West Jefferson Hills School Board Members Who Support a 15% Cost Increase

11 October 7, 2015  Featured, School Construction, State & Local Construction


How PLAs Increase Costs

  • PLA Mandates INCREASE Project Costs – studies show these mandates increase school construction costs between 12 percent and 18 percent compared to similar non-PLA school projects. Can the WJHSD afford to pay roughly 15 percent more for less, or waste money best spent funding other critical programs for our children?
  • PLA Mandates Unfairly REDUCE Competition – these mandates cater to special interests and can cut out local small businesses from projects. They do not consider merit when awarding contracts.

Why did West Jefferson Hills School District officials turn their backs on taxpayers, local businesses and their employees? Ask them today!

To learn more about the cost of government-mandated PLAs on school construction, review five different studies measuring the impact of PLA mandates on school construction projects in MA, CT, NY, NJ and CA here.

Learn more about this PLA controversy via this letter to the WJHSD board here and related blog post here.


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11 Responses to West Jefferson Hills School Board Members Who Support a 15% Cost Increase

Todd October 22, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Wow, just saw these ads via Facebook. What a bunch of clowns. I wonder how many of them received money from the unions? There haven’t been any labor strikes or union problems in this area in years. Sounds like they are just trying to push contracts to their union cronies. Isn’t this project already subject to prevailing wage and can’t unions fairly compete? I’m voting these board members out unless they rescind the requirement. Great letter from the ABC. Way to lookout for taxpayers.

SteelersfanTrish32 October 22, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Why are our school board members limiting competition? They should be encouraging more competition from local contractors and not exclusively catering to union contractors. It seems like nonunion firms could theoretically bid, but the he PLA makes it impossible for them to win so why bother. It is concerning that the union workers threaten to strike but then offer a solution (a PLA) in exchange for a monopoly on the job. Crooked stuff all around.

WJHStaxpayer October 23, 2015 at 12:12 am

Glad to see thar it won’t go to the cronies of borough council members, the same backdoor deals they have been doing for years. How convenient that the old Pleasant hills elementary was sold to the Pleasant Hils Presbyterian church, the same church that most of council belongs to. So a possible tax revenue property was sold for a ridiculous low amount to them. The last couple of remodels to the schools went way over budget…again to cronies. Unions made this country strong, not the old boy network alive in WJHS.

Donna October 23, 2015 at 5:45 am

Thank you for choosing to go with the unions they are trained professional versus someone who can just call themselves a contractor. At least with the union contractors building the new high school I know my children will be in a building that is built by knowledge professionals following all the safety standards.

Joyce George October 23, 2015 at 10:40 am

My son works for a great Company “NOT A UNION” Hes an Electrician So I dont want to hear unions are better!!!!!

Teddy October 23, 2015 at 10:02 pm

Donna, is your home built by union workers under a PLA? How about your library, your grocery store, or even the elementary and middle schools your kids presumably used to attend? I bet it wasn’t built with a PLA and I bet the quality is just fine. Some of these were probably built with union labor, which is great. And some were built with nonunion labor, which is also great. I bet you can’t tell the difference. The point is the government shouldn’t favor one group over the other when they can both provide quality and taxpayer dollars are on the line.

Tim October 25, 2015 at 7:57 pm

Union Yes!!!

Kd October 26, 2015 at 8:13 pm

Most schools are built by union members. Union members are better trained in safety ( for fellow members and the surrounding community ),OSHA procedures and the best trained tradesmen in core work skills, along with new applications coming down the pipeline. Of the local construction accidents that you see reported, 90% are from non-union companies. Safety is a price you must factor in to all construction projecfs. Unions do akesafety a priority. Most over run costs are mostly due to local school boards don’t had the knowledge of what a CM (construction management company) actually does. They aren’t on your side. They make the bunk of their money in FA (force accoung) work. If you don’t know the nature of this business , you shouldn’t make sweeping judgements

Tom Miller October 27, 2015 at 9:10 pm

Maybe we should hire outside teachers instead of union teachers, our taxes would go down ,no doubt. Tired of paying pensions and healthcare for these union teachers and administrators……. what you say school board ? Union or non union ?

YinzerMomma October 27, 2015 at 9:27 pm

The way I understand this, and I could be wrong, is that the board members are forcing nonunion construction workers to join a union if they want to build the school.

The nonunion workers would have to pay union dues and fees every month and get dispatched back to their employer through the appropriate union hiring hall. Then fringe benefits (this is different than the hourly wage) earned while building the school must be paid to union programs by the contractor on behalf of employees building the school.

At the end of the project, workers can drop their union membership, but lose all benefits earned during the project. If they remain union members, they will allegedly go work for other union signatory contractors via the union hiring hall dispatch system, and not their current/former employer, if the employer decides not to unionize its workforce. The worker would be dispatched from union hiring halls to other unionized contractors on a seniority basis (not merit or local hire).

So I can see why nonunion contractors wouldn’t want to bid on a PLA job like this school. Why would they want to lose their employees to their union competitors or put their employees into an unfair false choice of joining a union or losing retirement benefits?

There appear to be a lot of other issues to debate, such as the value of union vs. nonunion workers (which appear to be unsubstantiated generalities or claims) and the added costs and risk of PLA vs. noPLA, but this seems to be the most outrageous and indisputable point of contention.

I am amazed it is legal for lawmakers to basically push these contracts to unionized contractors and workers. It seems awfully discriminatory and could eliminate quality and good local contractors and construction workers.

Meg Mathis September 30, 2018 at 1:47 am

Union electricians make 25% more in wages and benefits. If you really cared about your son and his future you should encourage him to join.

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