Private sector prevailing wage rates and the public sector
OATH Index No. 126/13
OATH Administrative Law Judge Alessandra F. Zorgniotti commenced her analysis of this complaint filed by The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (Local 237) by citing §220(3)(a)] of the New York State Labor Law. This provision requires public employers, including the City of New York, to pay “laborers, workmen, or mechanics” in its employ the prevailing rate of wages and supplemental benefits paid in the private sector “for a day’s work in the same trade or occupation in the locality” where the work is performed.
Although the statute refers to the rates paid in the “same” trade or occupation, courts have recognized that a comparison may be made to workers doing similar jobs. The City’s Comptroller was thus required to determine the prevailing rate of wages paid to those workers whose trade or occupation was “comparable” to city-employed maintenance workers.
Local 237's complaint sought a determination of the prevailing wages and benefits for elevator mechanics, supervisor elevator mechanics, and elevator mechanic helpers employed by the City should be that set by the Elevator Manufacturers Association of New York and the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local Union No.1.
The Comptroller had made a preliminary determination that elevator mechanics and their supervisors should be paid the same as comparable private sector titles covered by the Local 1 contract and that helpers should be paid the same as helpers covered by the contract between the Elevator Industries Association, Inc.and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3.
Judge Alessandra F. Zorgniotti upheld the Comptroller’s preliminary determination finding that because Local 1 was the prevailing union and had comparable titles, elevator mechanics and supervisors should be paid at Local 1 rates.
The ALJ noted that as there was no comparable permanent helper title in Local 1, the helpers were properly found to be comparable to the Local 3 helpers.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:http://archive.citylaw.org/oath/13_Cases/13-126.pdf