County Board of Supervisors OKs County-wide Project Labor Agreement with Building Trades

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors approved the first ever Countywide Project Stabilization Agreement (PSA) for county construction projects at its June 11 meeting. The Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council and its affiliated unions have been working on the PSA for several years and building support from the members of the Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Wilma Chan chaired the Countywide Project Stabilization Task Force that reviewed and developed the PSA.

“This is an important step to grow our local economy and promote the creation of good jobs in Alameda County,” Supervisor Chan said. “I’m glad that the first project to utilize this agreement will be the San Lorenzo Library expansion. This will save money, employ county residents, and get us to completion faster.”

The detailed agreement between the county and the building trades council took effect immediately on approval. It is expected to promote efficient and safe construction, grow good paying jobs, and support the local economy. The agreement, which passed the Board unanimously, was signed by the Building Trades Council and its 28 affiliated unions.

Andreas Cluver, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council said, “We know this agreement will create a critical pipeline for County residents to access stable and good-paying jobs in construction in Alameda County. Now, projects will get completed even more efficiently, and we will access a talented and willing local labor force to get things done. This keeps the money circulating in our community.”

The PSA will cover construction projects underwritten by the County of $1 million or more. The PSA covers a wide range of topics including local hiring requirements, wages, benefits, and the promotion of apprenticeship programs.

Board President Supervisor Keith Carson said, “The Project Stabilization/Community Benefits Agreement is the result of input from the diversity of stakeholders in Alameda County and provides a framework for the County to successfully complete the array of capital projects essential for our future growth and development.”

Supervisor Nate Miley, a member of the PSA Task Force, said, “This is the outcome of an unprecedented collaboration between the county, the construction trades, and local leaders. We all agreed that bringing good-paying jobs to Alameda County was our priority, and we went to work from there.”

The PSA replicates the models for Project Labor Agreements and PSAs that have been used successfully by school districts, cities, ports, and college districts in Alameda County. It will provide a universal working agreement between the county and its construction partners in the labor community. It outlines the expectations and benefits for county-funded construction projects. It also outlines how the county can leverage its multiple agencies and programs to promote the training and hiring of veterans and disadvantaged community members living below the poverty line to good paying jobs. The annual Alameda County construction budget is $1.2 billion.

Supervisor Richard Valle said, “The PSA promotes greater apprenticeship program participation. This will lead to more families having access to good-paying middle class jobs—and they will be building essential county infrastructure to help entire communities.”

Supervisor Scott Haggerty added, “I am especially pleased that the PSA promotes the ‘Helmets to Hard Hats’ initiative to train our veterans in skilled construction labor. It’s great to be able to put these heroes to work in our communities.” Helmets to Hard Hats is the program initiated by the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department to offer priority hiring for veterans as part of several PLAs around the U.S.