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July 2, 2020
For Immediate Release
Crystal S. Campbell
BOC Communication and Operations Manager
(734) 222-6847(o) || (734) 478-1856 (c)
The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners passes
Resolution to implement a Responsible Contractor Policy
Ann Arbor, MI - At their July 1st virtual meeting, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution implementing a new Responsible Contractor Policy for the county. The resolution which passed unanimously, ensures that contractors hired to complete county construction projects are responsible and ethical. The resolution, sponsored and written by Commissioner Katie Scott, will work in conjunction with the county’s existing procurement and purchasing process. The new policy requires that applicants meet 30 criteria in order to qualify to be awarded contracts for construction work for the county Some of those criteria include disclosure of MOSHA and MIOSHA violations, reporting of pending or past litigation or arbitration, and information about hiring and training practices.
“When we think about public policy, we often forget about the workers,” says Commissioner Scott, “…the people that make this country go. It’s important to have policy that ensures workers get a fair wage for their work, employer paid health plans, and paid leave, to name a few. Workers also need assurance that will not be discriminated on the basis of their race, sexual orientation, age, disabilities. People who work directly for the county can be assured of these things, but when we contract work outside, it was unclear these protections would be in place. Our new Responsible Contractor Policy underscores our emphasis on fair labor practices at the county. I’m so pleased my fellow commissioners supported my work to create this new policy. It’s a win for workers across the county.”
Chair of the Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Jason Morgan adds:
The responsible contractor policy is about ensuring fair wages and benefits for workers in Washtenaw County. We are a community that values our partners in labor and the dignity of hard work – this policy is a significant action to ensure that Washtenaw County employs responsible and ethical contractors and subcontractors. Washtenaw County has worked to ensure fair wages through our Living Wage Ordinance over the last two decades, we have vigorously and successfully defended this policy over the years, and we are strengthening our worker protections with this new policy. I strongly support this policy and appreciate the incredible work of Commissioner Scott working with our partners at the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA!) and the Huron Valley Area Labor Federation to draft a strong policy for our workers.”
Deputy Director of External Affairs for the Michigan Laborers District Council and Member of Laborers Local 499, Robert Joerg, expressed support for the policy, stating:
“Dan Minton, Business Manager for Laborers Local 499, and I would like to thank the Washtenaw County Commission for its dedicated work in passing a robust Responsible Contracting Policy (RCP). Not only has the Commission passed one of the most progressive RCPs in the country, they did it in a timely and expeditious manner. Workers in many industries face uncertain futures because of the current pandemic, but the County Commission continues to show that even in tough times, fighting for workers is an easy decision.”
The new policy applies only to construction contracts worth over $50,000 and does not apply to other county purchases or projects completed in-house. The policy takes effect on July 2, 2020.