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Study Reveals PLAs Increase School Construction Costs

ENR California

Monday, July 25, 2011

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Project Labor Agreements are agreements between those constructing projects and construction trade unions. They address issues such as hiring preferences, wages, benefits and how labor disputes are to be resolved. At present, at least 24 K-12 school districts in California have adopted PLA provisions, including Los Angeles Unified, Santa Ana Unified, San Diego Unified, San Francisco Unified and West Contra Costa Unified school districts. Between 1996 and 2008 these districts built 65 schools using PLAs with a cumulative cost of $1.7 billion. Given the higher costs of PLAs, this means these agreements cost taxpayers and students more than $200 million.