A coalition of community and labor advocates today planned to submit a proposed ballot measure to increase the minimum wage in San Francisco to $15 an hour.
The group planned to submit the so-called “Minimum Wage Act of 2014” to the city’s Department of Elections at City Hall around 4:30 p.m. as a first step to get the measure on the November ballot.
The group, Coalition for a Fair Economy, includes members from Progressive Workers Alliance, SF Rising, the San Francisco chapter of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Unite Here Local 2 and Service Employees International Union Local 1021.
SEIU Local 1021 represents 13,000 city workers in San Francisco.
Under the proposed initiative, which will need thousands of signatures to qualify for the November ballot, the minimum wage at businesses with fewer than 100 employees would increase to $13 an hour in 2015; $14 by 2016 and $15 by 2017. Companies with more than 100 employees would have until 2016 to raise wages to $15 per hour.
Also part of the measure is the creation of a seven-member “Employment Standards Oversight Committee,” with four members appointed by the city’s Board of Supervisors and three by the mayor. The committee would be charged with overseeing the new law, including its implementation and enforcement.
The measure would require a two-thirds vote to pass. San Francisco’s minimum wage is the highest in the country at $10.74 an hour.
Opponents of the proposed measure include the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, which represents 1,500 businesses in the city.
The Chamber of Commerce released a statement today that said there were concerns about the time frame and total compensation costs for the proposed wage increase plan.
In the statement, the business group said minimum wage legislation should be studied to make sure it “achieves the intended goal of making the city more affordable and does not have negative, unintended consequences on job creators and the economy.”
According to the Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is convening a meeting this week on the topic of the city’s minimum wage.
In the mayor’s State of the City address in January, Lee said he was looking to raise the minimum wage by placing a ballot measure before voters in November.
In his speech he said, “There’s a growing consensus among liberals and conservatives alike that raising the minimum wage will help lift thousands of our fellow residents out of poverty and keep people off public assistance, saving taxpayers millions.”
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News