Friday afternoon, El Paso County officials and members of the El Paso Prevailing Wage Rate Committee announced a campaign to update prevailing wage rates for public construction workers in our region.
“Prevailing wages are important because they impact the overall wage rates earned by laborers who work on public-work construction projects,” County officials shared. “Every time a public entity starts a construction project, by law the contractors and subcontractors have to pay their employees no less than the prevailing wage for their respective job classifications.”
The process includes conducting a new wage survey of Building and Heavy/Highway Construction projects to establish prevailing wages rates in El Paso County.
The wage rate established by the survey is the least amount that can be paid for each labor classification. This “minimum wage” is determined by surveying the wages recently paid to workers in the locality.
The last County prevailing wage rate survey was adopted in 2016.
This time El Paso County is working with several government entities, such as the City of El Paso, Ysleta Independent School District, and University Medical Center Hospital District, to conduct a combined wage survey. By working together, they are eliminating the need for each public entity to perform a separate survey.
“By law, prevailing wage rates must be determined for each labor classification that will be utilized on a proposed construction project,” officials added. “The results of the wage rate survey are provided to contractors who are bidding on public construction projects. By updating prevailing wage rates, the participating governmental entities support the local economy and its workforce.”
County officials say that the combined wage rate survey will save taxpayers money by consolidating the different surveys into one and will make it easier for employers to participate by just having to fill out one survey, instead of different ones for each entity.
El Paso County officials anticipate that they will mail approximately 1,000 surveys to companies who worked on any construction project in El Paso County that was on-going and active during any parts of 2018 and 2019.
The surveys ask about wages and fringe benefit rates paid in numerous labor classifications. The results of the surveys will be tabulated, and the Committee will have the new prevailing wages ready by September of 2020.
The Prevailing Wage Rate Committee is asking those who work in the construction industry to return their completed surveys by July 10, 2020. Surveys will also be available online.
Information regarding the El Paso County 2012 Wage Survey and blank survey packets are available via the county’s website..