Former Anti-PLA Board Members Now See that PLAs Work!

June 13, 2012 - Foothill DeAnza Community College District - A recent vote by the Foothill DeAnza Community College District trustees provides persuasive evidence that PLAs work.  Two board members who voted against a PLA four years ago after hearing and believing ABC propaganda, are now part of a unanimous vote last week to expand that PLA to include more than $45 million worth of additional work!

In 2008, the trustees voted 3-2 to enter into a PLA with the Santa Clara and San Benito Building Trades Council for their $500 million Measure C Modernization Bond.  The two trustees voting in opposition said they were persuaded by ABC’s anti-PLA arguments.

But now, those same two previously anti-PLA trustees, after watching their district’s PLA at work for four years, have cast pro-PLA votes!

They were persuaded by district staff’s mid-term evaluation of the PLA to the Board.  Staff affirmed that the PLA has worked extremely well and has provided the benefits itemized by Neil Struthers of the Building Trades in 2008: 1) there has been plenty of bidders; 2) bids are more than competitive; 3) the quality of contractors work is more than satisfactory; 4) the dispute resolution procedure in the Agreement works; 5) local residents and students have received more opportunities for work; 6) staff workload related to prevailing wage enforcement has gone down and compliance has improved; and 7) new State regulations will benefit the District and save them money in the future by virtue of having a PLA in place.

In contrast the ABC in 2008 had made all its familiar arguments to the District that the PLA would exclude non-union contractors (it hasn’t), reduce bidders (it hasn’t), and raise costs (it hasn’t).  So it was no surprise that the ABC were not present at the Board meeting to protest staff’s recommendation to expand the PLA.  They know as well as we do that their campaign of disinformation and deceit is only effective with those without any direct experience with PLAs.

This news should make an effective, persuasive argument for convincing your local officials that PLAs work:  After seeing their district’s PLA get results, these previously anti-PLA officials now favor expanding the scope of the PLA in their district!


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