Prevailing wage verification is up to us

Perhaps you’ve seen the big inflatable rat downtown, or read the article published by the Daily Chronicle that explained the current union protest of John Pappas’ hiring of nonunion painters to finish the Cornerstone development project.

The reporter didn’t say whether he confirmed nonunion hires, though the union seems sure. Legally there’s nothing wrong with hiring nonunion, as long as the developer pays prevailing wage since he is receiving public money for the project.

A rep for the union has told me they are looking into potential prevailing wage issues.

To be clear, if Mr. Pappas is using nonunion labor, it doesn’t automatically mean he is not paying the workers prevailing wage. However, since hiring nonunion is one way to save money, to me it’s a good enough reason to verify the payroll. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, we have three million reasons, the amount of the TIF development incentive, to verify that Mr. Pappas is satisfying the conditions of his contract with City of DeKalb.

Just don’t ask the city to check up on him.

–Applicants/receipients are responsible for identifying and complying with all applicable laws, ordinances and regulations.

–The Parties acknowledge that the funding contemplated under this Agreement is provided exclusively through either a Tax Increment Financing District or through sales tax rebates for funds generated on-site, and is provided exclusively for the purpose of funding private improvements. Accordingly, while the Owner is solely responsible for complying with the applicable provisions of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act, pursuant to the guidance issued by the Illinois Department of Labor, the City shall not require the owner to provided certified payroll records unless the Owner determines that such records are required under the Prevailing Wage Act.

If you want to “trust, but verify” prevailing wage in this world of foxes guarding hen houses, you must look to organizations like Painters District Council 30, or to nosy parkers like me, I guess.