Congratulations Seattle, for becoming the first city in the United States to raise its minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour! I do not know about you, but that’s motivation for me to work my fingers to the bone!
Today, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced the plans to increase minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. The plan allows smaller businesses that employ less than five hundred people up to seven years to implement the new wage. Smaller businesses that have health care insurance will have up to four years to phase into the increase. Larger businesses have up to three years to phase into the increase.
In December, the income inequality panel convened to talk about changing wages. Up until last week, progress seemed to come to a screeching halt. The plan for larger wages was supported by twenty-one of the twenty-four members of the panel.
Mayor Murray had man nice sentiments to add. One of the most touching was, “I think that this is a historic moment for the city of Seattle,” he said. “We’re going to decrease the poverty rate.” By the time, the wage increase is implemented a minimum wage worker in Seattle will be making four dollars more an hour. That adds up to $6,240 more per year than that of any other minimum wage worker in other states. City Council must pass the Seattle wage increase proposal at a Council wage and inequality meeting next Monday.