The President's Column
by Steve Weitekamp
"What's up?" Like a lot of us, I'm frequently guilty of using this as a salutation when making a call as well as replying with some generic reply like "the usual." The reality is that if we take inventory of our daily activities, we realize that there is probably a lot going on, not that the caller necessarily wants to know. At CMSA, the current list includes, but isn't limited to: CARB; CPUC (supporting members, reporting illegals and working to improve the landscape for permitted carriers); conversations with members related to regulatory and operational questions; helping consumers make educated choices when selecting a mover; event planning at the chapter, board and association level; Association business; and a lot more!
The never-ending saga of CARB and its diesel engine regulations is an issue that continues to be near the top of the list when it comes to daily activities. Lobbying, educating and just listening to members regarding these challenging regulations remains a part of most days. The CARB board and staff stick to the party line that all is well and the program is saving lives while failing to consider the negative impact on California business or even simplifying implementation. I'll never forget participating in a hearing several years ago when a CARB board member who was a cardiologist dared to entertain a thought different than the CARB chair and her majority, stating that there was some debate about the impact of PM2.5 on mortality but there was no debate on the impact of poverty on mortality. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, he no longer serves on the board.
CARB's latest legislative effort SB 1204 California Clean Truck, Bus, and Off-Road Vehicle and Equipment Technology Program supports their most recent goal of near-zero or zero emission standards for trucks by 2050. This latest challenge and our efforts related to opposition were mentioned in the cover article of last month’s Communicator.
The Employment Development Department (EDD) independent contractor audits triggered by former contractors erroneously filing a claim for unemployment or worker's compensation continue to be problematic for members who contract with independent contractors. The perception of many is that this is more of a fundraising activity for the state than an effort to protect a potentially misclassified worker.
As we enter the hottest months of the year, we must remain proactive regarding heat-related health issues. Make sure that those working outside assignments have plenty of water and are aware of the signs of heat-related illness to protect themselves and their coworkers. Proposed OSHA regulations may require more regulated shade and cooling periods (breaks) for those working in outside job sites. It goes without saying that common sense, not more regulation, is what is needed. We should do everything in our power to protect and support our valued service providers.
August 2014 - CMSA