San Diego Unified School District Project Stabilization Agreement

Project Summary

The Project Stabilization Agreement with the San Diego Building & Construction Trades Council and the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters went into effect in October 2009. The agreement grew out of a $2.1 billion general obligation bond issue (Proposition S) that was approved by nearly 70 percent of San Diego voters in November 2008. The agreement sets standards for project contractors' relationship with her/his workers "by setting basic standards for hiring, dispute resolution, payment of fringe benefits, and utilization of apprentices." The agreement set a target that 35 percent of all workers come from economically distressed communities. In addition, 70 percent of all workers should be from within the school district's boundaries, and 100 percent of workers from within San Diego County.  This case study provides a good comparison of pre-agreement projects, initiated before October 2009, and post-agreement projects that started after the effective date. 


  • There was no increase in the cost of the winning bids under the agreement; the mean winning bid of $4.3 million under the agreement was the same as the mean winning bid on comparable non-project stabilization agreement projects.
  • Project completion times were faster under the agreement; when delays occurred, they were often for a shorter duration, with the average delay under the agreement reported at 77 days, versus 128 days for pre-agreement projects. 
  • The share of disadvantaged workers has increased under the agreement, the number of workers from economically disadvantaged communities and the share of workers from within the school district increased by 67 percent and 33 percent, respectively.
  • A skeptical school board member and former executive director of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, Scott Barnett stated that "the facts are clear, the [agreement] is good for taxpayers." 


San Diego Unified School District Project Stabilization Agreement: A Review of Construction Contractor and Labor Considerations