This week, San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee introduced a proposal to be considered by the Board of Supervisors to place a measure on the November General Election ballot that amends the existing Minimum Wage Ordinance to raise the wage to $15 per hour by 2018.
The current minimum wage is $10.74 and is expected to increase to $11.03 on Jan. 1, 2015 due to annual increases tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
If the proposed measure gets voter approval, the city’s minimum wage would increase to $15 per hour by July 1, 2018 and thereafter annual increases tied to the CPI. Under the proposal presented by Lee, minimum wage increases would be phased in over a period of time:
- $12.25 per hour on May 1, 2015
- $13 per hour on July 1, 2016
- $14 per hour on July 1, 2017
- $15 per hour on July 1, 2018
- annual increases tied to the CPI beginning July 1, 2019.
Several months ago, the mayor convened a minimum wage group that brought together large and small businesses, nonprofits, labor unions and organizations to discuss the minimum wage.
The mayor and his administration met with interested parties individually to gather information. The business community, including the California Restaurant Association (CRA), raised numerous concerns and provided Lee with recommendations to mitigate some of the impacts that a super minimum wage will have on businesses, especially those with razor-thin profit margins, such as the restaurant industry. However, many of the recommendations weren’t included in the proposal introduced by Lee.
Before the convening of the stakeholders group, SEIU filed a petition to place a ballot initiative in the November General Election that would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour for employers with more 100 employees by 2016 and employers with less than 101 employees by 2017. However, various news sources are reporting that SEIU will drop its initiative in light of the proposed measure introduced by the mayor.
It is expected that the minimum wage measure will go through the legislative process the second week in July with a vote by the full Board of Supervisors toward the end of July.
Restaurant operators are strongly encouraged to participate in the advocacy efforts by sharing concerns with the Board of Supervisors. Look out for more information on ways to get involved.
For more information, contact Javier Gonzalez, government affairs + public policy director, at 408.416.6344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.