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Without recalculation, prevailing wage at risk

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Prevailing wage rates for state-funded construction projects are now set to expire July 1, after the legislative Joint Committee on Government and Finance rejected a motion Monday to extend the deadline for calculating new wage rates to Sept. 30 on a party-line vote.

Prior to the vote, Republican members of the committee strongly criticized methodology proposed by WorkForce West Virginia to calculate new prevailing wage rates, which would rely primarily on conducting wage surveys of more than 5,000 contractors and subcontractors in the state.

“As a result of them not doing their job, they’ve put prevailing wage in West Virginia at risk,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson.

Under legislation revamping the calculation of prevailing wage rates for public works projects (SB361), WorkForce West Virginia was directed to submit a methodology to recalculate wage rates for construction workers that critics of the current system contend artificially inflates wages.

Republican members of the committee, made up of ranking members of the Legislature, were highly critical of the proposed methods, contending that WorkForce West Virginia had ignored legislative mandates by opting for the survey method to calculate wages…

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