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Portland Mayor Calls For Higher Wages Ahead Of Public Hearing For ‘Responsible Contracting Proposal’

Maine Public

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling says that vendors who win city contracts should be required to pay workers the area's prevailing wage and to participate in apprenticeship programs, as well.

"We've got to push wages up in the city,” says Strimling. “What we are seeing is the costs of living in the city of Portland are far outweighing the increases in wages. And so this would be a very important step to push wages up."

Strimling also says that contractors providing further worker benefits, such as safety training or health insurance, should get extra points when bidding on city-funded projects. The measures would apply to projects worth at least $50,000 — the same cutoff for state-funded projects that require a prevailing wage.

A public hearing on the proposal is set for Wednesday evening at City Hall.