Locals for hire - Page 3

Supervisors consider requiring contractors to do more local hiring just as the UC hospital breaks ground in Mission Bay

Workers with Aboriginal Blacks United protest the lack of a local hiring plan for the new UCSF hospital construction site

"There are estimates that up to 40 percent of the members of our local construction trade unions are currently out-of-work," Newsom wrote. "It would be helpful if you could share the commitments that UCSF has made on the issue of local hiring, particularly around employing residents of San Francisco's most distressed communities in southeast San Francisco, and the results of those efforts to date." Winnicker said UCSF has not yet responded.

Barbara French, UCSF's vice chancellor for university relations, told the Guardian that UCSF is working to evaluate hiring needs for phase of the project, talking to the unions, and intends to make its findings public in December.

"We have had a voluntary local hiring policy since 1993," French said, confirming that in the past 17 years, the university has reached a 12 percent local hire rate on average. "Sometimes it was 7 percent, sometimes it was 24 percent ... Our [goal] is to reach a number that is beyond what we reached before but which is realistic."

Recently French told community-based organizations that UCSF hadn't signed a contract with the contractor at its Mission Bay hospital project, didn't have the permits yet, and that the recent community celebrations didn't mark the start of active construction at the site.

French said general hiring at Mission Bay will begin in December. "We don't get any city funds at this site, so our commitment is voluntary. But we feel very strongly that we have to reach out," she said.

Avalos acknowledged that UC is not under San Francisco's jurisdiction and can't be compelled to do more local hiring. "But we know that they are doing a critical amount of building and investing taxpayer dollars, and that this land use impacts the surrounding community. So it makes sense that we have local hire legislation and access to serious end-use jobs at the hospital."