Tag Archive for Measure G (Ohlone Community College District – November 2010)

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

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.

Another Project Labor Agreement in the Works for a California Community College District: Unions Will Control Construction at Ohlone College

The Ohlone Community College District’s “Request for Qualifications of Design‐Build Entities – Design‐Build Services for South Parking Structure at the Ohlone Community College District Fremont Campus” states that “The District anticipates entering into a Project Stabilization Agreement with the Building Trades Council of Alameda County, the terms of which will apply to this project.” Companies will be required to “Work with Builders Trade Council (sic) of Alameda County to ensure complete compliance with Project Stabilization Agreement.”

After voters approved the sale of $150 million in bonds with Measure A in March 2002, the Ohlone Community College District built the $111 million Ohlone College Newark Center, the $33 million Student Services Center on the main Fremont campus, and took care of $16 million in other projects on the Fremont Campus. Somehow these projects were completed without requiring contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement, and the buildings are still standing. But times are different now.

In November 2010, voters in Fremont, Newark, and Union City (in Alameda County) approved Measure G, which authorized the Ohlone College Board of Trustees to borrow another $349 million for construction by selling bonds. As usual, voters were not told that unions might be given control of the work. On September 7, 2011, Ohlone College staff presented a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) information brief to the Ohlone College Board of Trustees during a workshop to discuss the construction program funded by Measure G bond sales.

I expect the Ohlone College Board of Trustees – still feeling jubilant and empowered from the November 6 election results – will vote for a Project Labor Agreement at their November 14, 2012 meeting in front of a packed room of union activists. Perhaps some of the board members will even express regrets that Ohlone College is among the last of the San Francisco Bay Area community college districts allowing construction trade workers to build something on campus without union membership or representation.

Interesting fact: the largest taxpayer in the Ohlone Community College District is Apple Computer, which owns industrial property worth $389.5 million, comprising 1.03% of all assessed valuation in this community college district.

Here’s the current status of Project Labor Agreements for community college districts in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Community College District (CCD) Year as PLA Target Year of PLA Enacted
Peralta CCD (Alameda County) 2004 2004, 2009
Chabot-Las Positas CCD (Alameda County) 2003 2006, 2010
Ohlone CCD (Alameda County) 2002, 2011 Looks like 2012
Contra Costa CCD (Costa Costa County) 2000 2012
College of Marin (Marin County) 2005 2008
Hartnell CCD (Monterey County) 2004 2004; rescinded 2004
Monterey Peninsula College Not Yet Not Yet
Napa Valley College (Napa County) 2004 Not Yet
City College of San Francisco (San Francisco) 2002 2005
San Mateo CCD (San Mateo County) 2002 2002, 2007
Cabrillo College (Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey Counties) 2004 Not Yet
Foothill-DeAnza CCD (Santa Clara County) 2007 2008, 2011
San Jose-Evergreen CCD (Santa Clara County) 2006 2011
West Valley-Mission CCD (Santa Clara County) 2005, 2008 Not Yet
Solano CCD (Solano County) 2003 2004
Santa Rosa Junior College (Sonoma County) 2002, 2005 Not Yet

See my www.UnionWatch.org analysis of why California’s community college districts are inclined to require construction contractors to sign Project Labor Agreements with unions:  Unions Increase Control of California’s Community College Boards.