Unions battle local contractors over Cuesta College contracts

February 6, 2015

cuesta collegeMore than 100 people attended Wednesday’s Cuesta College Board of Trustees meeting to voice their opinion over whether contractors hired to do the jobs should be required to hire union workers.

In November, San Luis Obispo County voters approved a $275 million bond measure to be used to fund campus construction and remodeling projects. Cuesta College is required to pay prevailing wage regardless of whether or not it utilizes union workers.

Union leaders asked Cuesta College trustees to enter into a project labor agreement (PLA) requiring union workers. Supporters said union workers are better trained and more likely to get the work done on schedule while sticking to a budget.

Opponents of the PLA said that it would result in out of area workers doing much of the labor.

Leslie Halls, the executive director of the San Luis Obispo County Builders Exchange, said that more than 90 percent of local construction workers do not belong to a union. As a result, labor costs would be higher and local works would be passed over for out of county workers.

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LOL. $275M. Avg house in this area costs $500k. $275M is the construction of 550 new $500K homes for a campus that already exists. HMMMMMM.

Prevailing wage only applies when a municipality accepts federal or state funds. I would not be surprised if Cuesta falls under the Prevailing Wage guidelines. Too bad they couldn’t have structured the bond so that all the money was available without the requirement of prevailing wage.