Mt. Kisco Should Reject Project Labor Agreement for Firehouse Project

From The Examiner News

The critical project to build renovations and additions to the Green Street Firehouse will provide hundreds of construction jobs to the region.

That’s the good news.

The bad news? The Village of Mount Kisco Board of Trustees is making this taxpayer-funded project significantly more expensive by mandating a Project Labor Agreement (PLA).

A PLA is a requirement that contractors hire workers through union halls and follow old-fashioned construction work rules negotiated between government bureaucrats and union bosses. PLAs discriminate against local taxpaying construction workers and increase the total cost of construction. By signing onto a PLA, the Village of Mount Kisco’s Board of Trustees are throwing away your hard-earned tax dollars.

There are a number of reasons why PLAs waste money. A typical PLA forces a contractor to hire 3 out of every 4 workers from the union hall. Imagine if you owned a company and were told that in order to get a job, you would have to tell 3 out of every 4 of your employees that they couldn’t work on it. Not only would you not do it because of your loyalty to your employees, you also wouldn’t do it because you have no experience working with these new employees that you’ve been forced to employ.

There is an additional underlying reason that PLA’s cost more: jurisdictional work rules. Unions collectively bargain work rules with contractors. So, masons can only do mason work. Carpenters can only do carpentry. Electricians can only do electrical work.  The result is a very slow progressing construction job which leads to cost overruns and more money out of your pockets.

If you have a worker that can do masonry, carpentry and drywall, and do them really well, why shouldn’t you be able to use those skills across the project? It only makes sense that you would.  But under a PLA, that worker can only employ one of those three skills.

As a result, the diminished competition ensures that PLA projects cost up to 30% more than necessary. This is why the Kingston School District decided against attaching a Project Labor Agreement to their $137.5 million-dollar renovation plan, adhering to a study that concluded there was a, “likelihood of higher bids to cover the benefits for union workers, legal administrative costs and other fees.”

Taxpayers deserve to have their hard-earned tax-dollars spent wisely and efficiently. The best way to avoid waste is to simply release the project documents and allow everyone to bid, letting the best contractor, union or non-union, win.

Tanner Schmidt

Government Affairs

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Union Requirement Inflates Cost of State Fair Bridge

By |May 23rd, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide|

A shortage of bids on the New York State Fairgrounds pedestrian bridge project will leave New Yorkers paying more, but getting less. When plans for the project were released with an accompanying project labor agreement (PLA), the playing field narrowed from 20 companies interested in the project to just two submitting bids, with the lowest bid coming in well in excess of $1 million over engineering estimates. Why the drastic decrease in competition and increase in costs? The answer can be found in three simple letters: PLA.

Another Voice: Benefits Add Hidden Costs to Prevailing Wage Projects

By |May 22nd, 2019|Categories: Statewide, Uncategorized|

Let’s not be fooled. Proponents of the expansion of prevailing wage are already doing great damage to taxpayers. They shouldn’t be allowed to ruin what little positive job growth we now have in New York.

Trade War: Find Out How The Tariffs Are Impacting New York Businesses and Consumers

By |May 17th, 2019|Categories: Federal Update, News, Statewide|

“What’s clear is that some contractors will have to deal with cost overruns that they can’t pass on to their customers,” said Brian Sampson, president of the Associated Builders & Contractors of New York. “But in most cases, the increased cost of the tariffs will be passed on to customers resulting in more expensive construction projects or higher costs for capital goods.”

First JCC Trades Training Class Graduates; Honored by Officials

By |May 13th, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide, Uncategorized|

The first class to complete the intensive 10-week, 40-hour construction training course offered by Jefferson Community College was celebrated at a recognition ceremony Friday at the Lewis County JCC Education Center.

Engineer Didn’t Prove That PLAs Save Money

By |April 24th, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide|

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.

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2019-02-11T13:36:57-04:00