View Full Version : Davis-Bacon act and prevailing wages

05-22-2009, 08:28 AM
Trying to comply with the Davis-Bacon act is a beuracratic nightmare, this is something that drastically needs both refinement and streamlining.

A short list of problems:

A) It breaks things down by trade, which would be fine, except many areas are missing a large number of classifications. For instance, there is no Millwright designation for Dickey county, North Dakota.

Whats more, there is a large amount of paperwork required to add a designation which takes a minimum of 30 days to make its way throughout the system. So here I am trying to put togethor an estimate for a bid for a windfarm, and I do not know exactly what the Millwrights are going to be paid [almost 25% of total manhours] , as there is a wide variance in pay across the state.

B) There is way to much variance in minimum payrates between both crafts and area. It makes it hell for general contractors that are multistate to move people around.

For intance, to keep the different crafts from bikering we pay them all about the same. There is only around a 6 dollar difference between carpenters and electricians. In some states however, here is as much as a 30 dollar difference. Now we cannot afford to pay everyone that higher rate, so now we have carpenters refuse to go to that job and we are stuck with local workers (sorry, but local workers ARE usually subpar). That are we have to let the carpenters work part-time doing some of the electrical stuff when we would rather have them putting togethor forms.

C)It is a major drag on efficency. We can't let crafts do other crafts work because you pay them by what they are currently doing, not what they hired in as. I know the reasoning for this, but it has very annoying externalities. For instance, if an electrician that is licensed for forklifts needs a spool of wire brought out, and we are short on forklift operators that day, we can't just let that electrician jump into the forklift real quick and bring his spool out.
We just can't keep up with the paperwork that would be required to let people jump around in what classification they are working for.