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 "...no 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.
Sign up for updates on PLAs and Community Hiring Agreements at: http://communityhiring.net/.
Sweetwater School District Leaders Vote to Negotiate a Local Hire Agreement with Career Training Opportunities
Agreement to Bring Added Transparency & Accountability
October 13, 2015, CHULA VISTA, CA – Last night, the School Board of the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) voted 4-0 to negotiate a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council and their unions. 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.
PLAs are also known as Community Hiring Agreements or Project Stabilization Agreements, and are a type of contract used in the construction industry to set the terms and conditions of employment on large projects of long duration and design complexity. PLAs help ensure that construction projects are delivered on time and within budget, and that quality standards and workplace safety is achieved through transparent documentation with local oversight.
PLAs benefit the community with good-paying local jobs for the residents of the school district and training opportunities for disadvantaged workers, along with opportunities for small or minority-owned 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.
SUHSD Boardmember Paula Hall advocated for a PLA noting that these agreements are good for taxpayers in that they help ensure projects are managed efficiently and completed on time by enabling better workforce coordination. “PLAs require more documentation and that’s a good thing for transparency,” said Ms. Hall.
Noting that the Board and the local community have raised concerns about excessive construction costs associated with the previous administration and that it is time to look at new methods to achieve district transparency, SUHSD Boardmember Arturo Solis exclaimed, “I believe this [PLA] is going to be a good thing and we’re going to continue to do our best to make this a better school district.”
Tom Lemmon, Business Manager of the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council, applauded the Board’s decision enter into negotiations with the Council and their unions to create good paying, local jobs for the community. “Our union apprenticeship programs provide local community members with the opportunity to ‘earn while they learn’, receive full family medical coverage, retirement benefits, and enter into a life-long middle-class career without college debt.”
During public testimony, advocates of working families spoke strongly in favor of PLAs and noted that taxpayers paying for the bond should have the opportunity to work on these construction projects and enter into the excellent apprenticeship and career training opportunities offered by the trades unions.
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 fewer bids from contractors or increased costs. Under the Riverside Community College 2 District’s Project Labor Agreement, construction projects have surpassed local business participation goals. In addition, both union and non-union contractors were well-represented on projects.
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, the City of Long Beach made news earlier this year when their City Council unanimously adopted a citywide PLA with local hire provisions and opportunities for disadvantaged residents and veterans.
SUHSD will now open PLA negotiations with the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council, and seek input from the public. Once an agreement has been reached, the SUHSD School Board will consider the adoption of the PLA at a public meeting.
The Environmental Caucus of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO has passed a "Transit Now" Resolution calling for immediate investments to expand mass transit in the region under Project Labor Agreements. The resolution voices the organization's support to expedite the construction of new transit projects in the area to create good quality jobs, reduce harmful emissions and save working families on transportation costs. See the full text of the resolution here.
Seattle has entered into a community-workforce agreement with almost 20 labor unions, Mayor Ed Murray announced in a news release Monday.
The agreement will serve as a “job-site constitution” on certain city construction and public-works projects, “establishing work-site conditions, project execution and protocol to resolve labor disputes,” the mayor said.
On April 15th, the School Board of the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) voted 4-1 to negotiate a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council and their unions.
After nearly 5 months of negotiations between city staff and labor unions, City Council voted unanimously to pass a comprehensive five-year project labor agreement (PLA) that will carry out an estimated $28 million in annual projects over the length of the contract, with a stated goal of hiring nearly half of the required workforce locally.