As the leading voice in New York for merit and open shop contractors, a community that represents over 75% of the construction workforce, ABC staunchly opposed the expansion of prevailing wage to private work from the moment the proposal was introduced. The measure would have applied prevailing wage to any project receiving taxpayer support, increasing construction costs by upwards of 30%, and rendering many projects too expensive to build. We have consistently pointed out that this deeply flawed proposal will dramatically increase construction costs and result in less construction and fewer jobs.
Recognizing the threat that expanding prevailing wage would have on New York taxpayers and the economy, ABC has long called for reforms to New York state’s methodologies used to determine and establish prevailing wage rates on public works projects. Unions now represent only 24% of the state’s construction workforce, yet New York State still utilizes union collective bargaining agreements.
New Yorkers want their government to jumpstart the economy, fix crumbling infrastructure and do a better job of spending their tax dollars at the same time. ABC has called on state leaders to review and consider its recommendations to reduce the costs imposed by prevailing wage. According to the study, prevailing wage rates in the state are up to twice the market wage. The study recommended many reforms, such as indexing prevailing wage with the use of US Bureau of Labor Statistics mean wages with conventional benefit rate of 25-40%, not the current 70% prevailing wage fringe pack.
This flawed proposal would only further stifle any hopes of attracting new residents, while crippling economic growth in Upstate.
Click here to read Prevailing Waste an Analysis of New York’s Costly Public Works Mandate