Welcome to the NASHTU Website
The National Association of State Highway and Transportation Unions (NASHTU) is dedicated to ensuring that federal transportation dollars are spent on cost-effective, safe projects that serve the public interest. NASHTU is comprised of 38 unions and associations representing hundreds of thousands of state and locally employed transportation engineers, construction managers and inspectors, technical workers and related public servants from throughout the United States.
Last May, a private engineering consultant was arrested for allegedly falsifying a 2013 safety inspection report on a bridge over a small creek in New York State. The consultant was working for DKI Engineering at the time, but records show he has also worked for two subcontractors – VB Tech Corp. and American Structural Engineering. The consultant engineer remains free but faces three felony charges, including first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, second-degree forgery and second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. No court date has been set.
When officials at the Connecticut Department of Transportation learned of the arrest, they investigated and found that the same private engineer had a role in inspecting hundreds of bridges across Connecticut, and was “team leader” on 35 significant bridges on and over state highways. As a result, the Connecticut DOT has recently ordered the re-inspection of the 35 significant highway bridges at an estimated cost of $500,000.
The article features several quotes from Travis Woodward, President of the Engineering, Scientific, and Technical Bargaining Unit for CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 (Connecticut). He appropriately calls for more inspections to be done in-house and points out the high cost of private sector consulting engineers. CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 is a founding member of NASHTU and regularly sends delegations to NASHTU’s annual conferences.
NASHTU has called on the Democratic National Committee’s Convention Platform Drafting Committee to include language in the party’s 2016 Platform that reflects NASHTU’s policy principles for well-funded, cost effective and safe transportation programs. The DNC Platform Drafting Committee is responsible for developing and managing the process through which the Democratic Party’s National Platform is established.
NASHTU’s written testimony called for an increase in surface transportation investment and a fix to the inherent Highway Trust Fund revenue shortfall. NASHTU also highlighted the need for public sector performance of construction inspection on federally funded transportation projects to ensure that construction standards are met, that projects meet safety requirements and that the materials used will stand the test of time. Finally, NASHTU urged the committee to include language that is supportive of a requirement that states and local governments perform cost comparisons prior to outsourcing on transportation projects.
Last week, NASHTU members came together in Washington D.C. to discuss strategies to address multiple issues affecting transportation department employees throughout the United States. Conference participants heard from FHWA Administrator Greg Nadeau, former U.S. DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari, and also two members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Reps. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) and John Garamendi (D-CA). Ed Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, provided NASHTU members with an update on federal legislative battles that impact transportation workers.
In addition, NASHTU attendees heard panel discussions on the long-term surface transportation authorization (FAST Act) and the recent Friedrichs v. CTA Supreme Court ruling. Participants also heard about In the Public Interest’s efforts to expose the biased analyses used to advance public-private partnership proposals and a presentation about the failure of the U.S. to adequately fund transportation infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
On Tuesday afternoon, NASHTU members headed to Capitol Hill to visit with Members of Congress and advocate for NASHTU’s priorities. Participants lobbied for support of HR 1692 (Edwards), which would require public employees to perform the construction inspection on federally funded transportation projects. NASHTU members also advocated for a requirement to perform cost comparisons prior to outsourcing, additional transportation funding, and urged Members of Congress to oppose outsourcing mandates and incentives in upcoming infrastructure legislation.
The NASHTU Congressional Reception, held on Tuesday evening in the Rayburn House Office Building, was well attended both by Members of Congress and congressional staff.
HR 1692: Ensuring Safety, Efficiency and Accountability on Transportation Projects
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), has introduced legislation that requires public employees to perform the construction inspection on federally funded state and local transportation projects. NASHTU has advocated for public inspection on transportation projects for many years.
The Safety, Efficiency, and Accountability in Transportation Projects through Public Inspection Act of 2015 (HR 1692) will ensure that public safety is protected, transportation funds are not wasted, and that projects are delivered in a timely manner.
On transportation projects, construction inspectors are the eyes, ears, and voice of the public. Public inspectors ensure that construction standards are met, that projects meet safety requirements, and that the materials used will stand the test of time.
Please help generate support for this bill by personalizing and sending a co-sponsorship request letter to the members of your state’s congressional delegation.
- HR 1692 Co-Sponsorship Request Letter
- HR 1692 Fact Sheet
- HR 1692 Examples of Disasters and Mishaps when Construction Inspection is Outsourced
To ensure the timely receipt of the letter, we would suggest that you e-mail the letter, fact sheet and disaster examples to the Legislative Directors of the Members of Congress.