MSD News and Alerts
“[I]t can sometimes take time for new partners to build trust with each other and learn to speak the same language.”
At an 11:00 A.M. press conference today, Adolphus Pruitt, St. Louis City NAACP Branch President; Brian Hoelscher, MSD Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer; and others will stand together to make and witness an announcement that claims of default by some of the signatories to MSD’s Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) have been settled.
In advance of the press conference, Mr. Pruitt – on behalf of the CBA signatories – and Mr. Hoelscher – on behalf of MSD – issue the following statement:
Since 2011, MSD and signatories to the CBA have diligently worked together to ensure that MSD’s capital program is representative of and inclusive of the entire St. Louis community that MSD serves. In 2013 – and in follow-up to MSD’s completion of a 2012 Disparity Study – MSD and several community organizations entered into the agreement known as the Community Benefits Agreement, or CBA. The CBA establishes a framework for addressing issues in diverse workforce training, diverse business development, and other areas that often act as obstacles in developing a diverse labor pool and contracting community. It’s a new concept for our St. Louis community – to our knowledge, this is the first such agreement in the region – but we believe it offers an opportunity to address these important issues in a new and collaborative way.
Starting in May 2015, several of the CBA signatories alleged MSD was in default of the CBA. After tireless effort by everyone involved, we will formally announce later today that those claims are released and all parties are working together to ensure full satisfaction at all levels with MSD’s Diversity Program as we stay on track to meet the requirements of the CBA.
Since the CBA was signed in 2013, all signatories have invested significant time and resources to ensure MSD’s Diversity Program addresses the deficiencies identified by the 2012 Disparity Study. At the same time, all parties have sought to maintain the successes MSD had prior to the 2012 Disparity and successfully implements a workforce diversity program.
The going has not always been easy. Everyone involved has been participating in a model that is new to the St. Louis region – and definitely new to the CBA participants. As such, it can sometimes take time for new partners to build trust with each other and learn to speak the same language.
During this time, MSD’s Diversity Program has continued to produce real game changing results by maintaining past successes and successfully addressing any deficiencies identified by the 2012 Disparity Study. Anyone who wants to track these results is welcome to visit the Diversity area of MSD’s website at www.stlmsd.com.
MSD is scheduled to perform an updated disparity study at the end of calendar year 2018. Based on current results, we believe there will be very few areas where we are not meeting utilization goals. The areas where MSD is short on participation – such as female construction workers – is also being experienced by many others in the region.
With the assistance, partnership, and cooperation of all CBA partners, we look forward to continuing to address any identified needs; and just as importantly, to make sure we sustain all of the successes we have had over the past decades.
PRESS CONFERENCE DETAILS
DATE: Thursday, January 25, 2018
TIME: 11:00 A.M.
SPEAKERS: Adolphus Pruitt, St. Louis City NAACP Branch President
Brian Hoelscher, MSD Executive Director and CEO
LOCATION: 2350 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103 – MSD Administrative Offices on the southeast corner of Market Street and Jefferson Avenue
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT (CBA): The CBA is a formal agreement between MSD and community organizations that establishes a framework for addressing issues in diverse workforce training, diverse business development, and other areas that often act as obstacles in developing a diverse labor pool and contracting community. The CBA supports the development of initiatives that address these issues, both in terms of workforce training and business ownership.
Signatories to the CBA (in chronological order of signing) include the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD); the City of St. Louis Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (St. Louis City NAACP Branch); Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU); Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU); MOKAN; Metropolitan Clergy Coalition (MCC); Construction Prep Center; National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE); Metro St. Louis Coalition for Inclusion and Equity (M-SLICE); Universal African Peoples Organization (UAPO); Congress of Racial Equality (CORE); the St. Louis County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (St. Louis County NAACP Branch).
Starting in May 2015, the St. Louis City NAACP Branch, CBTU, MCU, NSBE, MOKAN, MCC, and UAPO alleged MSD was in default of provisions laid out by the CBA.