GREAT NEWS: Big Victory For East County Workers and Taxpayers


Big Victory

For East County Workers and Taxpayers

Grossmont Cuyamaca Community College Board

Moves Ahead on Local Hire Plan

EL CAJON, NOVEMBER 18, 2015 - Despite repeated personal attacks from an out of town special interest group, the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD) Board voted last night to proceed with a Project Labor Agreement (PLA)  to complete construction on its remaining Prop V bond projects. 

PLAs ensure that local tax dollars have the greatest impact on the local economy by creating quality jobs and supporting training, apprenticeships, and careers for local workers.

The motion to approve the PLA was made by Board Trustee Debbie Justeson who cited a 2010 study by the Congressional Research Service of 92 schools districts, which contrary to opponents statements, found that PLA's resulted in " cost increases..." on construction projects.

In seconding the motion, Board Trustee Mary Kay Rosinski said she reviewed comprehensive research on California school districts with PLA's - including San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) which commissioned an independent study done by SDSU Professor Emeritus Richard Parker. Board Trustee Rosinski cited the SDUSD study which showed that "...the number of local workers rose by 33% and there was no increase to costs."  PLA's set strict guideline to ensure that those local taxpayer's supported bonds focus spending on local businesses and workers.

In supporting the vote, Board Trustee Greg Barr spoke to the importance of the public process. Several hundred members of the public attended last night'smeeting as well as a PLA workshop in October.

Board President Bill Garrett denounced the "...vitriolic attacks on this board..." by opponents of the PLA who in recent days sent dishonest mailers mocking public officials.  I am "...disgusted by these attacks," said Garrett.

In contrast to the misinformation and misbehavior by PLA opponents, San Diego Building Trades General Manager Tom Lemmon said that he was proud of his members and their advocacy for local hire and good jobs. "We were courteous and stuck to the the facts in discussing the benefits of PLA's for workers and taxpayers.  I commend the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Governing Board for creating more pathways to middle-class careers for local taxpayers and investing taxpayer dollars back into East County communities," said Lemmon.  


Project Labor Agreements 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.

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 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 Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District will now open PLA negotiations with the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council. Once an agreement has been reached, the GCCCD Governing Board will consider the adoption of the PLA at a public meeting.

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