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
COPS / Metro leaders and allies are celebrating a huge victory â€” the city manager and a majority of city council members are now agreeing to COPS / Metro's proposal to raise wages for the lowest paid city workers to $13 / hour for fiscal year 2016. This exceeds the City's current living wage standard of $11.47 / hour.Read more
"Councilman Rey SaldaÃ±a said that while he supports giving relief to taxpayers, he also would support leaving the rate the same if the funding helps increase wages for the city's lowest-paid civilian employees. Communities Organized for Public Service and the Metro Alliance have been advocating for the increase, which has been backed by some council members."
COPS / Metro leader Robert Cruz, pointedly asked the city's budget director what the city intends to do with the $24 million in revenue it received in excess of forecasts when the 2015 budget was adopted last year. He asserted that he wanted some of that money go to workforce training program Project Quest and local literacy programs.Read more
In the lead up to this election, leaders held an accountability session with Mayoral candidates, asking for their support on matching the County wage hike (to $13 / hour this year and $15 / hour in two ) and increasing investment in long-term workforce development.Read more
The group attempted to deliver petitions calling for an end to imprisonment of refugee children.Read more
Over 400 leaders of COPS / Metro Alliance assembled at St. Henry's Catholic Church, to confront the top candidates for Mayor and City Council (Districts 2, 3, 5 and 7) on wages, workforce development and housing in the City.
Leaders asked candidates to commit to raising wages for the lowest paid city employees from $11.47 to $14.91 / hour over three years, starting with $13 / hour for fiscal year 2016; establishing a wage floor for contracted and outsourced workers to at least the City's current minimum of $11.47; stabilizing city funding for workforce development program Project Quest at $2 million per year; and working with COP / Metro leaders on a 2017 city bond for housing rehabilitation.Read more
"Everyone working a full-time job ought to be able to raise a family with dignity and opportunity, and not be dependent on public assistance. As taxpayers, we insist that our public resources be used to foster shared prosperity and not to perpetuate poverty.....Read more