BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY
STATE OF MONTANA
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On October 23, 2014, the Department of Labor and Industry published MAR Notice No. 24-17-288 regarding the public hearing on the amendment of the above-stated rules on page 2499 of the 2014 Montana Administrative Register, Issue No. 20.
2. On November 21, 2014, a public hearing was held at which time members of the public made oral and written comments and submitted documents. Additional comments were received during the comment period.
3. The department has thoroughly considered the comments and testimony received from the public. The following is a summary of the public comments received and the department's response to those comments:
COMMENT 1: Kim Rickard, business manager, Laborers International Union of North American (LIUNA) #1686, supports the preliminary prevailing wage rates. The commenter also stated she is against the repeal of ARM 24.17.101. She believes "repealing the rule would cause the purpose of prevailing wage to become unclear," and that "24.17.101 defines for the current and future generations why Montana Prevailing Wage Laws are important. If people don't know why laws are important then we risk them becoming irrelevant."
RESPONSE 1: The department believes its goal of producing and maintaining administrative rules which are clear, concise, and free of superfluity is a benefit to users; however, we also believe rules that help the public understand the importance of the law are equally valuable. ARM 24.17.101 will remain in effect.
COMMENT 2: Carey Hegreberg, executive director, Montana Contractors Association (MCA), supports the rates and the process. He believes there continues to be improvement in the consistency and uniformity in the prevailing wage rates. Mr. Hegreberg would like to see continuing improvement, especially in the benefit rates for some of the classifications.
RESPONSE 2: The department thanks Carey Hegreberg and the MCA for their support and looks forward to working with them and other groups to provide continuing improvement to Montana's Prevailing Wage Law.
COMMENT 3: In an e-mail to the department, Seth Bergen, business agent, Iron Workers Local 762, informs the department that his collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has the highest wage, and therefore the travel for the Ironworker classification in the highway rate schedule should be from Local 762's CBA.
RESPONSE 3: Mr. Bergen is correct. The correct CBA to reference for travel pay for the Ironworker classification in the highway rate schedule is Local 762's. The travel pay for Ironworkers in the highway rate schedule has been revised. Revised rates are identified below in paragraphs 4 and 5.
COMMENT 4: In a letter to the department, Mario Martinez, lead service representative, Pacific Northwest Council of Carpenters (PNWCC), Local 82, provided additional information and requested the wage rates for the Carpenter classification in the building rate schedule for districts 2 and 3, and the wage rate for the Drywall Applicator classification in the building rate schedule in district 3, be reviewed.
RESPONSE 4: The department has reviewed the additional information and the wage rates for the Carpenter classification in the building rate schedule for districts 2 and 3, and the wage rate for the Drywall classification in the building rate schedule in district 3 have been revised. Revised rates are identified below in paragraphs 4 and 5.
COMMENT 5: In an e-mail to the department, Andrea K. Evans, Sr. Director Partnership Relations, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), questioned why the benefit rate for the Corrections and Detentions Officer in district 2 (previously district 4 in 2013) has fluctuated from $4.87 in 2013 up to $7.37 in 2014 and back down to $6.68 in 2015. Ms. Evans also questions why there is a difference between the Service Contract Act (SCA) benefit rates for Correction and Detention Officers ($4.02) and the benefit rates in the Montana Prevailing Wage Rates ($6.38-$7.74), and why there is one rate for the SCA and four for Montana's Prevailing Wage Rates.
RESPONSE 5: When the state went from ten districts to four in 2014, CCA's Shelby, Montana facility went from being located in district 4 to district 2. The Montana State Men's Prison went from being located in district 3 in 2013 to district 2 in 2014; therefore, the data from the men's prison and CCA are now combined. That caused the spike in benefit rates from 2013 to 2014. Wage and benefit rates go up and down depending on the number and quality of data the department receives. The decline in the preliminary benefit rates from 2014 benefit rates can be explained by those types of variation in the data collection period. As for the concerns regarding the differences in state and federal rates, the state rates and fringe benefits are determined and calculated using the provisions outlined in ARM 24.17.122. CCA will have to either contact the USDOL to find out their exact process in setting rates or reference applicable federal law or regulation.
COMMENT 6: Kim Rickard, business manager, LIUNA #1686, submitted additional information to be included in the rate setting process for Laborers Group 2, district 4, in the form of a CBA for Sletten Construction.
RESPONSE 6: The department had already received and considered the CBA provided and set the rates appropriately according to ARM 24.17.119(3)(b).
4. The following rates in the "Montana Prevailing Wage Rates for Building Construction Services 2014" publication, incorporated by reference in the rule, have been amended as follows, stricken matter interlined, new matter underlined:
District Wage Benefit
21.00 21.50 $11.86
21.00 21.50 $11.57
District Wage Benefit
16.50 21.50 $11.57
5. The following rates in the "Montana Prevailing Wage Rates for Highway Construction Services 2014" publication, incorporated by reference in the rule, have been amended as follows, stricken matter interlined, new matter underlined:
Ironworkers-Structural Steel and Rebar Placers
0-45 mi. free zone
>45-60 mi. $30.00/day
>60-100 mi. $55.00/day
>100 mi. $75.00/day
0-45 mi. free zone
>45-85 mi. $45.00/day
>85 mi. $75.00/day
6. After consideration of the comments and additional data provided, the department has amended the above-stated rules as proposed. As noted in paragraphs 4 and 5, certain rates in the publications incorporated by reference in ARM 24.17.127 have been amended.
7. After consideration of the comments received with regard to the repeal of ARM 24.17.101, that rule will remain in force and effect.
8. These amendments and the rates are effective January 2, 2015.
/s/ MARK CADWALLADER /s/ PAM BUCY
Mark Cadwallader Pam Bucy, Commissioner
Alternate Rule Reviewer DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY
Certified to the Secretary of State December 15, 2014.