After months of delay, the U.S. Department of Labor released the final rule on Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs, otherwise known as IRAPs, exempting the construction industry from this rule.
Heat and Frost Insulators News and Events
During the week of November 12, the Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers and the Insulation Industry International Apprentice and Training Fund will celebrate the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Apprenticeship Week, which is a week dedicated to show appreciation and bring awareness to apprenticeship programs.
Throughout the United States, Insulator Local Unions celebrated National Apprenticeship week through a variety of events and activities highlighting the value apprenticeship programs can provide the mechanical insulation industry.
The Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers are proud to be built upon a foundation of high-quality training, especially the education provided to our apprentices.
The HFIAW Insulators and the Local Joint Apprenticeship and Training Funds (JATC) are dedicated to growing our workforce through the apprenticeship program at the state-of-the-art training facilities located throughout the United States and Canada.
Many of our current Apprenticeship classes will be participating in events related to National Apprenticeship week. For more information, contact your Local Union.
The United States Labor Department announced Wednesday the closing of loopholes in the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (Landrum-Griffin Act) allowing employers to hire anti-union consultants, known as "persuaders," without reporting the arrangements.
As the law stands, reporting is only required if the persuaders are speaking directly with employers, but not if their influence reaches the workplace via intermediaries. So, consultants could advise company supervisors looking to suppress the organization of the workforce on what to say to workers and how to say it, and completely bypass the reporting requirements.
Topics: Department of Labor
As the Los Angeles City Council looks to create a new office to enforce local wage laws as part of its minimum wage hike plan, many experts want to know how they will fund it.
Calculation of prevailing wage rates will be simpler, more streamlined, and its designers hope, more accurate — under new rules submitted Monday by WorkForce West Virginia.
Under legislation passed this session revamping the way workers’ wages are to be calculated for state-funded public works projects (SB361), Monday was the deadline for WorkForce West Virginia, in conjunction with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at West Virginia University and the Center for Business and Economic Research at Marshall, to come up with new methodology for calculating prevailing wages.
“I’m very comfortable with it,” Jeff Green, director of Research, Information and Analysis for WorkForce West Virginia, said Monday of the new system.
“It’s a complex issue,” he added. “You want to make sure you give it the best and most accurate information you can.”
Under the new law, oversight of calculation of prevailing wage scales was moved from the state Division of Labor to WorkForce West Virginia.
Critics complained that under the old system, the Division of Labor used an imprecise methodology of surveys sent to contractors and public entities, requiring that they self-report wages paid for various types of construction work by county.
Workforce West Virginia’s new system also will rely to a great extent on surveys that will be sent to some 5,250 contractors and subcontractors doing business in the state. However, WorkForce West Virginia officials expect a higher response rate and more accuracy, noting that the agency is “fully staffed with professionally trained research personnel who have extensive expertise and experience with labor market data collection and analysis.”
The process will also be streamlined — Prevailing wage rates will be calculated using the agency’s seven WorkForce Investment Area regions, rather than using county-by-county calculations.“
Many counties have limited occupational wage data, making it difficult to produce statistically reliable estimates,” the summary of the new methodology states.
The new methodology also streamlines the number of occupational categories on the surveys from 48 to 28 to make the reporting more user-friendly, asking firms for example, to “report wages for laborers broadly, as opposed to different individual classes of laborers.”
Although the original bill called for an outright repeal of the prevailing wage law, the compromise legislation retains prevailing wage for state-funded construction projects of more than $500,000, using the new calculation.
Under the law, the initial deadline for setting the new prevailing wage rates is July 1, but the law gives the legislative Joint Committee on Government and Finance authority to extend that deadline to as late as Sept. 30.
In the report, WorkForce West Virginia indicates it can meet a fall deadline for the new wage rates, noting, “WorkForce West Virginia anticipates that data collection will be complete by the end of summer 2015 with publication of revised prevailing hourly wage rates expected by early fall 2015.”
Passed during the Great Depression and modeled after the federal Davis Bacon Act, prevailing wage was designed to keep contractors from underbidding public works contracts by using low-paid, less-experienced and well-trained workers.
Critics contended that prevailing wage inflates costs for publicly financed construction projects, while proponents cited figures showing that prevailing wage projects are not more expensive, and that it is cost effective to hire highly skilled workers who have high productivity.