Opinion Letter

October 14, 2003

Re: Occupational Classification for Relining Sewer Pipes

I am writing in response to your request for a determination as to the applicable occupational classification for workers who relined sewer pipes on various public projects in the XXXX area. Specifically, you have asked what classification would cover the following activities:

1. Operation of a pump with an attached six-inch intake and discharge hose. The pump is used in the catch basin to keep the pipe dry while the pipe is being relined.

2. Tending to a boiler that is mounted on a truck and used to heat hot water, which is required in the relining process.

As you know, the Division of Occupational Safety (DOS) issues prevailing wage schedules, which include occupational classification and wage rates, for public works construction projects based on "collective bargaining agreements or understandings in the private construction industry between labor and employers." G.L. c. 149, §26. The Operating Engineers collective bargaining agreement establishes the classification of pump operator. (See attached agreement between the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 4 and its Branches and the Building Trades Employers' Association of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, p. 40.) The appropriate rate for a worker performing work described in paragraph 1 above would be Pump Operator (Dewatering, Other).

As for the work described in paragraph 2, this work is also covered under the Operating Engineers' agreement, which covers the operation of boilers. (See the above-mentioned agreement, p. 40.) The appropriate rate for this work is Mechanics Maintenance, as this rate corresponds with the rate paid to a steam boiler operator which, as of this date, has not been listed separately on DOS rate schedules. In the future, DOS rate schedules will list Steam Boiler Operator as a separate job classification.

I hope this information has been helpful. Please note that this opinion is based solely on the information provided with your request. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.

Lisa C. Price
Legal Counsel