Why Prevailing Wage Works for Wisconsin

What is the prevailing wage?

A fair minimum wage for the skilled construction tradesmen and women working on our public infrastructure.

It’s only fair to be paying those workers a wage that is in line with their skills, training and experience.

Prevailing wage laws protect Wisconsin contractors and workers and keep taxpayer infrastructure dollars in Wisconsin

In Indiana, 885 jobs along the state line were lost after they weakened their prevailing wage laws. The neighboring, lower wage state of Kentucky gained 770 jobs.

Repealing prevailing wage laws will result in a projected $500 Million in construction value being completed by out of state contractors on an annual basis.

Weakening Prevailing Wage Hurts Local Contractors And Workers, Economic Commentary #40, Midwest Economic Public Policy Institute (June 2015); How Weakening Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage Policy Would Affect Public Construction Costs and Economic Activity, Duncan & Lantsberg (May 2015).

Construction worker wages will be cut if prevailing wage laws are repealed

Repeal is projected to reduce construction worker income, health, and retirement benefits by $756 Million annually.

Decrease in state and local tax revenue is projected to exceed $39 million annually.

How Weakening Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage Policy Would Affect Public Construction Costs and Economic Activity, Duncan & Lantsberg (May 2015).

Even though wages will be lower, there are no taxpayer savings from repealing prevailing wage laws

The Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau has advised legislators that there are no budget savings by repealing prevailing wage laws, and the Governor’s 2017-19 budget has no budget savings assigned to repeal.

Repealing prevailing wage laws will result in a projected $500 Million in construction value being completed by out of state contractors on an annual basis.

Prevailing Wage Laws and 2015 Assembly Bill 32, Wis. Leg. Fiscal Bureau (May 2015);; Wisconsin’s Prevailing-Wage Law, An Economic Impact, Philips (April 2015).

You Get What You Pay For

Wisconsin’s worker are more productive and efficient than workers in states without prevailing wage laws. This means that Wisconsin’s infrastructure is constructed cheaper, faster and correctly the first time.

Why are Wisconsin construction workers more productive and efficient? Because the private construction trades spend $30 Million annually on education, training and safety. States that repealed prevailing wage law experienced sharp decline in private construction trades training.

Wisconsin is already experiencing a worker shortage and a skills gaps. Repealing prevailing wage will only make the problem worse.

Wisconsin’s Prevailing-Wage Law, An Economic Impact Analysis, Philips (April 2015); Road and Bridge Construction Workers in the Midwest, Manzo & Bruno (March 2015).

A “Prevailing” wage is not “Union” wage. In fact, roughly 80 percent of the 2009 Wisconsin wage determinations were based on NON-UNION labor wages.