BLOOMINGTON – March 31, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today demonstrated his commitment to safe and efficient public works projects by signing an executive order that maintains the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) for public works projects and encourages PLAs be considered for federally-funded projects.
“Project labor agreements are important to ensuring that public works projects are run in a responsible manner that saves the state money and also ensures worker safety,” said Governor Quinn. “I urge state agencies awarding public works contracts to utilize PLAs on projects that use state or federal funding.”
A project labor agreement is a type of pre-hire collective bargaining agreement that can be especially beneficial in complex construction projects. PLAs improve efficiency by requiring public works projects to be completed by skilled workers; they provide procedures for swift labor dispute resolution; and they make it easier to accurately predict the cost of public works projects.
Project labor agreements are also an effective construction management tool for publicly-financed projects and are open to all qualified bidders, union and non-union. The agreements are also effective in advancing female and minority employment, a key component to Illinois’ economic recovery and success.
Under the Governor’s executive order, state entities awarding public works projects are encouraged to evaluate projects that are funded, partially or entirely, with federal dollars to determine whether a PLA can be utilized. Last year, President Obama issued an executive order that also allows PLAs for federal projects.
The Governor’s executive order also encourages state agencies awarding public works projects to continue evaluating projects on an individual basis to determine whether a project labor agreement will improve the project’s quality, safety, efficiency or workforce skill level.