Concrete Products

MAY 2019

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 63 May 2019 • 11 while WHD must conduct new wage surveys to update nonunion rates. Passed in 1931, DBA requires contractors to pay no less than the local prevailing wage to on-site workers on federally funded construc- tion projects exceeding $2,000. To update existing wage determinations, WHD conducts surveys to collect and compile data about hourly rates and fringe benefits paid to work- ers on four types of projects: building, heavy, highway, and residential. The DBA requires contracting officers to include the appropriate wage determination in bid solicitations and awards for covered work, including projects financed in part with federal funds. During FYs 2014–2017, more than 70 federal agencies spent upward of $170 billion on DBA-bound construction. For more than 20 years, OIG, along with the White House Office of Management and Budget, Government Accountability Office, U.S. Congress and other stakeholders, have raised concerns about the timeliness and accuracy of prevailing wage rates, especially given the potential bias produced by surveys' voluntary nature. As part of its April 2019 report, OIG lists eight recommendations to improve the overall quality and accuracy of DBA prevailing wage rate records. They include developing and implementing a risk-based strategy to manage rates more than 10 years old and consulting with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to evaluate alternative methods to update wage rates, such as the Consumer Price Index and Occupational Employment Survey data. Report authors also note contractors' lack of partic- ipation in filling out wage surveys and OIG's continuing efforts to identify new strategies to increase response rates and obtain more rel- evant wage data. In addition to advocating for DBA repeal, Associated Builders & Contractors has made numerous recommendations over the years that could have mitigated some of the law's damage to the economy, including the use of BLS data for wage determinations. Beyond federal con- tracts, research confirms that state prevailing wage requirements increase the cost of con- struction. A 2017 Empire Center for Public Policy report found that such requirements inflated the cost of publicly funded construc- tion projects in New York by 13 to 25 percent. The State of Ohio saved almost $500 million fol- lowing repeal of prevailing wage rules on school construction, according to an Ohio Legislative Service Commission study. Because of their anti-competitive and infla- tionary impact, ABC notes, 24 states have no prevailing wage laws; eight have repealed or significantly reformed such laws since 2015. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the federal government would spend less on con- struction, saving $12 billion in discretionary outlays from 2019 through 2028, if DBA were repealed. Industry stakeholders believe the overall total would be much greater when accounting for savings tied state and local government-procured projects freed of DBA constraints. The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston found that wages on federally funded construction projects under the DBA are grossly inflated. Its 2008 study compared the methods used by the BLS and DOL Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division to determine the prevailing wage for workers employed on federally funded construction projects. The Beacon Hill study determined that the WHD's inaccurate measurement of wages has several principal consequences for construction wages and costs. Division meth- ods, for example, inflate wages by an average of 22 percent and construction costs on proj- ects subject to the DBA by 9.91 percent. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS AGENCIES Ready-mix automation that works for you! Technology for Automation OPTIMIZATION Powerful algorithms to implement complex desicions and optimize your production in real time with absolute precision. CONTROL A system of controls interconnected with the plant to monitor all the necessary data, to avoid waste and unforeseen problems in your facility. SUPERVISION An intuitive interface monitors and interacts with your system from anywhere: Remote Access, Mobile App, or Local Stations. REGULATION Integrated systems are able to adjust and modify the referance parameters, thus optimizing costs & resources, while improving production. • 317-677-3518

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Concrete Products - MAY 2019