Why is the San Diego Unified board approving a project labor agreement twice? I got the rundown from Stuart Markey, who oversees the facilities bond for the school district.

Markey said that the only differences from the agreement that the school board approved in May was a separate agreement with the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, which is not part of the local Building and Construction Trades Council with whom San Diego Unified negotiated the initial project labor agreement, and an addendum that gives a way to work out issues between the carpenters and the other trades.

For instance, the addendum says contractors will assign work to apprentice carpenters, painters, plumbers and other laborers based on the Division of Apprenticeship Standards. If workers from more than one trade are approved to do the work as apprentices, the contractor decides which apprenticeship program gets the work. Markey said there were no other significant changes.

Opponents of the project labor agreement are making hay of the added agreement. An unsigned e-mail from the campaign called it an “embarrassing spectacle” that shows “the brotherhood is not quite what it used to be.”

Supporters aren’t backing down. I just got an e-mail from David Cohen, who says that contrary to the campaigning against the labor agreement, “my wife and I would NEVER have voted for the bonds if the jobs were NOT going to union workers. So there!!!”

The amended agreement goes before the school board on Tuesday night. Fireworks are expected.


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