The Buffalo News: Another Voice: Revision To Apprenticeship Law Hurts Taxpayers

From The Buffalo News:

In late April, the Erie County Legislature, in a vote along party lines, passed Local Law 4-1 to close what they deemed to be a “loophole” in their apprenticeship law. Unfortunately, for the residents in Erie County, the ill-informed and misguided members of the Democratic majority chose to dramatically increase the cost of public construction at a time when financial resources for infrastructure are scarce.

The “loophole” was that contractors are not graduating enough apprentices. They felt 30 percent graduation should be the new standard. Our question: 30 percent of what? Is that 30 percent of your current workforce, or your currently enrolled apprentices, or maybe 30 percent of every apprentice you’ve register with the Department of Labor? That remains unclear.

Buried in the bill was a poison pill, the real reason for the change. Local Law 4-1 now mandates that contractors can only bid projects in the “type & scope of work” of their apprenticeship program. A change that has nothing to do with graduation rates. That change will dramatically alter what both union and nonunion contractors can bid and win. And it will hurt taxpayers.

Read the entire article: The Buffalo News

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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.

Marijuana Decriminalization to Pass, Wage Mandate Stalls

By |June 20th, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide, Uncategorized|

On Thursday, Cuomo declared a bill expanding a "prevailing wage" requirement that would apply to larger construction projects likely dead. The law would have expanded the definition of "public works" in New York to include projects receiving more than 30 percent of their funding from the government – making those projects eligible for the wage requirement. Powerful building trades unions, who are among Cuomo's most significant political supporters, had pushed the mandate this session.

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2018-09-21T16:13:19-04:00