Monday, October 17, 2011

Why are Civilian Flaggers not saving the state money?

A Cape Cod Times story runs under the headline "Civilian flaggers not a money saver" with some important points

1. "The $1.8 million contract ... calls for the company to provide flaggers at a rate of $49 per hour."
2. "The state pays a Sandwich police officer working the same detail $41 per hour"

This would lead a typical person, and hopefully a reporter even more so, to question why are less trained flaggers paid more then a police officer? The article mentions state prevailing wage laws in passing, but never actually considers the question.

As we stated in a 2008 report, prevailing wage calculations are methodologically incorrect and exceed BLS surveys of actual wage rates. Massachusetts calculations suffer similar bias in their methodology. If the state actually wants saving from flaggers they would not legally require them to be paid a minimum wage of $49.

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