August 5, 2015
Dear Tufts Community Members,
We have received some questions about flyers and signs on the Boston and Medford/Somerville campuses that raise concerns about hiring practices for construction projects at Tufts.
Tufts is committed to hiring contractors that can deliver high quality services that adhere to all applicable safety standards, and also meet our budget and schedule needs. We value our relationships with the union construction trades, with whom we have built strong partnerships.
Tufts contracted with Turner Construction Company to develop the new, interdisciplinary science and engineering complex on the Medford/Somerville campus. Construction safety and quality of personnel are very important considerations in the selection of construction managers and subcontractors. Turner Construction Company has an outstanding safety record and is responsible for enforcing rigorous safety standards, planning and practices across all trades.
We expect all of the construction trades on this project to be union organized with the exception of the electricians. Union subcontracts will represent approximately 90% of the total value of construction subcontract awards. Turner solicited bids for the electrical work from a number of qualified subcontractors, both union and open-shop. The primary electrical subcontract, and several smaller specialty electrical subcontracts, is going to open-shop electricians. This decision was not taken lightly. It enables Tufts to save approximately 28% on the multimillion dollar electrical trade work, helping us to keep the important project on budget.
Our openness to union workers is also demonstrated by the fact that the other major facility being built on our Medford/Somerville campus – a new Central Energy Plant that will reduce the Medford campus’ energy costs by 20% – is employing 100% union construction trades. Further, all our Boston construction projects, including current renovation of patient clinics at our School of Dental Medicine, rely exclusively on union construction trades.
We recognize the right of those who disagree with our practices to express their views as long as they adhere to labor union guidelines and do not interfere with project activities, public access or safety.
Vice President for Operations