Charter Cities Switching to Prevailing Wage, Thanks to Your Action on SB 7

October 22, 2014 - The unified, determined voices of the Building Trades and its affiliated unions that convinced the Legislature and Governor to enact Senate Bill 7 in 2013, will be bringing real, tangible benefits to construction workers in charter cities across California beginning next January 1. Charter cities that previously declined to pay prevailing wage, are reacting to the new law’s provisions that would make cities eligible for state funds for construction only if they pay prevailing wage on municipal projects, by changing their city ordinances to provide prevailing wage. In the days ahead, we will be summarizing actions in those cities. This bulletin provides the first example.

Newport Beach
The Newport Beach City Council voted on September 9 to pay prevailing wage on all city-funded public works contracts awarded after January 1, 2015.

The Orange County Register reported that the decision came after state lawmakers last year enacted a statute that stopped charter cities, such as Newport Beach, from declining paying prevailing wages on projects paid for with city, rather than state, money. State Building and Construction Trades Council Legislative Director Cesar Diaz was quoted in the story: “If you look at the total project cost and take into account injuries, delays, cost overruns and worker’s compensation, you’re actually seeing cost savings.”

SBCTC President Robbie Hunter commented: “Starting next January 1, workers on municipal projects in Newport Beach will be receiving prevailing wage that gives California residents the opportunity for apprenticeship, instead of substandard wages, bolstering the regional economy, while the city’s residents will enjoy the benefits and quality-built projects that will last for decades and beyond, that a highly-skilled workforce and prevailing wage brings.”

That’s because we in the Building Trades, and the forward-looking public officials we have helped elect, enacted Senate Bill 7 in 2013.


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