Skip to Content

Letter to the House on the Davis-Bacon Act

April 28, 2015

Dear Representative: 

On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association (NEA) and the students they serve, we urge you to VOTE NO on any amendments to the 2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act (H.R. 2029), Energy and Water Appropriations Act (H.R. 2028), or any other appropriations bill that would repeal or weaken Davis-Bacon Act wage protections or prohibit or weaken Project Labor Agreements (PLAs). Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 114th Congress. 

The Davis-Bacon Act requires workers to be paid locally prevailing wages on projects funded by the federal government. Both the Davis-Bacon Act and PLAs offer vital worker protections that ensure a fair, living wage and, in the case of PLAs, health and retirement benefits. In addition to workers and taxpayers, entire communities benefit from projects covered by the Davis-Bacon Act and PLAs. They help ensure that workers are paid a living wage so they can provide food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities for their families, especially children who cannot fend for themselves. 

The prevailing wage for federal projects is based on the typical wages and benefits of workers in the community, regardless of whether they are union members. According to the Department of Labor (DOL), 72 percent of wage determinations issued in 2000 were based on non-union wage scales; a union wage prevails only if the DOL wage survey process determines it is the prevailing wage. 

Again, we urge you to VOTE NO on any amendments to H.R. 2029, H.R. 2028, or any appropriations bill that would repeal or weaken Davis-Bacon Act wage protections or prohibit or weaken Project Labor Agreements. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations