Constructing Common Sense: Delaware Dems Aim to Link Prevailing Wages to Collective Bargaining

Delaware State Capitol

Legislation has passed the Delaware House of Representatives which would set prevailing wages based on negotiated collective bargaining agreements, thus eliminating the need for wage surveys. The bill, which passed the house on a 26-13 vote, will now be taken up by the Senate. Up to this point, support for and opposition to the bill have fallen along party lines:  

House Bill 287, sponsored by Rep. Michael Mulrooney, D-Pennwood, would eliminate the need for a wage survey if the agreements have been adopted as the prevailing wage for five consecutive years.

Prevailing wage kicks in for public construction projects like school renovation and municipal street repair, if the construction contract is above $15,000 or above $100,000 for new construction, which includes painting and decorating.

Republicans, who have been staunchly opposed to the bill, made attempts to amend it before its passage.  Rep. Ruth Briggs King, R-Georgetown, wanted to raise the prevailing wage threshold to $350,000 for new construction projects and $100,000 for renovations.  The measure failed to garner support in the House.

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