Tag Archive for Eight Steps to Possibly Alleviate Taxpayer and Contractor Outrage about the Backroom Deal for a Project Labor Agreement on Construction of the Sacramento Kings Arena

Records Requested from City of Sacramento Office of the Mayor on Project Labor Agreement for New Sacramento Kings Arena

The City of Sacramento has still not given public access to the ballyhooed union Project Labor Agreement for the planned $448 million new Sacramento Kings arena (Entertainment and Sports Center). Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and other officials announced the backroom union deal with great fanfare and celebration via a press conference on September 4, 2013 at Downtown Plaza. That was 44 days ago.

Are the People satisfied with talking points and press releases? The standard for sports and entertainment journalism is insufficient for government and political journalism. The public must get access to primary source documents to confirm or refute the claims made on September 4, 2013 by public officials using public resources.

Here is a request for public records that I submitted to the Sacramento City Clerk this morning. This is going to irk some powerful people, but I’ve been vainly calling for a public copy of the Project Labor Agreement for 44 days. (See one example: Eight Steps to Possibly Alleviate Taxpayer and Contractor Outrage about the Backroom Deal for a Project Labor Agreement on Construction of the Sacramento Kings Arena.)

Obviously people want to hide the union deal from public scrutiny. They don’t want a line-by-line analysis floating around, like this analysis of the “Community Benefits Agreement” for the California High-Speed Rail.


From: Kevin Dayton
Subject: Sacramento City Clerk: Public Records Request
Date: October 17, 2013 9:10:07 AM PDT
To: records@cityofsacramento.org, clerk@cityofsacramento.org

October 16, 2013

Shirley Concolino, MMC
City Clerk, City of Sacramento
915 I Street
New City Hall
Sacramento, CA  95814

Dear Ms. Concolino:

Under the authority of the California Public Records Act, I am requesting the following records to determine the involvement of the Office of the Mayor of the City of Sacramento in the development and promotion of the Project Labor Agreement for the Entertainment and Sports Center, aka new Sacramento Kings Arena.

“Public records” include any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used or retained by the Office of the Mayor of the City of Sacramento regardless of physical form or characteristics. “Writing” means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photocopying, photographing, transmitting by electronic mail or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any tangible thing, any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds or symbols or any combination thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of the manner in which the record has been stored.

“Public records” shall include writing from private email addresses used by the Office of the Mayor of the City of Sacramento for public business. For example, if a staff member sends electronic mail through a Google mail account to schedule a meeting or press conference involving the mayor, that email is a public record.

Please provide the following public records – in electronic form if possible – from the Office of the Mayor of the City of Sacramento:

  1. The final or latest version of the Project Labor Agreement for the Entertainment and Sports Center. (There is reported to be a version, dated at or around August 29, 2013, that includes signatures from representatives of most construction trade unions.)
  2. All public records dated March 1, 2013 through October 16, 2013 related to the development and implementation of the Project Labor Agreement for the Entertainment and Sports Center.
  3. All public records dated March 1, 2013 through September 5, 2013 related to the planning and execution of the press conference held on September 4, 2013 at Downtown Plaza to announce the Project Labor Agreement.
  4. All public records dated September 4, 2013 through September 30, 2013 related to the reporting and evaluation of the press conference held on September 4, 2013 at Downtown Plaza to announce the Project Labor Agreement.
  5. All public records dated October 14, 2013 through October 16, 2013 related to the press conference held by “Voters for a Fair Arena Deal” on October 15, 2013 at the old city hall building.

Upon receiving this request for a copy of records, please, within 10 days, determine whether the request, in whole or in part, seeks copies of disclosable public records in the possession of the Office of the Mayor and promptly notify me of the determination and the reasons therefor.

In unusual circumstances, the time limit may be extended by written notice, setting forth the reasons for the extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be dispatched. No notice shall specify a date that would result in an extension for more than 14 days, and the notice shall provide the estimated date and time when the records will be made available.

Kevin Dayton
President and CEO
Labor Issues Solutions, LLC

Eight Steps to Alleviate Taxpayer and Contractor Outrage About Project Labor Agreement on Planned New Sacramento Kings Arena

On Monday, September 9, 2013, I began circulating a memo entitled “Eight Steps to Possibly Alleviate Taxpayer and Contractor Outrage about the Backroom Deal for a Project Labor Agreement on Construction of the Sacramento Kings Arena.”

I independently put together eight reasonable, constructive steps toward a solution based on my long experience with construction labor issues and government affairs. Not surprisingly, no one cares: “politics is corrupt,” as one resigned person told me. Nevertheless, I’ve fulfilled my moral obligation to ordinary Kings fans in the Sacramento region who pleaded with me to work something out so the team can stay.

To allow this Project Labor Agreement to remain on the arena and tell construction company owners to stand down for “the common good” will create a precedent that will end up giving unions control of every major construction project in the Sacramento region and possibly in the state. Knowing that no one will have the guts to criticize the deal in public, developers and public agencies will simply acquiesce to a Project Labor Agreement with unions to avoid their interference through objections and litigation under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Here are my proposed eight steps, classified in three categories:

I. For the Taxpayers

1. Trust funds affiliated with construction trade unions (such as pension funds, labor-management cooperation committees, etc.) must reduce the public funding obligation for this project by 10 percent by investing $25.8 million in the arena project.

II. For Preservation of Principles of Good Government

2. The complete Project Labor Agreement (aka Community Workforce and Training Agreement) with addenda shall be released to the public immediately, that is, by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 11, 2013.

3. The Sacramento City Council shall vote on ratifying the Project Labor Agreement (aka Community Workforce and Training Agreement) after a public hearing at a city council meeting before October 1, 2013. To ensure that the People and the representatives of the People are adequately informed about the issue, the public hearing shall assign 10 minutes each for supporters and opponents of the proposal to make formal presentations.

III. For Fair and Open Competition and Freedom of Choice for Workers

4. The Project Labor Agreement shall include a provision that allows a contractor and its employees to maintain their own existing fringe benefit programs if those programs are equivalent or better than the union programs, instead of forcing that contractor to make employer payments to union-affiliated trust funds and depriving employees of benefits from such contributions made on their behalf.

5. The Project Labor Agreement shall allow the contractor to comply with Title 8, Section 230.1 of the California Code of Regulations and request apprentices from any program authorized and approved by the Director of the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards to provide on-the-job training to construction trade workers in Sacramento County.

6. The Project Labor Agreement shall allow for transparency concerning mandatory payment of union dues and fees by trade workers by including an appendix that indicates the exact cash amount of dues and fees, such as initiation fees, that would be requested of any journeyman or apprentice for any trade that is working under the terms and the conditions of the Project Labor Agreement.

7. The Project Labor Agreement shall allow “core workforce” employees of contractors not signatory to a union Master Labor Agreement to choose whether or not to pay union dues and fees.

8. The Project Labor Agreement should include language exempting the contractor from employer withdrawal liability if the employer made all of the required contributions to the union pension fund during the period it was covered under the agreement.