Posts tagged New York Power Authority

    32 Knowledge Tracker How New York’s Democratic Socialists Brought Unions Around to Public Renewables

    June 20, 2023 // ince they did not initially have access to state-level union leaders, the DSA organizers started by building relationships with local utilities unions across the state. Public Power New York recruited hundreds of volunteers to help steer the victories of numerous DSA-endorsed state legislators in 2020 and 2022. One successful candidate was climate organizer Sarahana Shrestha, now a state assemblymember from the Hudson Valley. She unseated her long-tenured Democratic primary opponent, in part, by highlighting his opposition to the BPRA. The bill began to move in Albany in a real way when unions outside of the utilities sector, like the New York State United Teachers, the New York State Nurses Association, and the Service Employees International Union, endorsed the bill. Once the bill passed the state Senate in the summer of 2022, the utilities unions took a more serious interest in the plan. The BPRA’s labor provisions include prevailing-wage assurances and require that all the NYPA’s renewable projects include collective-bargaining agreements for every employee, including contractors and subcontractors. These agreements must be in place before work can start on a project. The law creates a $25 million just-transition fund to retrain fossil fuel–sector workers who could lose their jobs, and specifies that union leaders must be consulted in this process. It also prioritizes hiring these retrained workers for the NYPA’s renewable projects.