The San Diego Unified school board is meeting tomorrow behind closed doors to discuss the details of a potential project labor agreement, a controversial plan that would trade labor guarantees on the Proposition S facilities bond for the promise not to strike on the job.

The meeting is closed because it involves bargaining with employee groups and because the school district has been threatened with a lawsuit by opponents of the plan, said school district attorney Mark Bresee.

Some readers have been pressing me for more details on the agreement and what is happening. The news has been pretty scant. There are no details available to the public yet on what, exactly, the agreement will include.

The board has been getting input from contractors, unionized building, the county Taxpayers Association and other groups. It will also get some input from the citizens’ watchdog committee for Proposition S, which formed a subcommittee to examine the issue of a project labor agreement. Several contractors spoke out against any agreement at the subcommittee meeting last week, arguing that a project labor agreement like the ones they had seen elsewhere would discourage competition and drive up costs.

“Nonunion contractors aren’t stupid,” said Kevin Elliott, president of ROEL Construction. “They aren’t going to spend time chasing jobs that they are disadvantaged on.”

The subcommittee is writing a report that will eventually go to the board. I’ll post it as soon as I get a copy. And I’ll try to find out what — if anything — they can tell me tomorrow about what happened behind those closed doors.


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