NEW CASTLE SCHOOLS Officials: Union's list is too restrictive

The union wants the school district to make contractors offer benefits to workers.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- City school officials say they can't follow the recommendations of a labor union when building a new high school because it would be too restrictive.
Frank E. Telesz Jr., business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 72, asked board members to add a clause to the requirements needed from the company selected to build the district's new high school.
Telesz asked school officials to make sure the company they hire has an apprenticeship program, drug testing and a grievance procedures for all workers.
School officials will open bids later this month for the $30 million project.
Included on list
Charles Sapienza, school district solicitor, said after Wednesday's board meeting that those items were part of a laundry list of items the union asked the district to consider when hiring prospective contractors.
Sapienza said making those things mandatory could close the job to any nonunion companies or require the district to police any nonunion companies to ensure they comply with those things.
Joshua Bloom, an attorney for the union, said the district would not be responsible for watching a nonunion company.
Unions would monitor their work and file complaints with state labor officials if they did not comply, he said.
"I understand the union is trying to get jobs for its workers, but at the same time, we are trying to keep the process open," Sapienza said.

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