• High Rise Fire Safety
    Is your high-rise building protected with a fire sprinkler system?

    It just might save your life!
  • Sprinkler Fitters & Apprentices
    Local 281 of the Chicagoland Area

Training Center

Proper and uniform training for persons who desire to become skilled journeymen through an orderly method of improving the mechanical skill and technical knowledge of apprentices in this industry.

Read More

High-Rise Safety

Is your High-Rise building protected from potential death and destruction with a fire sprinkler system? Learn about the benefits of these property and life saving systems today!

Read More

Health & Welfare

For active participants, retired participants and families, our site houses answers to frequently asked questions, a library of all the documents you need to manage your employee benefits, and more.

Read More

Members Only

Please log in to access the Members Only sections. If you do not have a UA Card Number please contact the UA Local 281 Union Office and they will provide you with your temporary password.

Read More

RSS News Feed

Top News

CBA Fact Sheet - (6/8/2017)

Local 281 and NFSA Negotiation Fact Sheet


We have heard there is confusion regarding the positions of the parties. This fact sheet is intended to clarify any confusion and answer questions about the specifics of the negotiations:


  • The NFSA will have you believe that the economic package was the primary issue that caused the bargaining impasse between the parties. It was not. This is what the NFSA wants you to believe. It is not true. The NFSA made clear early on in the negotiations that they would not agree to a contract unless Local 281 agreed to remove “inspection and testing” from Local 281’s jurisdiction. They are using the wage package to distract contractors and members from the primary issue that caused the strike – inspection and testing.
  • The purpose of Local 281’s wage proposal was not only to get a fair contract for its members, but also to bring the Local 281 total wage package closer to that of its U.A. brothers at the Plumbers Local 130 and Pipe Fitters’ Local 597.
  • Local 281’s total wage package is currently $3.18 below the Plumbers Local 130 and $4.00 below the Pipe Fitters Local 597.
  • Local 281’s wage proposal calls for approximately $9.00 over three years. While this offer is slightly above the economic package that Local 130 recently agreed to, at the end of the 3 year contract, Local 281 will still be $0.58 behind Local 130.
  • NFSA made only two economic proposals to Local 281.  Instead, the NFSA made clear that they were not interested in negotiating economics unless and until Local 281 agreed to remove inspection and testing from Local 281’s jurisdiction.  On several occasions when Local 281 attempted to discuss the wages, the NFSA refused and moved the discussion back to inspection and testing.

  • The NFSA also chose not to make a Last, Best and Final Offer to Local 281. After Local 281 made its final offer to NFSA, without caucusing or even considering the offer the NFSA rejected it.  At that point both sides agreed that the parties were at impasse and negotiations ceased.


  • Local 281 proposed the right to allocate the annual wage increases amongst the benefit funds and on the check.  The NFSA refused.
  • Local 281 believes that its members should have the right to allocate their hard earned wage increases as they deem fit.  The NFSA insisted that all allocations be agreed to by the NFSA.

Work Jurisdiction

  • Local 281 has a long history of having inspections and testing performed only by members of Local 281. We want to preserve this practice.
  • The contract with the NFSA currently states that all applicable points of the 50 Articles of Jurisdiction of the U.A., as may be amended from time to time, shall be included in Local 281’s jurisdiction.  In 2011, the U.A. added “inspection and testing” to the 50 Articles of Jurisdiction.  The NFSA now wants to carve these out from the Agreement.
  • The NFSA wants the right to be able to assign inspections and testing to non-union personnel.  Local 281 believes this would result in job losses for many of its members.
  • Prior to these negotiations, the NFSA had never sought formal approval from Local 281 to perform inspection and testing using non-union employees.
  • Local 281 only desires to keep the contract as it is currently written, which includes inspection and testing within Local 281’s jurisdiction.

Local 281 will continue to work for a fair and equitable contract for its members and their families.  Please contact Local 281 with any questions regarding the negotiations.

Show All News Headlines

Welcome to Sprinkler Fitters Local 281

At the United Association of Sprinkler Fitters, Local 281, we are responsible for protecting businesses, schools, homes, and, more importantly, precious lives, from the devastation of fire. It is no wonder we take our jobs so seriously.

Too many cut corners by not installing reliable automatic sprinkler systems. In the event of a fire, these shortcuts can lead to immeasurable damage. Statistics show that buildings with proper fire protection systems suffer twenty-four percent less damage and fire loss than unsprinkled properties.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 1983 to 1987, damage from hotel fires was seventy-eight percent less in buildings with sprinkler systems, than those without. The water damage from automatic sprinkler systems is considerably less than from a fire department's hose stream because sprinkler systems require a minimal amount of water to operate. Oftentimes, a fire is brought under control by only three sprinkler heads, sometimes even fewer.

With so much riding on the skills of our Sprinkler Fitters, it is critical that our journeymen receive the best training available. In addition to a rigorous apprenticeship program, many U.A. Sprinkler Fitters choose to expand their skills by voluntarily participating in advanced training programs.  Some even go on to become instructors through the United Association International Instructor Training Program.

The members of Sprinkler Fitters Local 281 are committed to providing quality installation, service and repair to the piping and fixtures used in sprinkler systems.  They know that when human lives are at stake, there is no room for error, and there might not be a second chance to get it done right. That is why the Sprinkler Fitters of Local 281 do the job right, the first time, every time.

Promotional Videos

For more information on High-Rise Fire Safety, please click here.  Below is a Playlist of videos related to Fire Sprinkler Systems.  Click 'Play All' to view all the videos.

The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada, the parent Union of Local #281 in Chicago, has a long and proud history that goes back more than 100 years.
Sprinkler Fitters Local 281 are pipefitting specialists in fire protection. Our members install, repair and maintain all types of fire extinguishing systems. Please browse our new website to learn more about our members, new merchandise, and to receive up-to-date information about our organization.

Included on our website is our contractor list or you can contact us direct at Local 281 for your important fire protection needs!

Our Skills

  • New Installations
  • Retrofits or Maintenance
  • Professional Inspection
  • Testing and Service