The McKeesport Area School District Board of Directors has decided to say NO to a wasteful and discriminatory project labor agreement (PLA) mandate on the construction of an upcoming $62 million consolidated project. This is a huge win for taxpayers and the vast majority of western Pennsylvania construction workers that choose not to join a labor union.
Here is ABC Western Pennsylvania Chapter’s press release announcing the board’s decision:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2010
ABC Applauds McKeesport Area School District for Preserving Competition
McKeesport, PA – The McKeesport Area School District (MASD) board of directors recently rejected a project labor agreement (PLA), which would have discriminated against and prohibited eighty-five percent of the construction industry from bidding on an upcoming $62 million consolidated project. By rejecting this agreement, the MASD will preserve competition and keep markets open — in return, saving taxpayer’s money within the school district. Members of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Western Pennsylvania met with the McKeesport Building and Grounds Committee on May 26, 2010 urging the Committee to vote against a PLA.
“The McKeesport Area School District has taken tremendous steps in not only saving taxpayer money, but also providing educational and work opportunities to aspiring apprentices within the school district,” said ABC member Richard Bosco, of Ryco, Inc. Bosco participates in the school district’s School-to-Work program, through which he hires two graduates each year and pays for their four-year apprenticeship program.
ABC has been the watch-dog of many recent construction projects which have prohibited merit shop companies from bidding projects, particularly at academic institutions which are funded by taxpayer dollars. The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) is currently debating a PLA for all future projects at the school, which would close the market for all upcoming projects. ABC anticipates that the McKeesport ruling will serve as an example to CCAC in their upcoming project. As citizens in Allegheny County, McKeesport residents should carry the momentum from the MASD decision and realize the high-costs attached by the potential CCAC labor agreement.
It is clear that the McKeesport Area School District Board of Directors recognizes the negative impact that a PLA mandate would have on the people of their school district. The board has put the interest of their constituents ahead of those of politically-connected special interest groups.
Perhaps some other officials from this area should pay attention.
This decision means that district residents will get the best construction at the best price for their hard earned tax dollars. Congratulations!