Contract Wage & Benefit Increases, effective May 1st are now available. We have received information from the Laborers, Cement Masons and Teamsters. The Carpenters will have their information to us soon, and OCA is currently in negotiations with the Operating Engineers to determine what their wage and benefit package will be. Once all the rates are available, OCA will publish the May 1st 2017 Labor Bulletin and post it on the Website. In the interim, here are the new wage and benefit increases that we do have at this time:

LABORERS:
H&W - +$.20
Pension - +$.20
Wage - +$.60
Total - +$1.00

CEMENT MASONS:
H&W - +$.21
Annuity - +$.15
Wage - +$.64
Total - +$1.00

TEAMSTERS STATEWIDE:
H&W - +$.19
Pension/401-K - +$.30
Wage - +$.51
Total - +$1.00

TEAMSTERS LOCAL 436 CLEVELAND:
H&W - +$.45
Wage - +$.55
Total - +$1.00

If you have any questions about the May 1st union wage and benefit increases, please contact Mark Potnick in the OCA office.


Join Us In Washington, D.C. For The Congressional Fly-In This May
2017 could be the year of infrastructure in Washington, D.C. President Trump highlighted rebuilding infrastructure during his campaign, again on election night and as part of his inauguration address. As we await details about the Trump Infrastructure Initiative, one thing is clear, the construction industry's involvement into its development and enactment by Congress is vitally important to its success. While the five-year "Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act," or FAST Act, provided sufficient revenue to support the funding levels authorized in the legislation through FY 2020, additional revenue will be needed to support a growing program into the future. It is important that the Administration and Congress receive the message that any infrastructure proposal must address the long term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. The 16th Annual Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Legislative Fly-In, scheduled for May 17-18, 2017 is well-timed to provide an opportunity for that input. OCA staff and members will be attending, and we urge you to join us.

At the TCC legislative briefing you will receive information about what policy and funding proposals are being considered. You will hear from key policy makers from Capitol Hill and the Administration and receive educational briefing materials on key industry priorities for your use in meeting with your congressional delegation. The Fly-In's reception will also provide you an opportunity to network with your industry peers and members of Congress and their staff. The transportation construction industry cannot afford to miss this opportunity to help shape the future of our Nation's infrastructure investment.

Join hundreds of other industry leaders in delivering our message to Capitol Hill May 17-18 in Washington DC. This year's meeting will once again be held again at the Hyatt Regency Washington at 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Make your reservations directly with the Hyatt Regency by calling 1-888-421-1442 or 1-202-737-1234. The room rate is $329 per night and the registration cut-off date is April 17. If you have any questions about attending, please contact Angela Van Fossen, OCA’s Director of Legislative Affairs, at
Angela@OhioContractors.org.


Selecting Project Delivery Methods & Bidding Public Construction Contracts
With Ohio Contractors Association as co-sponsor, Bricker & Eckler presents its 9th annual “Selecting Project Delivery Methods & Bidding Public Construction Contracts.” This full-day workshop, specifically designed for Ohio public owners, covers the project delivery methods available for public construction projects and when competitive bidding is required for these projects. The morning session is a traditional presentation, featuring instruction from several Bricker & Eckler attorneys whose practices focus on construction and bidding. In the afternoon, attendees will work through fact patterns together and will interactively explore alternative delivery methods and review bidding issues, while receiving feedback from fellow participants and the presenters.
Register Now!


Final Acceptance of ODOT Projects
Click here tofind ODOT's Final Acceptance of Projects.


Commentary From CareWorks Medical Director Dr. Chrisanne Gordon, MD
“Healing is a matter of time, but it is also a matter of opportunity”
Hippocrates

Today’s 21st century medicine is really amazing, with newer diagnostic techniques and more extensive surgical procedures than ever before. We view joints with conventional X-rays, MRI’s and Arthrograms, searching hard to find out just what we can fix surgically. Yet, as our recent orthopedic and rehabilitation protocols reveal, when it comes to shoulder surgery in “the middle ages,” (55+) we would do better reverting to the medicine of the pre-tech era and allowing the body the opportunity to heal on its own. In other words, research has revealed that extensive shoulder surgery for torn rotator cuffs in women and even men in this older workforce are generally not any better than rehabilitation and time to allow the joint to heal.

This decision is made on a number of observations.

• First, post-menopausal women are most prone to a condition referred to as “adhesive capsulitis,” or “frozen shoulder,” which occurs more frequently after rotator cuff repairs in the aging population. Indeed, about 80% of all cases of frozen shoulder occur in this age group. Whether it is a function of lower estrogen levels or age, the truth is that the older shoulder does not heal as well as a younger shoulder, and even those surgeries may require six months for healing and safe return-to-work.

• Second, many middle aged workers have chronic torn rotator cuffs, which means that they have adjusted to the tear long ago. If the muscle is atrophied, i.e., shriveled or shrunken with or without fat infiltration, the likelihood of a successful reattachment with full recovery is slim. Since many rotator cuff tears occur with previous degenerative changes, there are really no exercises to prevent such injuries. However, if positions requiring push/pull of carts or articles of weight, or require lifting over the shoulder, these positions may be better filled by younger workforce, if possible, or use assistive devices to decrease the load on the rotator cuff.

• Third, so many of these torn rotator cuffs of the aging workforce are accompanied by degenerative changes either in the clavicle (collarbone) or the labrum (joint socket) which may be due to the aging process alone, and actually have no bearing on the mechanism of injury. To debride or attempt to cut out the arthritic process may actually add to the morbidity of the injured worker and results of long term benefits are not currently recognized. Indeed, in a recent article published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery November 2015, outcomes at six months were the same for the group who had undergone surgery as for the group treated conservatively with therapy and anti-inflammatory medications, including an occasional joint injection with a steroid.

The rehabilitation of shoulder injuries is an arduous process. Since conservative treatment in the aging worker is recommended, having light duty available during this process is key. Remember that it may be several months to rehab a shoulder back to the original state of function at the time of injury. Exercises to increase strength and range of motion of the injured shoulder are often painful and tedious, requiring outpatient rehabilitation for several weeks or a rigorous routine at home. Due to the pain associated with shoulder pathology, it is truly up to the patient to tough it out and participate, as in the old adage “no pain, no gain.” Physical therapy three times a week for six to eight weeks is often necessary to produce results.

Of course, the injured worker will be encouraged to continue these exercises at home, between physical therapy visits, and a weaning process can be instituted to transition to a home exercise program. When an injured worker sustains a “pop” in the shoulder, it may be secondary to work load, or it may be secondary to aging. It is important to assess the exact mechanism of the injury since many claims are accepted for aggravation of preexisting arthritis when, in fact, it was not an aggravation caused specifically by the work process but by the aging process. If there are multiple chronic changes it is reasonable to assume that either an additive effect occurred, or that there may be family history or past history of events that contributed to the degeneration. Indeed, shoulder arthritis is common in many of us who have not performed manual labor, as activities of daily living provide much wear and tear on this very mobile joint as well, not to mention sports and avocations.

So, the next time you see requests for extensive shoulder procedures, many of which have just appeared on the medical horizon, be sure the physician discusses all the possibilities for treatment, including the most important one in rehabilitation, “providing the opportunity for healing.”
Respectfully,
Dr. Chrisanne Gordon, MD
CareWorks Medical Director

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