Heh. This is a story where the reporter is trying very hard to make a distinction that doesn’t make any difference.
State Sen. Duey Stroebel recently cited an eye-popping figure to support his call to scrap Wisconsin’s prevailing wage, telling Wisconsin Public Radio that the typical flagger on a state road project makes $100,000 a year.
That overstates the earnings potential of a highway worker by a wide margin, according to publicly available wage rates and unions that represent road workers.
A typical flagger on such projects would make about $32,760 a year in salary, according to information from those sources.
The number rises to about $53,000 if benefits are included. Overtime hours could push the figure higher, but still far shy of Stroebel’s six-figure estimate.
That’s how it starts. Makes sense so far? Then we see how they arrived at their figures:
But in wintry Wisconsin, road workers aren’t on the job year-round, said Kent Miller, a spokesman for Wisconsin Laborers District Council. He said a typical work year for flaggers and other road workers would be about 1,200 hours, compared to the 2,080 hours-per-year benchmark for people working full-time, year-round. That’s roughly seven and a half months of the year.