N.B. Coutts LOCAL 955 Scholarship

Scholarship Value: $5,000
Awards Available: 2
Award Deadline: Aug 23, 2024

Budd Coutts was nine years old when he operated a bulldozer on a highway job in Peace River country in Northern Alberta. Of course, his father was the superintendent on that job and Budd admits that maybe you could not call it “operating,” but, well, he handled the machine. “In fact,” Budd says, my father once let me operate a bulldozer and I drove it into a swamp!” For many years, Budd’s father was a construction worker and supervisor in the Peace River country.

Later, the family moved to Edmonton, when his father went to work for a contractor in a town near that city. Between the ages of fourteen and sixteen, Budd worked for his father during summer vacations. He left school when he was sixteen years old and hired out to operate equipment for various municipalities and small contractors.

Budd Coutts went to work for a firm called New West Construction and took one of their machines into the Northern part of British Columbia. Before he left, his father told him that, if he got the chance, he should join Local 115 of the International Union of Operating Engineers. “No matter what the circumstances,” the elder Coutts said, “you should join the union.”

Budd joined the union twice. When an “organizer” showed up on the job, Budd and several other operators turned over to him their $65.00 initiation fees. The organizer told them that their membership cards would be mailed to them. Three months later, when the membership card still had not arrived, Budd went to the union office in Dawson Creek and asked why he had not received his card. The business agent said that he had never heard of Budd or any of the operators who had signed up with him; he and his cosigners had been the victims of a fraud. The legitimate union representative accepted an additional $65.00, and Budd Coutts became a member of the Operating Engineers. He continued to operate equipment until he became a Business Agent and later, the Business Manager of Local 955. Budd then continued to serve the Union as the General Secretary-Treasurer of the IUOE.

Today, OE Local 955 extends a student scholarship award in honour of Budd Coutts’ commitment to work, fellow operators and the Union. Excerpt from the book; Union Resilience in Troubled Times: The Story of the Operating Engineers, AFL-CIO 1960-1993 by Garth L. Mangum and John Walsh 1994

Scholarships may be awarded to students who are members or dependents of a member in good standing with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local Union No. 955.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The total amount of each Scholarship is $5,000.00 to be paid over 2 consecutive years of academic study, in increments of $2500.00 per year. Recipients will receive $2,500.00 in the first year and $2,500.00 in the second consecutive year while attending a full-time program at an accredited post-secondary institution,
  • To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must provide IUOE Local 955 with: the N.B. Coutts Scholarship Application form, official transcripts of the most recent year of study including proof of satisfactory academic standing (High School Grades or GPA Score), confirmation of enrollment and course load list for the subsequent year of studies.
  • The minimum course load must be 80% of a “full course” load as defined by the institution and indicated on the course load transcript or confirmation of enrollment.
  • High School Applicants:
  • High School Transcript is required (Core Subjects are English, Math, Social Studies and 1 Science)
    • Post-Secondary Transcripts including Course Load information
    • Second Installment Requirements: Applicants will need to resubmit the N.B. Coutts Scholarship Application form, confirmation of enrollment transcripts, previous year’s marks, and upcoming course load

*** 2023 Application Deadline is August 23rd, 2024 ***

Applications must be received by the Trustees no later than August 23rd, 2024, and must be supported by **official transcripts, and evidence of enrollment for the upcoming academic year. Proof of enrollment or attendance will be required before payment is awarded.

PLEASE NOTE: Acceptance letters and statements of accounts ARE NOT proof of enrollment. Faxed or emailed copies are not considered original or official documents. Any missing documentation or any portion of the application that is not complete will NOT be considered. Results will be communicated to applicants at the end of September, each year.

Applicants who have been previously awarded the NB Coutts Scholarship are NOT eligible for additional installments, regardless of the change in academic studies.

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