The Business Council opposes the Executive Budget proposal mandating Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) in state funded design-build project proposals costing more than $50 million.
- PLAs are already authorized and used on construction projects in New York State. Authorizing agencies have a deliberative process to determine if a PLA should be used. This proposal would bypass the current process and require PLA use. Moving from authorized use of PLAs to mandated use of PLAs is overreach and bad public policy.
- PLAs require that virtually all workers hired on a project be union members. In contrast, approximately 75% of construction workers in New York State are not union members. Mandating PLAs in design-build projects precludes this significant majority of New Yorkers from work on these state-funded projects.
- Since most Minority and Women owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) are not unionized, most would be precluded from participation on design-build projects. Not only does this have a direct impact on these mostly small business, but it also makes achievement of the state’s MWBE contracting targets more difficult.
- No other state mandates PLAs on design-build projects.
- Design-build has been show to optimize cost, quality and efficiency on current state projects. Nationally, the Design-Build Institute of America estimates that on average design-build projects are completed thirty-three percent faster and can save up to six percent on cost. No compelling reason has been cited for taking what has been a successful design-build program in New York State, so far, and saddling it with a PLA requirement.
- The Business Council supports the permanent extension of the use of the design-build method and the expansion of its use to other state agencies and authorities.