Sunday, November 22, 2009

Prevailing Wages for GC/CM Preconstruction Services Contracts

Under Washington State's General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM) project delivery method (known in other places as CM at Risk), the public agency initially enters into a pre-construction services contract with the selected contractor. See chapter 39.10 RCW.

The scope of work for this pre-construction services agreement typically covers tasks such as cost estimating, constructability reviews, and value engineering. Often, the contractor will be requested to perform limited physical or exploratory work. While a pre-construction services contract is normally viewed as a consultant agreement, to the extent the contractor is performing physical work, that work may be subject to prevailing wage requirements.

Thus, it is important for pre-construction services contracts to include language requiring the payment of prevailing wages when applicable. The following prevailing wage language may serve as a guide for public agencies in developing and negotiating a pre-construction services contract as part of a GC/CM project:
"To the extent that any of the work in this Pre-construction Services Contract is subject to the payment of prevailing wages, the Contractor shall comply with all applicable provisions of Chapter 39.12 of the Revised Code of Washington concerning prevailing wages, shall provide the Owner with all documents required therein, and shall pay not less than the prevailing rate of wage to such laborers, workers, or mechanics in each trade or occupation required for the work whether performed by the Contractor, subcontractor, or other person doing or contracting to do the whole or any part of the work subject to prevailing wages and contemplate by this Contract. The execution date of this Contract shall be the effective date for any prevailing wages required to be paid under this Contract. In any case, the Contractor shall not pay any person described herein less than the hourly minimum rate of wage."
A copy of the prevailing wages applicable as of the execution date of the pre-construction services contract must also be attached as part of the contract. If the project contains any federal funds, the prevailing wage language will need to be adjusted appropriately.

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