Another California Community College District to Give Unions a Monopoly on Bond-Funded Construction: Project Labor Agreement at Ohlone Community College District

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UPDATE: February 13, 2013 at 8:42 p.m. – the college board voted 6-0 for the Project Labor Agreement.

As I predicted in my November 8, 2012 blog post Another Project Labor Agreement in the Works for a California Community College District: Unions Will Control Construction at Ohlone College, the Board of Trustees of the Ohlone Community College District (in the San Francisco Bay Area, within the cities of Fremont, Newark, and Union City) is voting tonight (February 13, 2013) on requiring construction companies to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions.

It is Item #23 on the agenda as “Discussion and/or Action: Approval of the Project Stabilization Agreement (BP 2200).”

Staff Report: 23a-Memo

Proposed Project Labor Agreement: 23b-Agreement

This government-mandated Project Labor Agreement (PLA) would apply to contractors working on 16 projects or categories of projects, totaling $265 million, funded by borrowed money obtained from bond sales authorized by the $349 million Measure G, approved by district voters in November 2010. As is usual with educational bond measures, the ballot language for Measure G did not mention any plans of Ohlone College to require its contractors to sign union agreements. (How strange that it didn’t mention such a wonderful idea to voters at the time!)

This is one of the few community college districts in the San Francisco Bay Area that has not yet required contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions. Somehow the college managed to get projects built under the $150 million Measure A (approved by voters in March 2002) without a government-mandated Project Labor Agreement, although representatives of the Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council [no web site] lobbied behind the scenes for one. This time, the politicians and lobbyists are making sure the larger projects funded by Measure G will be built by unions.

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