City labor unions in Los Angeles joined forces and are pushing for L.A. to increase its minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. This move follows San Diego and San Francisco, which are engaged in similar efforts.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Chairwoman Cheryl Parisi said she was unsure of how many city workers would actually benefit from the suggested minimum wage.
The Coalition of L.A. City Unions, which is composed of unions representing more than half of L.A.’s city workers, wants the increase both for city workers and those employed by city contractors, notes the Times.
In addition to the push for a wage increase to at least $15 per hour, the coalition is seeking to curb the outsourcing of city work and make sure that part-time workers will be assigned enough hours to qualify for health benefits. The City of L.A. Bureau of Contract Administration has on its website a living wage ordinance which requires city contractors to pay their employees at east $12.28 per hour without health benefits or at least $11.03 with health benefits.
Hundreds of L.A. city workers protested bank fees in front of Los Angeles City Hall on Tuesday, amid the expiration of thousands of labor contracts for city workers. The Times points out that, just the day before, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said that negotiations on new contracts with the unions in the coalition were “just at their starting point.” According to the Times, the budget approved by Garcetti and the City Council for this fiscal year assumed that workers would not be receiving salary increases.
Beginning July 1 of this year, the state’s minimum wage was raised by $1 and is now set at $9. That figure is slated to increase to $10 in January of 2016, as a result of Assembly Bill 10, which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in September of 2013.
Voting on the wage increase for workers and contractors will take place in November, along with the statewide general elections.