Schenectady resident David Prusky, a union worker and Marine veteran, expressed his support for the proposed Project Labor Agreement at the Tuesday, Feb. 14, meeting.
Photo by John Purcell.
SCHENECTADY COUNTY Construction agreements for the new Glendale Nursing Home are in place, but adjacent open space won’t officially be granted parkland status until the building is completed.
The Schenectady County Legislature on Tuesday, Feb. 14, approved the inclusion of a Project Labor Agreement into bid documents for the construction of the new $50 million Glendale Home. Minority Leader James Buhrmaster cast the sole dissenting vote while Democrats all voted for the addition. Four legislators were absent from the meeting: Democrats Michael Petta, Jeffrey McDonald, Brian Gordon and Conservative Holly Vellano.
“The construction of the new Glendale Home will provide an improved facility for our most vulnerable and there will be a $50 million investment in our local economy,” said Legislator Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam. “The project will create local jobs and teach important skills to apprentice workers.”
The agreement would require all project bidders to hire 80 percent of workers through the union hiring hall. Contractors are allowed to use up to 20 percent of their own workers. A non-union construction firm can bid on the project, as long as the 80 percent hiring rule is followed.
“The dollars from this project will stay in the local communities,” Legislature Majority Leader Gary Hughes, D-Schenectady, said.
County Attorney Christopher Gardner described a PLA as a pre-bid contract between the construction project owner and the local building and construction trades council, which establishes the unions as the collective bargaining representative for all project workers. All parties involved in the construction project must adhere to the PLA, which supersedes all existing labor contracts.
County officials estimated the PLA would yield $737,800 in savings. An increased use of apprentices by 25 percent was estimated to save $400,000. Also, savings would come from reducing the number of holidays, the use of an Alternative Dispute Resolution for worker’s compensation and specifying the entire project as a building project.