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    1. What part of the DOL User’s Guide covers the issue of collective bargaining agreements and their relationship to Wage Determinations?


    How are Collective Bargaining Agreement wages factored into Davis Bacon Act (DBA) wages? Let's start with the Act.

    Davis Bacon Act wages are covered by 29 C.F.R. § 1.2(a)(1).  The text is refernced here.

    § 1.2 Definitions. 1/>

    1 (These definitions are not intended to restrict the meaning of the terms as used in the applicable statutes.)

    (a) (1) The prevailing wage shall be the wage paid to the majority (more than 50 percent) of the laborers or mechanics in the classification on similar projects in the area during the period in question. If the same wage is not paid to a majority of those employed in the classification, the prevailing wage shall be the average of the wages paid, weighted by the total employed in the classification.

    (2) In determining the prevailing wages at the time of issuance of a wage determination, the Administrator will be guided by paragraph (a)(1) of this section and will consider the types of information listed in § 1.3 of this part.

    (b) The term area in determining wage rates under the Davis-Bacon Act and the prevailing wage provisions of the other statutes listed in appendix A shall mean the city, town, village, county or other civil subdivision of the State in which the work is to be performed.

    (c) The term Administrator shall mean the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, or authorized representative.

    (d) The term agency shall mean the Federal agency, State highway department under 23 U.S.C. 113, or recipient State or local government under title 1 of the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972.

    (e) The term Wage Determinations OnLine (WDOL) shall mean the Government Internet Web site for both Davis-Bacon Act and Service Contract Act wage determinations available at In addition, WDOL provides compliance assistance information. The term will also apply to any other Internet Web site or electronic means that the Department of Labor may approve for these purposes.

                The first sentence is germane to the question of collective bargaining agreements.   Let me give you 3 scenarios that I hope clarify how this works. 

    Scenario 1.  DBA wage is 16 an hour and 60% of the workers get $16 an hour.  10% of workers get the CBA rate of 14 an hour.  In that case the DBA is above CBA and the workers get paid DBA. CBA rate does not factor in.

    Scenario 2, CBA wage is 16 an hour and that is part of the 60% of the workers that get 16 an hour.  40% get 10 an hour. In the case DBA and CBA are the same and worker are paid the same amount as in the CBA.

    Scenario 3.  25% of the workers get 10 an hour.  33% get 12 an hour (CBA).  42% get 16 an hour.  In this case the top rate is not over 50% of the workers, so DOL does a weighted average.  The DBA rate would be roughly $13.22. It would be more than the CBA rate, but the CBA rate is included in figuring out the blended rate.

    The DOL Users Guide does not specifically cover in depth analysis of CBA's and WD's.  I recommend  contacting the DOL at  (866) 487-2365 for further clarification. 

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