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Baltimore Raises Prevailing Wage For Construction Workers On City Projects

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Construction workers on many city-funded projects will make at least $22 per hour starting this year, Mayor Brandon Scott said.

The Board of Estimates earlier this week approved raising the base rate of pay from $8 per hour to $22 per hour, roughly equating to a $43,000 annual salary, on all municipal contracts above $5,000.

All workers in the construction trades are impacted by the change, with the exception of contractors on federally funded Housing and Urban Development projects, whose wage is set by the U.S. Department of Labor.

"This is about making sure that workers in the construction trades get the pay they deserve for their hard work – literally building a better Baltimore," said Scott.

After reviewing the wage rates in 2021 and years prior and comparing them with other jurisdictions, the Office of Equity and Civil Rights' Wage Commission determined pay needed to be "significantly increased," Scott's office said.

Dana Moore, Chief Equity Officer and director of the Baltimore City Office of Equity and Civil Rights, said the pay bumps are "a major step forward in assuring that Mayor Scott's commitment to equity for Baltimore is made real."

According to the city charter, the city can penalize companies that fail to meet the wage benchmark $50 per day for each underpaid employee.

If the Wage Commission determines a contractor has intentionally failed to pay the prevailing wage, the Board of Estimates can move to withhold municipal contracts from that firm for a year.

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