LETTER: Don't let fear kill Prevailing Wage Act

Gus Tatlas
East Manchester Township
FILE - This Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, file photo shows the Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

York County schools are fighting for solvency and the state government is getting in our way. The state government is preventing the county, municipalities and school districts from giving us the most bang for our buck.

Our school boards are in a constant struggle to pay teachers’ their worth, maintain facilities, train faculty, keep up with modern technology and try not to raise our property taxes. When property taxes go up, rent goes up.

How is the state government standing in Yorkers way? The state Legislature dictates that municipalities pay contractors Philadelphia scale. They underfund our school districts then they make us pay wealthy school district wages to contractors.

That is money stolen from our teachers. Stolen from our kids. Stolen from our income. It leaves schools districts little choice but to raise taxes or cut school programs, possibly both. Infrastructures costs are going to continue to rise, and our schools cannot afford to pay on a Philadelphia scale.

There is a bill in committee – House Bill HB 323, called the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act – that will protect our rights and our tax dollars.

In Delaware County, a friend was recently told quite plainly that no house member in Delaware County will support it. Anyone running for office in Delaware County will face a smear campaign if they support it.

We can’t let fear politics in other counties influence York County and its municipalities. Every local municipality has the right to negotiate its own contracts for infrastructure.

I ask every school board, the teachers’ union, city council member, township supervisor or anyone who is charged with protecting our municipalities’ limited resources to look at this bill and discuss it at your next meeting. Invite our House members to discuss it or at least listen to your concerns.