Monday, December 12, 2011

Unions Seek Corner Lot PLA

Governing Board President Tim Nader’s recent statement that there is little chance he would sign a union-favoring Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the first phase of Proposition R construction has pro-labor activists crying foul. But pro-business advocates said they are also feeling unsatisfied with the process.

With Phase I construction on the $389 million Prop R project planned for early next year and no signed labor contracts in place, union representatives and workers tried recently to convince Nader and the rest of the board that there is still time to sign a PLA that would go into effect immediately. Union members said the agreement would benefit the college, community and construction workers of the district.

But none of that may matter. Governing board members insist that construction management contracts already in place would make agreeing to a new PLA difficult, at least for Phase I of the five-phase project.

Management contracts oversee money, while construction contracts oversee the hiring of subcontractors and workers. Former Vice President of Fiscal Services Nicholas Alioto signed management contracts with Seville Construction Services for project management. The former governing board approved. Echo Pacific Construction was hired by Alioto to handle construction contracts, but the current board terminated Echo Pacific’s contract this fall. Balfour Beatty has been approached by the college about assuming Echo Pacific’s terminated contract and assuming responsibility for construction and labor. No contract has been approved.