“The new Bronson prevailing wage bill is another sad attempt by the people we elect to do nothing more than appease the unions at the expense of the taxpayers. Thresholds and tiered incentive targets may seem like a compromise but in reality, are nothing more than a slight of hand meant to distract from the reality that, in the end, the building trades are getting a bailout from the legislature.
The creation of a commission to “study” issues has failed in the past and will fail again. These commissions are merely political bodies put in place to protect the legislature. They take on complicated issues, removing responsibility from lawmakers for the negative impact of the commission’s proposals. This is government at its worst.
The inclusion of apprenticeships in this bill is nothing more than a smoke screen. Looking at only a small segment of the workforce is not inclusive of true diversity in construction. In New York, apprenticeships are closely monitored and controlled by the Department of Labor (DOL) through a complicated application and approval process. The extremely tight ratios enforced by DOL make it incredibly difficult for non-union contractors to not only get a program approved, but to then have enough slots to hire the number of apprentices they require.
Contrary to what supporters say, in the end, this bill will not increase wages for workers. Instead, it will dramatically curtail development in New York resulting in pink slips across the labor force. The ending of this story has already been written. We’ve seen this play out in Ulster County, Yonkers and with SUNY when prevailing wages were required for new construction projects and development in those areas reached a standstill. It’s time for our elected to either walk away from this issue or hold public hearings. It’s not the time to halt economic development and negatively change the course of New York’s future.”