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Seattle’s Minimum Wage: Bad Hygiene and Lower Wages

California’s minimum wage is set to gradually increase to $15 by 2022, following in the footsteps of minimum wage pioneer city Seattle.

Unfortunately, the unintended consequences of Seattle’s minimum wage experiment are starting to show, both in deteriorating restaurant quality and in decreasing wages for low-income workers.

According to the latest study, Seattle’s 2016 minimum wage hike approved by the Seattle City Council appears to have pushed restaurants to deal with rising labor costs by cutting corners in hygiene. Researchers at Ball State University in Indiana concluded that overall restaurant health code violations increased by 6.4% and less severe violations increased by 15.3% with each dollar increase of the minimum wage.

Bad hygiene is gross, but it isn’t the only serious consequence of Seattle’s minimum wage increases. Researchers from the University of Washington published in June their finding that Seattle’s increase from $11 to $13 coincided with a decrease in actual wages for low income workers – the exact opposite of the policy’s intended result.

According to the study, the 2016 increase to $13 led to a 9% decrease in hours worked at low-income jobs, while hourly wages rose by 3%. This means that on average people in low-wage jobs earned around $125 less per month than they earned before. Instead of helping people in low wage jobs, significantly raising the minimum wage in Seattle has actually hurt their earning ability!

Minimum Wage – It’s All About Perception!

Recently, the “Fight for Fifteen” demonstrations at McDonald’s and Wal-Mart stores across the country have sparked empathy in the news coverage by the main stream media. The liberal coverage of these outlets portrays employees as being taken advantage of and in need of increased wages and benefits. As with most things in life, it is prudent to do the research to make sure we have all the facts, and that they are presented honestly and concisely. It is imperative we don’t rely on our political leanings and that we not have the proverbial “wool pulled over our eyes.” Every American, should re-check the position or “window” from which they the view things, as succinctly demonstrated in the following.

The Window from Which We Look
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.
The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
”That laundry is not very clean”, she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”
 Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

 Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.


About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a
 nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband,”Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this.”

 The husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”



And so it is with life. What we see when watching others it depends on the purity of the window through which we look! 

“Fight for Fifteen” and the so called “Work Centers” that are championing this cause — providing their own version of training and assistance — are nothing more than union fronts where Union Bosses Use Fast-Food Workers For Personal Gain. Unions are pouring millions of dollars into these “Work Centers” as a method of unionizing the fast food workers across America! It is unfortunate and despicable that The SEIU’s Support for Wage Hikes are based on Self Interests and that these Protest Organizers Pay Consulting Fees, however, even more astonishing is that the SEIU has funneled $15 million into the Fight for $15 campaign. This sleight of hand by the SEIU and other unions demands that we check the purity of the window from which we view the true intentions of these unions and this Administration. Even some of the union members are cleaning windows as demonstrated in Union Members Are Getting Tired of the Anti-Walmart Campaigns.

Essentially, these worker centers are union branches. Labor Unions are organized as 501(c)(5) entities, and as 501(c)(5) entities they cannot receive tax-deductible contributions. However, many Worker Centers are organized as 501(c)(3) charities, which means they can receive tax-deductible donations and they are not accountable to the workers they claim to represent.

In other words, they are conduits for labor unions in disguise. They provide the labor unions with benefits which they could not otherwise independently receive. Labor unions are a dying breed, they are nothing more than Gasping Dinosaurs trying to avoid extinction, and the worker centers are proof.

Another benefit to the “Fight for Fifteen” demonstrations is that they serve to Deflect Attention from the Rogue NLRB and its attempt to establish Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation with the new ambush election law, designed by this Administration to allow unions to rapidly force unionize employees and employers across the country, further described in Reprise: Beware the Ambush. It is nothing more than a payback to the union bosses for political contributions and votes.

The bottom line is, while America’s top labor union bosses raked in millions in 2014 for their own pockets and to press their political agendas, it has become apparent that Millennials don’t want to join unions. They are waking up to the fact that Labor Unions’ True Motivation comes from the Dues Money. Union bosses want to line their own pockets and promote their political agendas. Subsequently, union bosses are waking up to Why 78 Million Millennials Are Choosing Non-Union Jobs and are desperate to invent ways to force unionize them in order to survive, which is what the “Fight for Fifteen” is truly all about.

It is time for all Americans to wake up and see big labor’s intentions through a crystal clear window and not through distorted, long held political viewpoints or beliefs. Big labor and its claims are all about perception not reality.

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David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

Raise the Minimum Wage, or Lower the Cost of Living?

Increases to the minimum wage in California are moving closer to reality. As reported on March 30th by MyNewsLA.com, “Los Angeles County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis will ask their colleagues to approve spending up to $95,000 to have the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation review a series of studies of the issue performed in relation to the city of Los Angeles’ proposal to raise the minimum wage to $13.25 an hour by 2017 and to $15.25 an hour by 2019.”

California’s minimum wage is currently $9.00 per hour. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour.

Largely lost in the debate over the “fight for fifteen” (dollars per hour) is America’s inflation adjusted minimum wage based on historical precedents. It’s an interesting topic that deserves discussion, because historical minimum wages expressed in 2015 dollars vary a great deal. Since establishing the first federal minimum wage in 1938, the amount has been adjusted 22 times. As can be seen on the chart, between 1938 and 1968 the minimum wage expressed in 2015 dollars rose steadily. In 2015 dollars, for example, the 1938 minimum wage would be $4.13, rising to $11.01 per hour by 1968. Since then, it has been in decline – in 2015 dollars the minimum wage was roughly between $9.00 and $10.00 per hour during the 1970’s, then fell to roughly between $7.00 and $8.00 from 1980 through 2009, when it was last adjusted.

Historical Minimum Wages
Expressed in 2015 Dollars
20150331-UW_Ring-MinimumWage

Those who believe in minimum wage laws can draw many conclusions from this data. What they cannot easily conclude, however, is that the minimum wage, today, can rise much beyond $10.00 per hour and still conform to historical norms. Only twice, in 1968 and 1974, did the inflation adjusted minimum wage exceed $10.00 per hour.

From this perspective, California’s state minimum wage, $9.00 per hour, finds itself placed almost exactly at the median in terms of historical federal minimum wage levels expressed in 2015 dollars. From what should be a reasonably compelling economic standpoint, there is no urgent reason to increase the minimum wage above $9.00 per hour, even for those who are solidly in favor of having minimum wage laws. While one may argue that California has a higher cost of living than most other places in the United States, justifying a minimum wage higher than the historical median, one might also acknowledge that many of the benefits offered minimum wage earners today were not available until relatively recently. Examples include the earned income tax credit, not established until 1975, and the steep discount on health premiums offered under Obamacare.

It rises perhaps to the level of overkill to join the libertarian chorus extolling the virtues of an utterly unregulated wage market. Also well documented are the many ulterior motives for labor unions to lead the charge for a higher minimum wage – it gives them powerful political rhetoric to address millions of low income workers not represented by a union, and, more pragmatically, a higher minimum wage rewards union members directly whenever – as is frequently the case – their wage scales are pegged a fixed level above the prevailing minimum wage.

Two observations potentially underrepresented in this debate, however, do deserve mention. First, the fact that unions are attempting to fight for workers in low paying, competitive industries, is at least consistent with the illustrious aspects of their legacy. Unlike unions representing government professionals who perform high paying jobs for monopolistic, taxpayer funded agencies, at least the unions fighting for minimum wage workers are fighting for the little guy. If they might abandon their commitment to flood the United States with unskilled immigrants who drive down wages and threaten the solvency of social welfare programs, and if their labor agreements didn’t peg their own wage scales to float upwards as the minimum wage rises, one could almost believe in their sincerity.

The other fact is more challenging and obscure, yet ought to merit a central place in the debate over economic justice. That is the fact that California’s cost-of-living is the highest in the nation. In California’s coastal cities, the cost of housing is prohibitive; the costs for energy, water, and transportation are punishingly high. For middle class residents, the cost of health insurance is punishing as well. And it doesn’t have to be that way. Competitive resource development – free of extremist environmental hindrances, other regulatory roadblocks, costly project labor agreements and union work rules – would lower the cost of living at the same time as creating millions of new jobs. It could usher in a new golden age for California’s working class.

Those unions who fight for a higher minimum wage might consider fighting to lower the cost-of-living instead. But to do so, they will have to break ranks with the public sector unions, who hide behind oppressive environmentalist restrictions, because they know full well that infrastructure development will come at the cost of their own exorbitant compensation.

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Ed Ring is the executive director of the California Policy Center.

Oakland City Council Staff Reports Reveal True Impact of Minimum Wage Increases

Controversy continues at the Los Angeles City Council about the selection of the University of California Institute for Labor and Employment (part of the University of California Miguel Contreras Labor Program) to produce a second taxpayer-funded study to prove again that adopting a city minimum wage ordinance would be a wonderful exercise in Progressive compassion. That study is expected to be released soon.

Meanwhile, staff reports for the Oakland City Council about the costs and implications of minimum wage increases on the city’s own operations are available for free on the web. These reports don’t pull any punches, even in one of the country’s most leftist cities.

Yes, some city employees and contract employees will make more money, including unionized city employees who are already making more than minimum wage. But others will lose hours or jobs. It is even possible that the City of Oakland will have more trash on its streets and highways because of the minimum wage increase. Here are some conclusions from the staff reports:

1. Increased Public Costs and Job Losses for Youth and Seniors

In June 2014, the Oakland City Council had to enact a relatively mild ordinance to adjust the salary rates for all classifications for which the lowest step was less than $9.00 per hour, the new California minimum wage as of July 1, 2014. Three classifications were changed: part-time Recreation Aide, part-time Senior Aide, and part-time Student Trainee.

A staff report provided a summary of costs and implications to the city:

Two City departments are directly impacted by the change to the base rate for certain classifications. The Human Services Department (HSD), through a federal grant, provides employment opportunities to Oakland seniors. Funding for the Senior Aides program is determined by the federal government and staff have confirmed that additional funding will not be allocated to account for the change in the California minimum wage. The impact of the minimum rate change, then, is that fewer individual seniors can be hired into positions funded by the program.

The Oakland Parks & Recreation Department (OPR) employs many Recreation Aides, particularly during the summer months. If OPR were to continue to employ the same number of people in those roles, the increase to the budgeted cost of those positions is estimated to be approximately $24,500 per year, $18,155 in fund 1820 (OPR Self-Sustaining Programs Fund), and $6,345 in fund 1010 (General Purpose Fund). The proposed legislation does not include a recommendation for increased funding for Recreation Aide positions. Without additional funding, OPR will have to employ fewer Recreation Aides or schedule them for fewer hours.

A more substantial local minimum wage increase would soon do more damage. On November 4, 2014, 82% of Oakland voters approved Measure FF, which raised the minimum wage in Oakland for anyone who works in the city for two hours or more per week to twelve dollars and twenty-five cents ($12.25), effective March 2, 2015. It also imposed paid sick leave.

Here is what staff estimates as the cost and implications of this local minimum wage increase to the city:

Two City departments are directly impacted by the change to the base wage rate for certain classifications. HSD, through a federal grant, provides employment opportunities to Oakland seniors. Funding for the Senior Aides program is determined by the federal government, and staff has confirmed that additional funding will not be allocated to account for the change in Oakland’s increased minimum wage. As a result, the impact of the minimum wage increase rate change is that fewer individual seniors can be hired into positions funded by the program. Currently, the program targets to provide 148 seniors with twenty (20) hours per week of employment. With the new MWL, the program is expected to reduce the number of seniors employed by twenty-five (25) and reduce the hours per week to sixteen (16) for all remaining participants.

OPR employs many people in the classifications of Recreation Aide, PT; Recreation Attendant I, PT; Recreation Attendant II, PPT; Recreation Attendant II, PT; Recreation Leader I, PT; Recreation Leader II, PPT; and Recreation Leader II, PT; particularly during the summer months. Using FY 2013-14 data, if OPR were to continue to employ the same number of employees, in the same classifications and utilizing the same number of annual hours, the increase to the fully-burdened cost is estimated to be $625,000 per year.

Two departments (Public Works Department and Human Services Department) currently employ a combined total of five TPT Student Trainees at hourly rates below the proposed Oakland’s increased minimum wage of $12.25 per hour. Although the impacts will be nominal, each department will either adjust the salaries in accordance with the new minimum wage or cease to employ these five impacted employees.

The City funds several workforce training programs through the Workforce Investment Act (“WIA”) (Fund 2195), the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (“OFCY”) (Fund 1780), Oakland Unite (Fund 2251 ), Team Oakland (Fund 1720) and OPR (Funds 1010 and 1820). Combined these programs serve over 1,000 youth year-round and during the summer. In addition, Alameda County and the Oakland Housing Authority (Fund 7999) fund programs that serve a total of 650 Oakland youth year-round and during the summer. Currently, these programs pay an average of approximately $10.00 per hour. At $12.25, the 22.5% increase in wages and related withholding taxes could result in a service level reduction of roughly 20%, assuming no increases in funding allocations. For Workforce Development, the WIA funded youth service providers may have to reduce service levels between 10% and 30%, depending on their respective program models…

ASSETS Senior Employment – Senior Services of America Inc. (SSAI) is clear that they must comply with local wage laws and the OCA concurs. SSAI will reduce the required number of participants and the number of hours worked per week

2. Ripple Effect: Public Employees With Higher Wages Get a Raise, Too

Staff in the Human Resources Management Department had analyzed the earlier state-mandated minimum wage increase to determine whether raising the wage rates for the impacted classifications would result in creating “compaction” with the other related classifications. It did not. But the voter-approved minimum wage increase did:

Measure FF impacts the wages and sick leave accrual of employees represented by SEIU 1021. Employee Relations sent official written notice to SEIU 1021 on December 19, 2014, informing the Union that the wages of certain classifications and sick leave accruals for TPT employees would be increasing once the Oakland Municipal Code Chapter 5.92 goes into effect on March 2, 2015. This notice also offered SEIU 1021 the opportunity to meet and confer with the City regarding the impact of the legislation on wages and sick leave accrual for affected employees. The Union responded to the notice and Employee Relations will meet and confer in good faith with SEIU 1021, as required under state law.

There is validity to the claim that unions support minimum wage increases in part because they increase wage rates for other employees represented in the affected bargaining unit. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 was a leading supporter of Measure FF.

3. You May End Up Paying for the Minimum Wage Increase Even If You Never Venture Near Oakland

A cryptic paragraph appeared in a December 4, 2014 memorandum from the City of Oakland’s lobbying firm in Sacramento (Townsend & Associates) to the Oakland City Council entitled “City of Oakland Proposed 2015 State and Federal Legislative Agenda.”

Legislative solution for direct care services to pay for higher city minimum wages. The City of Oakland recently passed an increase to the local minimum wage. Additionally, a growing number of cities are enacting minimum wage ordinances, too. Currently there are no procedures to address the required rate increases. The goal of this proposal would be to create legislation that sets rate and distribution policies.

Few ordinary people would understand the meaning of this paragraph, although they would probably feel good about the word “solution.” A December 22, 2014 memorandum to the Los Angeles City Council’s Rules, Elections, & Intergovernmental Relations Committee from its Chief Legislative Analyst was more clear about the plan:

RECOMMENDATION: Adopt revised Resolution to include in the City’s 2015-2016 State and Federal legislative programs support or sponsorship of legislation or administrative action to require an adjustment of reimbursement formulas for social service and healthcare providers to provide adequate funding to meet the requirements of local wage and benefit programs

SUMMARY; Resolution recognizes that many non-profit organizations serve vulnerable populations and that these organizations face certain financial limitations that result from their federal and State funding sources. Resolution recognizes that operational costs in local jurisdictions can be higher as a result of wage and benefit requirements. Resolution, therefore, recommends that the City support legislation or administrative action at both the State and Federal levels to ensure that governmental reimbursement formulas be structured to provide adequate funding to meet the requirements of local wage and benefit programs.

BACKGROUND: Cities across the nation, and particularly in California, have adopted minimum wage requirements that are higher than those required by federal and state laws. Certain non-profit organizations may have difficulty meeting these local wage and benefit requirements due to their originating source of funds. Many social services and health care services are provided through non-profit organizations that receive reimbursements from federal or state governments. These reimbursements may be set according to state and federal wage and benefit requirements, without adjustments to recognize local laws. Without adjustments to meet local requirements, these nonprofit organizations may need to reduce their payroll and services in order to continue to operate.  Resolution seeks federal and state action to ensure that reimbursement rates reflect local wage and benefit requirements. Such an adjustment would ensure that services could continue to be provided in these jurisdications (sic).

4. More Litter on the Highways and Roads if Parolees Are Covered by the City’s Minimum Wage Law

There are also ambiguities about whether or not the Oakland minimum wage preempts the state minimum wage for parolees picking up litter from the roads:

Golden State Works/ California Department of Corrections (“CDCR”) – These work crews of individuals on parole conduct beautification projects on CalTrans right-of-ways and receive job placement support. Participants currently receive $10.00 per hour. The OCA initially ruled Measure FF is applicable for work performed within the City of Oakland. CDCR is conferring with their contracts unit, which initially indicated that state minimum wage law would prevail

Voters of Oakland may have inadvertently given themselves more litter on the roads of Oakland when they approved a city minimum wage increase.

Sources

Report To Adjust The Salary Rates For All Classifications For Which The Lowest Step Would Be Below The California Minimum Wage Of Nine Dollars ($9.00) Per Hour, Which Takes Effect July 1, 2014

December 4, 2014 Memorandum to the Oakland City Council from Townsend & Associates  on More Federal and State Reimbursement for Higher Minimum Wage

December 22, 2014 Memorandum to the Los Angeles City Council’s Rules, Elections, & Intergovernmental Relations Committee from its Chief Legislative Analyst on More Federal and State Reimbursement for Higher Minimum Wage

Report On The Impact Of Implementing The Voter Approved Local Minimum Wage (“Measure FF”), Which Takes Effect March 2, 2015 – City of Oakland Office Of The City Administrator – February 17, 2015

Supplemental Informational Report On The Impact Of Implementing The Voter Approved Local Minimum Wage (“Measure FF”), Which Takes Effect March 2, 2015 – City of Oakland Office Of The City Administrator – February 17, 2015


Kevin Dayton is the President & CEO of Labor Issues Solutions, LLC, and is the author of frequent postings about generally unreported California state and local policy issues at www.laborissuessolutions.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DaytonPubPolicy.

Big Labor's Conundrum

Over the past four decades, Big Labor has continued to see its membership shrink drastically as its leaders use the same failed tactics involving forced unionism. The argument that most workers are better off without unions today is supported by the fact that unions now represent approximately 11.3% of the total workforce and 6.6% of the private workforce, a steep fall from their heyday in 1945 when they represented about 35.5% of the workforce. Yet Big Labor has refused to change. Isn’t the definition of insanity, “continuing to do the same thing, but expecting different results?” The inability of Big Labor to generate new organizing strategies or to bring additional value to employees has put unions “between a rock and a hard place,” as succinctly described by pro-labor pundit Jack Rasmus, author of a 4-part essay on the Decline of Labor Unions. Mr. Rasmus’ work is worth reading, both to call attention to labor’s intransigence to make itself relevant to today’s workforce, and to read between the lines for potential strategy changes, if and when labor ever gets its act together.

A sample quote from part one of his essay:
“Had any other movement and its organizations produced so little, for so long, at such a growing financial and other cost to its membership, it would have undertaken a fundamental revision of its basic strategic approach long before now. However, union labor’s efforts to address its failing strategies over the last four decades have been token and tentative at best. Not much has been done to confront, or otherwise challenge and change, labor’s obviously failed strategies of the past four decades—neither at the ‘top’ among its national leadership nor at the ‘local level’ of local union membership. That fundamental strategic discussion is now long overdue.”

Despite its obvious failures, big labor continues, at great cost to its membership and reputation, to engage in ruthless tactics and pursue its own political agenda. It has maintained this course, despite the fact that people are moving away from forced-unionism areas and that membership is declining even in politically favorable locations (see Latest Census Data Show Families Continue to Flee Forced-Unionism States and Even in Liberal Minnesota, Labor Unions Are Losing Members. Big labor continues utilizing its political ties with the current Administration to focus on achieving Card Check, specifically thru rules and regulations recently implemented by President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board, the government agency charged with fairly administering the nation’s labor policy. The following articles outlining new rules and regulations recently handed down by the NLRB at the President’s direction accurately portray the reluctance of the unions to change their business model or otherwise reinvent themselves to serve modern America (see Reinventing America’s Unions for the 21st Century).

  • UNIONS: Focus now is on new laws, not new members
  • The NLRB’s New Election Rules: Quickie Elections and ‘The Mount Everest of Regulations’ to Trap…
  • Federal agencies spend millions on union business 
  • NLRB Opens Door for SEIU at McDonalds
  • NLRB General Counsel Announcement on Joint Employer Status for Franchisors Could Have Significant Implications
  • NLRB ratifies actions taken by unconstitutional labor board

Confounding big labor’s position is the fact that it must go along with the President’s goals of increasing the minimum wage and providing amnesty for undocumented aliens, in an effort to attract a larger base for the President and the Democratic Party in exchange for the pro-labor rules and regulations recently propagated by the Rogue NLRB. These political initiatives are, in fact, not in the best interest of the labor movement. Nevertheless, Big Labor continues to support them due to their need for political backing from the Democratic Party.

First, significantly increasing or doubling the minimum wage — as being pushed by the SEIU — would have devastating consequences on those least able to handle them. As succinctly portrayed by Phil Wilson from the Labor Relations Institute in a recent article:

“If you double the labor costs in these businesses you force these small companies to come up with new ways to operate their business that account for the increased expense. They will hire fewer people and try to make jobs as efficient as they possibly can. They will replace labor with technology everywhere they can (you see this in many restaurants and convenience stores today – you’ll be ordering off an iPad everywhere you go). They will raise prices or reduce selection to just the most profitable items. Remember, we are not talking about a minor adjustment in the minimum wage – this is a massive shift in labor costs that companies will be forced to deal with. For every lucky person who keeps their minimum wage job and rejoices in their doubled income there will be several who cannot find any work, period. You will significantly increase the class of people who are unemployable, along with all the other problems that creates. Be careful what you wish for. Also, these small units would divert attention away from the other bargaining units the unions already represent. If officials take the eye off the ball on these bigger, more stable units they risk losing those units to decertification, further reducing cash flow and profitability of the union. Be careful what you wish for.”

One more comment on the minimum wage increase. It is basically the same fundamental tactic the United Autoworkers and other unions utilized to increase wages in the American auto industry. The American auto industry and Detroit today are a foreshadowing of the affect significantly raising the minimum wage would have on the entire American economy.

Big labor also has been supportive of the President’s executive order, granting amnesty to up to 5.5 million undocumented workers, thereby giving them the ability to legally enter the workforce (see Unions launch recruiting push for immigrants protected by Obama actions). On the surface, this may seem to be a great opportunity for new union members as the big labor bosses would utilize information from the Administration and union foot soldiers to identify these people, help them assimilate into legal jobs, and then use pressure to help them force unionize the employers. However, many of these people will be utilized by companies as independent contractors (see Open Borders Costing American Jobs and Depressing Wages). Big labor will in effect spend a lot of time and money in an effort to force unionize these people at the risk of taking its eye off the ball and disenfranchising and losing a large part of its current membership.

Unfortunately, the big labor Gasping Dinosaurs seem incapable of changing and embracing the need for change. Instead they continue to expose the fact that It’s All About the Dues Money, by utilizing member’s dues as political donations to elect politicians thus expecting political favors in a desperate attempt to protect their lifestyles and reverse the decline of union membership (see Big Labor’s Top 100 and If This Is True, The Amount Of Money The UAW Uses On Politics Is Shocking). Combined with the President’s amnesty and minimum wage agendas reversing union decline is truly a conundrum for the big labor bosses who seem incapable of working legally and professionally within the parameters of the free market system to be successful (see The 2014 Union Corruption Report: A Year In Review). Instead of polishing its approach and providing a quality product people would embrace, Big Labor continues to utilize unsavory political favors and bully tactics in a futile attempt to rebuild its membership at the expense of its current membership. It is Time for Republicans to Go On the Offensive with its majority in both Houses. They need to come to the aid of Americans, defund the Rogue NLRB and stop the Death by a Thousand Cuts being perpetrated on American employees and employers. There is no doubt that Unions Face Challenges in 2015. It is time to add to big labor’s conundrum!

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David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

More Taxpayer Money Spent Justifying Union Political Agenda in California

About 95% of the public policy studies and reports circulating among California state and local governments reject a free market approach to societal challenges. Instead, these studies and reports advocate more government spending, more government programs, and more government intrusion into commerce and personal behavior.

Obviously “Progressive” intellectual thought in California gets a disproportionate share of funding. Who funds the policy institutes churning out the vision that will likely define the future of the state?

You do. For many of these operations, government is a major source of funding.

Federal, state, regional, and local governments move money around with little accountability through grants and contracts. Some of it ends up going to Left-leaning policy institutes.

One notorious example of a government-funded policy institute is the union-oriented University of California Miguel Contreras Labor Program. After the California Labor Federation succeeded in establishing the program with a $6 million appropriation in the 2000-01 state budget, the annual budget always included a specific line-item amount for the program. The UC Labor Program received a total of $37.4 million in direct appropriations until Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the $5.4 million assigned to it in the 2008-09 state budget. It continues to operate today with help from taxpayers.

Last week top administrators of the City of Los Angeles decided to contract with the University of California Institute for Labor and Employment (affiliated with the University of California Miguel Contreras Labor Program). For the second time in a year, the labor institute will analyze a proposal to increase the minimum wage in the City of Los Angeles. The public contract for the second analysis is reportedly worth $84,000.

A few Los Angeles City Councilmembers are objecting publicly to the contract because of the obvious bias of the labor institute. Chances of a negative report from this operation are zero, as shown from the first analysis.

Union leaders and lobbyists attained a major victory. They can use these minimum wage studies as a basis to promote minimum wage increases throughout Los Angeles County, the state of California, and in states and cities throughout the rest of the country. Best of all, they don’t have to pay for the studies.

Another example of taxpayer-funded Progressive policy analysis and promotion now getting attention is the Bay Area Regional Prosperity Plan – Economic Prosperity Strategy.

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded a $4,991,336 grant to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the San Francisco Bay Area to develop and implement this plan. In collaboration with the Association of Bay Area Governments, some of this federal money was transferred to “Community-Based Organizations” that have close relationships with unions.

Now the plan has been developed through the involvement of union front groups such as Working Partnerships USA and the San Mateo County Union Community Alliance. “Community Outreach” to the nine Bay Area counties is underway. (See below for information about the five “launch meetings.”)

The plan designates $800,000 (including $760,000 in federal funds) specifically to the outreach program, which some might call “lobbying and public relations.” Already the Oakland City Council has scheduled an agenda item at its January 13 meeting to discuss the plan.

On January 15, union officials and community organizers will hold a “launch meeting” at the Redwood City Library about the Bay Area Regional Prosperity Plan’s Economic Prosperity Strategy. Attendees will get to hear a presentation about “Pursuing Project Labor Agreements and Community Benefits Ordinances.” (In other words, how to give unions a monopoly on public and private construction projects.) Project Labor Agreements are a specific recommendation in the plan and are referenced several times.

That particular workshop will not proceed without controversy and fierce resistance from the Merit Shop sector of the construction industry. But it’s unclear if and how corporations and business groups in the San Francisco Bay Area will respond to a well-funded coordinated campaign in nine counties to promote a wide variety of leftist policy objectives. Obvious business targets of the plan include residential and commercial developers, high-tech and biotech companies that contract out for services, and transportation related to the Port of Oakland.

Strangely, the Bay Area Council – “The Voice of Bay Area Business” – provided research support for the Bay Area Regional Prosperity Plan. There’s a famous but apparently apocryphal quotation attributed to Vladimir Lenin: “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” In this case, the rope is being purchased with taxpayer money.


Here is the notice about the “launch meetings.”

EPS [Economic Policy Strategy] Launch Meetings

Dear Friends,

We are wishing you very happy holidays and best wishes for 2015. To kick off the year, the Economic Prosperity Strategy drafting team is hosting a series of launch events to build towards our Capstone Conference in April. The workshops are scheduled for January 13, 15, 23, 26 and February 2. Each workshop is in a different location and will focus on different themes in the EPS. We are inviting all stakeholders from all of the Regional Prosperity Plan working groups, all community members who participated in the initial EPS workshops and all local and regional policy makers who will have a role in implementing the strategy. Please share the invitation with your networks. Call or e-mail if you have any questions, 510-207-6346 orkss@well.com.

Best wishes,

Kirsten (The Rev. Kirsten Snow Spalding, San Mateo County Union Community Alliance)

Economic Prosperity Strategy Launch Meetings 2015

In October 2014, a team of partner organizations working for MTC and ABAG issued the “Economic Prosperity Strategy: Improving economic opportunity for the Bay Area’s low- and moderate-wage workers.” The report is available for download at http://planbayarea.org/pdf/EconomicProsperity_web_single.pdf. The report, part of the Bay Area’s Regional Prosperity Plan, was produced with input from hundreds of participants throughout the region, including representatives from economic development organizations, community members, non-profits, businesses, labor, local governments, workforce development partners and others.The thrust of the Economic Prosperity Strategy was that achieving improved economic opportunity for all requires working on three goals simultaneously:

GOAL A: Strengthen career pathways to middle wage jobs (that pay between about $18 and $30 per hour).

GOAL B: Grow the economy with a focus on middle-wage work.

GOAL C: Improve the quality of jobs for current and future lower-wage workers.

Now, it is time to dig into the findings, learn from pilot projects and talk about what it will take to implement the Bay Area’s vision of economic prosperity for everyone.In a series of five meetings around the Bay Area, we will focus on these three goals and invite all stakeholders to share in implementing this vision for the Bay Area. This is your chance to shape how we collectively move forward.

EPS Workshop #1: Expanding Economic Opportunity through Basic Skills and Entrepreneurship

Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Monument Impact, (Formerly Michael Chavez Center & Monument Community Partnership), 2699 Monument Blvd, Ste G Concord, CA 94520

• Expanding job-focused basic skills training

• Improving career navigation systems and supporting pathways, at the k-12 level and beyond

• Focusing on business formation and expansion

Hear from pilot projects including: the Michael Chavez Center in Concord, the Multi-cultural Institute’s three County day laborer program, the Allies for Innovation basic skills collaborative in Santa Clara and San Mateo, a worker cooperative project in the East Bay and an entrepreneurship program in Sonoma.

EPS Workshop #2: Building Career Pathways in the Construction Sector

Thursday, January 15, 2015, 9:30-11:30 a.m.  Redwood City Library, 1044 Middlefield Road, Redwood City 94063

• Focus on the Construction Sector

• Establishing industry-driven, sector-based regional training partnerships.

• Pursuing Project Labor Agreements and Community Benefits Ordinances

Hear from the Construction Careers Initiative, an industry driven pre-apprenticeship program in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, from local developers and from Building and Construction Trades Councils about initiatives to improve construction sector wages and working conditions and create comprehensive packages of community benefits as new projects are planned and built.

EPS Workshop #3: The Invisible Workforce: Strategies to Lift Up the Low-Wage Contracted Service Sector

Friday, January 23, 2015, 10 a.m. -12 p.m., Pipe Trades Training Center, 780 Commercial Street, San Jose, CA 95112

• Upgrading conditions in lower-wage jobs

• Organizing and professionalizing industries

• Emerging approaches to improving working conditions in contracted service jobs

Hear about issues in several predominantly low-wage industries in the Bay Area, particularly contracted service industries which tend to grow in the “footprint” of driving industries and often remain below the radar. Discuss emerging approaches that address these issues, regional implications of these trends and how to build stronger coordination across cities and sectors that are dealing with the growth of low-wage contracted service work.

EPS Workshop #4:  Coordination between Economic and Workforce Development, Transportation and Housing Plans

Monday, January 26, 2015, 2-4 p.m. SPUR Urban Center, 654 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-4015

• A Vision for Economic Prosperity for Everyone

• Cross-Sector Collaborations

• Regional and Sub-regional policies

Hear from regional policy makers, local jurisdictional leaders, workforce and economic development agencies and the researchers and drafters of the economic prosperity strategy.

EPS Workshop #5: Planning for Manufacturing, Logistics and Industrial Job Growth

Monday, February 2, 2015, 2-4 p.m.  Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, California 94607

• Focus on the Logistics and Goods Movement Sectors

• Develop land use plans that support transit-oriented jobs, industrial uses and housing.

• Develop a regional strategy to preserve and invest in industrial land.

Hear from regional planners about planned investments in goods movement infrastructure, from local jurisdictions engaged in sub-regional strategies like the Port of Oakland and the Northern Waterfront Initiative and Design It, Build It, Ship It, an industry-led workforce and economic development collaborative.


Sources: UC Labor Program Studies of Minimum Wage for City of Los Angeles

Documents: Procure an Economic Analysis – Los Angeles City Council Economic Development Committee

Business Leaders Criticize City’s Choice to Study Minimum Wage Hike – Los Angeles Times – January 8, 2015

Minimum Wage Consultant Pick Draws ComplaintsLos Angeles Daily News – January 8, 2015

Two L.A. Councilmen Ask to Reconsider Team Set to Study Minimum WageLos Angeles Times – January 9, 2015

L.A. Needs a Fresh Analysis of the Effects of a Minimum-Wage HikeLos Angeles Times (editorial) – January 12, 2015

Sources: San Francisco Bay Area Regional Prosperity Plan – Economic Prosperity Strategy

San Francisco Bay Area Economic Prosperity Strategy

Oakland City Council Informational Report for January 13, 2015 Meeting – Bay Area Regional Prosperity Plan

San Francisco Bay Area Economic Prosperity Strategy Launch Meetings 2015

HUD FY2011 Sustainable Communities Grantees

San Francisco Bay Area Regional Prosperity Plan ABSTRACT


Kevin Dayton is the President & CEO of Labor Issues Solutions, LLC, and is the author of frequent postings about generally unreported California state and local policy issues at www.laborissuessolutions.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DaytonPubPolicyThis article was originally published in www.FlashReport.org on January 12, 2015 as Taxpayers Fund Biased Policy Justifications for LA Minimum Wage and Bay Area Prosperity Plan.

Meet "McCashier" Your $15.00 Per Hour McDonald's Worker Replacement

Editor’s Note:  Successful union activism in support of a $15/hour minimum wage will not only reduce the supply of entry level jobs – it will have a disproportionate negative impact on small businesses. Large corporations will invest directly in – or offer their franchisees access to – specialized automation equipment. Small businesses will not have the same access to capital and technology. Stuck paying workers more than they can afford, they will be forced to raise prices and become even less competitive. Yet another example of how unions and ultra large corporations can have overlapping agendas.

Sure. You can make $15 an hour at McDonald’s, at least in Seattle. You just have to perform better than this machine.

20140811_Shedlock
But if you are not more cost effective than that machine, then not only do you not make $15, you do not have a job at all.

That machine is the not so distant replacement for cashiers demanding more and more pay.

Reddit comment says the cashiers at this McDonald’s were replaced by machines.

Comments indicate the store is the company owned McDonald’s Innovation Center at 1253 N Schmidt Rd, Romeoville, IL 60446, United States.

Any readers care to check that out?

Math, Not Counting Benefits

  • For a location open 24 hours: The cost of human cashiers, not counting benefits, $15/hour * 24 hours * 365 days/year = $131,400
  • For a location open 6AM to Midnight:  $15/hour * 18 hours * 365 = $98,550.

For the machine to be cost effective, all it needs to do is cost less than $100,000 a year to buy and maintain.

By the way, it won’t just be McDonald’s that eliminates cashiers. Expect to see machines like that everywhere. Basic cost-accounting math demands that outcome.

About the Author:  Mike Shedlock is the editor of the top-rated global economics blog Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis, offering insightful commentary every day of the week. He is also a contributing “professor” on Minyanville, a community site focused on economic and financial education.

Why Raising Minimum Wages Does More Harm Than Good

On Friday, Salon reported Breaking: Massive Black Friday strike and arrests planned, as workers defy Wal-Mart.

 Defying the nation’s top employer and a business model that defines the new U.S. economy, Wal-Mart employees and allies will try to oust shopping headlines with strike stories, and throw a retail giant off its heels on what should be its happiest day of the year. By day’s end, organizers expect 1,500 total protests in cities ranging from Los Angeles, Calif., to Wasilla, Alaska, including arrests in nine cities: Seacaucus, New Jersey; Alexandria, Virginia; Dallas; Minneapolis; Chicago; Seattle; and Ontario, San Leandro, and Sacramento, California.

On December 1, the New York Times reported Wage Strikes Planned at Fast-Food Outlets.

 Seeking to increase pressure on McDonald’s, Wendy’s and other fast-food restaurants, organizers of a movement demanding a $15-an-hour wage for fast-food workers say they will sponsor one-day strikes in 100 cities on Thursday and protest activities in 100 additional cities.

The movement, which includes the groups Fast Food Forward and Fight for 15, is part of a growing union-backed effort by low-paid workers — including many Walmart workers and workers for federal contractors — that seeks to focus attention on what the groups say are inadequate wages.

The fast-food effort is backed by the Service Employees International Union and is also demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without the threat of retaliation.

Officials with the National Restaurant Association have said the one-day strikes are publicity stunts. They warn that increasing pay to $15 an hour when the federal minimum wage is $7.25 would cause restaurants to rely more on automation and hire fewer workers.

On Aug. 29, fast-food strikes took place in more than 50 cities. This week’s expanded protests will be joined by numerous community, faith and student groups, including USAction and United Students against Sweatshops.

Fight For 15

Inquiring minds are investigating the Fight for 15 website. Here is a snip.

 Stand with striking Chicago fast food and retail workers!

We, hundreds of fast food and retail workers, went on strike at 30 stores in the Loop and the Magnificent Mile to demand $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation. Employers like McDonalds, Whole Foods, and Sears are raking in enormous profits while workers like us, mostly adults with families, don’t get paid enough to cover basic needs like food, rent, health care and transportation.

We are risking our jobs as we continue to stand up and say ENOUGH. And we need everyone who supports us to join us. It’s time to give every worker a chance to survive and thrive – and strengthen Chicago’s economy.

Applicants a Mile Long

Whenever Wal-Mart opens up a store it gets tens of thousands of applicants for a couple hundred openings. People want the jobs.

Here’s the deal. If you don’t like the job, then don’t take it.

It really is as simple as that.

Should Companies Pay Workers More?

The economic illiterates think companies should be forced to pay $15 per hour. Is it even possible?

Let’s do the math.

Wikipedia
 reports Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world as well as the biggest private employer in the world with over two million employees.

In its last annual report, for the 12 months ending January 31, 2013, Wal-Mart had $16.999 billion in net income.

That sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but not as much as you might think. I do not have a breakdown in headcounts, pay scales, or number of part-time employees, but let’s assume that half of the 2 million workers make $8 an hour (75 cents above above minimum wage) and work 30 hours a week.

$15 an hour would be an increase of $7 per hour. $7 multiplied by 30 hours per week, multiplied by 52 weeks a year, multiplied by 1 million workers is $10.92 billion, well over half Wal-Mart’s profit.

There would also be a large number of full-time employees making above $10 per hour but less than $15 per hour.

Bump up those employees to $15 per hour and the company would not even be profitable at $15 per hour minimum. Moreover, sales would plunge at Wal-Mart, as would sales at McDonald’s and Wendy’s.

The pressure to automate would be great, and marginal stores would surely close. Yet, prices across the board would soar, and so would yields on US Treasuries (and of course interest on the national debt would skyrocket).

Then, how long would it take to discover that $15 was not a “living wage”? Less than a year?

Wal-Mart a Savior or a Pariah?

The idea that raising the minimum wage to $15 would fix anything is ridiculous.

I am not totally unsympathetic to the plight of those struggling, but I am totally unsympathetic about minimum wages because the problem is the Fed, not minimum wage laws.

Cheap money coupled with rising minimum wages encourages investment into automation as opposed to hiring of individuals. Cheap money also drives up costs of goods and services.

And given that cheap money primarily benefits those with first access to it (the banks and the already wealthy), it is not surprising that people are struggling.

Rather than protest Wal-Mart (a company that does the world a service by providing over 2 million direct jobs and millions more indirect ones), people ought to be protesting the Fed.

About the Author:  Mike Shedlock is the editor of the top-rated global economics blog Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis, offering insightful commentary every day of the week. He is also a contributing “professor” on Minyanville, a community site focused on economic and financial education.

Charter Proposals for California Cities Continue Provoking Union Opposition

California Governor Jerry Brown claimed in his State of the State address that California now has “a solid and enduring budget.” His Finance Department even predicts state budget surpluses.

Despite the jubilation at the state capitol inspired by tax increases and one-party rule, California cities seem skeptical, as shown by their continued efforts to exercise their state constitutional rights to govern their own municipal affairs, free of costly and burdensome state mandates. And unions remain determined to undermine them.

The elected council of the Central Coast city of Arroyo Grande has appointed a committee to determine if it should ask voters to approve a home-rule charter, and union officials are interfering through “stiff opposition.” The elected council of the Central Coast city of Buellton is going to hold a workshop on a proposed charter, as union officials fight the proposal there too.

Meanwhile, on January 22, 2013, the Newport Beach City Council voted 7-0 to exercise its home-rule power as a charter city to establish its own policy concerning government-mandated construction wage rates (so-called “prevailing wages”). See the text of the resolution below.

RESOLUTION NO. 2013-6

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEWPORT BEACH EXEMPTING LOCALLY FUNDED PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS FROM PREVAILING WAGE

WHEREAS, the California prevailing wage law requires contractors on public works projects to be paid the general prevailing rate of per diem wages for work of a similar character in the locality in which the work is performed;

WHEREAS, under the California Constitution, Article XI, Section 5, the laws of charter cities supersede state law with respect to municipal affairs of the city;

WHEREAS, the California Supreme Court has held that the wage levels of workers constructing locally funded public works are a municipal affair, and therefore a charter city’s prohibition on the payment of prevailing wage supersede state law; and

WHEREAS, the City of Newport Beach (“City”) is incorporated as a charter city, and thus the City may exempt locally funded public works projects from prevailing wage to conserve the City’s limited resources.

NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Newport Beach resolves as follows:

SECTION 1: The City of Newport Beach exempts locally funded public works projects from prevailing wage, unless: (1) prevailing wage is compelled by the terms of a federal or state grant or is otherwise funded from a source that requires prevailing wage; (2) the public work is a matter of statewide concern; or (3) the payment of prevailing wage is separately authorized by the City Council, because the project is of a complexity and nature that the public interest would be served by requiring prevailing wage.

SECTION 2: This resolution shall take effect immediately upon its adoption by the City Council, and the City Clerk shall certify the vote adopting this resolution.

ADOPTED this 22nd day of January, 2013.

The January 22, 2013 staff report to the Newport Beach City Council recommended that it establish its own government-mandated construction wage rate policy:

…the City of Newport Beach, as a charter city, is not required to pay prevailing wage for locally funded public works projects. The City may adopt either an ordinance or a resolution to affirm its municipal autonomy and conserve valuable financial resources by exempting itself from the prevailing wage requirement for locally funded public works contracts. In the absence of an ordinance or resolution, the City may exempt itself from the payment of prevailing wage through the insertion of language into individual contracts (i.e., creation of an “actual conflict” through explicit contract terms). However, to ensure consistency staff recommends the adoption of the attached resolution. The attached resolution provides an exemption for public works projects, unless: (a) prevailing wage is compelled by the terms of a federal or state grant, or other funding source; (b) the public work is a matter of state-wide concern; or (c) the payment of prevailing wage is separately authorized by the City Council due to a project’s complexity or nature that the public interest would be served by requiring prevailing wage” to the third type of project for which the City might wish to pay prevailing wage.

Before the vote, the city attorney pointed out that the state’s definition of “public works” is ridiculously broad and recommended that the city council ensure flexibility and adopt a policy to “opt-in” to state-mandated construction wage rates. Councilman Michael Henn had the courage to state publicly that “prevailing wage” is a unique “anachronism of the construction industry” and noted that most business in America is done without government-mandated prevailing wage rates.

Study Session: Applicability of Prevailing Wage to City Projects

As a prelude to the agenda item, the Newport Beach City Council convened earlier in the day for what the city attorney described as a “fairly long study session” (Discussion Regarding the Applicability of Prevailing Wage to City Projects) to discuss exercising its right as a charter city to establish its own policy concerning government-mandated construction wage rates (so-called “prevailing wages”) on purely municipal construction projects.

A leader of the Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council [no web site] led off the public comment by showing a professionally-produced video called “Right the First Time” that promotes state prevailing wage laws through anecdotes and interviews with union-backed politicians. It neglects to mention the state’s absurd methods of calculating prevailing wage and defining public works. In addition, the video claims that prevailing wages are set by the free market, even though California Labor Code Section 1773 directs the state to set prevailing wage rates based on the applicable union collective bargaining agreements.

Other speakers represented union-affiliated groups such as Smart Cities Prevail and unionized construction trade organizations such as the Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board of Southern California, the Western Wall & Ceiling Contractors Association, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) – Orange County Chapter, and the Western Steel Council. A few unionized contractors (locked into multi-year collective bargaining agreements) also spoke in defense of state-mandated construction wage rates.

Evening Meeting: Unanimous Approval of the Resolution

At the evening meeting, a collection of union representatives, unionized construction trade associations, and unionized contractors once again asked the city council to keep state-mandated construction wage rates. They again cited the usual union arguments about cheap, unskilled, out-of-town labor by uninsured and unlicensed contractors.

Notice how this letter from the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) says that quality construction requires “living wages and benefits,” as if the alternative to state-mandated construction wage rates is the California minimum wage of $8.00 per hour. Actually, state-mandated prevailing wages are typically four to six times higher than “living wage” rates set by local governments. For example, the “living wage” for the City of Irvine (in Orange County, near Newport Beach) is currently $13.13 per hour including benefits. The median wage (not including benefits) for an electrician in Orange County is $27.15, according to the California Economic Development Department. But the state-mandated total straight time “prevailing wage” for an inside wireman electrician in Newport Beach is $54.83 per hour, including fringe benefit payments and payments to “other” trust funds that do not directly benefit the employee.

A staff representative of Smart Cities Prevail (a union-affiliated labor-management cooperation committee) argued against the resolution, claiming the policy could result in economic “uncertainty and insecurity.” A representative of the unionized Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board of Southern California noted that prevailing wage contractors offer quality. A leader of the Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council encouraged the city council to continue requiring its contractors to abide by the state-mandated wage rates and warned of cheap labor from out of the area. A representative of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) claimed that construction workers are “part-time workers” that work eight months a year and don’t get vacations or sick days. A union contractor said “we can afford it in Newport Beach” and noted many sections of the California Labor Code would be nullified. Also speaking against the policy was a union-oriented consultant formerly involved with labor relations for the Bay Area Chapter of the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA).

All that needs to be said in response: In 2012, the City of Newport Beach entered into a $5,880.00 maintenance contract for “abatement of algae around the Grand Canal beaches of Balboa Island” that included the requirement for the contractor to pay state-mandated construction wage rates (prevailing wage). Is it really the business of the state legislature to impose such a requirement on the City of Newport Beach for $6000 in algae clean-up?

News Coverage of Newport Beach City Council Vote:

Newport Triggers Dock-Fee Increases, Cost-Saving Labor Contracts – Orange County Register – January 23, 2013

City Eschews Prevailing Wages: The City Council voted to exempt Newport Beach from a state requirement that compels cities to pay workers prevailing wages – Newport Beach/Corona Del Mar Patch – January 24, 2013.)

Council Closes Book on Dock Fee Increases (In other business…) – Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot – January 23, 2013

For More Information:

Are Charter Cities Taking Advantage of State-Mandated Construction Wage Rate (“Prevailing Wage”) Exemptions? – 3rd Edition

List of California’s 121 Charter Cities

California Supreme Court Affirms State Prevailing Wage Requirements Do Not Apply to Charter Cities – League of California Cities – July 2, 2012

Kevin Dayton is the President and CEO of Labor Issues Solutions, LLC and is the author of frequent postings about generally unreported California state and local policy issues at www.laborissuessolutions.com.