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 field for in-state, responsible contractors. Delaying this measure until after the budget will be akin to denying a raise for thousands of workers.”
The measure would apply the prevailing wage to all projects that receive any public financing, including privately-backed construction efforts.
A potential compromise for the legislation could include carves out for affordable housing projects as well as empowering the Department of Labor to have input on how to apply the prevailing wage.
The proposal has raised alarms with business-backed groups.
“As leaders in Albany consider expanding the state’s prevailing wage mandate, significant issues have been raised from a broad spectrum of voices including small businesses, construction leaders, housing advocates, nonprofits, and community organizations,” Michael Kracker, Unshackle Upstate executive director and Greg Biryla, NFIB New York State Director.
“On behalf of the employers and taxpayers we represent, NFIB in New York and Unshackle Upstate are urging leaders in Albany to reject the proposed expansion of New York’s prevailing wage mandate until after the passage of this year’s budget.