Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Austin ISD caves to Union intimidation on Wage Rates

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

Sigh, of course they did:
In a split vote at its June 16 meeting, Austin ISD’s board of trustees adopted the federal Davis-Bacon prevailing wage schedule as the schedule AISD uses to pay construction workers, and the board pledged to conduct an additional study to determine a living wage for workers.

Pipe fitters, laborers and representatives from Austin Interfaith and AISD employees union Education Austin urged the board to adopt Davis-Bacon and stop using what they called an outdated wage rate schedule, while others called Davis-Bacon “flawed” and asked the board to postpone the vote.


Initial work is moving forward on a few Austin ISD bond projects approved by voters in 2013. The district’s board of trustees decided to discuss potentially revising the wage rate structure after a group of local citizens at its April 28 meeting asked the district to halt work on bond projects until construction workers are being paid fair wages.

Davis-Bacon wage rates are based on a federal law requiring payment of prevailing wage rates for laborers.

At the June 16 meeting, trustee Tamala Barksdale made a motion to adopt Davis-Bacon rates, while trustee Ann Teich added the living wage floor amendment. The vote was 5–4, with trustees Cheryl Bradley, Lori Moya, Robert Schneider and board President Vincent Torres opposed.

Schneider said he is concerned about whether or not the district will be able to afford a wage increase coupled with paying for voter-approved 2013 bond projects in a timely manner.

Torres said he sees problems with Davis-Bacon prevailing wage determinations, including survey response errors and reliance on "inappropriately small and unrepresentative data sets."
While we're on the topic, learn more about the racist origins of Davis-Bacon here; money quote:
The Act was passed in order to prevent non-unionized black and immigrant laborers from competing with unionized white workers. The discriminatory effects continue, as even today minorities tend to be vastly under-represented in highly unionized skilled trades, and over- represented in the pool of unskilled workers.

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