Monthly Archives: March 2019

New York Must Put the Brakes on Prevailing Wage Legislation

With the shock of Amazon’s decision to abandon its plan for opening a second headquarters in New York still fresh, New York State now is facing another decision with the potential to be even more damaging to the State’s increasingly fragile economy. It’s called Prevailing Wage legislation and it is a construction project killer. Both the Assembly and the Senate have included Prevailing Wage language in the new State Budget scheduled for adoption by April 1. If passed, this legislation, that is strongly backed by the construction labor unions, would … Read More

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Labor Suggests What It Can Live With In Prevailing Wage Expansion

Labor Suggests What It Can Live With In Prevailing Wage Expansion Two labor groups on Tuesday outlined a potential compromise in a statement that suggests a potential framework for a deal on expanding prevailing wage provisions. “This issue needs to be included in this year’s state budget so that taxpayers can be confident we are creating middle class jobs for New Yorkers when public funds are used,” said AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento and NYS Building & Construction Trades Council President James Cahill. “To expedite that process, we support discussions to … Read More

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Labor To Rally For Prevailing Wage Expansion

Labor To Rally For Prevailing Wage Expansion From the Morning Memo: Labor unions on Wednesday at the Capitol will hold a day-long rally pushing for the expansion of prevailing wage provisions in the state budget. “The clock is ticking,” said Patrick Purcell, the executive director of the GNY & NYS Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust. “How much longer will construction workers have to wait for wage justice? This isn’t about union or non-union workers, it’s about setting a strong wage standard that benefits all construction workers and levels the playing … Read More

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Cuomo says prevailing wage expansion should exempt affordable housing

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today a potential prevailing wage expansion should exempt affordable housing developments, though he didn’t specify the particular carve-out he would prefer. “I would exempt the affordable housing projects, because you can make a case that it increases the cost of construction,” Cuomo said on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show. State lawmakers are considering applying prevailing wage requirements to a greater portion of publicly-subsidized projects by broadening the definition of “public works,” which require paying higher wages. Construction unions have pushed for an expansion, but opponents say … Read More

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Times Union – Lawmaker calls question about prevailing wage calculation a ‘deflection’

Lawmaker calls question about prevailing wage calculation a ‘deflection’ Assemblyman Harry Bronson doesn’t want questions about how the state calculates prevailing wage to interfere with legislative efforts to expand the use of prevailing wage in New York. Following a press conference in the Capitol on Monday to push for a broader definition of “public work” in state law, the Rochester Democrat said, “If you want to have a conversation on how we determine prevailing wage at another time, I’m more than happy to have that conversation.” The proposed language change, … Read More

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Newsday Editorial – Don’t rush a new New York law to require a prevailing wage

Talk about unintended consequences. On the surface, it might seem like a great idea for the next state budget to require all construction projects that receive state money or incentives to pay workers prevailing wage — essentially the hourly pay received by local union workers. But neither a proposal to do so nor the effort to cram it into the state budget is a great idea. While the legislation could make union labor more competitive with nonunion shops that offer lower wages, it also could increase business, construction and housing … Read More

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NY Post Editorial – Naked politics is driving Albany Democrats

Democrats, now in full control of state government, revealed their top priority this week: rank politics — consequences be damned. That’s clear from two proposals in the Legislature’s one-house budget bills: one to extend “prevailing wage” laws to private construction projects that get public incentives; the other to create a “pied-à-terre” tax in the city. Both spell trouble. Prevailing-wage laws (which force builders to pay union rates on public projects) fuel building costs — by as much as 23 percent in the city, the Independent Budget Office found. Applying the … Read More

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Times Union: Green energy groups raise red flag over wage proposal

A state proposal to increase the breadth of state-supported projects that pay higher, union-level wages could throw shade on the state’s solar power industry even as the state wants it to grow faster, advocates are warning. Last week, three solar and alternative energy lobbying groups wrote to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the state Senate and Assembly about a proposal as part of the 2019-20 budget to have more businesses in state-supported projects pay their workers a so-called “prevailing wage.” Set on a county-by-county basis, prevailing wages mandate minimum … Read More

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Spectrum News: NAACP Opposes Prevailing Wage Expansion

The NAACP New York State Conference will announce Tuesday its opposition to legislation that would expand prevailing wage provisions to private construction projects that receive some public funding in the state. The group is worried the bill would negatively effect the hiring of minority workers as well as minority and women-owned businesses. “Advancing this legislation would undermine the State Legislature’s progressive agenda by taking good jobs and opportunities away from workers of color and MWBEs in New York’s construction industry,” said Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, president of the NAACP New … Read More

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Daily News – OPINION Say yes to more prevailing wage: Requiring higher pay for laborers in all public works is good for New York’s middle class

Over a century ago, New York State established its first prevailing wage law. It was based on the common-sense principle that workers who build something for the public good be paid a fair wage for their work. It’s a deal that’s paid off for New York and for countless families who’ve been lifted into the middle class through hard work and sweat equity. Prevailing wage laws require construction workers who do major jobs for state or local government to be paid at rates that are set through negotiations between businesses … Read More

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