COST REVEALED FOR TAKANO & MEDINA CHOOSING THEIR SPECIAL INTEREST FRIENDS OVER OUR KIDS
Dave Everett, Associated Builders and Contractors in Southern California
September 6, 2012
[Publisher's Note: We are pleased to offer an original column from Dave Everett. - Flash]
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Gov. Jerry Brown is running around the state warning voters that if taxes are not increased, there will be crippling cuts to education. But unfortunately, very little attention is paid to the wasteful and unfair mandates that politicians already put on some local schools. It often means we only get four schools for the price of five.
These mandates, called project labor agreements (PLAs), are also the wrong lesson for our kids. While we teach students about fair play and hard work, PLA mandates deprive the 86 percent of America’s construction workforce that chooses not to join a labor organization of the opportunity to work and advance.
Now, two PLA supporters are asking taxpayers to give them a promotion. After passing a costly PLA for their special interest friends, Riverside Community College District Trustees Mark Takano and Jose Medina are asking the voters of Riverside County to elect them to U.S. Congress and the California State Assembly respectively.
As politicians from both sides of the aisle are trying to balance budgets and rein in the special interest giveaways that are bankrupting our state and nation, a new website called www.BuildMoreSchools.com shows the negative impact of PLA mandates on school construction projects.
It also reminds us that Takano and Medina chose their Special Interest friends over our kids here in Riverside County.
Takano and Medina have never managed to explain the public benefit of making taxpayers’ $350 million investment in college improvements buy less. A majority of trustees just ignored those added costs, showing more interest in currying favor with Big Labor than in responsible oversight of public funds.
The labor pact essentially requires all contractors to pay union fees and benefits, which are usually the highest around. Those provisions erase any competitive advantage held by nonunion builders — the bulk of the state’s construction work force. So the agreement slashes the amount of money available for new buildings and renovations at district campuses, while simultaneously driving up construction costs.
The negative impact of project labor agreement (PLA) mandates can be felt most severely when they are applied to local projects–particularly school construction projects.
While local governments are watching the tax revenue they need to invest in public education dry up, PLA mandates are unnecessarily increasing construction costs for schools by as much as 18 percent. The effect is that local taxpayers are deprived of the value they deserve on public construction.
In addition, PLA’s make it nearly impossible for the 86 percent of the construction workforce that chooses not to join a union to compete effectively for projects that are funded by their own tax dollars, in their own community.
Taxpayers deserve the most for their money. Learn more about the negative impact of PLA mandates on school construction projects and when it comes time to vote in CD41 and AD61, ask yourself a few basic questions.
So how much of our much-needed education budget was wasted on this special interest deal for Big Labor? And how much did those same special interests give to Mark Takano’s run for Congress? Or to Jose Medina’s run for Assembly? It is all public information that the Associated Builders and Contractors plan to shine a light on in the next few weeks - but one thing is clear already.
Our children can’t afford Mark Takano in Washington DC. And our children can’t afford Jose Medina in Sacramento.
Dave Everett is the Government Affairs Director for the Associated Builders and Contractors in Southern California. Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association with 74 chapters representing more than 22,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms with nearly two million employees. For more information, visit www.abcsocal.org.