Build a site on municipal property in NJ and you better be paying prevailing wages

Discussion in 'Managing Projects and Business Issues' started by Carl Mooreti, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Carl Mooreti

    Carl Mooreti Friend of the Community

    New Jersey has had a law on the books since last year that requires any work on publicly owned property to be subject to the prevailing wage law, even when the property is leased to a private business and the private business contracts for the construction work.

    The big boy tower realtors and management firms are waking up to this fact as they question why their bids on municipal property are seeing increase that top their model pricing.

    I haven?t been burnt by it, but it?s something that should be considered when you are doing any work on a cell site in any Jersey municipality.

    Don?t assume that it only pertains to a project that is funded by public money. That?s incorrect. Since a lot of tower companies are finding it easier to construct their cell sites on public property ? and some cities require that they be looked at as the first option ? the biz is seeing more and more of them.

    I think we?re all aware of companies that have paid their workers $10 to $15 an hour, when the prevailing wage is $28 or more on a project.

    The PW paperwork is incredibly difficult on some projects, but the more that companies know about it the better off the industry is as a whole since bids will not be lost by clueless contractors.

    There are companies that have locked themselves into pricing contracts with their clients and their subs. It should be interesting to see how pricing will be renegotiated on a municipal project in NJ. If at all. And please don?t fall for ?Help me out here and I?ll make it up to you on other projects.?
  2. brian weis

    brian weis Friend of the Community

    Just to pick up on one point above, the prevailing wage rate to use for line and antenna work in NJ is the Journeyman Electrician rate. This is no where near the $28 as mentioned above. When paying prevailing wage, you must not only match the wages, but also the benefits. On a project for carrier A, which is on a tower behind town hall in Morris County, the prevailing wage rate is $44.16 per hour in wages, and $22.75 per hour in benefits. That totals $66.91 per hour. From this, you may deduct the cost of providing benefits to your employees, calculated in an individual basis. The state provides a formula as to how to correctly calculate your benefit rate. The wage and benefit rate varies by County. ALSO, do not forget to read the fine print. Many counties have a line that increases the overall rate for work 40 feet above the ground floor. For Atlantic county, the overall rate increases 10%. For Bergen County, the overall rate increases 21%.

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