On Monday, October 4, the Anne Arundel County Council passed a bill to establish a minimum wage and benefits for construction trade employees in a 4 -3 vote along partisan lines.
County Executive Steuart Pittman, County Council members and labor unions advocated for increased wages and benefits for construction trade professionals that do business with the county.
Some council members raised concerns during debate on Bill 72-21 about how passing such a measure would effect the capital budget, taxes, and the quality of work.
From reporting by The Baltimore Sun:
“The county has been an outlier in Central Maryland; most of our neighbors in the region pay the prevailing wage on projects,” Pittman said during the rally. “It is the fair wage our workers should get. We saw how important it was to be able to pay this month’s bills and put some in the bank, just in case you lose work for a couple of months due to a pandemic.”
The legislation adds a provision for prevailing wages requiring that contractors and subcontractors pay the construction employees no less than the prevailing wage established by the Maryland Division of Labor and Industry for state-funded contracts in the county. Capital improvement contracts that have either a value more than $250,000, or capital projects that have a county contribution of more than $5 million would be subject to this provision.
Baltimore City and Baltimore, Montgomery, Charles, and Prince George’s counties have all implemented similar measures.