County Board Defeats Prevailing Wage Ordinance

McH Co Bd roll call prevailing wage 6-17-14 namesMcH Co Bd roll call prevailing wage 6-17-14Unions in Illinois and elsewhere have gotten legislation passed that require those bidding on public projects to pay what is called the “Prevailing Wage.”

While one may hear ads for a steel pole building on the radio for less than $100,000, odds are real good that Prevailing Wage law would make it cost a great deal more for, say, a township road commissioner.

The idea behind the laws is that workers should get paid what someone belonging to a union would get paid, if the taxpayers foot the bill.

I’m pretty sure that Prevailing Wage was what drove Jack Roeser up a wall with regard to Carpentersville School District 300. ┬áHe looked at what he paid to get his factory re-roofed and could not believe how much more the school district paid.

Ordinances are supposed to be passed by all local governments each year.

Tuesday night, however, the McHenry County Board refused to follow tradition.

The roll call failed 10-13. (Mary McCann was not in attendance.)

Those voting in favor were

  • Michele Aavang
  • Nick Chirikos
  • Sue Draffkorn
  • Joe Gottemoller
  • John Jung
  • Mary McClellan
  • Anna Miller
  • Robert Nowak
  • Carolyn Schofield
  • Paula Yensen

In opposition were

  • Yvonne Barnes
  • Diane Evertsen
  • John Hammerand
  • Jim Heisler
  • Tina Hill
  • Ken Koehler
  • Donna Kurtz
  • Robert Martens
  • Nick Provenzano
  • Sandra Salgado
  • Ersel Schuster
  • Mike Skala
  • Mike Walkup



County Board Defeats Prevailing Wage Ordinance — 13 Comments

  1. The rules about prevailing wage are confusing.

    Seems to depend where the funds are coming from as to what wage has to be paid.

    Federal Funds.

    State Funds.

    County Funds.

    And then there’s this in the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act.

    “The Department of Labor shall during the month of June of each calendar year, investigate and ascertain the prevailing rate of wages for each county in the State.

    If a public body does not investigate and ascertain the prevailing rate of wages during the month of June as required by the previous paragraph, then the prevailing rate of wages for that public body shall be the rate as determined by the Department under this paragraph for the county in which such public body is located.”

    Does the above section just refer to State funded projects?
    Or County funded projects also?

    Too much regulation.

  2. Any project paid for in part or in full by tax dollars.

    I’m confused as well, I always understood that this was required in order to receive MFT funds and federal funds.

    Any lawyers out there that can confirm or deny this?

  3. Hopefully this gesture will wake the voting public up to the fact that a laborer working on ANY government project for any unit of government in Illinois will be COST the employer $64.93 for every hour worked based on the published rates which you can find here

    Unions regularly verify that those rates are paid by contractors who do work which is paid for with tax dollars.

    The record keeping required by Illinois law has kept many employers from getting involved with government contracts.

    The NOT passing of the prevailing wage ordinance is meaningless because the County still has to adhere to the law but I like the gesture.

    Wake up voters in Illinois!

    Unions are running the State through Mike Madigan and his cronies!!

    Unless you work to support candidates like Steve Reick to get rid of Jack Franks, the financial rape of the taxpayers by the unions will continue!

    We need to make Illinois a Right to Work state and repeal the Prevailing Wage Law for government contracts!!!!

  4. I looked up the prevailing wages for McHenry, Kane, and Kendall counties and compared them to Cook.

    Would it shock you to know that all four are the same?

    Prevailing wage is a crock, and we need to push back against this unfunded mandate.

  5. The comments are helping to dust off the cobwebs on the prevailing wage game.

    Also school district roof costs are only partially explained by labor costs.

    Others involved in the roofing project make big profits off school districts.

    Architects, the contractor’s profit, etc.

    The architects typically control the process.

    How many knowledgeable people do you think are checking the architects numbers.

    Almost never the board, and the board approves the architects numbers.

    On the one hand you want a quality job.

    On the other hand costs have spiraled out of control in many districts in the name of quality.

    You would think everything is competitively bid.

    That is not always the case.

    Illinois law has various rules and exceptions to ensure special interests are taken care of.

  6. Jack Roeser and Chris Jenner talking about prevailing wages in the very latter part of segment 2, and the beginning of segment 3, of this 5 part radio show (Sundays 8AM 560 AM radio) that was videotaped and placed on YouTube.
    Listen as you do other work.

    Here’s a recent Daily Herald article about prevailing wages.
    Mt. Prospect lodges protest vote over wages.
    5/21/2014 4:28 PM.
    by Steve Zalusky.

    “In what amounts to more of a symbolic protest than effective legislation, Mount Prospect trustees this week refused to adopt a state mandated ordinance requiring the village to pay “prevailing” wages to workers on public works projects like street repairs and landscaping.”

    Counties, municipalities, school districts, park districts, etc. should form a consortium to lobby Springfield to repeal the prevailing wage law.

    Illinois is being run by labor unions for labor unions.

    Those in labor unions doing the work are getting a high wage, while others in a labor union remain unemployed because there is only so much money.

    Spread the wealth.

    Get more people working.

    The unions will say that’s the road to serfdom.

    They are a long way from serfdom.

    The balance of power has tilted too far to labor unions.

  7. Looking at the Illinois prevailing wage act, the prevailing wage includes fringe benefits.
    “The terms ‘general prevailing rate of hourly wages’, ‘general prevailing rate of wages’ or ‘prevailing rate of wages’ when used in this Act mean the hourly cash wages plus fringe benefits for:
    – training and apprenticeship programs approved by the U.S. Department of Labor,

    – Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training,

    – health and welfare,

    – insurance,

    – vacations and

    – pensions

    paid generally, in the locality in which the work is being performed, to employees engaged in work of a similar character on public works.”

    Public works.

    So there is no comparison to private.

    Just public.

    Remember that over 90% of the State of Illinois is unionized (the State itself, not county and local).

    It’s the largely unionized state that’s involved in creating state public works projects.

    Apparently they try to steer as much business as possible to private union construction firms through all sorts of rules including prevailing wage.

    A private firm paying prevailing wage would likely have much higher labor costs than a private firm not paying prevailing wage, putting them at a cost disadvantage when competing for business that does not require prevailing wage.

    So it appears a lot of these firms either are doing government jobs or not government jobs.

    Also, the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act provides no comparison to the Federal Bureau of Labor (BLS) labor figures.

    The BLS has figures on labor rates in different geographic areas.

    They call it Wage Data by Area and Occupation.

    Look at all the sources BLS cites.

    Which the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act makes no mention of.

    “BLS wage data by area and occupation are from the National Compensation Survey, Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, or the Current Population Survey.

    Other BLS programs that publish wage data (though not by detailed occupation) are Employment Cost Trends, Current Employment Statistics, and Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.”

    So what wages is the Illinois Department of Labor not considering in their determination of prevailing wages.

    Is IDOL omitting wages which would drive the prevailing wage down.

    What has the influence of organized labor been on the legislative process that created and modified the Illinois prevailing wage act?

    What influence does organized labor have in the Illinois Department of Labor.

    Here’s a recent Washington Examiner article looking at prevailing wages at the Federal level.

    The article appeared on Publius Forum.

    Washington Examiner
    Exography: Federal workers make up to twice as much as others doing same job.
    By Luke Rosiak and Logan Porter
    March 25, 2014 | 12:00 am

  8. A School Roof Needed Repairs.

    A simple concept that started a revolution.

    A businessman in Carpentersville was so upset at what he perceived as a rape of the taxpayers to fix a simple school roof turned into Family Taxpayers Network and then Family Taxpayers Foundation.

    R.I.P. Jack Roeser – We need you now more than ever.

  9. Of the 8 years I was on the Cary D-26 Board, we ran at least 2 years with no PW resolution in place.

    The sky didn’t fall, and on the few small construction projects we could afford, we paid the PW anyway.

    Voting down the PW resolution is mainly a symbolic gesture, but as noted in previous comments, it’s a good one.

    We need to either reduce the number of local government units, or fill the 50,000 board positions (yes, 50,000 local government board members in the People’s Republic of Illinois) with people who aren’t government lackeys and who actually question their administration.

    Compare what the IL Dept. of Labor says the PW is with what the BLS says the average pay for the same job is.

    IDOL’s numbers are anywhere from 10% – 90% higher.

    The statute says the local governing body shall ascertain the local rate of prevailing wages, not that it shall have IDOL’s phoney baloney bought and paid for numbers rammed down their throats.

  10. Let me put this simply…if you want your tax dollars paying for projects “funded” by your state or local government costing YOU HUGE amounts of money to the benefit of unions you will love prevailing wage.

    Let’s say it will cost $300,000 for a park to be landscaped per bidding process under private sector conditions…force prevailing wages on it and you will now pay $500,000 for same said park…all because of labor costs…not better materials.

    So to the McHenry County board members who voted for this travesty… we now understand where your loyalties lie…certainly not with the struggling tax payer who gets once again taken to the cleaners…

    I applaud Cal for giving me the names so I know how to inform the voters in future elections.


  11. By the way, my husband and I had a nice talk with Bruce Rauner on this issue and he knows what a huge problem it is for businesses and tax payers.

    His staff even followed up with us a few days later to pick our brains on how it destructive it is.

    Quinn, well we are living in the mess he and the Madigan reign have created.

    Will the last person to leave Illinois, please turn out the lights.

  12. It is within the power of municipal leaders to do something constructive about this issue:

    Cancel construction projects which property taxpayers cannot afford, and announce the cause: costs of 150% of fair value due to PW law.

    Specify how many and what types of jobs will be lost due to such cancellations.

    Make this information widely available to illinois citizens.

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