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Item 10 Amendments

1 month 3 days ago #863 by DeenaEstrada

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  • Dear Commissioners, 
    As you are aware, during this Tuesday’s commissioners court hearing, the court will consider for possible action Item 10 to “accept application for the Silicon Silver project” as an exception to the current economic incentive agreement moratorium with the condition that any application will be considered under the City of Austin’s Chapter 380 policy, the County’s community input policy approved on December 15, and other measures adopted by the Court (emphasis mine).  Below are other measures that I will be proposing for the court’s consideration. These are recommendations from community stakeholders that will strengthen our interim policy to ensure our economy continues to grow equitably for all Travis County residents. This includes by ensuring the creation of good jobs and safe working conditions.  
    I would appreciate your posting below any questions or comments on these amendments and look forward to our discussion on Tuesday. 

    Employee requirements: 
    • Paid no less than the County’s living wage and as it may be adjusted annually, including full-time employees and contract employees, and if applicable to a project with capital expenditures in the form of construction, construction workers hired for construction work will be paid at least the County’s living wage (COA Ch. 380) 
    • Company shall provide health insurance benefits for all new full-time employees and extend benefits to domestic partners of employees and their dependents. The company’s policy should reflect the definition of a domestic partner as an individual who lives in the same household and shares the common resources of life in a close, personal, intimate relationship with an employee if under Texas law the individual would not be prevented from marrying the employee on account of age, consanguinity, or prior undissolved marriage to another. A domestic partner may be of the same, or opposite, gender as the employee. (COA Ch. 380) 
    • Must, regardless of project size, hire at least 25% of its new employees at the project location from residents of the County of Travis and the 5 surrounding Counties of Bastrop, Hays, Caldwell, Williamson and Burnet;   
    Construction worker requirements:  
    • Adherence to  Travis County’s Contract Compliance Program  
    • Standards include:
    • Pre-bid certifications/questionnaires 
    • Workers Compensation 
    • OSHA 10 for all workers/OSHA 30 for all safety supervisors in language the employees can understand  
    • Prevailing wages  
    • Good faith effort to hire from DOL-registered Workforce Training programs 
    • Adherence to all local, state and federal law  
    • Independent on-site monitoring through the Travis County Compliance Program
    • If capacity constraints prevent TCCCP from monitoring the project, the TCCCP should select the independent monitoring entity to monitor construction of the project.  
    • Living wages: County’s current living wage or Federal Davis Bacon Prevailing Wage, whichever is higher of the two for each job classification 
    • 20% of construction workforce must be currently enrolled or graduated from DOL certified apprenticeship or DOL approved bilingual craft training programs  
    • Must, regardless of project size, hire at least 25% of its construction workforce at the project location from residents of the County of Travis and the 5 surrounding Counties of Bastrop, Hays, Caldwell, Williamson and Burnet 
    Additional requirements: 
    • Must not involve contractors that have (1) any outstanding wage theft complaints against them or any wage theft violations committed in the last three years; or (2) any outstanding OSHA investigations or violations in the past three years.
    • Must require the Owner and their contractors or employers operating on their site to commit to taking no retaliatory actions against any workers organizing or engaging in concerted activity as defined under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S. Code § 157);  
    • Must provide the County with a copy of the applicant's equal employment opportunity policy. An equal employment opportunity policy must account for fair chance hiring opportunities. If the applicant does not have a written equal employment policy at the time of application, applicant must provide County with a written plan for adoption of such policy, to be completed and provided to the County prior to any Agreement being executed. NO Agreement will be entered into until the copy of the policy is provided to County; 
    • Must prohibit any retaliation by Owner against workers who report safety issues on the site. 
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    1 month 2 days ago #864 by CommissionerAnn

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  • Replied by CommissionerAnn on topic Item 10 Amendments
    Can  anyone clarify the amendment language regarding the following:
    1.  Related to Project Employees
    Is  requiring  that 25% of new employees  be residents of Travis County and the 5 surrounding counties doable?
    2.  Related to Construction Workers - 
    Does the bullet  requiring Good Faith to hire from DOL-registered workforce training programs conflict or repeat the bullet further down requiring 20% of construction workforce be ... from DOL apprentice or DOL approved bilingual craft training?  (I lack the expertise to differentiate these programs.)

    Is the bullet calling for Prevailing Wages necessary or conflicting with the bullet that calls for  Living wages (or the higher of Living and Prevailing?)

    Is  requiring that 25% of the project construction workforce  be residents of Travis County and the 5 surrounding counties doable?

    I  support  ruling out bad actors, but is it too broad to  rule out contractors who have unresolved complaints/investigations when it's possible the contractor will be found without  violations at the conclusion of a specific case?   (Are there enough without a single complaint to do the work? )

    I'm available to review additional material or discuss at the appropriate time.  
    Thank you!

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