The so called ‘prevailing wage’ law requires school districts in Pennsylvania to pay union-level wages and benefits on any construction projects valued at over $50,000.
Even if non-union labor is used, and even if contractors are willing to do the work for less than ‘prevailing wage’, the law requires schools to pay extra for the work. Estimates are that schools end up over-paying for construction projects by 10%-20%. An editorial today highlighted the problems with this law.
UCFSD does not have any large construction projects at the moment, so this is not a hot issue. But current school taxes go to pay the bond interest and principle from our recent construction projects (like Unionville High School) so in some ways we are still paying for the ‘prevailing wage’ we had to pay on prior projects.
This law is outdated, unnecessary, and a burden that school districts don’t need. Private companies, private colleges, and real estate developers pay the real prevailing wage on their projects …. the wage that contractors actually charge for the work, in a competitive bidding process! Public schools should be able to do the same.