Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"San Francisco: 142,000 workers to get raise from minimum wage ballot measure"

2014-08-26 from "1021 newswire":
A new report by economists from the University of California, Berkeley, finds that an upcoming San Francisco ballot measure to raise the minimum wage would significantly benefit workers in the city and strengthen the local economy.
The study finds that about 142,000 workers — 23 percent of the city's workforce — will receive a raise under the proposed law. Pay for those workers would rise an average of $2,800 per year, for a total increase in aggregate earnings of $397 million in 2014 dollars by 2018.
"A citywide minimum wage can help make the economy more equitable without harming economic growth," said Michael Reich, director of the UC Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and a minimum wage scholar. "That's more money in low-wage workers' pockets for a healthier city and a fairer economy."

A tale of two city's propositions -
The ballot measure — Proposition J on the November 4 ballot — reflects a consensus among the Campaign for a Fair Economy (which includes community groups and labor unions), business associations, Mayor Ed Lee, and all 11 members of the Board of Supervisors. It would increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2018, with guaranteed cost-of-living increases.
Oakland will also vote in November to raise its minimum wage to $12.25 by 2015. An earlier study from UC Berkeley showed that more than one-quarter of all Oakland workers — up to 48,000 people — would directly or indirectly receive a wage increase if the measure passes, generating $115-126 million in additional wages. Roughly 56,700 would win paid sick days.
In both cities, these increases would especially benefit women, working families, and workers of color. In San Francisco, 26 percent of female workers will receive a raise and 71 percent of workers receiving a raise would be people of color. Incomes will increase for more than three-fourths of working-poor families.

Back to the future -
San Francisco's current citywide minimum-wage ordinance has had little effect on overall employment or hours worked, the study shows, and the numbers indicate that the costs of the 2003 minimum-wage law were absorbed through increased worker productivity, decreased turnover and small, one-time increases in restaurant prices.
The Coalition for a Fair Economy builds on the coalition that ten years ago passed San Francisco's first minimum-wage law, and includes ACCE Action, California Nurses Association, Chinese Progressive Association, Jobs with Justice, SF Labor Council, SF Progressive Workers Alliance, SF Rising, SEIU 1021, UNITEHERE Local 2, and Young Workers United.
"Proposition J will set a new standard for working conditions in the Bay Area, and inspire other cities and counties — around the Bay and across the nation — to take on their own minimum wage fights," said SEIU 1021 Vice President Gary Jimenez.

Media coverage:
* SF Bay Guardian: "Koch brothers and other right-wing outsiders challenge Bay Area minimum wage measures" [https://web.archive.org/web/20140828004421/http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2014/08/22/koch-brothers-and-other-right-wing-outsiders-challenge-bay-area-minimum-wage-mea]
* East Bay Express: "Koch-Backed News Site Attacks Oakland's Minimum Wage Initiative" [https://web.archive.org/web/20140812011330/http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/koch-backed-news-site-attacks-oaklands-minimum-wage-initiative/Content?oid=4037371]

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