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Project Labor Agreement

Pure Water Program, Phase 1

Common Questions About the Project Labor Agreement

What is the Project Labor Agreement?

The City of San Diego Project Labor Agreement for Construction of Pure Water Program Phase I Projects (PLA) is an agreement between the San Diego Building Construction Trades, craft unions signatory to the agreement and the contractors performing work on the covered projects. The City of San Diego is responsible for implementing and administering the agreement.

San Diego City Resident Goal

The contractors and unions agree to work together to achieve a goal of at least 35% of the total construction craft hours worked on each covered project to be performed by City of San Diego residents.

Targeted Worker Goal

The Contractors and Unions agree to work together to achieve a goal of at least 10% of the total construction craft hours worked on each covered project to be performed by Targeted Workers from the following categories:

  • Is a Veteran, or is the eligible spouse of a Veteran of the United States armed forces, under Section 2 (a) of the Jobs for Veterans Act (38 United States Code [U.S.C.] 4215 [a];
  • At initial time of employment on a covered project, is an apprentice with less than 10% of the work hours required for graduation to become a Journeyperson;
  • Has no high school diploma or general education diploma (GED);
  • Is homeless or has been homeless within the last year;
  • Is a former foster youth;
  • Is a custodial single parent;
  • Is experiencing protracted unemployment (receiving unemployment benefits for at least 3 months);
  • Is a current recipient of government cash or food assistance benefits;
  • Has a documented income at or below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level; and/or
  • Is formerly incarcerated with a history of involvement with the criminal justice system.

Can non-union prime contractors or subcontractors work on Pure Water PLA-covered projects?

Yes, non-union prime contractors and subcontractors can work on Pure Water’s PLA-covered projects; however, the PLA, Article 3, Section 3.3 (b), requires all prime contractors and subcontractors who have been awarded contracts of work to sign a Letter of Assent prior to the commencement of work, which means they agree to the terms and conditions of the PLA.

Will prime contractors or subcontractors have to pay employee benefits to the union?

Yes, the PLA, Article 6, Section 6.2 (c), requires all prime contractors and subcontractors to pay benefit contributions for all union referrals and core employees to the appropriate union trust fund.

Are PLA projects subject to prevailing wages?

Yes, in accordance with the PLA, Article 6, Section 6.4, the applicable prevailing federal or state rate determination shall apply to all PLA-covered projects.

Can prime contractors and subcontractors use their own workforce?

Yes, contractors may use a certain number of Core Employees, as set forth in the PLA in Sections 4.6 (a) and (b). In accordance with the PLA, Article 4, Section 4.6 (f), a Core Employee must be either a journeyperson or apprentice and appear on the contractor’s active payroll for at least 90 of the last 180 working days prior to being designated as a Core Employee, must possess any license required by state or federal law for the Project Work to be performed and must have the ability to safely perform the basic functions of the applicable trade.

Pure Water San Diego Phase 1 Projects

Morena Pump Station

Morena Conveyance Northern Alignment

North City Water Reclamation Plant Expansion and Influent Pump Station

North City Pure Water Facility and Pump Station

North City Pure Water Pipeline

Metropolitan Biosolids Center Improvements


Lea Fields-Bernard
Pure Water Project Labor Coordinator
City of San Diego
8525 Gibbs Drive, Suite 205
San Diego, CA 92123



Mandy Oelschlager
Labor Relations



Don Maurer
Labor Relations