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  • Aug. 28, 2017

Coalition Unveils Campaign to Stop Wasteful Project Labor Agreement on College Construction


Media Release
August 25, 2017
Contact: Eric Christen, 858-431-6337

Coalition Unveils Campaign to Stop Wasteful Project Labor Agreement on College Construction

Santa Rosa - A group of local workers, companies, associations and taxpayers is unveiling a far-reaching media effort aimed at persuading the elected Santa Rosa Junior College Board of Trustees that a backroom scheme hatched between the college and big labor special interests is wasteful and unneeded.

The Santa Rosa Junior College Board of Trustees have given permission to Chancellor Frank Chong to “negotiate” a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with local big labor special interests. The PLA would cover construction work taking place under the college’s Measure H construction bond that was approved by voters, with no mention of a PLA, back in 2014. The PLA will effectively reduce the number of construction companies willing to bid the SRJC’s bond work thus leading to cost increases of between 10-20%. 

“We have taken a survey of our members and they overwhelmingly responded that they would not bid work with a PLA on it.” said Keith Woods, Executive Director of the Santa Rosa based North Coast Builders Exchange. “They also agreed that a PLA being placed on the bond would reduce its value significantly.”

Former SRJC Trustee Rick Call says it is important to educate the public about exactly what special interests are trying to do here. “We have had a successful string of bond measures at SRJC for over 14 years. There have been no problems and local workers and contractors have been getting the work. This PLA is a solution in search of a problem.” said Call.

Dan Drummond, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Taxpayers Association, is stunned that something as controversial as a PLA would be considered after the bond has already passed. “Where were PLA proponents when this bond was being considered and sold to the public? They were MIA. Why? Because they know that having something that reduces the value of each tax dollar by 10-20% is not going to sell with voters” added Drummond.

Besides the aforementioned, other coalition members include the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction, the Western Electrical Contractors Association, the Associated Builders and Contractors Northern California Chapter, and dozens of local construction companies. These groups stand opposed to a PLAs anti-competitive requirements.

The coalition’s media efforts include mailers, a social media campaign on sites such as Facebook, and calls to taxpayers. The goal is to drive concerned taxpayers to the group’s website at www.santarosajuniorcollegefairness.com where they will be asked to contact pro-PLA Trustees Maggie Fishman, Dorothy Battenfeld, Jordan Burns, and Mariana Martinez and encourage them to vote no.

Group of contractors, workers, taxpayers, and contractor associations using multifaceted campaign to educate Sonoma County residents that PLA under consideration by Santa Rosa Junior College Trustees is wasteful and unneeded.

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