San Mateo City Council to adopt $15 minimum wage on July 18th

Press Advisory

Where: San Mateo City Hall, 330 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo

When: Monday, July 18th, 2016, 7 p.m.

For more info: Bradley Cleveland, 510.967.1066, bfcleveland@gmail.com

City Council considers two options: $15 by 2018 or $15 by 2019

The San Mateo City Council will vote to adopt a local minimum wage ordinance at its July 18th meeting. The City Council passed the first reading of an ordinance to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2018 for large business, those with more than 55 employees, at its June 6th meeting; smaller businesses and nonprofit organizations would have two additional years to reach $15.

At the July 18th meeting, the City Council also will reconsider a second option, first proposed by Councilmember Rick Bonilla at the June 6th meeting, that would increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2019 for all businesses operating in the city. Nonprofits would be required to pay its employees $15 by 2020.

Both versions of the minimum wage ordinance cite the high cost of living to justify the wage hike. The ordinances read, in part:

“WHEREAS, in an effort to help working households achieve economic security and acknowledging the higher relative cost of living on the Peninsula, the City Council of the City of San Mateo wishes to enact a citywide minimum wage to reach $15.00 per hour before 2022;

WHEREAS, a higher minimum wage rate protects public health, safety and welfare by requiring that employees are compensated in such a manner as to enable and facilitate their individual self-reliance within the City of San Mateo. . .”

Source: City of San Mateo

In its report on income inequality, the Economic Policy Institute found:

“San Mateo County is the most unequal county in California . . . The top 1% there makes 44.1 times more than the bottom 99%. Average income of the top 1% in San Mateo County is $3,885,306.”

Source: Economic Policy Institute

UC Berkeley economists found that raising the minimum wage helps local businesses. Low-wage workers will spend the additional earnings to meet their family’s basic needs — food, clothing, housing, transportation, and health care — and for the most part, this money is spent at local businesses.

In their recent study of the effects of a $15 minimum wage in San José, commissioned by that city’s mayor, UC economists found that the wage hike would help over 30% of the workforce, 96% of whom are over the age of 20.

“The research literature suggests downstream benefits from the proposed wage increase, such as improved health outcomes for both workers and their children, and increases in children’s school achievement and cognitive and behavioral outcomes.”

Source: UC Berkeley Labor Center

Members of the Raise the Wage Coalition are available for interview before or after the city council meeting.

Additional Minimum Wage Background Material

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