EG City Council Approves Community Workforce Training Agreement | New

On October 26, the Elk Grove City Council voted 3 to 1 in favor of a five-year, citywide Community Workforce Training Agreement (CWTA) for large capital projects of $1 million or more.

A CWTA is an agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for the construction of one or more projects, and in this case within the city limits of Elk Grove.

The approved agreement, with the Sacramento-Sierra Building & Construction Trades Council (SSBCTC) and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations Council and its member unions, does not apply to maintenance work, such as repair of streets and bridges and landscaping and drainage works. This work is regularly done by the Town of Elk Grove.

SSBCTC is a performance-based organization that provides contractors with skilled labor in the construction industry. They represent more than 15,000 unionized construction workers in Sacramento, Amador, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sierra and Yolo counties.

This organization, which was used in the construction process of the Sky River Casino in Elk Grove, currently offers 32 apprenticeship programs, resulting in 32 paths in unionized construction.

The approved agreement, which will be administered by the city’s public works department, prioritizes hiring Elk Grove and other area residents and does not require contractors/employees to join a union.

In his presentation to council, Jeff Werner, the city’s director of public works, mentioned some of the benefits of the agreement.

“It promotes efficient construction operations by prohibiting strikes, work stoppages and lockouts,” he said. “This requires an expedited dispute resolution process, which again makes it easier to ban strikes and work stoppages.”

Werner told the board that the proposal for this deal evolved through a series of events dating back to 2013, with requests from board members for consideration of workforce development opportunities for Elk Grove.

He noted that the terms of a proposed citywide community labor training agreement were established last September.

During the period of public presentation of this agenda item, the majority of speakers spoke in favor of this proposal.

Gina White, a second-year union apprentice with IBEW Local 340, voiced her support for the proposal.

“It will allow my husband and I to move up into the middle class,” she said.

Among the public speakers who spoke against the proposal was Richard Markuson, who identified himself as representing the Western Electrical Contractors Association, the Plumbing and Heating Contractors of California, the Independent Roofing Contractors of California and the Sacramento Chapter of the American Fire Sprinkler Association.

“With the adoption of this project collective agreement, you close the door to 85% of the construction industry who work without a collective agreement,” he said. “Now your staff have done a job saying everyone has the opportunity to work. But the truth is (that) project work agreements were designed in the first place to prevent non-signatory contractors from bidding on your projects.

Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen shared her reasons for supporting the proposal.

“ACTS will provide effective management of large-scale public works projects, while ensuring that these projects maximize local economic employment benefits, including learning opportunities for minorities, women and veterans,” she said.

The only board member to vote against the proposal was Kevin Spease, who enlisted the help of fellow board members to help him “get to yes.” He made several requests, including a proposal to change the $1 million level for major projects mentioned in the proposal.

“I don’t mean to be flippant about this, but you can’t build a toilet in San Francisco for less than a million dollars,” he said. “I think it’s hard to say that a big project costs $1 million. I think it should be increased to $10 million.

Spease did not receive the support he requested from the board, resulting in his “no” vote on this proposal.

Hume abstained from voting on this proposal, stating his disapproval of a requirement in the agreement that all contractors make employer contributions to union trust funds on behalf of union and non-union employees.

“The idea of ​​contributing to the pension plan, I don’t see how it benefits the job,” he says. “I don’t see how it benefits the taxpayers and I don’t see how it benefits the worker, because unless that worker does more union work or joins the union after that job, they never get that money. And that’s obviously unfair to me.

Michael A. Bynum