PRESS RELEASE: Taxpayers, Workers, and Building Trades Leaders Advocate for a Local Hire Agreement with GCCCD

SAN DIEGO, OCTOBER 19, 2015 - The Middle Class Taxpayers Association, the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council, affiliated unions, and thousands of construction workers are calling upon the board of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD) to negotiate a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with a local hire provision.

PLAs benefit the community with good-paying jobs and career training opportunities for local residents, disadvantaged taxpayers, and veterans, along with opportunities for small businesses. PLAs invest in communities by ensuring every employee has access to a fair wage, healthcare, and pension benefits so that he or she can support a family.  The influx of family-supporting wages connected to long-term careers alleviates burdens on public assistance programs, increases the tax base, and creates a boon to the local economy.

Benefits of PLAs include:

  • Smart Project Management with On-Time, On-Budget Construction;
  • Quality Jobs and Careers for Local Families with Good Wages and Benefits; and
  • Job Training and Apprenticeship Opportunities for Local Residents.

The San Diego Taxpayers Association and its affiliates have threatened to rescind support for the district's construction bond and recall any board member that votes in favor of a PLA with a local hire provision.

Pat Zaharopoulos, President and CEO of the Middle Class Taxpayers Association, said "instead of making hollow threats, the San Diego Taxpayers Association should join our advocacy efforts for local hire agreements; local taxpayers are paying for this construction bond and should have the first opportunity to work on these projects and earn good-wages and healthcare." 

Tom Lemmon, Business Manager of the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council, noted that "large companies such as Toyota, Disney, and Bechtel choose to use PLAs for their construction projects because quality workmanship is profitable and socially responsible. A local hire agreement at GCCCD would build community ladders with job training opportunities and pathways to middle-class careers for local taxpayers."

Project Labor Agreements use a fair, open, and competitive process for union and non-union contractors alike, ensuring that everyone is playing by the same rules. Examples from other Project Labor Agreements point out that they do not result in increased costs or fewer bids from contractors.

The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) and the Southwestern Community College Districts have embraced these agreements and their projects are being completed on time and within budget while creating careers for local residents. Additionally, Scott Barnett, a former head of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association and former SDUSD Board Member, has affirmed that the local hiring agreement with SDUSD "is good for the taxpayers."

The Board of Trustees for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District will consider whether to enter into PLA negotiations with the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council at their meeting on Tuesday, October 20th.