by Tim Paulson, Secretary-Treasurer
San Francisco Building & Construction Trades Council
This calendar year has been challenging for building trades unions in San Francisco.
I have already indicated in previous notes that we are negotiating with many large owners and developers throughout the east side of San Francisco for good union jobs. We are irritatingly close to finishing with the San Francisco Giants at Mission Rock and Forrest City at Pier 70 as well as commencing negotiations with Build, Inc at India Basin and Associate Capital which now owns the old Potrero Hill power plant sight.
Park Merced negotiations are still flowered with thorns, though we are close to finishing the Project Labor Agreement on this multi-decade renovation project on the West Side.
We are also engaging in two new parcels by the new Transbay Terminal with Hines/Urban which includes one project with 45% affordable housing and the other will be the third largest high rise in San Francisco.
I recently found out that my new colleagues negotiated a PLA centered at 5th and Mission – the Chronicle Building site – referred to as M5 – that will keep many construction workers in middle class jobs for years. When I worked in the field as a Journeyman and Foreman we used to say: “We like long jobs.”
Now is the annual time of year that the San Francisco Unified School District is inviting bids to remodel, expand, and renovate our schools under the Bond PLA. The pre-job requests keep coming in. We just met with the signatory contractors who will be working on McAteer High School and George Washington High School. Your business agents, who are “kicking ass,” are informing me of the next batch of school bids even before the School District calls the council. Thank you!
Another piece of our organizing pie is that our Collective Bargaining Agreement with City College is up late this summer and I have sent in a reopener to start negotiations but haven’t heard back yet about dates. Stay tuned.
Now that City-wide public employee negotiations with dozens of building trades and labor council unions have concluded for public workers (11% raise though most of us believe you deserve much more after taking furloughs, etc. Thank you, President Mazzola, Jr. for co-chairing the labor council’s Public Employees Committee) we will have the bandwidth to commence negotiations on the Citywide PLA, which the San Francisco Board of Supervisors finally passed unanimously and Mayor London Breed signed.
Disturbingly the Mayor has now stated that the first Revenue Bond that she has proposed for affordable housing will not be included in the PLA. That is an unacceptable betrayal of men and women of the building and construction trades council.
More on this later, also.
Finally, I have also said in my years as a labor representative that I don’t sit on commissions. I advocate in front of them on behalf of working men and women.
But I was convinced of the importance of the Public Utilities Commission, billions of dollars entrusted to make San Francisco and northern California’s infrastructure function. As your Secretary-Treasurer I am proud to assume this new role.