. – The Michigan Supreme Court has granted a leave for appeal
by Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan (ABC), an
action that could lead to local prevailing wage ordinances being invalidated
throughout the state.
“Given the conflicting court cases over the past few years, we
agree with the Supreme Court that the legality of excessive and expensive local
prevailing wage schemes needs to be taken under review,” said Chris Fisher, ABC of Michigan
President. “We believe a strong case will be made that these mandates are
illegal, and that the Supreme Court will ultimately rule on the side of
Prevailing wage mandates create a hodgepodge of wage and benefit
classifications and payment schedules that exist only for taxpayer-funded
construction. ABC and others have long maintained that these government
construction schemes are complicated, costly, and create an administrative burden.
A contractor working on a prevailing wage project in Lansing on Monday, a
prevailing wage project in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, and a project in Detroit on
Wednesday may have to alter his or her pay and benefit package three times in
three days. Michigan’s construction industry workforce is more highly compensated
than most other vocations in the state, but neither Lansing’s nor the state’s
prevailing wage mandate aligns with these already competitive market rates. A
2013 non-partisan Anderson Economic Group study
found that prevailing wage in the education sector
alone cost taxpayers an additional $2.25 billion over the past decade with no
ordinances, like other wage and benefit issues, are properly under the purview
of the state, not the 1,800-plus local units of government that can come up
with 1,800 inconsistent sets of rules to navigate. We trust that a consistently
applied decision from the Court will settle this confusing issue and bring
about a level playing field that encourages growth, opportunity and economic
development statewide,” noted Fisher.
of Michigan is a statewide trade association representing the commercial and
industrial construction industries. Dedicated to open competition, equal
opportunity and accountability in construction, ABC members develop people, win
work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the
betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.