YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 65

Standard Rate of Wages for Contract Workers Origin: Connecticut State Legislature Bill Name/Number: House Bill 6934 Link: Click here YEO Sponsors: Reps. David Kiner, Kelly Luxenberg, and Brandon McGhee (Joint Committee on Labor and Public Employees) Summary: This bill requires companies that contract with a municipality or Board of Education to provide food, building, property or equipment services or maintenance to pay their employees the standard rate of wages or at a rate that is substantially equivalent to that of other like employees, whichever is higher. Talking Points & Important Information: • Our partners at In The Public Interest found that without proper protections, government contracting can set of a downward spiral in which reduced worker wages and benefits hurt the local economy and overall stability of middle and working class communities. Many of the industries where this dynamic is most prevalent are the industries that this bill targets – food service in schools, public building maintenance, custodial contracts, and more. • Recent research from the University of Colorado shows how declines in workers’ wages mean less money to spend in their communities which directly affect local businesses. Lower wages mean that workers spend less in local retail, restaurants, and other establishments. Lower wages also mean that local and state governments collect less in sales, income, property, and other types of taxes. In short, less money flows into the local economy and more money is routed to for-profit corporations. • Furthermore, low wages by contractors can result in a hidden cost to the government. When government contractors pay low wages, taxpayers end up subsidizing these companies through public assistance programs that temporarily plug income gaps and help low-income contractors make ends meet. These hidden costs are rarely factored in to a government’s cost analysis of a proposed contract. • For more guidance on transpare