MOUNTAIN VIEW SETS GOAL OF $15 MINIMUM WAGE BY 2018
Minimum Wage to Match San Jose’s as a First Step
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, Oct, 10: – Late last night, the Mountain View City Council voted 6 to 1 to set a goal of raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2018. The City Council would like this to be a regional effort and will begin to work with neighboring towns like Sunnyvale and Palo Alto to come up with a regional plan to raise the wage to $15 an hour.
In addition to setting the goal of $15 last night, the Mt. View City Council passed an ordinance that will raise the wage to $10.30 by July 1 of 2015 indexed to the cost-of-living to match their neighboring city of San Jose.
Council chambers last night were filled to standing room only as people came with signs that said “we support you” to demonstrate their support for a $15 minimum wage.
Mountain View has seen skyrocketing rents and cost of living while simultaneously facing a crisis of economic disparity. In the past year there has been a 300% rise in homelessness. In October of 2013, a grassroots movement grew rapidly spurred by residents of a local political action group, Politically Inspired Action, who was soon joined by a coalition of groups that includes local activist groups, national economic justice organizations, labor groups, and community service agencies.
There has been a groundswell of support from the population at large. At the public input forum on September 6th, there was unanimous support voiced where residents and workers called on City Council to consider joining the movement in the Bay and Country to a $15 raise. A Chamber of Commerce survey also revealed majority support for a raise, including 46% supporting $12.
Everyone who works hard deserves a fair wage. Mountain View stands as a city that is both the heart of technological innovation as well as economic disparity in our country. The people of Mountain View and the City Council are ready to tackle the economic crisis of low wage workers head on and bring neighboring cities with them.
- Lauren Hepler Economic Development Reporter- Silicon Valley Business Journal
A sweeping labor policy proposal winding through Santa Clara County’s political process could raise wages for public employees, require paid sick days for workers and implement a new labor-friendliness ranking for businesses based on benefits plans.
While major metro areas like San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Seattle have seen similar reform efforts play out individually in recent years, the initial effort in Silicon Valley to combine the set of policies appears to be unprecedented. It’s also likely to run into familiar warnings about job cuts and other negative economic impacts from business advocacy groups or employers whose bottom lines stand to be impacted by labor cost increases.
“We decided to be as inclusive as we could be with the report,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, who has championed the proposal now being studied by county staff along with fellow supervisor and labor-backed San Jose mayoral hopeful Dave Cortese. “The next two months are really for the county executive’s office to do the legwork and get a sense of how broad we want to be.”
The focal point of the new proposal is the county’s living wage, or the pay required for county staff and contractors (as opposed to the minimum wage required for all workers). The city of San Jose has a living wage law on the books that ties pay for city workers and contractors to area costs of living, which — in a market roughly 87 percent more expensive than the average U.S. city — pencils out to $17.81 per hour for employees with health benefits or $19.06 without.
“The idea is to create an economy where everyone is self-sufficient,” said Ben Field, executive officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council. He added that the county’s position as a major employer could be a jumping off point for broader reforms, since it “sets the standard for employment practices.”