The city of Superior is serious about ensuring employees aren’t taking advantage of their bosses.
And to prove it, the Council made changes to an ordinance that defines the criteria contractors must meet to receive public works contracts with the city.
Mayor Jim Paine, who initiated both Douglas County’s and Superior’s responsible bidder ordinances in 2017, introduced the changes Tuesday, Jan. 7 to the Council.
“Over the last few months the Northern Wisconsin Building Trades has worked with city officials to strengthen the current RBO (Responsible Bidders Ordinance),” said Kyle Bukovich, president of Northern Wisconsin Building Trades Council.
The changes would require contractors to disclose if they have been the subject of an investigation or order by a state or federal agency or if they have received a court judgment concerning employment practices. Failure to disclose past accusations or orders can disqualify a contractor.
The updates will also change the term “bidders” to “contractors" to make sure contracts are being awarded to professionals who meet the minimum requirements of local, state and federal laws and provide greater value to taxpayers, Bukovich said.
The changes come more than a year after the Council was unable to deny a city contract for construction services at the new fire hall on Tower Avenue when it was revealed the contractor hadn’t disclosed past accusations of employment practice violations.
The revised ordinance also requires the general or primary contractor to ensure that subcontractors adhere to the rules and regulations in the revised Responsible Contractors Ordinance.
“The RCO provides greater assurance that the public body is working with contractors that is committed to skill development and training, competitive wages and fringe benefits, and a safe workplace,” Bukovich said. “The result is a highly-trained workforce committed to producing the highest quality construction available.”
Under the ordinance, contractors must participate in an apprenticeship program if they have more than two employees.
“The RCO will help Superior hire contractors that are up to date on the latest compliance standards such as proper business registration, history of labor and safety laws, proof of having relevant insurance coverage and proof of participation in apprenticeship training,” Bukovich said.