On Friday, January 3, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed the first Executive Order of his new administration that sets in motion a plan to raise the minimum wage of all city workers to $15 an hour.
The city is the seventh largest employer in King County with approximately 10,000 employees.
The order calls for a comprehensive review and development of an implementation plan that will analyze the number of impacted employees, types of positions affected, implications on the overall wage scale, issues pertaining to contracted workers and service providers, funding options, and a timeline for action.
Last month, Murray formed an Income Inequality Advisory Committee charged with proposing a set of recommendations to raise the minimum wage for consideration by April 2014. The committee is made up of leaders from both business and labor, members of the City Council, and other community stakeholders.
The city’s Personnel Department and Budget Office will consult with the City Council and coordinate with the Income Inequality Advisory Committee to explore potential options. It’s possible that city employees may be retroactively paid from the start of 2014.
City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, also a member of the Income Inequality Advisory Committee, commended Murray’s executive order but also called on the mayor to move toward raising the minimum wage for city subcontractor employees.
“This move towards $15 for an estimated 600 city employees is an important step in the right direction and a victory of the growing movement of low-wage workers. It starkly demonstrates the unprecedented political momentum for a $15/hour minimum wage for all of Seattle,” Sawant said in a statement. “As an immediate step, I appeal to Mayor Murray to insist that the thousands of city subcontractor employees not covered by today’s order also be raised to a minimum of $15.”