Seattle may have been the first city in the nation to approve a $15 minimum wage, but San Francisco may be the first city to get there, at least for all its workers. The dominos continue to fall:
San Francisco voters will decide in November whether to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2018.
The mayor, city supervisors and business and labor leaders announced on Tuesday that they had reached a deal on a ballot measure for the increase.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am. San Francisco is yet again setting the bar on workers’ rights,” said Supervisor Jane Kim, who helped broker the deal. “All San Francisco employers will be paying $15 an hour by 2018. There will be no tip credit, no health care credit. These are pure wages workers will be bringing home to their families.”
[…] The city’s current minimum wage is $10.74 an hour. Under the ballot measure that will go before voters, it would increase to $12.25 next May, then to $13 in July 2016 and $1 each year after that until it reaches $15 in 2018.
Under Seattle’s recently passed ordinance, minimum wage workers at companies with more than 500 FTEs will earn $15 an hour as soon as 2017, 2018 for workers who receive benefits. But workers at companies with 500 or fewer FTEs won’t fully phase in to an inflation-adjusted equivalent wage until 2025. That means that when all San Francisco workers will be earning a minimum of $15 in 2018, tens of thousands of Seattle workers will still be earning as little as $11.50 an hour. On the other hand, since Seattle’s minimum wage is pegged to $15 in 2017 dollars, rather than 2018 in San Francisco, Seattle’s inflation-adjusted minimum wage will ultimately be a little bit higher.
Personally, I much prefer San Francisco’s more straight forward four-year phase-in than the convoluted multi-schedule phase-in Seattle settled on. But either would be a huge victory for low-wage workers.
But of course, the bigger story is that thanks in part to the history-making effort here, the fight for $15 is on the verge of victory in another American city. On to the next battle.