Grossmont-Cuyamaca College District breaks its promise, approves Prop V Project Labor Agreement

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

 

Media Contact: Gayle Falkenthal, 619-997-2495 or gayle@falconvalleygroup.com

 

(Poway, Calif.) – Hundreds of East County residents including contractors, students, and taxpayers will be prohibited from working on Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD) Prop V funded construction projects under a Project Labor Agreement approved Tuesday, November 15 by a majority of Governing Board members.   

Trustees Mary Kay Rosinski, Edwin Hiel, Greg Barr, and Debbie Justeson voted in favor the PLA. Board President Bill Garrett abstained from the vote.

 

Board members broke their promise to voters who approved Prop V in 2012 and voted to approve a Project Labor Agreement at Tuesday night’s meeting, despite opposition from five major construction groups and hundreds of apprentices who will be barred from applying for these construction jobs unless they join a labor union. The District originally promised no PLA would be included with Prop V when it was approved in 2012.

 

“Board members are excluding highly qualified students from job opportunities over the life of Prop V funded construction because they choose merit shop based training,” said Shandon Harbour, Executive Director of the ABC San Diego Training Trust. “Our apprentices should not be denied the opportunity to compete for jobs, especially those living in the District and paying taxes to fund the colleges.”

 

Harbour pointed to the most recent “Community Benefits Report” (CBA) for Southwestern College’s Prop R funded projects as proof of her concerns. In the third quarter of 2016, contractors did not meet the state of California’s minimum hiring ratio in any category of apprentices, and more than two-thirds had formal complaints lodged against them.

 

“The labor unions who put these politicians in office will profit most from this deal, not the District’s residents or the students,” said Bill Baber, Government Relations Director of ABC San Diego.

 

“It is especially dismaying to me in my role as a member of the District’s Citizens Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC), which has expressed its opposition to Project Labor Agreements. Studies including a review of Southwestern College’s recent bond funded projects show a 15% increase in construction costs and a decrease in local hiring for projects including PLAs. Taxpayers are getting less for their money.

 

“The decision is the District’s message to the residents that their interests matter less than those of the labor unions,” said Baber.

 

East County voters recently expressed their anger with the District by failing to approve Measure X, a $651 million school construction bond on the November 2016 ballot.

 

This class of barred students includes construction apprentices living in El Cajon, La Mesa, Santee, Alpine, Lakeside, and unincorporated areas of the East County.

 

Students enrolled in state-registered apprenticeship programs affiliated with ABC San Diego receive college credits through the San Diego Community College District, making all of them community college students. ABC San Diego is a merit shop construction association whose members may choose not to sign union collective bargaining agreements.

 

About ABC San Diego

 

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 22,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. The San Diego Chapter of ABC represents construction and construction-related firms throughout San Diego County. To find out more about ABCSD, visit www.abcsd.org.

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MEDIA CONTACT

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, Fellow PRSA: 619-997-2495 or gayle@falconvalleygroup.com

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