Thursday, November 12, 2015

Berkeley, California Council Agrees to $15 Minimum Wage

The City Council of Berkeley, California was presented with the decision of raising their minimum wage to $19, which would have been the highest in the United States, but, instead, opted to have staff draft an ordinance based on an alternate proposal put forth by four council members that called for a minimum wage of $15.  From the news story on the specifics:
That proposal calls for a gradual increase to $15 by 2018 for big businesses and by 2020 for small businesses, defined as having 55 or fewer full-time employees.

Berkeley's current minimum wage just reset to $11 an hour, up from $10 previously. And it's set to rise again to $12.53 by October 2016.
Should the new proposal gain final approval, the minimum hourly wage would still rise to $12.53 by 2016, but then keep going to $13.70 by 2017 and to $15 in 2018 for big businesses, adjusting for inflation thereafter.

The wage hike would be slower for smaller employers: From $12.53 to $13 to $13.60 to $14.25 and finally to $15 by 2020.

A $15 minimum would put Berkeley's low-wage worker pay more on par with that in neighboring San Francisco and Emeryville.
Since the federal government is in gridlock over the minimum wage issue, it appears the issue of raising the minimum wage to what people consider a "living wage," will be left in the hands of local government.

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