Prevailing Wage Required for Fire Protection System Service
Posted: July 8, 2015
NOTE: While CALSAFE is comfortable with these interpretations we urge you to follow-up with your Attorney or Advisors prior to making any decisions based on these opinions.
It has come to our attention that there was a question from public agencies whether or not fire protection system service would trigger the SB854 requirements for prevailing wages. CALSAFE questioned the DIR for a determination. The DIR responded with a June 26th 2015 ruling that answers the question. The ruling is posted at http://www.dir.ca.gov/OPRL/coverage/year2015/2015-007.pdf.
Testing and Maintenance of fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems (which will also translate over to pre-engineered systems, like kitchen hood systems, and engineered systems), does require prevailing wages be paid and the submittal of certified payroll to the DIR for contracts over the $1,000 level.
Remember it is the $1,000 amount that triggers the SB854 requirements. Do not try to split services in order to try and keep individual invoices under $1,000. The DIR has stated that they will be looking for public agencies who try to get around this requirement by issuing separate PO’s for each individual service rather than a contract for the year. They will be looking at the aggregate spending for the year and if the aggregate is over the $1,000 then they will be pursuing action.
We also recently learned that work done specifically for a chartered city had a threshold of $15,000 rather than $1,000 for maintenance. A list of charter cities can be found at http://www.cacities.org/Resources-Documents/Resources-Section/Charter-Cities/Charter_Cities-List . Your charter city would be aware of this exception.
According to this ruling the fire alarm service technician will be at either the Electrician/Inside Wireman or the Communications and System Installer wage determinations. It appears that the choice is dictated by the county in which the work is done. The fire sprinkler service technician would fall under the Plumber, Fire Sprinkler Fitter determination. Kitchen system service would also fall under the Fire Sprinkler Fitter determination and engineered system service could fall under either or both and will likely be the higher of the two.