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The citizens committee charged with overseeing work under Proposition S, the $2.1 billion facilities bond for San Diego Unified schools, is jumping into the fray over a project labor agreement.

Its members voted Wednesday to begin putting together a report on the potential costs and benefits of such an agreement for the school board, defying the advice of San Diego Unified staff who urged them not to take up the controversial and highly politicized issue. The committee plans to ask the school board to take no action for or against a labor agreement until the group issues its report. Committee members include both proponents and opponents of project labor agreements, which typically trade guarantees on workplace rules for unionized workers’ promise not to strike on the job.

A larger question raised by the debate — whether the committee has the authority to oversee projects or plans before they happen — was not settled at the meeting.

EMILY ALPERT

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