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For the first time in 13 years, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development is raising the per diem rate for covered workers on remote public construction projects. Eligible workers will receive $100 per day on remote projects, rather than $75. The new rate applies to projects bid on or after April 11, 2019.
“Raising the per diem rate is a big step in the right direction,” said Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas. “A higher daily minimum will help ensure that workers keep the wages they earn while working far from home.”
The rate was previously set in 2005. A federal law set a $75 minimum for covered workers on federally-funded public construction projects, and Alaska followed suit by adopting the requirement for state and local projects.
“This increase is overdue,” said Scott Eickholt, Business Manager of Laborers’ Union Local 942 in Fairbanks. “When working on a remote job, our members spend weeks or months at a time away from their families. Hotels and food can cost over $300 a day during the tourist season. A higher per diem means workers take home their hard-earned pay.”
The per diem rate applies to remote projects awarded by the state or by a local government. Regulations define “remote” as inaccessible by road or more than 65 miles from the international airports in Juneau, Fairbanks, or Anchorage.
Per diem is an alternative to the requirement that contractors provide workers with board and lodging on these projects. Only some workers are eligible for a per diem in lieu of board and lodging. Visit the Alaska Wage and Hour Administration website to learn more: https://labor.alaska.gov/lss/whhome.htm.
Source: Alaska Department of Labor