Braintree has announced it will rebid the South Middle School Project without a project labor agreement after a Norfolk Superior Court Judge granted a preliminary injunction sought by ABC to stop the bidding process that had begun using a PLA. Judge Paul D. Wilson granted the injunction after finding that the town did not meet specific requirements under which a PLA can be used.
PLAs require all jobsite labor on a project to come from unions, even though more than 83% of Massachusetts construction workers choose not to join a union.
Now all qualified bidders will have the opportunity to participate in the project and the town will get a larger pool of qualified bidders, and better prices.
Following the ruling, the town posted the following message on Braintreema.gov:
Earlier this week the Town of Braintree was required to re-open the South Middle School Project for bids without the inclusion of a Project Labor Agreement (“PLA”).
In 2020, the Town, with the unanimous support of the School Building Committee, decided to use a PLA on the South Middle School Project. A PLA is a pre-hire agreement that establishes the terms and conditions of employment on a construction project. On this project it would have, among other things, utilized local union hiring halls to hire workers, prevented delays in construction due to work stoppages provided a more diverse work force; however, in response to a lawsuit filed by four non-union contractors and two associations of contractors, the Court has issued an order requiring the Town to rebid the project without the PLA.
“While I respect the decision of the Court, I continue to support the Quincy and South Shore Building Trades Council and recognize the excellent work performed by their members,” said Mayor Charles C. Kokoros. The Town has begun the process to rebid the project and the delays caused by the Court’s ruling will not impact the originally scheduled opening date. “I remain committed to ensuring that construction of the new South Middle School is completed in time for our fifth through eighth graders to begin the 2023 school year at this state-of-the-art educational facility,” said Mayor Kokoros.
Working with the Project Manager, School Department and School Committee Chair, the Town has reset the construction procurement process to begin immediately and comply with the Court’s ruling.
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