Photograph courtesy of @pghUNITED

“Economy for All” order also calls on city contractors to pay workers $15 hourly wage

PITTSBURGH, PA (November 10, 2015) Mayor William Peduto signed an executive order today requiring that all full-time City employees be paid no less than $15 per hour.

The order will guarantee better wages for about 300 City employees from laborers to clerical workers. It will be phased in over five years to comply with the City’s Act 47 Recovery Plan.

“Current rates of pay for too many workers nationwide — and within our city — do not provide enough to raise a family, own a home and be part of the American Dream. That forces government to step in and provide extra public assistance for them to survive. What we need is an ‘Economy for All’ in which all workers, starting with those working for the City of Pittsburgh, are provided with the level of pay they deserve,” Mayor Peduto said.

The order includes a call for legislation early next year requiring all city contractors to pay their workers $15 hourly, or face penalties.

The City worker pay increases will be phased in beginning in 2017 and not affect next year’s budget, which was introduced to City Council Monday. The full budgetary impacts are expected to be minimal but are still being studied: the order directs the Office of Management and Budget to issue policies by Jan. 1, 2016, on implementing the order.

The Order states:

WHEREAS, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour equals a yearly gross income of $15,080, not nearly enough for a full time worker to live without public assistance, yet alone raise a family or own a home; and,

WHEREAS, employers who pay their workers the federal minimum wage rely on the taxpayers to subsidize their businesses by providing workers with subsidized housing, food and transportation; and,

WHEREAS, approximately 30% of all adults employed in hourly-wage jobs in US are “near-minimum-wage” workers; and,

WHEREAS, contrary to what some may think, the average age of a “near-minimum-wage” worker is 35, they are more likely to be women, and nearly a third have children; and,

WHEREAS, the worsening economic inequality in America is making it harder for people who put in an honest day’s work to get ahead, and nobody who works 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty; and

WHEREAS, one remedy for this worsening inequality, and restore the American dream–that if you put in an honest, hard day’s work you can build a better life for you and your family–is to demand wage increases for the lowest paid workers among us;

NOW THEREFORE, by the powers vested in me as the Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, I do hereby order as follows:

1. The City of Pittsburgh shall pay its full time employees a minimum hourly wage of no less than $15 per hour over the next five (5) years, phased as a minimum of $12.50 per hour beginning on January 1, 2017, $13.75 per hour beginning on January 1, 2019, and $15.00 per hour beginning on January 1, 2021 (such minimum wages and phasing deadlines, the “Minimum Wage Commitments”).

2. The Director of Finance shall prepare legislation to be submitted to City Council in 2016 to propose an ordinance requiring that those who contract with the City of Pittsburgh shall comply with the Minimum Wage Commitments as an explicit condition in city contracts, shall certify in writing through all bids and contracts that they pay their full time employees at least the Minimum Wage Commitments, and further specifying appropriate penalties for violations or such ordinance.

3. The Minimum Wage Commitments shall be phased in to the City’s budget in accordance with state law and the requirements of the City’s Act 47 recovery plan, beginning with the 2017 budget.

4. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall issue policies by December 31, 2016 that detail the manner and procedures for implementing this order.