By Special Report
This week, Mayor Scott and members of the Board of Estimates (BOE) approved an increase in the city’s prevailing wage for workers in the construction trades.
The increase would boost the base rate for laborers from $8 per hour to $22 per hour – totaling an approximate rate of $43,000 annually.
“This is about making sure that workers in the construction trades get the pay they deserve for their hard work – literally building a better Baltimore,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott.
“I want to thank the Office of Equity and Civil Rights and our Chief Equity Officer Dana Moore for making this critical recommendation. At the beginning of my term, I said that I would focus on advancing equity throughout City operations, and this action is a crucial step in continuing that work.”
The “Prevailing Wages for Workers Under Construction Contracts” law, among other things, requires workers to be paid regularly and no less than the approved “prevailing wage.”
“Today’s BOE approval to increase wages for some of Baltimore’s most committed and often overlooked workers – those in the construction trades – is a major step forward in assuring that Mayor Scott’s commitment to equity for Baltimore is made real,” said Dana P. Moore, Chief Equity Officer and Director of the Baltimore City Office of Equity and Civil Rights.
This decision comes after the Baltimore City Wage Commission, housed within the Office of Equity and Civil Rights (OECR), reviewed the 2021 wage rates – and years prior – compared to wages for similar trades in surrounding jurisdictions. This process was guided by an equitable lens, in line with Mayor Scott’s commitment to leveling the playing field in Baltimore City, even for the city’s most overlooked workers. As a result, it was determined that the rates for laborers needed to be significantly increased.
“The OECR is very pleased to have the vision and support offered by Mayor Scott as we work to make Baltimore equitable,” said Moore.
“Workers in the construction trades deserve sufficient wages for the hard work they do day in and day out,” said John Barber, Representative for the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters. “On behalf of the Eastern Regional Carpenters and construction workers across Baltimore, I want to thank Mayor Scott, the Office of Equity and Civil Rights, and the BOE, for making this much needed increase in the City’s prevailing wage.”
This increase pertains to Baltimore City construction contracts with a minimum value of $5,000; and applies to laborers, mechanics, and apprentices working in all construction trades. The Baltimore City prevailing wage law can be found in the Baltimore City Charter, Article 5, Subtitle 25.
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