The oversight committee for Proposition S, the $2.1 billion facilities bond in San Diego Unified, deadlocked yesterday on whether to recommend to the school board that it bring a construction agency representative to the bargaining table for a project labor agreement. The tie killed the proposal.

The idea of bringing a third party to the negotiations between labor unions and the school district over a project labor agreement was raised when the school board first voted to begin hashing out an agreement earlier this year, but failed to win over a majority of the school board. Unions argue that it is inappropriate to bring another group into the talks. The exact provisions of the deal are unclear, but such agreements typically set forward work rules in exchange for unions’ promise not to strike.

It is not surprising that the oversight committee split over the question. While the idea was approved by one of its subcommittees, which includes a number of builders and agency representatives skeptical of a labor agreement, the full committee includes a union employee and others who are more sympathetic to the plan. One member, attorney and parent John Stump, opposed the motion because he said it had not properly been listed on the agenda.

The school board is slated to read a proposed project labor agreement on Tuesday, although a San Diego Unified attorney said today that an agreement has yet to be reached.


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