A discussion over instituting a county-wide project labor agreement policy ended without a decision, as questions posed by three supervisors went unanswered. The proposed PLA would apply to any project over $25 million in the county.

Instead of making a decision at last week’s meeting, the issue was turned back to the county’s staff to investigate several concerns raised by Supervisors David Rabbitt, Valerie Brown, and Efren Carrillo. Many of the questions had to do not only with necessity, but practicality and impact.

The PLA policy would mandate that any publicly funded project worth more than $25 million be executed under an undetermined project labor agreement. According to the County’s Attorney, the County can already institute a PLA on any project, while this policy would mandate it. Under the PLA, non-union members working on the project would have to pay union representation dues. While not full union dues, there were questions as to how those dollars would impact employees in the county, where about 80 percent of the construction workforce is non-union.

The policy would also give preference to local employees and veterans, although neither preference was defined. Supervisors were concerned that there aren’t enough local employees in the County for large-scale projects, so defining the area would be another sticking point.

Read the full story at the North Bay Business Journal.