Construction Industry Council (NYSCIC)
November 10, 2004 Meeting Minutes
Nick DuBray, The Business Council of NYS
Liz Elvin, AGC
Jack Endryck, BIE of NYS
Diana P. Georgia, Coppola Ryan McHugh Riddel
Jeff Grube, Chesterfield Assoc.
Roger Gutheil, ABC/GMR Associates
Earl N. Hall, Syracuse Bldrs Exchange
Belinda L. Heckler, The Vandervort Group, LLC
Aaron Hilger, Builders Exchange, Inc
Chip Jones, ABC
Kerry Kirwan, The Business Council of NYS
Christopher A. Lindsay, Eastern Contractors Assoc.
Victor Macri, VMJR Companies
Jim McCulley, ABC
Rebecca Meinking, ABC
Tom Minnick, The Business Council of NYS
Michael Misenhimer, Empire State Subcontractors Assoc.
Robert Moses, Bond, Schoeneck & King
John Nerney, ABC
Matthew Pepe, CIC - Westchester
Barbara Rodriguez, AIA New York State, Inc
Brian Sampson, Rochester Business Alliance
Rick Schmalz, BIE of NY
Elliott Shaw, The Business Council of NYS
Donald J. Smith, Urban Engineers
Steve Stallmer, AGC
Thomas V. Walsh, Jackson Lewis LLP
Jeff Zogg, GBC of NYS
- Welcome and Introductions
Jack Endryck, Building Industry Employers of New York State and Chairman of New York State Construction Industry Council, opened the meeting.
Reform / Vote for Jobs
Business Council President/CEO Dan Walsh gave an overview of the The Business Council's updated web page and the new Vote for Jobs Index. This Index allows citizens and businesses the opportunity to evaluate the voting records of individual legislators on issues that affect the health of New York's business climate. Additionally, Mr. Walsh discussed the Knickerbocker Blog, which is a project of The Public Policy Institute of New York State, the research affiliate of The Business Council. The blog is designed to highlight critical issues of concern to Upstate.
Mr. Walsh thanked Mr. Endryck for his outstanding service as Chairman of NYSCIC.
- Workers' Comp Update
Kerry Kirwan of The Business Council gave an update on the rate filing process. The New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board (NYCIRB) had requested an increase of 29.3 percent this spring. That rate was rejected by the Department of Insurance. NYCIRB refiled for a 9.5 percent increase. The Department of Insurance stated that they had some concerns with the methodology that NYCIRB used in filing for the original 29.3 percent increase. The Department of Insurance is specifically looking at Section 32 reserving practices and along with fraud and has asked NYCIRB to do an industry wide call to gather further data. Ms. Kirwan reported that the earliest estimate for a decision by the Department of Insurance is December.
Ms. Kirwan also discussed the lobbying and advocacy efforts by The Business Council on the issue of workers' compensation reform. She stated that over 10,000 faxes were generated by The Council's e-advocacy campaign. She closed her remarks by urging Council members to continue to voice the need for fundamental reform with elected officials.
- 240/241 Issue Update
There has been little news and no change regarding this issue. The committee still supports the same two bills. Those bills are A.7213 (Morelle) and S.1710 (Volker). NYSCIC members were encouraged with the momentum that was built in 2004 and would like to maintain pressure in 2005.
- Legislative Program for 2005
No new changes were noted. The committee was given a copy of the 2004 Legislative Program and asked to review it and send in any requests for change before the next meeting so that everyone can review the desired changes ahead of time. These recommendations for change will be on the agenda for the January meeting.
- Annualization of Prevailing Wage Rates
Rebecca Meinking of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc along with Tom Walsh, Jeff Grube, Roger Gutheil, and Chip Jones, all of ABC lead a discussion concerning annualization. Ms. Meinking stressed that annualization was ABC's number one issue. Mr. Walsh began by illustrating that eventually annualization will affect anyone who performs public works.
The concern is how the DOL is looking at supplements/benefits. On top of the public work hours, the DOL wants to see the private work hours as a part of annualization. Then, they average the amount paid per hour from the public and private hours worked and use that number rather than individually using the prevailing wage. In the end there is always an underpayment of supplements. This discrepancy may end up in court where the average case lasts for five years. On top of the reimbursement for the underpayment, the company will also be assessed 16% interest for each year the problem is not resolved. This problem can quickly add up to seven figures.
In addition, speakers discussed potential for liability. The DOL is retroactively going back to companies and reopening cases using this annualization method. Any contractor doing work in multiple jurisdictions can be judged liable.
ABC has come to NYSCIC to formulate a strategy to resolve this issue and has asked members to participate in a Task Force to lead the efforts. This Task Force has been created and anyone interested in joining should contact Rebecca Meinking at the Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. by phone at (315) 463-7539 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing, Chairman Endryck notified the committee that this would be his last year as chair of NYSCIC. He thanked the committee for their support over the years and applauded their energy throughout his time as chair. Mr. Endryck also made a recommendation that Aaron Hilger of the Builders Exchange, Inc. be his successor. We would like to thank Mr. Endryck for his valued leadership of NYSCIC.