News

Council OKs union wages for maintenance work

Workers who are contracted to maintain, repair, upgrade or demolish city structures are now going to be guaranteed prevailing wages, the City Council decided Tuesday.

The move was made in response to a new state law, SB7, which requires that charter cities such as Mountain View use prevailing wage requirements -- which favor union contractors -- if they want state funds for capital projects. The city has received 2.7 million in such funds since June 2011.

The city already requires prevailing wages for public works construction contracts, but Tuesday's move extends it to contracts that involve "maintenance, repair, alteration, and demolition" of city structures.

"Given that the city already has prevailing wage on other projects I don't see why we don't make it uniform," said council member Margaret-Abe-Koga at the Oct. 7 meeting, alluding to the council's approval a year ago of a prevailing wage requirement for affordable housing projects. "We've talked about the high cost of living, (and) we have talked about prevailing wage and costs of it."

Member Jac Siegel motioned for the council to approve the prevailing wage requirement because "it's a state law."

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City staff said the costs of potentially higher wages were unknown, and could mean a financial impact anywhere from $0 up to $760,000 for 56 such contracts during the 2013-14 fiscal year, or a 15 percent increase at most. Council allocated $50,000 towards administrative costs of implementing the new requirement, just in case it's needed.

A union official reminded the council of major cost overruns and delays on the Mitchell Park library in Palo Alto because of a non-union contractor's work.

Member John Inks was the only opponent of the measure, saying the state legislation was "payback to unions who are major source of contributions" to state legislators.

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Council OKs union wages for maintenance work

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Mon, Oct 13, 2014, 10:06 am

Workers who are contracted to maintain, repair, upgrade or demolish city structures are now going to be guaranteed prevailing wages, the City Council decided Tuesday.

The move was made in response to a new state law, SB7, which requires that charter cities such as Mountain View use prevailing wage requirements -- which favor union contractors -- if they want state funds for capital projects. The city has received 2.7 million in such funds since June 2011.

The city already requires prevailing wages for public works construction contracts, but Tuesday's move extends it to contracts that involve "maintenance, repair, alteration, and demolition" of city structures.

"Given that the city already has prevailing wage on other projects I don't see why we don't make it uniform," said council member Margaret-Abe-Koga at the Oct. 7 meeting, alluding to the council's approval a year ago of a prevailing wage requirement for affordable housing projects. "We've talked about the high cost of living, (and) we have talked about prevailing wage and costs of it."

Member Jac Siegel motioned for the council to approve the prevailing wage requirement because "it's a state law."

City staff said the costs of potentially higher wages were unknown, and could mean a financial impact anywhere from $0 up to $760,000 for 56 such contracts during the 2013-14 fiscal year, or a 15 percent increase at most. Council allocated $50,000 towards administrative costs of implementing the new requirement, just in case it's needed.

A union official reminded the council of major cost overruns and delays on the Mitchell Park library in Palo Alto because of a non-union contractor's work.

Member John Inks was the only opponent of the measure, saying the state legislation was "payback to unions who are major source of contributions" to state legislators.

Comments

Hmmm
Monta Loma
on Oct 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm
Hmmm, Monta Loma
on Oct 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Hmm, how is the union going to pay the Govt and School pension liabilities, each being around 80 billion dollars? Yes, the Unions got us into this mess. Oh ya, they will raise taxes after all, it's for the taxpayer.


Stop the Trolls
Cuernavaca
on Oct 13, 2014 at 6:24 pm
Stop the Trolls, Cuernavaca
on Oct 13, 2014 at 6:24 pm

@Hmmm: And your proof for all of this is...what? The voices inside of your head? Anything beyond that?


Rick Miller
Rengstorff Park
on Oct 13, 2014 at 7:59 pm
Rick Miller, Rengstorff Park
on Oct 13, 2014 at 7:59 pm

I don't usually comment on these things, but I love to read them as a sort of twisted entertainment that is the clueless and hateful comments posted. Tonight, I felt compelled to call out the clueless and hateful (Hmmm of Monta Loma). I am a Union construction worker that went through an Apprenticeship program, graduated, became a Journeyman and feel that I'm pretty dang good at what I do. And, for that I feel that my blood, sweat, and skill deserve a decent wage and benefit package so I can pay my mortgage (in Mtn.Vw.-wow$$), purchase clothing and food for my family, go to the doctor/dentist, etc. By saying the UNIONS are to blame for our problems is the same as saying that YOU don't think that my skill and hard work are worth prevailing wage (which doesn't favor Union contractors, it only levels the playing field against non-Union companies that pay significantly less on wages with little or no benefits(Debolt). I know this , because I've worked on both sides of the fence and would never work non-Union again. Also, I find it comical how politicians that have common sense and support working people are "demonized" by people like "hmmm and councilman Inks. I doubt either one has ever worked an honest day in their life, otherwise they would know the struggle of working people. Turn off Fox news and open the curtains! It's the Unions that are saving the middle class. Without them it will be the wealthy and the extremely poor. Thank you council members Abe-Koga, Seigel and Bryant for all your hard work and wish you well in your future endeavors. Sorry so long, but that's all you'll hear from me in a while.


not a fan of PW
Shoreline West
on Oct 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm
not a fan of PW, Shoreline West
on Oct 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Any way you spin it, the PW pro-union crowd expects special protection from competitive labor markets by imposing minimum wage controls. If only all of us could be so lucky. The net result is higher costs for government projects. The same thing goes for the labor peace crowd. I heard from one council member that two hotel developers backed out of building in N. Shoreline. One of them estimated an additional 14 million in city subsidy to be induced to accept a labor peace agreement.
I don't blame unions for asking for the special protection, I blame politicians for pandering to these silly requests.


Hmmm
Monta Loma
on Oct 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm
Hmmm, Monta Loma
on Oct 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Rick you and your union loving people are the reason we have govt. going bankrupt all over the country. @stop the troll, just look at Detroit, Stockton if you want proof, or even Bell Cal. Unions are nothing but a political unit of the leftist agenda working off your pay. Yes, i've worked union jobs and to have to pay them to work is ridiculous. I agree that unions had their place once, but now they are bloated politicos.

Rick, i feel for you, since now the illegals are going after your job and charging a lot less. They were trained in Mexico and do a very good job.


Stop the Trolls
Cuernavaca
on Oct 14, 2014 at 4:34 pm
Stop the Trolls, Cuernavaca
on Oct 14, 2014 at 4:34 pm

@Hmmm: I would take you more seriously, if your "arguments" weren't straight from wingnut talk radio and from the folks at Stormfront.


@stop the trolls
Monta Loma
on Oct 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm
@stop the trolls, Monta Loma
on Oct 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm

There you go again, not looking at the facts, just assuming false info. I put the facts straight in your face. Yet you still can't comprehend.

That's the problem with you liberal nuts, they don't look at the facts, just the emotional side, the side of insults, since they can't understand the facts.


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