• Oct. 28, 2017

Voters Must Hold Salinas Union High School District Trustees Accountable for Project Labor Agreement Catastrophe at New High School

Dear Salinas Union High School District Board of Trustees:

We will make sure voters hold you accountable, including the voters Ms. Padilla-Salsberg is now begging for in an attempt to bring her corrupt ways to the State Capitol in Sacramento.

By pledging such canine affection to local union bosses you - the five Trustees who voted for the board-mandated union Project Labor Agreement - have opened yourselves up to the public blowback that is coming. This devastating news story is only the beginning:

Construction Delayed for New Salinas High School One Year - KSBW News (Channel 8) in Salinas - October 27, 2017

KSWB Exposes Salinas Union High School District Project Labor Agreement Failure.jpg


First, let’s put into perspective the state of this district that this board oversees:

Literacy rate: 39% proficient

Math numeracy rate: 21% proficient

Graduates meeting UC/CSU entrance requirements: 36.5%

So a Board of Trustees and school district that has so fundamentally failed in its most important mission has now become a group of construction experts. How so?

Below is the timeline that shows the sudden need for a union Project Labor Agreement (PLA) and how that vote coincided with some timely union political donations ($32,000+) to three Trustees (Padilla-Salsberg, Ramirez and Rubio) who were up for re-election. Please note that Ms. Padilla-Salsberg is now running for California State Assembly and was the ringleader of the PLA.

Salinas Union HSD Board Campaign Contribution Chart.jpg

Why was a PLA so desperately needed? Here’s what the PLA itself says:

Salinas Union High School District Project Labor Agreement.jpg

So what have the actual results been and how did we find out about the catastrophic failure of the PLA?

Salinas Union High School District Project Labor Agreement Failures.jpg

On October 24th the Board of Trustees received an update on the crisis that was/is unfolding. Obviously upset and panicked, the Trustees had some of the following thoughts and conspiracy theories: 

  • “Folks were not invited tonight because it’s just an update” - explaining why architect and contractors were not there to defend themselves against school board's criticism. 2:33
  • Project was targeted for “political sabotage” by Project Labor Agreement opponents. 15:28 and 36:15.
  • A Project Labor Agreement opponent who goes to Rotary lunches with “friends" and goes to "their little parties...on Highway 68" sabotaged the project. 43:13
  • “I’m not going to talk to somebody on the street if I see him about this, and I would urge us all not to do the same, because it may end up Somewhere that, you know - may end up Somewhere.” 47:35 

The entire discussion can be heard on this 49-minute audio recording, linked here: Salinas Union High School District Board receives an update on the Rancho San Juan High School construction project.

So now that the project is looking to be perhaps a year late and more expensive (see attached), what are the Trustees planning? They will be holding an emergency meeting on Wednesday, November 1st to further discuss the issue. Despite Trustee desires to keep this issue hidden from the public, that is not possible any longer.

The Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction will also be seeking those monthly reports that union bosses promised in the Project Labor Agreement that shows the local workforce participation numbers. You have those all those reports filled out, right Mr. Chesshire?

See you Wednesday.

Eric Christen

Executive Director

Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction


PO Box 1627
Poway, CA 92074

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