On Monday, the Pittsburg City Council agreed to a Project Stabilization Agreement (PSA) and a side letter with the Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council
In the 24-page collective bargaining agreement, the goal was to hire local in the City of Pittsburg. The term of the agreement is for 5-years with a project threshold of $1 million with a local hire goal of 25%. This deal was aimed at capital improvement projects.
According to City manager Joe Sbranti, the agreement has a number of benefits which include a no work stoppage policy, an apprentice training programs, a no cost impact and a use of the local labor force.
“When you go back in time and look at some of the projects we have done, including city hall, we have had some challenges where labor has come to a work stoppage in the middle of a project where it costs the city money and time in delays in getting projects done. This agreement would include a no work stoppage policy,” explained Sbranti.
Sbranti also highlighted how the agreement requires a 25% local hire and that in the past, some of their downtown projects has workers coming from more than 200-miles away. Under this agreement, it forces workers to be used from local union halls.
He noted that Concord, Brentwood and Martinez all have the same agreements in drawing local workers.
“As we do this more in our area, you are getting more Pittsburg workers who are working local and in the surround areas on these larger projects,” said Sbranti.
Bill Whitney, CEO of the Contra Costa Building Trades, said that they represent 35,000 people in that building trades that live in the Contra Costa.
“This amazing agreement is the gift that keeps on giving because what you get is a local hire. You can go to other projects and you will find license plates from Reno Nevada, Boise Idaho, I can tell you when they are buying their groceries, gas and paying their mortgage it is not in Pittsburg,” said Whitney. “This is an opportunity to hire those local people, there are hundreds of building trades people that live in this community and there are apprentices, we want to increase those numbers. We are very committed to local hire.”
Whitney called the agreement a sustainable economic model by supporting the local workforce.
Vice Mayor Sal Evola stated this issue for him as been pretty simple.
“Buy local, hire local,” said Evola. “Four-years ago Councilmember Craft and I, after being elected, set out that this was going to be one of our priorities. Not just for the local jobs and the buy local, hire local, but also for the apprenticeship program… I would just hope that future councils look not only of the percentages of local hire, but the success rate in working with our schools in the pre-apprenticeship program.”
Councilmember Merl Craft highlighted that back in 2014, they had contractors bringing in workers from Southern California to do sidewalk work.
“We need to look within our own communities and need to make sure we have the trained workforce here,” said Craft. “We also need to make sure we put our own people to work that brings back tax dollars into our community.”
Mayor Pete Longmire said local hire was something they wanted to do after the last election.
“This is exactly what was promised and hopefully when we vote on it will be deliver. Its very important to our local people here in the city,” said Longmire. “I like it, I intend on supporting it.”
The Council approved the resolution in a 5-0 vote.