When Azeneth de la Fuente's daughter suffered an accident at home last month, an ambulance took 25 minutes to arrive because of terrible road conditions. Ms. de la Fuente has been organizing to fix her neighborhood for over a year. On International Women's Day she testified before Bexar County Commissioners declaring, "we are not second class citizens... my daughter deserves better!"Read more
Cafeteria manager Vanita Rodriguez spoke on behalf of her employees, revealing that every one she works with holds down at least two jobs to make ends meet. As the parent of 7 and the grandparent of 24, most of which are SAISD students, she knows that poverty hampers children's capacity to learn. COPS/Metro joined forces with the San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel to raise this issue with the School Board and met with all 7 trustees prior to the board meeting.Read more
When Maria Bernal's baby stopped breathing after midnight, she called 911. The child turned blue as she waited 90 minutes for ambulances to arrive; the ambulances were stuck in the sand.Read more
Agenda 2016: Community Leaders' Top Priorities for 2016, San Antonio Express News
Over 250 families live in Highland Oaks, an unincorporated corner of Bexar County, cut off from essential services because they have no streets -- only sand. Schools stopped sending buses to Highland Oaks because they, too, would get stuck.Read more
While this concludes a drama-filled and yearlong saga -- which also resulted in raised wages for workers at Alamo Colleges -- COPS / Metro leaders are not planning to rest long. Their long-term wage strategy includes a push to increase municipal wages to $14 / hour in fiscal year 2017 and $15 / hour the year after. They are furthermore setting their sights on wages paid by public schools and hospital districts.Read more
According to the editorial board of the San Antonio Express-News:
There is something of a social justice component to the budget presented recently to the San Antonio City Council. It contains a commendable step toward a living wage for those city employees who are paid the least.
City Manager Sheryl Sculley outlined a...2016 budget that includes a raise to $13 per hour, beginning Jan. 1, for the city's lowest-paid workers...
While $11.47 is well above the state and federal minimum wage of $7.25, ...Communities Organized for Public Service/Metro Alliance have correctly stressed the need for a "living wage."
Additional background here.
Living Wage for City Workers, San Antonio Express-News
He also noted that, "most important, public employers have a greater obligation to address the moral issue of 'a living wage' than do private employers. Unlike private companies, public entities (such as governments) explicitly purport to represent the 'public good' in everything they do. The public good should reasonably include paying workers so they can live above the federal poverty level."Read more
This raise will directly impact 1,300 - 1,500 City employees who, in the words of Councilmember Ray Lopez, might no longer "have to have a second or third job." An additional 1,500 workers would indirectly benefit through wage compression, in which those currently earning close to $13 / hour will also see their wages rise.Read more