June 29, 2009

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives:

Pursuant to Article LVI, as amended by Article XC, Section 3 of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I am returning to you for amendment Section 105 of House Bill No. 4129, "An Act Making Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2010 for the Maintenance of the Departments, Boards, Commissions, Institutions and Certain Activities of the Commonwealth, for Interest, Sinking Fund and Serial Bond Requirements and for Certain Permanent Improvements."

Section 105 authorizes the University of Massachusetts Building Authority to use an alternative procurement process, including design-build, for the design and construction of a bio-processing facility in Fall River. I support the purposes of this section to accelerate and improve this procurement process.

I am concerned, however, that due to the size, complexity and duration of this project, the public interest and labor harmony require its construction by project labor agreement. Therefore, I recommend that the Commonwealth, in its capacity as a market participant for public construction projects, require a project labor agreement, including a uniform grievance and arbitration procedure and an obligation not to strike, for construction work on this project.

For these reasons, I recommend that Section 105 be amended by adding the following words:- ; provided further, that in order to further promote labor harmony, all construction employees employed in the construction of the bio-processing facility project shall be paid not less than the wage rate established for such work pursuant to a project labor agreement with the appropriate labor organization or labor organizations, which includes (1) a uniform grievance and arbitration procedure for the resolution of work-related disputes on job sites; (2) mutually agreeable uniform work rules and schedules for the project; and (3) an obligation for any such labor organization and its constituent members not to strike with respect to work on such project; provided further, that it shall not be a precondition to the award of a contract that a bidder has previously entered into a collective bargaining agreement with a labor organization, but only that the bidder be willing to execute and comply with the project labor agreement for this project if it is awarded a contract for such designated project.

Respectfully submitted,

Deval Patrick