Governor Signs SBCTC Bill to Protect Building Trades Apprenticeship Programs
July 21, 2015 - On July 16th, Governor Brown signed legislation sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council that protects all state approved successful apprenticeship programs by reinforcing the "need standard." Therein, limiting the ability of contractors to establish a phony apprenticeship program for the sole purpose of paying workers on public works projects lower wages with no intentions of ever graduating these workers into higher pay rates or journeyman status. Also, as the state looks to expand apprenticeship to non-traditional sectors of our economy (healthcare, manufacturing etc.), it ensures those new programs do not substantially overlap with the training provided by an existing Building Trades program.
AB 1308 by Assembly member Henry Perea (D-Fresno) provides that contractors must actually “have requested apprentices” and demonstrate a pattern of non-compliance with requests before the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) is required to process a new application and determine whether an existing program truly lacks the capacity to provide them. Currently, the DAS must process new program applications based on minimal and often fraudulent information which unnecessarily wastes staff time and limited resources.
AB 1308 will also protect existing high performing building trades programs as the DAS looks to expand apprenticeship to non-traditional industries by ensuring new programs don't substantially overlap with existing successful programs’ training processes that are meeting the industry’s and contractors’ needs. This is particularly important because the DAS has received applications from the United Steel Workers and others to start apprenticeships in various crafts claiming that new “specialized” programs are needed for oil refineries.
SBCTC President Robbie Hunter commented: “Our apprenticeship programs are the life-blood of all trades and we must protect them against all threats. They are also the foundation on which the State of California has successfully and efficiently built the infrastructure of this state that has the seventh largest economy in the world. AB 1308 strengthens the ability and responsibility of our unions to continue providing apprentices to all infrastructure.” projects throughout California. We thank Governor Brown and the Legislature for advancing this new law. This is a great victory for all the Building Trades and their members."
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