Building Trades, Working With Legislature and Governor, Make 2014 Another Productive Year

October 1, 2014 - Governor Jerry Brown has signed a package of bills sponsored and supported by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC), and sent to him by the Legislature, that make 2014 another highly productive year for California Building Trades workers that will benefit all Californians for years to come.

The legislation ensures that more infrastructure projects will be built with highly-skilled, well-trained apprentices and journeypersons, that more projects will be built by reputable prequalified contractors, and that a fair share of apprenticeship grant funding goes to the most effective labor-management programs.

Some of 2014’s highlights:

SB 785 (Wolk) Authorizes design-build authorities for local governments, and requires contractors and subcontractors that are awarded bids to increase the number of workers on design-build projects that are graduates of state approved apprenticeship programs to 60 percent by 2020. These provisions protect California workers, contractors and taxpayers from unscrupulous contractors who would otherwise produce shoddy projects built by low-wage, unskilled workers.

AB 1870 (Alejo) Fixes the Division of Apprenticeship Standards’ distribution formula that currently allows non-union statewide programs to procure most of the grant funds, despite producing a small minority of the graduates. This bill requires that grants be divided among programs based on the number of apprenticeships registered, ensuring that labor-management programs, which graduate the vast majority of apprentices, receive the appropriate grant amounts.

AB 155 (Alejo) Provides the Monterey County Water Resources Agency with design-build authority for a water transfer project only if it enters into an agreement with the Monterey County Building and Construction Trades Council. This guarantees the best-trained, highly-skilled, streamlined work force will build it to the highest standards while bringing good jobs to local workers, and provides crucial infrastructure to the region that will provide benefits for decades and beyond.

AB 1581 (Buchanan) Requires that school facility projects performed under the “lease-leaseback” procurement method use prequalified contractors, preventing unqualified contractors on these projects from cutting corners, causing defects and harming workers.

SBCTC President Robbie Hunter commented: “All these good bills resulted from the united political activism of our members. We helped elect a governor and legislators who understand and care about working people, and then advocated effectively for our causes. Once again, the Trades standing together with no division have made a great positive difference in the lives of California construction workers. Our deepest gratitude to a governor who understands working families, and seeks to drive California’s economy by promoting good jobs.”

 

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