Norwich will use agreements with local trade unions to build new schools

The City Council late Monday heard from nearly three dozen union trades workers and union leaders before voting 4-3 to require Project Labor Agreements for the city’s $385 million school construction project. The agreement requires the contract manager to reach pre-hiring agreements with the Norwich-New London Building Trades Council to provide local skilled trades workers for the projects. Proponents, including all public speakers, extolled the benefits of PLAs, saying they ensure quality work and that projects are completed on time and on budget. The project calls for four new elementary schools, renovating one middle school and converting an elementary school into central offices and adult education. During public comment Monday, trade workers, mostly from Norwich, said they often drive hours to job sites across the state. They said the PLA would allow them to work close to home, spend more time with their families and spend their lunch and gas money in Norwich.

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