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  • July 2, 2019

San Joaquin-Delta Community College District Springs a Project Labor Agreement on the Uninformed Public


Re: Your Secret Project Labor Agreement Negotiations Were Illegal and You Will Be Held Accountable to the Public You Claim to Serve

Dear President and Board Members:

The background report for your July 2, 2019 board meeting agenda item entitled “Approval of Project Labor and Community Workforce Agreement” states the following:

District staff and counsel have held a series of meetings with members of the San Joaquin Building and Construction Trades Council to negotiate the terms and conditions of this Project Labor and Workforce Development Agreement. As a result of these negotiations, the final agreement contains the following features:

The Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction is unable to determine when and how the elected board of trustees authorized the district to begin these labor negotiations. We are unable to determine when and how the elected board of trustees discussed these labor negotiations in closed session. Obviously these labor negotiations were directed, initiated, conducted, and concluded in secret, with no notice provided to the public.

These negotiations appear to be done illegally. Note that California Attorney General Opinion No. 14-302 states the following:

The labor negotiations exception to the open-meeting requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act does not permit a community college district’s governing board to meet in closed session with its designated representative to discuss the negotiation of a project labor agreement because the contractors and laborers covered by such an agreement are not district employees.

The Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction saw the same scheme recently attempted at the Stockton Unified School District, involving the same labor organization, the San Joaquin Building and Construction Trades Council. We believe there is a deliberate strategy done in coordination with San Joaquin County local governments to negotiate Project Labor Agreements without any openness or transparency for the public. IF there was a legal process that was followed we look forward to learning what that was. If there was not then we plan to find out what did occur via litigation.

The construction companies that will be required to sign this agreement as a condition of winning a district contract will not tolerate backroom deals with public funds. If the district board approves the negotiated Project Labor Agreement at your meeting tomorrow (July 2, 2019), expect to be sued. If you are going to do the bidding of big labor special interest groups and engage in discrimination in their name at least have the temerity to do it in public.

In conclusion, the President has this verbiage on her webpage as part of her “Welcoming” message:

By continuing to develop a climate and culture of equity, inclusion, cooperation, and collaboration; cultivating compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude; and valuing the input of each member of the College community, we are sure to achieve our mission.

It rings quite hollow considering the bigotry, exclusion and waste you are about to engage in with a PLA.

Professionally run entities do not operate like this.

Eric Christen
Executive Director
Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction
www.opencompca.com


Approval of Project Labor and Community Workforce Agreement

California Attorney General Opinion No. 14-302 - The labor negotiations exception to the open-meeting requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act does not permit a community college district’s governing board to meet in closed session with its designated representative to discuss the negotiation of a project labor agreement because the contractors and laborers covered by such an agreement are not district employees.

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