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Delaware: Prevailing Wage Legislation Dies in the Senate

Author: Miranda Bond Date: June 19, 2014

HB 287, which would have, under certain conditions, used a labor organization's collectively bargained rate as Delaware's prevailing rate for a particular class of workers, died in the Senate yesterday, the last day of session. This bill died in the Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee due to the outcry from the building community. Thank you to all who took action.

History:
On Wednesday June 18 the Delaware House of Representatives passed House Bill 287  by a 26 – 13 vote. HB 287 was sent to the state Senate to be considered in committee. 

HB 287 would have established a set five-year prevailing wage rate and would have eliminated the valuable survey currently used, which will result in higher construction costs. It would have applied to contracts relating to a public works project in excess of $100,000 for new construction, or $15,000 for alteration, repair, renovation, rehabilitation, demolition or reconstruction.

Under HB 287:

  • The Delaware Department of Labor will establish the prevailing wage for each industry (including laborers and mechanics) based on the rate that has consistently been agreed on for two consecutive years between labor organizations and their employers in their respective counties
  • The agreed rate of pay designated by the craft's collective bargaining agreement will become the prevailing wage for a period of 5 years
  • The raise be determined by the collective bargaining agreement rate at the time the prevailing wage survey is conducted for that craft, county, and year
  • If the prevailing wage cannot be determined in any locality because the collective bargaining rate has not prevailed for two consecutive years, the Department of Labor will use the prevailing wage as established by the Department's annual prevailing wage survey
  • There will be a one-time challenge of the prevailing wage rate per cycle

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