The PLA study, which cost Ogdensburg taxpayers $21,000, purports that with a series of false savings, labor consolidation and “management rights,” the project will save money. Yet no one challenged the study’s creator, Tim Seeler of Seeler Engineering, to positively prove those savings will be achieved. They also never asked him about the negative impact the lack of competition will have on the bidding process. They simply rubber-stamped the study and closed the door on local contractors and their employees.
A PLA is a pre-hire agreement requiring the workforce comes from local union hiring halls. However, unions only account for 21 percent of the construction workforce across New York, with that number being even smaller in the Lake George area. PLAs effectively bar the majority of local contractors and their workers from bidding and winning work that their own tax dollars fund. PLAs do nothing more than eliminate competition for unions, ensuring their contractors win work, and decrease the number of bids on a project, driving taxpayer expenses.
The Chapter provides a recap of the budget passed for the new fiscal year.
The reports are clear. The use of prevailing wage on projects does not improve the quality of the project nor does it make them safer. Instead, it means projects will cost 15-30% more and any financial support will need to be increased to make those projects feasible. We shouldn’t be making New York more expensive.
Joint Statement – ABC and Unshackle Upstate: Assemblyman Bronson Dodges Call for Transparency in Sponsored Prevailing Wage Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2019 Contact: Amanda Bertram (518) 469-1507 At a recent press event, Assemblyman Harry Bronson (D-Rochester) referred to questions about how the State's Department of Labor calculates prevailing wage a "deflection" to his efforts to expand the definition of public work to include private development projects. In response Brian Sampson, [...]
For years, the city of Ogdensburg has struggled to gather funding for improvements to the wastewater treatment plant. Now, with the final financing pieces falling into place, the spendthrift City Council has voted to irresponsibly waste tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to conduct a study to consider using a Project Labor Agreement: a discriminatory, pre-hire agreement with labor organizations requiring that the workforce comes from the local union hiring hall.
When it comes to construction, New York City is no longer just a union town.
Construction contractors in New York continue to struggle to do business, according to 2018 state rankings released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). “Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard” reviews and ranks state-specific information significant to the success of the commercial and industrial construction industry.
A spokeswoman for the Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, along with two north country private contractors, have informed elected officials in Ogdensburg that they do not support using a Project Labor Agreement as part of the municipality’s $35 million wastewater treatment plant project.
Antiquated Study Fails to Produce Actual Savings for Taxpayers