Following a preliminary vote on July 30, the San Diego City Council on Tuesday approved using the “prevailing wage” for all construction projects valued over $25,000 and all maintenance, repair, alteration or demolition work over $15,000, starting Jan. 1.
The prevailing wage is defined as the compensation – including benefits and overtime – paid to a majority of workers in a particular industry in a particular geographic zone.
Implementing the wage will mean many contractors will have to pay their workers more, but it will also mean “safer and better monitored work sites; on-time completion; properly trained apprentices; and fewer construction defects, change orders and cost overruns,” according to a press release sent out by Interim Mayor Todd Gloria.
The move passed the council on the same 5-4 margin that it did in July, with Democrats on the Council supporting the measure and Republicans opposed.
At least 40 other charter cities in California have similar requirements, including San Jose, Burbank, Anaheim and Long Beach.