The prequalification phase of the bidding for the construction of the new Braintree South Middle School has begun for the second time, now without the project labor agreement (PLA) that was struck down as a result of a successful legal challenge brought by ABC and open shop allies.
Earlier this month, Norfolk Superior Court Judge Paul D. Wilson granted an injunction against the use of the PLA and ordered the project to be rebid without it. A new round of prequalification is now underway, and bidding documents are scheduled to be released on Nov. 1 and bids are due on Nov. 23 (sub bids) and Dec. 7 (GC bids).
In his decision, Judge Wilson noted that if the town moved quickly it would still be able to open the new school for the 2022-23 school year.
“We are pleased that the Town of Braintree is complying with the judge’s clear ruling that this PLA did not meet the legal standard set our by our state Supreme Court, and now merit shop contractors will be able to fairly participate and the taxpayers in Braintree and throughout Massachusetts will benefit from additional competition,” said ABC MA President Greg Beeman.
In 2020, the Town, through a vote 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 binding terms and conditions of employment on a construction project. Chief among these, PLAs require the use of union labor in exchange for unions agreeing not to strike. In his ruling, judge Wilson noted that a PLA was not used on Braintree’s recently-completed East Middle School project, and that the job was completed without any reported problems and had no strikes or labor stoppages.
“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 Braintree Mayor Charles D. Kokoros.
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