Monday: Prevailing.

The debate over a prevailing wage ordinance was retread by the public in City Council today — but the specific cons popular with the Trib and with some anonymous commenters here seemed conspicuously absent.

Dewitt Peart, president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, told council he was “not stating an opposition to what you want to do, it’s just how you went about it.

“We feel that the private sector was really not engaged to the extent that it should have to make sure that this legislation is the best that it could be,” he said, asking for time to “review the legislation, so we don’t have negative impact.” (P-G, Rich Lord)

This bill was formally introduced two months ago, and had been in public circulation for far longer than that. You haven’t reviewed it yet? Don’t have anything concrete yet to offer? Just say you don’t want folks in Pittsburgh who receive taxpayer subsidies to be made to pay their service workers at least the industry standard. That’s an honest argument.

Mr. Burgess’s living wage bill has a tentative vote set for Feb. 17 with a hearing to be scheduled before then. (ibid)

That strikes me as a positive development.

One councilor pointed out during last week’s fracas that activating Living Wage, as it is now written, will require even small non-profits who do business with the city such as Just Harvest — not to mention the city’s seasonal youth life guards — to greatly increase everybody’s compensation to $24,000 per anum. It sounds like the old bill needs some deeper, concentrated work. Other members hold the view that scheduling a tentative vote not until Feb. 17 is a crime on par with the Holocaust.

17 thoughts on “Monday: Prevailing.

  1. monk


    Dear Professor:

    Very much enjoyed documentary on Communism on Fox News Network, Friday past…

    Have read extensively on Hitler, Stalin and Mao…in fact book I am reading mentioned and talked, Mao….Author was interviewed.

    Did not talk about the Albigensian Crusade….to bad. (By Mark Gregory Pegg)

    When President Obama addressed recent Supreme Court Decision, “freeing up political contributions as an inherent free speech right Constitutionally guaranteed' he picked on corporations and did not mention PACTS or ACORN.

    The unions are asking government to legislate what they can no longer win, the hearts and minds of working folks.

    The reprucussions of Suprem Court decision has an effect on Union Fair Share legislation. Those that do not want to belong to Unions in PA are required to pay Fair Share. The amount less that what is spent for political purposes.

    The Courts decisions says any money from the Union's General Fund can be spent on Politics…Pro Abortion, which I abhor…can be funded with my money.

    I believe I have a right to withhold all contributions from Unions whose politcal ilk, differs from mine.

    I believe I have a right to hold a postion within City Government absent Union Representation and opt out in favor of Civil Service Law.

    Unions if they had sometning to offer would not circumvent old time orginizing.

    I belive my right to work to now be constitutional protected…

    Thankyou, thankyou…very much.


  2. monk

    PACTS should read PAC'S….

    Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal (PACT), steam supplier to City and County should not be confused with, Political Action Committees…(PACS)


    Freudian Slip

  3. Conservative Mountaineer

    Let's not forget that the Living Wage bill would result in a minimum wage cost of $32,000-$33,000, not $24,000.

    As I understand, the proposed legislation calls for $11.50/hr plus health care.

    Do the math with me..
    1) $11.50/hr *2,080 hrs = $23,920 (Round to $24,000)
    2) Add FICA/Medicare @7.65% of $23,920 = $1,30 (Round to $1,800)
    3) FUTA @.8% of 1st $8,000 = $54 (Ignore)
    4) SUTA @7% of 1st $7,000 = $490 (Round to $500)

    Without health insurance, you're at $26,300.

    Now add health insurance.
    Let's use $500/mo for a Single. That's $6,000 per year and will be much higher if any other classification is required, such as Family, Husband & Wife, etc.

    Voila! $32,000 for that City clerk, that City janitor, that City cafeteria worker, that paper pusher at the non-profit, etc.

    Now, here's the rub..
    If the entry level, or minimum, wage is $11.50/hr, how soon will others want their wages (yes, I talking to you Union-types and Union lovers) raised accordingly so that the difference remains the same or close? “I'll take immediately for $1,000, Alex.”

    Bad, bad legislation. If someone can “live” on their wage, then **News Flash** go elsewhere.. get an education.. stay in School.. etc.

    I don't want any government telling me what I *have* to pay my employees or what benefits I *have* to provide.

  4. monk


    Can you provide wage criteria and type of business you are involved in…

    National Security? Government contracts…

    Asbestos removal?



  5. Anonymous

    Trust me, Bram. There is plenty of opposition to this bill among developers, builders, and the like. However, they are too busy making millions of dollars, and screwing the little guy. If this passes, say goodbye to ANY development in the Hill, Garfield, Hazelwood, etc. If Counsel wants to help the working poor, the best play is to vote against this stupidity.

  6. Anonymous

    What in the world council would pass this bill is beyond me. We were so close to being an expanding and growing City again. Thanks for screwing it up Bill.

  7. Anonymous

    Lets say the bill passes; the developer is already in the pockets of the taxpayers thanks to subsidies for infrastructure…Example: about $1 million an acre for the lower hill.

    The increased cost might be say $80k a year for salaries at the 3 acre hotel development…

    Who is getting the better of the deal?

    Add to it the return benefit to landlords, real estate agents and others who benefit from the money being kept in the local economy instead of being sent off to folks like Ron Burkle.

  8. Anonymous

    Bram, I think you're misrepresenting the point Dewitt Peart was trying to make. In this case, I think the word “engaged” does not mean, as you seem to think, sufficient time to review the bill. No, in this case his use of the word “engaged” strongly suggests that private sector input in drafting this legislation was not sought, which is to say that it was quite clearly drafted for, and with assistance from the unions.

  9. Anonymous

    Gawd, two Monks followed by a CM math lesson. What is this blog coming too?! Looks like you're getting out at the right time Bram.

  10. Mark Rauterkus

    I hate to be on the same side of an issue with the URA and the Allegheny Conference. Both spoke against the bill at the public hearing. But, in this case, I too am against the bill.

    But, for different reasons.

    Get rid of the URA and get rid of all public sponsored development. Then I'll be happy. Then freedom will prevail. Then the market place that has been so trashed will be able to rebound.

    City council is over reaching again with over-languaged bills. Think again.


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