ALBANY – A Project Labor Agreement (PLA) has been reached between the State Thruway Authority and 14 labor organizations, a critical step forward in the Tappan Zee Bridge project and saving taxpayers an estimated $452 million.
"Replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge represents one of the largest public infrastructure project in the nation, and the agreement reached today will allow thousands of New York's working men and women to secure good jobs building a new, safer bridge," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "This agreement will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, while putting in place important protections for our workers. For too long we have talked about replacing the Tappan Zee, and we cannot wait any longer. Now is the time for action."
Key provisions contained in the PLA include:
· A standardized 40 hour straight time work week for all trades and the flexibility to schedule four 10 hour work days to optimize construction for a combined estimated savings of $122,956,095 million;
· A higher ratio of apprentices to journeypersons than typically allowed in collective bargaining agreements, saving an estimated $59 million;
· Giving workers that arrive one hour prior to their shift $25 a day rather than an hour of overtime, saving an estimated $59 million;
· Standardized holidays that eliminates overtime for service trades saves an approximate $2.6 million.
The PLA also creates employment opportunities for union members across the Hudson Valley and New York Metropolitan Region, assures payment of fringe benefits, and acts as a mechanism to settle jurisdictional disputes through an organized grievance process. A stipulation of the agreement states that lock-out or other work disruptions, including renegotiations of area Collective Bargaining Agreements, is not permitted.
Chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority Howard P. Milstein said, "This agreement is good for taxpayers, good for workers, and good for the project. Significant savings will be realized and thousands of trade jobs will be secured because of this milestone agreement. It ensures that we will have reliable, local labor for the duration of the construction project."
Ross Pepe, President of Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valley, Inc., said, "The Project Labor Agreement is vital for a complex and large project like replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge. The PLA provides for continuity of the workforce, cost efficiencies, flexibility and productivities saving millions of dollars while at the same time assuring local workers the opportunity to participate in public works."