The controversial move by the San Diego Unified board to begin negotiating a work agreement with a coalition of unions changed names nearly as often as Prince. (You might better know him as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince or a symbol that I don’t have on my keyboard.)

It came to the school board last night as a Public Works Agreement — a PWA, was dubbed a Project Labor Agreement by its foes — a PLA, and eventually was renamed a Project Stabilization Agreement — a PSA.


School board member Richard Barrera, who proposed the measure jointly with school board President Shelia Jackson, said the final name — PSA — made it clearer that its purpose was to get projects done on time and under budget. Los Angeles Unified used the same name for a similar agreement, which a former Los Angeles board member praised for preventing work stoppages during a facilities bond for the massive district.

Not surprisingly, opponents of such agreements interpret the name change differently.

“I’m happy that we’ve given PLAs such a bad name that they renamed them,” said Eric Christen, executive director of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction, which opposes the agreements.


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