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Clackamas turns down invasive union measure

July 19, 2011

By John Killin
Associated Builders and Contractors,
Pacific Northwest Chapter

The North Clackamas School District deserves a big round of applause. A few months ago it looked like they might make a big mistake that could have costly consequences for local taxpayers. School board member Sam Gillispie, an official with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555, was asking his fellow school board members to provide union officials access to district construction sites to interview workers (both union and non-union). The proposal is flawed for a variety of reasons which are outlined here 

While news accounts in May suggested the district would adopt the policy in June, a broad coalition of construction contractors pulled together to let the district know that this was a bad idea. Opposition was so strong and universal that Gillispie noted how, “these guys came out of the woodwork.”

Taxpayers should be pleased to know that the district rejected Gillispie’s proposal. When his motion to adopt the policy was made at the July 7th meeting of the school board, it died when not a single school board member seconded the motion.

Gillispie call the defeat, “a slap in the face to organized labor.” Most contractors would say that offering the proposal itself was a bigger slap in the face to taxpayers and Oregon contractors who work to provide safe workplaces and affordable services to the district.

The North Clackamas School Board deserves a lot of credit for listening to concerns and being responsive to the feedback they received.

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Discuss this article

John Fairplay July 19, 2011

Union members should be prohibited from serving on school boards. We need people who have the best interests of children at heart which Mr. Gillespie clearly does not.

Tony Brown July 19, 2011

This is a huge issue and yet only the Clackamas Review picked up the story? This would set a terrible precedence for all the other counties. Glad to high heaven it was stopped here — although I reckon Portland/Multnoamh will give it a try — they always take up lost causes.

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