At the June 6th Richmond City Council Meeting, the Council voted 6-1 (Mayor Butt – votes no) to:
CONSIDER extending the minimum wage phase-in period and increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour beginning on January 1, 2019 in Richmond and DIRECT staff to present draft amendments to Ordinance No. 11-14 N.S. at the first City Council meeting in July – Councilmember Melvin Willis (412-2050), Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin (620-5431) and Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles (620-6568). THIS IS GOING TO CITY COUNCIL FOR A FIRST READING ON JULY 11TH = TUESDAY.
IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS – CONTACT YOUR CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS.
Following is the new language:
7.108.040 – Minimum wage.
(a) Employers shall pay employees no less than the minimum wage set forth in this section for each hour worked within the geographic boundaries of the City. The minimum wage shall be as follows:
(1) For a transition period beginning on January 1, 2015, and ending on December 31, 2015, the minimum wage shall be an hourly rate of nine dollars and sixty cents ($9.60). For a transition period beginning on January 1, 2016 and ending on December 31, 2016, the minimum wage shall be an hourly rate of eleven dollars and fifty-two cents ($11.52). For a transition period beginning on January 1, 2017 and ending on December 31, 2017, the minimum wage shall be an hourly rate of twelve dollars and thirty cents ($12.30).
(2) Beginning on January 1, 2018, the minimum wage shall be an hourly rate of thirteen dollars and forty-one cents ($13.41). Beginning on January 1, 2019, the minimum wage shall be an hourly rate of fifteen dollars ($15.00).
(3) To prevent inflation from eroding its value, beginning on January 1, 2020, and each year thereafter, the minimum wage shall increase by an amount corresponding to the prior year’s increase, if any, in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA metropolitan statistical area, or any successor index as published by the U.S. Department of Labor or its successor agency.
(4) The adjusted minimum wage shall be announced by October 1 of each year, and shall become effective as the new minimum wage on January 1.
7.108.080 – Implementation.
(d) Report. The City Manager or his designee shall present a report to the City Council regarding the effectiveness and implementation of this chapter on or about January 1, 2018, and on an annual basis thereafter.
Reasoning behind raising the minimum wage:
STATEMENT OF THE ISSUE: All working people deserve a living wage. In fact, our communities cannot sustain themselves without one. Per Ordinance No 11-14 N.S., the minimum wage is now $12.30/hour. Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum wage will increase to $13.00/hour. There is clear support from voters and advocates to increase the minimum wage to at least $15/hour. The City Council should consider extending the phase-in period and increasing the minimum wage to $15/hr.
DISCUSSION: We have seen working people and families facing increased rent and cost of living. And, the Bay Area is one of the most expensive places to live. The Richmond City Council should consider raising the minimum wage to $15/hr and remove the exemptions that are currently mandated by Ordinance No. 11-14 N.S. AGENDA REPORT June 6, 2017 Page 2 of 2 Exemptions, generally, are unfair to workers in terms of valuing their labor. Also, exemptions inherently require interpretation and enforcement. As we do not have capacity to enforce complicated nuances in the ordinance, they are mostly left up to employers to follow and employees to know whether they are being fairly paid. Finally, exemptions make policy at the regional level more complicated by both creating “quirks” to each jurisdiction and also weakening overall standards by setting precedent that those who seek to weaken local efforts to raise wages can site. I believe we are in a crisis now. Housing costs have skyrocketed, largely eating up the gains we made in the 2014 increase. As I understand it, the proposed increases are within the threshold of what can reasonably be done without potentially harming businesses or workers. I am supportive of staff exploring optional language of a “phasein” period for small businesses. The language should have the same definition of a small business as the current ordinance and would simply change the timeline and increase schedule. I would not want to delay it more than a year more (meaning, in 2018, they might go to $13.41, then maybe $14.00 in 2019 and $15 in 2020). I am open to having staff come back with a recommendation (with community and council input) on this specific provision. Taking action now is important. We have seen not only a willingness of municipalities and other jurisdictions to act to the need of a living wage, but also that an increase in one area is likely to empower other areas to follow suit. This has been the case with the reverberating of increases in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, and Richmond.
CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS:
Mayor Tom Butt email@example.com (510) 220-1577, (510)236-7435
Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles firstname.lastname@example.org (510)620-6568
Ben Choi email@example.com (510) 620-6565
Eduardo Martinez firstname.lastname@example.org (510)620-6593
Gayle McLaughlin email@example.com (510)620-6503
Jael Myrick firstname.lastname@example.org (510) 932-5715
Melvin Willis email@example.com (510)412-2050
Council of Industries