Mayor London Breed Signs Law to Support Working People and Small Businesses on Public Construction Projects
Citywide project labor agreement creates framework for labor contracting in public projects; expands opportunities for graduates of the City’s job training programs
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed signed legislation that supports working people and small businesses by creating the framework for a citywide project labor agreement on public construction projects.
This legislation comes after months of negotiations between Mayor Breed, the Board of Supervisors, labor leaders, and community stakeholders, including Local Business Enterprise leaders. It builds on the Mayor’s commitment to help working people, including legislation she recently signed to increase wages for in-home supportive service workers and nonprofit workers under City contracts, who are among the lowest paid workers in San Francisco.
“I am committed to making sure that working people can continue to live in San Francisco,” said Mayor Breed. “That is why I was excited to sign the recent minimum compensation ordinance to provide a raise to some of the lowest paid workers in the City and why I am proud to sign this project labor agreement. It is critical that we make sure that people get paid a fair wage for the work they do.”
Project labor agreements seek to avoid delays and cost overruns on both public and private projects by creating a clear framework instead of negotiating on a project-by-project basis. The legislation was passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors and requires the City to negotiate a project labor agreement with local unions covering City public work projects above certain monetary thresholds. For work funded by bonds, the threshold triggering applicability of the project labor agreement begins at $5 million and lowers to $1 million over a three year time period. For all other work the threshold is set at $10 million.
Recognizing the importance the City’s Local Business Enterprise program plays in supporting small and minority owned businesses and ensuring they have the opportunity to participate on City projects, the legislation contains a provision which allows Local Business Enterprises to accumulate $5 million worth of work before being subject to the terms of the project labor agreement, allowing time for smaller Local Business Enterprises to grow.
“This historic agreement sets the foundation to advance, promote, and protect good middle-class jobs in the construction industry and sets the example for the rest of California and the nation,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí. “We took great care to also protect the advancements made by minority contractors and the pathways to employment we’re creating for under-represented communities. I am proud to have been a part of this great achievement.”
Additionally, the legislation seeks to expand opportunities for graduates of San Francisco’s CityBuild Program, which provides pre-apprenticeship and construction training, by requiring that unions provide pathways to direct entry into union apprenticeship programs for CityBuild graduates.
“This citywide project labor agreement represents the culmination of many conversations between city representatives, labor and small contractors,” said Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer. “This policy is a commitment to organized labor and a statement about the value that union workers bring to San Francisco’s economy.”
“This is a historic day for working people in San Francisco,” said Larry Mazzola, Jr., President of the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council and Business Manager of Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local 38. “In her first six months, Mayor London Breed has already delivered a win decades in the making by ensuring family-supporting wages and benefits for all construction workers and expanded access to apprenticeships for disadvantaged community members.”
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