Choosing the side of highway workers
“It matters because I have a family to support.”
We’ve asked thousands of voters what they would do if they were governor. The second most common answer: “fix the roads.”
Like so many problems in government, it’s not that complicated.
One of the many things we need to do is to pay our highway workers a decent wage so folks can make a decent living and so we can have a reliable workforce doing this important job.
The state actually passed this last measure in 2017, SB 2003, with bipartisan support. The bill would have updated the pay scale to make sure Highway work was competitive with similar fields.
The problem? Nearly 2 years later, the state has only implemented the pay raise for 400 of the 5000 DOH workers.
The result? Road work gets further and further behind, as more and more workers leave for higher paying jobs elsewhere. And when that happens, more of the contracts end up going to private contractors, at a higher cost to tax payers. And the cycle of inefficiency continues.
As one DOH employee put it: “I’m a third generation highway worker. If they would pay us a decent living, you wouldn’t have all these consultants out here getting paid 3 to 5 times as much to do the same job.”
This is not rocket science. But we need a government that cares more about decent wages and hitting deadlines than private profits.
We are proud to stand with the 320 UE Local 170 workers in their grievance against the state, and all workers in West Virginia who are fighting the Good Old Boys for their fair share.
See some of our plans to address this here: