May 1, 2014

While the politicians in Washington DC continue to ignore what constitutes a living wage in this country, the politicians in another another Washington city (Seattle) are confronting the problem head on.

via KIRO, Seattle

SEATTLE — After failing to reach an agreement on raising Seattle's minimum wage to $15 a week ago, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced his proposal.
Instead of immediately switching the minimum wage in the city to $15, as expected, Murray proposed a phased-in plan.

Under Murray's plan, businesses with fewer than 500 employees must pay workers $15 an hour within seven years. Within the first five years, a “temporary compensation responsibility “ of $15 an hour must be met by combining employer-paid health care contributions, tips received by consumers, and wages.

Large businesses with more than 500 employees will have three years to pay workers $15 an hour. The wages of employees who receive health care benefits will receive $15 an hour in four years.

"This a historic moment for Seattle," Murray said at a news conference Thursday. "In seven years, a Seattle minimum wage worker will earn at least $4 an hour and $6,240 a year more than people elsewhere in Washington."

Once $15 an hour is reached, future raises would be tied to the consumer price index, with no exemptions.

A news release from the mayor's office said 21 of 24 members of his Income Inequality Committee support his proposal.

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