An Open Letter To The San Francisco Board Of Supervisors: Re 50% Hiring Mandate

An Open Letter To The San Francisco Board Of Supervisors: Re 50% Hiring Mandate

Dear All,

Today, I read the article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle, “Supervisor proposes 50% local hiring mandate”.

As a retired Business Agent for Painters Local # 4, I fully support this proposal, if it is done in partnership with the residents of San Francisco and the Trade Unions.

In the 1990s Painters Local #4 in San Francisco formed a partnership with the residents of the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) public housing. We agreed to have 50% of all the workers doing painting work on this housing be done by the residents and that 100% of apprentices become residents. The residents and the union got the SFHA to agree to an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to that effect for all lead abatement work. We then extended it to the entire Building Trades Council, the result of this process was a  Memorandum of Understanding Between the San Francisco Housing Authority and San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council for the SFHA/Building Trades Resident Partnership Program, in 1994.

It was a highly successful program, many people from the community got work and came into the unions and, in the painters union, got ‘hands on’ training through a college credit apprenticeship program developed by the San Mateo Community College and the Pacifica School District. (The San Francisco Community College and the San Francisco United School District,  had turned us down.)

The residents benefited, the unions benefited, and the San Francisco housing Authority benefited, for the work done by the residents was done below cost estimates and the proposed bids by the building trades contractors.

Unfortunately, the program ended after Willie Brown became Mayor, and my efforts to extend the MOU to all San Francisco public works projects was thwarted by Willie Brown and Louise Renee.

Yours truly,

Roland Sheppard

Retired Business Agent Painters San Francisco Local #4


September 27,1994

The San Francisco Housing Authority (hereinafter called “SFHA”) and the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council (hereinafter called the “Union or Unions”) enter into this Memorandum of Understanding (MOD) concerning the SFHA/Building Trades Resident Partnership Program (hereinafter called “SFHA/BTRPP”), a program designed to provide public housing residents training in the building and construction trades, preparation for entry into traditional union-sponsored apprenticeships, Collimating in full journey level careers in the construction industry. Journey level workers who are public housing residents will also be eligible for hire on a nondiscriminatory basis under this MOU. Our goal is to rebuild and rehabilitate San Francisco’s public housing stock while creating ladders of economic opportunity in the process.

Our agreement gives housing residents the opportunity to develop a trade, not just short- term work that will disappear when the job is finished. At the same time, the work to be performed will result in lead-free, energy-efficient housing for the residents of the housing complexes our members will often be working alongside. We also pledge to publicize the problems and concerns of public and low-income housing residents before Congress, federal and state agencies, and wherever housing problems are of joint concern.

  1. ORIENTATION PROGRAM Under the direction of the SFHA, the parties agree to participate in a joint committee which may include but not be limited to resident organizations, San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco Community College District, Local Unions, Management Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees, community-based organizations, labor, and the Mayor’s Office.

This committee will develop and propose an orientation program to provide as introduction to the various building trades crafts, and to provide life skills counseling and educational opportunities as may be needed for successful entry into apprenticeship programs. The proposal will be submitted for approval to the Office of the SFHA Executive Director, or the individual(s), which may be in charge of day-to-day operations, which will-also monitor its implementation to SFHA Executive Director for approval.

The orientation program will be staffed by individuals who are familiar with the life circumstances of SFHA’s resident population from which new apprentices will be selected.

Upon completion of the orientation process, an individual will choose a specific trade in which he/she wishes to become employed, within the standards established by the appropriate Union/Management Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, California Department of

Industrial Relations, Division of Apprenticeship Standards. In order to comply with Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Act of

1968 (as amended), the parties assure that local apprenticeship standards for each trade will be nondiscriminatory and flexible enough to accommodate the needs of SFHA residents. The ratio of journey level workers to apprentices shall be three-to-one (3:1).   Residents shall be dispatched at a fifty percent (50%) goal if sufficient resident journey level workers are available. All available apprenticeship positions shall go to residents. Both parties will cooperate in joint efforts to access funding for the Orientation Program and seek funding from HUD, private and public sources.

  1. SCOPE OF WORK This MOU shall apply exclusively to SFHA “force account” personnel or direct hire positions by private contractors and subcontractors, at all levels, performing work on SFHA property.

All force account employees will work under the terms and conditions of the respective union’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. No current force account or maintenance positions shall be eliminated as a result of the execution of this agreement.

BID PROCEDURES AND CONTRACT TERMS 1. Based on study and review of SFHA experience in contracting for the construction, alteration, and maintenance of property managed by SFHA, the Housing Commission has found that project agreements with Unions ensure the timely and cost-efficient completion of such projects by, inter alia: (a) Ensuring the availability of highly trained and skilled craft workers; (b)Providing the SFHA and contractors with a reliable process for accurately determining project labor costs and to establish uniform and safe working conditions for all construction crafts; (c)Providing an effective method for the negotiation of specialized terms and conditions which, because of the particular circumstances of specific projects, may be required for timely and cost-effective ‘construction of the project; (d) Providing a negotiated, legally enforceable means of assuring labor stability (e) For the duration of the project; and (f) Providing for and facilitating equal employment opportunities for minorities, (g) Women and public housing residents.

The Housing Commission has also found that special training and apprenticeship requirements are appropriate and necessary for inclusion in all project agreements in order to afford meaningful employment opportunities for SFHA residents and thereby better accomplish the broader statutory and public policy objectives of SFHA operations. Based on SFHA experience, the Housing Commission has further found that Union/Management Building Trades training and apprenticeship programs offer an appropriate and proven method for achieving SFHA resident training and employment opportunity goals.

  • In accordance with the findings described above and in resolutions posted by the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission, SFHA will include the following provisions as general conditions in all contracts and subcontracts, at all levels, executed by the SFHA for demolition, construction, renovation, and/or rehabilitation including hazardous materials abatement and energy conservation of all SFHA administered and managed property:
  • All craftwork performed for this Project will be performed in accordance with the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement for the jurisdiction of the work as specified in this MOU in the SFHAlBuilding Trades Resident Partnership Program (“SFHA/BTRPP”)
  • “Craft workers, including apprentices, shall be obtained in accordance with the SFHA/BTRPP MOU and applicable collective bargaining agreements, without regard to or discrimination on race, sex, creed, national origin, religious affiliation or union affiliation and in full compliance with all applicable state and federal laws.
  • All contracting and subcontracting, at all levels, shall conform to SFHA policies, HUD regulations and the goals for Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WEE), and Resident Business Enterprise participation established by HUD and/or SFHA.
  • Because of the time-sensitive nature of the projects contracted out under this MOU, the parties agree there shall be no, slowdowns, or work stoppages, and no lockouts during the project; all disputes regarding the terms of the project labor agreement, including craft jurisdictional disputes will be resolved in accordance with the dispute resolution and binding arbitration procedures as determined by Section 4 and 6 of this San Francisco Housing Authority /Building Trades Resident Partnership Program (SFHA/BTRPP).
  1. JURISDICTIONAL DISPUTES Because of the time-sensitive nature of the projects contracted out under this MOU, the parties agree there will be no strikes, no work stoppages or slowdowns or other interferences with the work because of jurisdictional disputes.
  2. Where a jurisdictional dispute exists, it shall first be referred for resolution to the Local Unions. If they are unable to resolve the dispute, the dispute shall then be referred for resolution to the International Union General Presidents. The resolution of the dispute shall be reduced to writing, signed by the authorized representatives of the International Unions and the contractor or subcontractors. The agreements made by the contractor or subcontractors shall be followed until such time as the dispute is resolved in accordance with the Section.
  3. NO LOCKOUT During the term of this MOU, the SFHA agrees that it will not lockout employees and the Union agrees that it will not cause or authorize its members to strike, sitdown or engage in any work stoppage or limitations upon services out of any disputes relating to the terms of this MOU.
  4. DISPUTE RESOLUTION Any disputes arising on any SFHA project shall be resolved by the affected employers, Council, and each signatory Local Union, through appropriate legal or contractual procedures and without resort to economic action of any kind.In the event any Local Union contends that contractor or subcontractor is in violation of its local collective bargaining agreement, and bas been unable to resolve the dispute through the appropriate legal or contractual procedures, or the subcontractor has failed to abide by a decision of a grievance panel or arbitrator regarding the dispute, said Local Union shall give written notice to the SFHA and the Council, specifying the nature of the unresolved violation within five (5) working days after the contractor/subcontractor has failed to comply. If that contractor/subcontractor is determined by the Local Union and the Council to have violated the grievance procedure of the local agreement or has failed to comply with a properly determined resolution of the dispute, the SFHA shall notify the Contractor who shall give the affected subcontractor 72 hours written notice to comply with the local agreement or be removed from the SFHA project. Any other disputes involving provisions of this MOU not provided for by individual union collective bargaining agreement grievance procedures shall be referred to a labor management committee. The committee shall be composed of three members appointed by the Unions, including representation of from the union involved in the dispute, and three members appointed by the SFHA. The committee shall meet within five (5) working days of written notice of a dispute by either party. A majority decision of this committee shall be binding on the parties. At such time as the labor-management committee is not able to reach a decision, any party to this agreement may request, in writing, the following binding arbitration procedure within fourteen (14) days. In the event either party institutes this procedure, arbitration shall be mandatory. The party invoking this procedure shall immediately notify Leo Kanowitz, who the parties agree shall be the permanent Arbitrator under this procedure. In the event that the permanent Arbitrator is unavailable at any time, alternate arbitrator Gerald McKay shall hear the matter. Notice to the Arbitrator shall be by the most expeditious means available, with notice by telegram, facsimile or similar means to the party alleged to be in violation and the involved union. Upon receipt of notice, the Arbitrator named above or his alternate shall designate a place for schedule and hold a hearing within five (5) working days. The decision of the Arbitrator shall be final and binding on all parties and the fee and expenses of such arbitrations shall be borne equally by the SFHA and the Local Union.
  5. SAVING CLAUSE If any provision of this MOD should be held invalid by operation of law or by any court of competent jurisdictions, or if compliance with or enforcement of any provision should be restrained by any tribunal, including but not limited to the Department of Housing and Urban Development of the United States policies and regulations, the remainder of this agreement shall not be affected thereby and the parties shall, if possible, enter into negotiations for the sole purpose of arriving at a mutually satisfactory replacement for such provision.
  6. DURATION OF AGREEMENT In order to achieve the long-term resident employment goals of this MOU, the MOU shall become effective on the date of execution and shall remain in effect for four (4) years consistent with Section 3 of the 1968 Act.

Supervisor proposes 50% local hiring mandate By Rachel Gordon

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

With San Francisco’s unemployment rate topping 9 percent – and ballooning to more than 15 percent in the poorest neighborhoods – an effort is under way to put more local residents to work on city-funded projects.

Supervisor John Avalos on Tuesday introduced legislation that would require half the hires on local public works projects to be San Francisco residents.

Under current city law, contractors only have to show they’ve made a good-faith effort to meet the city’s nonbinding goal that 50 percent of the workers live in San Francisco.

A study commissioned by the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development found that just 20 percent of the city-funded jobs were filled by local residents. The city’s long-range capital plan outlines more than $25 billion in construction projects over the next decade, from expanding the Muni subway into Chinatown to building a new police command center.

Avalos said now is the time to turn the city’s goal into a mandate. Not only would it put people to work, he said, but those workers would spend more of their paychecks locally.

“When it comes to making local investments with our tax dollars for building our public infrastructure, it makes sense we have as much benefit as we can at the local level,” Avalos said.

are workers there?

But the head of the local building trades association has serious concerns about the legislation, including whether there are enough qualified San Francisco residents to fill the jobs. The public schools, he said, offer too few shop courses to train prospective tradespeople, and too few people interested in construction jobs leave high school with a diploma, which is a prerequisite for many apprenticeship programs. And often, he said, once a carpenter, plumber, electrician or metalworker from San Francisco establishes a career, the city’s high housing prices drive them out.

“It attempts to come the wrong way at a problem that has been brewing for a generation,” Michael Theriault, secretary-treasurer of the San Francisco Building Construction Trades Council, said of the proposed ordinance.

In addition, he said, the proposal doesn’t take into account the regional nature of the construction jobs in which specialized workers move from project to project, whether it’s in Oakland, San Jose, Walnut Creek or San Francisco.

Concerns also have been raised over whether the proposal could withstand potential legal challenges over such issues as fairness in competitive bidding and geographic-based discrimination. As is, the legislation would exempt out-of-state workers when the 50 percent local hire threshold is factored to adhere to federal policy.

7 supes at rally

Six of Avalos’ 10 colleagues joined him at a City Hall rally to support the measure — one supervisor shy of the votes needed to override a possible mayoral veto.

Mayor Gavin Newsom does not support the plan as now crafted, but could back a compromise. His staff has been meeting with Avalos and others, and will continue to do so.

“The mayor supports stronger local hire requirements, and we’ll continue to work with the supervisors, the building trade unions and the community on legislation that achieves both realistic and legally enforceable local job guarantees for city projects,” Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker said.

Avalos made clear that he is willing to make adjustments. “What we’re introducing today is only a starting point,” he said.

He modeled his legislation after a Cleveland law that dictates 20 percent local hiring on city-funded projects.

He said there may be room for changes to what he acknowledged is now an aggressive timeline to phase in the requirement and hit the 50 percent mark three years after the law is enacted.

Theriault said his goal is to “at least get to a place where the legislation will do no harm.”

Sharie Phillips, 28, is a San Francisco resident who hopes to work as a carpenter. She is more than halfway through a local 14-week training program.

“It would be great if I could find work when I’m done,” said Phillips. “Requiring local hiring on city construction jobs might help.”