Unions Target Proposed Community Choice Power Agency in San Diego County
Five cities in San Diego County - San Diego, Chula Vista, Encinitas, La Mesa, and Imperial Beach - are considering joining a new community choice aggregation public power agency called the San Diego Regional Community Choice Energy Authority.
This vision has been pushed by a broad coalition of labor unions, environmental groups, and social justice organizations for a couple of years. During that time construction unions (particularly the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local 569) have pressured local governments - the San Diego City Council in particular - to make sure contractors must sign a Project Labor Agreement to work on agency programs and projects.
Voice of San Diego outlines the controversy in a September 9, 2019 article: 'Little Territorial Fights' Could Derail CCA Deadline - Labor opposition could throw several local cities’ plans to create a government-run electric utility by 2021 into disarray.
The proposed Joint Powers Agreement (the foundational document for the agency) contains a provision that states the following:
3.2 Specific Powers. Specific powers of the Authority shall include, but not be limited to, each of the following powers, which may be exercised at the discretion of the Board:
3.2.14 enter into neutrality agreements where the Authority has a proprietary or significant financial interest, negotiate project labor agreements, community benefits agreements and collective bargaining agreements with the local building trades council and other interested parties; and
Unions are not satisfied with this provision. They want the agency's foundational document to REQUIRE the Board to enter into Project Labor Agreements, Community Benefit Agreements, and collective bargaining agreements.
Tonight (September 10, 2019), the La Mesa City Council and the Chula Vista City Council will vote on the Joint Powers Agreement to join the agency. The Encinitas City Council will vote on it on September 11. Unions are expected to make their demands for monopoly control of the agency at this meeting.