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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Ogdensburg City Council Votes to Award Wastewater Treatment Plant Contract, Lawsuit Considered by Contractors’ Group

By |September 11th, 2019|Categories: Albany, News|

OGDENSBURG — City Council unanimously voted to award a construction contract to Jett Industries of Colliersville for the $35.9 million wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project, but also caught an earful from two separate parties skeptical about the process, Monday night.

Ogdensburg City Council Awards WWTP Project Bid, Despite Complaints From Non-Union Labor Representative

By |September 10th, 2019|Categories: Albany, News|

Ogdensburg City Council took a tongue lashing after accepting a $35.9 million wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project bid from Jett Industries. Amanda Bertram, vice president of public affairs for the Associated Builders and Contractors, called the award shameful and told city councilors they should have heeded her warnings about entering into a project labor agreement just to please Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Editorial — Too Hot to Handle: Labor Pact Didn’t Save Ogdensburg Any Money on Project Bids

By |August 29th, 2019|Categories: Albany, News|

“It’s not shocking, this is a pattern that we have seen with public works projects across New York state that are bid with project labor agreements,” Amanda Bertram, vice president of public affairs for the Associated Builders and Contractors/Empire State, said in a story published Saturday by the Times. “Across the board, they all come in millions of dollars over engineering estimates. This is a trend.” Associated Builders and Contractors is a national trade organization representing those in the construction industry who don’t belong to unions. Ms. Bertram met with City Council members in November to discuss the disadvantages of using PLAs.

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2019-02-11T13:36:57-05:00