I Live in FresnoI Work in Fresno

Qualified merit shop construction workers in Fresno cannot work on projects in their own backyard under a Project Labor Agreement.

If a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) is passed at Fresno USD, I can’t work on projects in my own backyard that I fund with my tax dollars.

Contact the Fresno USD Board of Trustees today let them know you oppose PLAs and want the local community, your neighbors and friends to have the opportunity to work on Fresno USD projects.

Fresno USD PLA Background

Project Labor Agreements/Community Workforce Agreements (PLAs/CWAs) are exclusive construction and development contracts developed between a client, typically public agencies, and labor unions for the development of projects such as prisons, schools, hospitals, police and fire stations. Because of the exclusive nature of these contracts, PLAs/CWAs prevent the vast majority of local contractors and small business owners from competing for and winning construction project contracts.

Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) create barriers for local, minority and women-owned construction employers and their employees from participating in building their community because they contain provisions that do not allow for the full utilization of their own workforces.

Studies show that PLAs increase project costs – anywhere from 10-30% because they restrict competition. Open competition is healthy and increases quality. It levels the playing field and local money is invested into the community.

Project Labor Agreements exclude the men, women, and veterans who have chosen to enter into state approved, unilateral apprenticeship training programs in pursuit of a construction career from the opportunity to work and gain the invaluable on-the-job training experience that provides stability for them, their family and their community.

The first day of classes at a new elementary school in southeast Fresno might have to be pushed back to August 2022 unless Fresno Unified School District soon advertises for bids on the $44 million project, a district administrator warns.

The advertisements were put on hold after some trustees requested information about developing a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the construction of Juan Felipe Herrera Elementary School, chief operating officer Karin Temple told the board in a communication Friday.

Such an agreement would guarantee that the project would use union labor and give bargaining rights to all involved unions for setting wage rates and benefits. The district would need to negotiate the agreement before the project is put out to bid.

Proponents of PLAs say such agreements help ensure that projects finish on time, while opponents say they decrease competition and result in higher costs.

Then, on October 2, Agenda Item A-9, Approve Legal Services Representation Agreement appeared on the consent calendar. The Board of Trustees voted 6-1 to hire an Attorney to perform services related to Project Labor Agreements. The Board also asked for a future study session on PLAs.

Now, Fresno USD is considering a large construction bond to be placed on the March 2020 ballot.

If a PLA is passed, future construction projects at Fresno USD will be subject to the terms and conditions of the Project Labor Agreement.
Do you really want to pay for four schools for the price of five?

Recent Academic Study on PLAs

The Effects of Project Labor Agreements on Public School Construction in New Jersey

Standard PLA Provisions

How a PLA Discriminates and Reduces Bidders Thereby Increasing Costs

How PLAs Discriminate Against Workers in the Fresno Region

  • Restrictions on the use of a core workforce (those current employees of the selected contractor). This only applies to non-union contractors. 

  • Restrictions on the use of state-approved apprentices. This only applies to non-union contractors.  

  • Requirements that all pension payments be made to the union program - even if the worker will never qualify for a pension. Worker makes less money on paycheck. 
  • Requirements that a worker who has never made a decision to join a union - pay union dues and fees.

  • Requirements that health benefits be obtained from union health programs - even if their employer provides comparable health care. 

What Citizens of Fresno Are Saying

"Our workforce is representative of many different nationalities, races, religions, ages, genders, socioeconomic situations and other backgrounds. I think it's fantastic to have people from all walks of life working together. They should all have the opportunity to work on Fresno USD projects. A PLA will take away their opportunity"

Kristine Ballacer, Safety Director
Fresno Plumbing and Heating, Inc.

"I live here in Tower District, Fresno. I buy local. I pay local taxes. I really enjoy working locally. A Project Labor Agreement will hurt my chances of working here at home. Please join us in asking the Fresno Unified School District Board of Trustees to keep fair and open competition on OUR FRESNO PROJECTS."

Steve Ayala

Local Construction Craft Laborer Apprentice

"I am a state and federally approved apprentice enrolled in the ABC Electrical program. If Fresno USD approves a Project Labor Agreement I will not have the opportunity to work on projects in my community because of the "Joint" language that specifically excludes me and other local apprentices."

Nathaniel Acosta

4th Year Electrical Apprentice
2019 ABC National Craft Competition Bronze Medalist

"I do not think it is fair to put a financial burden on taxpayers by giving a hand up to special interest groups that might be from out of town."

Wyndie Gibson

Fresno County Resident

What You Can Do

Educate Yourself

Join Us

Take Action

Use this site and other resources to learn about the negative impacts of PLAs and how they hurt the economy.

Fill out the form below to support others in Fresno who wish to have a fair and competitive bidding process.

Let the Fresno USD Board of Trustees know that you oppose PLAs and support increasing opportunities for all workers regardless of their affiliation.

Important Upcoming Events


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2019 from 3:30 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.

PRESENT and DISCUSS the Use of Project Labor Agreement for Juan Felipe Herrera Elementary School Workshop

A workshop will be facilitated to present information regarding the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) and receive direction from the Board on the use of a PLA for the construction of Juan Felipe Herrera Elementary School. Contact person: David Chavez, telephone 457-3566. View full agenda.



Media Center

The Fresno USD Board of Trustees Need to Hear From You!

Show Your Support

Fill out the form below to contact the Fresno USD Board of Trustees today to let them know you oppose PLAs and want the local community, your neighbors and friends to have the opportunity to work on Fresno USD projects.

Simply fill out the form and your message will reach the Fresno USD Board of Trustees through multiple channels including email, Twitter, Facebook and postal mail. 

Chose from three different messages to send:

        Sample Standard PLA Opposition message

        Sample Journeyworker message

        Sample Apprentice message

Claudia Cazares

Carol Mills
J.D., Clerk

Valerie F. Davis
Board Member

Veva Islas
Board Member

Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas
Board Member

Major Terry Slatic USMC (Retired)
Board Member

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Keshia Thomas
Board Member

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