Prevailing Wage Laws

Prevailing Wage Hits Greater Minnesota Harder

For a long time, we have known that prevailing wage laws raise the cost of government funded projects. But the impact is especially strong outside of the Metro area.

A new study published by the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence in February 2018 highlights the serious flaws in how Minnesota and the Department of Labor and Industry set prevailing wage rates.  The study found that 72% of all prevailing wage rates set in Greater Minnesota counties are from neighboring counties or from prior year data. And despite only representing 32% of the construction workforce, collectively-bargained rates accounted for 75% of all prevailing wage rates set in Minnesota.

We need to reform the prevailing wage calculation and survey process for Greater Minnesota.

Click here to read the complete study!

We must also allow a four-day work schedule on prevailing wage jobs. Although not a focus of this study, a flexible work week is a benefit included in most union contracts on file with the Department of Labor and Industry. It is good for workers, families, and saves money.

If you have concerns about prevailing wage, please contact ABC for more information and real life examples of how prevailing wage works against local workers and taxpayers.

Advocating for you on Prevailing Wage

ABC regularly advocates for you and acts as a resource for members in complying with the federal and Minnesota prevailing wage laws.

On the federal level, our national office has opposed expansion of the Davis-Bacon law to new areas, and has filed comments and objections on various regulatory issues. 

In Minnesota, we have consistently exposed the flaws of the prevailing wage system, and have been successful in advocating for key reforms like the adoption of a uniform set of job classification definitions.  We have also advocated for moving to a flexible work week (4 for 40), and changing the calculation to better reflect the majority of workers (average calculation, rather than a modal calculation).

Additionally, ABC regularly helps our members navigate the system, and adapt their policies and procedures to comply with the prevailing wage mandate. 

Schools and cities that are contemplating adoption of prevailing wage sometimes seek our advice on what impacts prevailing wage will have on their jobs (increases costs 7-10% and has major internal auditing costs).