Prevailing Rate on Public Works is the Law

March 16, 2018

President's Message

Prevailing Rate on Public Works is the Law

Over the years, constant ideological attacks on prevailing rate by well-funded corporate interests have resulted in legal, regulatory and legislative changes that have eroded the intent of the state’s constitutional requirement of prevailing rate.

Attempts to exempt projects that include private investment in publicly owned and/or financed facilities and a myriad of other distractions designed to deflect prevailing rate requirements have been worked into the process often creating confusion and frustration for workers and employers alike.

We need to restore the spirit and intent of the New York State Constitution and ensure that all projects receiving taxpayer resources are defined as “public works,” thus restoring the law to its original meaning and purpose.

Prevailing rate, bona fide apprenticeship programs and the labor standards that come with public works projects ensure that the most qualified workers with the most experience are on the job. This means safety protocols are followed, resulting in fewer injuries and lower costs. It means the job is done right the first time avoiding costly delays from faulty or shoddy workmanship that comes from lesser qualified workers.

Prevailing rate is adjusted regionally resulting in better jobs based on local economic standards and helps to stimulate local economies. This also means local contractors are more likely to bid on projects creating more jobs here in New York rather than for out-of-state contractors from right-to-work states that have little or no labor standards. Prevailing rate ensures we are not in a race to the bottom in terms of wages, but instead we are raising wages while ensuring high quality standards.

Mario Cilento, President

Call To Action

Monday, March 19, 2018, 1:00 p.m.
100 South Swan Street, Albany, NY
Senator Marisol Alcantara, Chair of the Labor Committee will address the lobbyists.

Issue of the Week

Oppose Retail Healthcare Clinics
Part G of S7507/A9507 Health and Mental Hygiene  

This proposal would authorize for-profit corporations, among others, to own and operate health clinics in commercial establishments. These retail clinics would not be directly overseen by the Department of Health. The clinics would be authorized to provide treatment for minor acute episodic illnesses and conditions, minor trauma, provide episodic wellness services and administer opioids and immunizations.

Permitting corporate for-profit ownership of medical clinics will continue the consolidation of corporations’ control over healthcare. Large corporations already control pharmaceutical drug manufacturing and distribution, medical supply manufacturing, pharmacy benefits management and healthcare insurance. Several conglomerates now own and operate one or more of these types of healthcare businesses. Permitting them to also own clinics will jeopardize the quality of care and further consolidate their power to make decisions based on profit, as opposed to what is best for the patient. Taking decision making power from healthcare providers and giving it to corporate shareholders is bad policy.

Further, this proposal would funnel greater resources to fewer conglomerates and would deprive traditional practices, clinics and hospitals of business. It would also steer more of the healthcare work toward the low-wage retail sector and away from employers that traditionally pay higher wages and provide benefits.

Moreover, the concentration of ownership and control in the healthcare system that this proposal would foster would certainly raise antitrust issues.

Therefore, this Federation urges this proposal be rejected and removed from the budget.

For further information contact Mike Neidl at 518-436-8516 or by email [email protected]