Political Notebook

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Common council to comment on common wage

Technically, Fort Wayne City Council members have Tuesday off. But for the past several years, the council has used the fifth Tuesdays that occur four times a year for in-depth discussions of various topics.

Tuesday, the discussion will be on the state law that often vexes conservatives: IC 5-16-7, which guides the manner in which a common construction wage is determined by a local board, how the board is composed and how the wage determination can most accurately reflect the true common construction wage of the community. Guests will include representatives from the City, Allen County Government, Construction Trade Unions and Associated Builders and Contractors.

The law drives some people crazy because it often results in government agencies having to pay union wages on construction contracts, which they say unnecessarily costs taxpayers millions of dollars. Others say that regardless of how you feel about unions and union wages, the law usually makes it impossible to pay less. Union supporters say that union wages are living wages and contribute to a stronger economy.

The discussion, lead by Russ Jehl, R-2nd, Geoff Paddock, D-5th, and Mitch Harper, R-4th, begins at 5:30 pm Tuesday in Council Chambers, downstairs in Citizens Square.

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