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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ind. Decisions - "Court ruling on wage scale could have statewide impact"

Yesterday's NFP Court of Appeals opinion in The Board of Commissioners in County of Allen, Commissioner Linda K. Bloom, et al. v. Northeastern Indiana Building Trades Council, et al. is the focus of a long story today in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, reported by Kevin Leininger. Some quotes:

In a ruling that could have statewide implications, the Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a local judge's ruling that Allen County officials used incomplete data when they established a below-union-wage scale for a renovation project two years ago.

Under the state's “common wage” law, local and state governments were required to establish a minimum-wage scale for construction projects costing at least $150,000. Preparing for the $850,000 renovation of the Keystone Building on South Calhoun Street, County Commissioners selected wages submitted by the Associated Builders and Contractors, which represents non-union “merit shops” and claims its wages can cut a project's cost by 30 percent.

But the Northeastern Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council and others fought the decision in court, insisting that union pay scales represent the most “common” wages in Allen County and that the ABC's wages relied on “hearsay” evidence contained in surveys submitted by non-union contractors. * * *

The General Assembly this year passed a law intended to increase the threshold of projects requiring the establishment of a “common wage” to $250,000, then $350,000 starting in 2013. But because of a drafting error, officials have said, all construction projects will require such determinations between July and Jan. 1. Neumeister did not know whether the new law might make the ABC's method of determining wages more acceptable in the future.

Here is an ILB entry from June 9th on the "drafting error."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 16, 2011 11:33 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions