Santa Ana approves county’s first citywide project labor agreement, setting hiring goals for local workers
SANTA ANA – City council members on Tuesday night, Aug. 15, gave a unanimous nod to Orange County’s first citywide project labor agreement, establishing local hire requirements for construction projects funded by Santa Ana.
The community workforce agreement with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council and the Signatory Craft Councils and Unions applies to city multi-trade construction contracts exceeding $250,000 and specialty contracts over $100,000 limited to a single trade or scope of work.
Santa Ana’s five-year agreement sets a goal for 30 percent of the total work hours to be performed by workers residing in Santa Ana, and veterans regardless of where they live.
“This is, as mentioned before, the first citywide project labor agreement in Orange County,” Councilman Jose Solorio said. “It is historic.”
Under the agreement, apprentices may represent up to 30 percent of each craft’s workforce.
“It provides for opportunities for young people here in Santa Ana that choose not to go to college but choose to work with their brain and their hands,” said Ernesto Medrano, the council’s representative for Orange County. He said apprentices can acquire journey-level experience and earn more than $60,000 a year.
The agreement also provides for binding arbitration of grievances. For projects covered under the agreement, “Unions agree that they shall not incite or encourage, condone or participate in any strike, walk-out, slow-down, picketing, observing picket lines,” a city staff report states.
Council members on Tuesday adopted a resolution amending the city’s budget to add a contracts administrator position with a salary of $89,231 plus benefits for the remainder of fiscal year 2017-18.
The agreement may increase the cost of projects exceeding $100,000 by 10 percent to 20 percent, and by an undetermined amount for costlier ones, according to the staff report.
“Even if there was an additional cost, I think it’s offset by the benefit that this brings to our community with jobs, with employment, people spending money, keeping the dollars local,” Councilman Vicente Sarmiento said.
The agreement was “long overdue,” said Mayor Pro Tem Michele Martinez, who worked on it for at least a decade.
“As we deal with a housing crisis here in Orange County, these are the kinds of jobs we need,” she said.
After voicing his support for the agreement, Medrano asked dozens of trade members in the council chambers to stand.
“These are the individuals who are ready to go to work to rebuild Santa Ana, so go ahead and bring all the capital improvements,” he said. “We’re ready to go, to don our work boots, our hard hats and our tool belts.”
Approval of the agreement was met with applause.
Powered by WPeMatico