Prevailing wage

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Mr. Smith
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Prevailing wage

Postby Mr. Smith » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:17 am

Just a heads up prevailing wage change 2/22/2019.
$76.08/hr party chief
$72.99/hr instrument man
$70.11/hr chain man
Training fee to union hall is $1.12 per each hour worked.
Check your local rates.
Also the DIR will now take three years of payment ($1,200) in advance for the right to work on public works jobs.

(I am going back in the field for these rates, huge increase for me)

Brian

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land butcher
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby land butcher » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:14 pm

Also the DIR will now take three years of payment ($1,200) in advance for the right to work on public works jobs.


This is BS. Shows how union money owns politicians. That's why this State is broke and owes billions in govt employee unfunded liabilities.

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hellsangle
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby hellsangle » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:59 pm

Totally off (which I am, as usual) . . .

Ahhhh the train to nowhere.

And SB2 - all that wonderful affordable housing. Just ask your Recorder's Office where most that money is going! Yep. The State. How many units have been built? When will the first be built? Hopefully during my one-year old great-grandson's lifetime!

And don't forget: Vote Surveyor to Recorder LOL

Crazy Phil - Sonoma

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land butcher
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby land butcher » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:38 pm

Somebody is subsidizing 4 and 5 story fugly condo/apt units. They are going up faster than weeds in a warm wet spring. The big issue I see is that the infrastructure is not being upgraded, roads are not widened, sewers not enlarged, and where is the water coming from but the population density is sure increasing.

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DWoolley
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby DWoolley » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:17 pm

Mr. Smith wrote:Just a heads up prevailing wage change 2/22/2019.
$76.08/hr party chief
$72.99/hr instrument man
$70.11/hr chain man

.....

Brian


The private field surveying personnel working on a public works projects are paid the the rates shown above. Fair enough, especially if they are licensed land surveyors that have dedicated themselves to the profession by virtue of licensure. Caltrans has established and maintained this license standard for well over 20 years. Surely the agency, any agency, demands licensed party chiefs from their contract surveyors at those rates. I want to believe most of those making that salary are licensed, like you, Mr. Smith. Is there a better argument for well rounded land surveyors to split their office time, possibly at a lesser rate, with field time at the rates shown?

Also, would be contributors, please spare me the tale about the party chief that is so super awesome without a license and the licensee with a four year degree that didn't know anything about land surveying. Said party chief was so awesome he couldn't take time away from curing cancer in his garage/lab to be bothered with a test directly related to the practice that pays him $140k annually? We have all heard that campfire story that misses the point. The point is, when making $76 an hour, $140k annually (awesome), more than most folks with a masters degree or a PhD, more than a California Deputy Attorney General ($120k) is it asking to much to support the profession by making an effort to get licensed? Or, in the alternative, does the profession owe the party chief more to encourage licensure? If so, how much more? Or is it, there is no value placed on the license and the "profession" should be deregulated?

The hiring agency should demand licensure from their vendors. It is good for the practice, good for the professional image, good for the employers/employees and makes a solid argument land surveying should not be deregulated.

Thoughts?

DWoolley
Last edited by DWoolley on Wed May 01, 2019 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bruce hall
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby bruce hall » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:20 pm

do the posted rates include everything like retirement, health insurance, holiday? or is that on top of posted numbers? how much does the surveyor gross on the check?

Just wondering.

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DWoolley
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby DWoolley » Wed May 01, 2019 2:53 am

Bruce Hall:

A signatory company pays the party chief approximately $50 gross per hour and the remaining $26 is paid to the union for the health insurance and pension.

A nonsignatory company pays the party chief $76 an hour minus the authorized deduction i.e. health insurance, and the employee gross hourly is typically $68-72 per hour (depending on the age of the insured). Paying anything less, the employer is stealing from the employee, a felony. In Orange County they have sent several people (business owners) to prison for exactly that crime. There are certain plans available to nonsignatory firms that allows the employer to pay a large portion of the fringe benefit cost, approximately $26 per hour, into an employee's individual trust account.

DWoolley

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Jim Frame
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby Jim Frame » Wed May 01, 2019 6:19 am

The point is, when making $76 an hour, $140k annually


When I was in the union (eons ago; my last union job was in 1981) the firms I worked for had a handful of guys they kept busy most of the year, but a lot of us drawing those wages didn't work much from December through March during the construction slow season. And even the core field staff got sent home without pay whenever it rained. Unless things have changed, you can't just multiply the hourly rate by 2000 to get the average field crew member's annual gross.
Jim Frame
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby Mr. Smith » Wed May 01, 2019 6:30 am

Mr. Woolley,

The rates are fine with me the cost is just passed on to the tax payer. If you live in the zoo those rates may not be enough, here in cow country a 3 bed 2 bath on ¼ ac is about 150k, In the zoo the same home can be 1.5 to 2.5 million. As far as getting in the field, I strongly recommend it, but after 30 years of doing that the doctor may caution you on spending any more time in the sun. Maybe these rates will get the office surveyor in the field, see how 1000 yards of earth is on your control and lots of unanticipated problems cause delays.

As far as deductions I recommend that non-union private sector companies pay the full amount listed and send an extra $1.12 to the union hall just to be sure.

Brian

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DWoolley
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby DWoolley » Wed May 01, 2019 5:53 pm

Jim Frame wrote:When I was in the union (eons ago; my last union job was in 1981) the firms I worked for had a handful of guys they kept busy most of the year, but a lot of us drawing those wages didn't work much from December through March during the construction slow season. And even the core field staff got sent home without pay whenever it rained. Unless things have changed, you can't just multiply the hourly rate by 2000 to get the average field crew member's annual gross.


Our state has a tremendous amount of diversity in climate, population, economic growth, etc. It is one of the many things I appreciate about California. However, the prevailing wage is nearly the same in all 58 counties. As Mr. Smith demonstrated he could buy a house with one year's gross salary and alternatively, as he points out, it would take me a little more than 7 years for a shanty.

Using today's rates to apply to Jim Frame's model is actually the sweeter deal. The gross of $76/hr × 2080 = $158,080 × 0.75 (9 months of work) is $118,500 (WITH 3 MONTHS OFF collecting unemployment, er, so awesome) for simply walking down the street and saying "TC, (got the shot), Flowline (got the shot), lip (got the shot)" for a day will garner a cool $608. If they were selling it on TV someone would report it the FTC.

As a comparison, according data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey, the median household (note household, not individual) income in California is $63,783.

These are the good ol' days, enjoy. I will support prevailing wage all the way to the day I submit my Amazon warehouse application - grinning like a fool, quietly whispering to myself "got the shot" as I place another package on the line.

DWoolley

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E_Page
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby E_Page » Fri May 03, 2019 2:17 pm

Base hourly rates (W-2 wages) corresponding to the rates in the opening post are:

$45.03 (chief)
$41.94 (i-man)
$39.06 (chain)

The rest is toward benefits, of which I'm certain the union gets a % of each benefit category for "administration" costs.

https://www.dir.ca.gov/OPRL/2019-1/PWD/index.htm

The DIR site didn't show it (that I saw), so the premium for a licensed chief is probably strictly a contract thing. Last I knew, OE-3 contract included about a 3% bump on the base rate for a licensed chief.
Evan Page, PLS
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DWoolley
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby DWoolley » Fri May 03, 2019 5:44 pm

E_Page wrote:Base hourly rates (W-2 wages) corresponding to the rates in the opening post are:

$45.03 (chief)
$41.94 (i-man)
$39.06 (chain)

The rest is toward benefits, of which I'm certain the union gets a % of each benefit category for "administration" costs.


For a nonsignatory firms working on a public works construction project - which includes preconstruction topography and post construction monuments - the employer pays the "base hourly rate" PLUS the fringe benefit money allocated to the employee - anything less is wage theft. As stated above, the hourly wages earned typically ranges between $68 and $72 an hour for a nonsignatory employee, depending on the healthcare allocation. It is not uncommon to pick up an hour of overtime in travel time at over $90 an hour (employers cannot negotiate a lesser hourly rate for travel time). All for simply walking down the street measuring top of curb, flowline and lip - buy a boat, it is sure to last forever.

I strongly support prevailing wage - especially for the party chiefs that have dedicated themselves to the profession by getting licensed. If the land surveyors can distinguish themselves from the other trades, that are self performing more work each year, by virtue of licensure onsite it would make it less likely to deregulate the profession. Wisely, Caltrans made this move more than 20 years ago. All contracting agencies should demand licensed party chiefs on their projects. Create the demand and the supply will follow. This would encourage licensure in the private sector, distinguish the profession, establish a measurable minimum qualification and help stave off deregulation.

DWoolley

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E_Page
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby E_Page » Fri May 03, 2019 7:08 pm

The costs to the employer is the higher number, but when people talk about how much they, or others as employees make, the number generally reflects what would be shown on the employees end of year tax statement. On an average year that would be $45.03 x 2080 hours for the chief (about $94,000).

So the normal answer to that chief of "How much do you make?" would be "None of your ------- business!", or, if he's a bit less confrontational, "About 94 thousand, plus benefits."

I haven't worked in or with the OE for several years. When I did, the OE-3 training was non-existent or worse. I've been told that it's improved quite a bit since then (pre-2005 or so), so maybe my next comment is less applicable than it once was.

Of OE-3 surveyors, most were quite overpaid at prevailing wages. The I-man classification went essentially unused. More than half the chiefs were i-men at best by knowledge and qualification, and nearly 1/3 of the chainmen would have had difficulty keeping a minimum wage job sweeping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms at Walmart. There were a few exceptions who earned that wage or more, but those folks were not easy to come by.

If a chief has a near LS level of knowledge, consistently does good work and is productive, then the PW is a fair rate. In almost all cases, the chain PW is too high. The chain rate is about what a very good I-man should make.

When I was in the OE-3, I also worked with OE-12 people. On average, the OE-12 folks seemed to be better trained. Hopefully, 3 has caught up.
Evan Page, PLS
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land butcher
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby land butcher » Thu May 30, 2019 4:14 pm

I have been giving a lot of thought to the requirement of prevailing wage and being a member of some govt org to bid on projects that have any govt funds involved.

I think we all know that this Country was founded on the free enterprise system, prices and wages determined by supply and demand, and we know how unions came into being in the early 1900's and that they got govt to create a thing called prevailing wage, so I won't go into that here. As a side note, sometime after 1986 in the central coast it was determined that union pay scales were not prevailing wage in that area due to the few union survey firms vs the many non union survey firms.

To me prevailing wage is nothing more than a form of socialism, where everyone is paid the same for whatever position they hold no matter how well they do the work. FYI in my early 20s I worked with a Hungarian freedom fighter and he told me how employment was behind the iron curtain, basically no one cared how well they did their job or even if they went to work on a given day because the jobs were crap and everyone had a job.

I am sure no business owner here would want the govt to tell you how much you can charge to provide your services on a project but how far is it from dictating wages and benefits to dictating business profit margins since many places have rent controls. I am sure some of our new junior federal reps have a lot to say about corporate profits. Big or small most of you are still a corporation.

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Gary Schenk
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby Gary Schenk » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:42 am

land butcher wrote:I have been giving a lot of thought to the requirement of prevailing wage and being a member of some govt org to bid on projects that have any govt funds involved.

I think we all know that this Country was founded on the free enterprise system, prices and wages determined by supply and demand...


And slavery, don't forget those 3/5ths of a person folks.

God forbid working people make a good living. It's unAmerican!! All of our efforts should go towards enriching the 0.1%. It's only just that the harder we work, the more the billionaires rake in. That's the American Way. Anybody who wants to make more than starvation wages is a greedy commie.

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land butcher
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby land butcher » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:42 pm

Mice die in mouse traps because they do not understand why the cheese is free.
The same thing happens in socialism.

It's only one small step for govt to control what you can charge for a survey since they already control how much you can charge a renter.

As for slavery, if you purchase products made in the 3rd world you are promoting slave labor and contributing to uncontrolled global pollution.

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Mr. Smith
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby Mr. Smith » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:29 am

I will not get into an argument about the merits of socialism v capitalism: my beef is
The paperwork required and mandates do set me off. It took a civil engineer and a surveyor (both licensed with more than 10 years running a business) over an hour to get our $1200 paid on the government web site for the privilege to bid and put out to bid public works contracts. Another beef is how long it takes each week to fill out the weekly paycheck data on line and in hard copy for our files, if you work for some outfits you need to use LC Tracker which is different. Just belly aching, but that’s my right; don’t know if you have that right in some socialist countries.

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Jim Frame
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby Jim Frame » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:43 am

LCTracker might be better than a sharp stick in the eye, but not by much. If you're a sole proprietor you have to fraudulently certify that you're paying yourself prevailing wages in order to use LCTracker, even though a sole proprietor isn't an employee and doesn't draw a paycheck. Fortunately for me, most of my public agency clients aren't currently using it, but for those that do I have to add an hour or two for every week requiring payroll data entry.
Jim Frame
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land butcher
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby land butcher » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:36 am

but for those that do I have to add an hour or two for every week requiring payroll data entry.


This is such a benefit to the public. I guess if you consider taking more from taxpayers wallets is a benefit then it is.

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Mr. Smith
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Re: Prevailing wage

Postby Mr. Smith » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:27 am

No doubt the tax payer gets it in the shorts. I have to charge for the time it takes to do the paperwork burden.


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