After collective bargaining with the city manager stalled, the police officers union asked The Border Organization (TBO) for help. Politicizing the issue of police pensions and wages, police union firefighters and TBO leaders targeted the City Council, meeting with individual members to line up the four votes they needed. On the day of the vote, police, firefighter, cafeteria worker and TBO congregational leaders piled into the chambers. After a two hour debate, the council unanimously voted to increase city retirement matches on police and firefighter pensions, maintain previously promised step increases, AND increase all city worker wages by 2%!Read more
Agenda 2016: Community Leaders' Top Priorities for 2016, San Antonio Express News
Leaders celebrated additional wins in areas impacting workers, children and families: $350K in increased investment in long-term job training program Capital IDEA, $3 million in added investments in parks, pools and libraries, $684K for AISD parents support specialists, $520K for Primetime after-school programming, and at least $1.6 Million for property tax breaks for seniors and disabled homeowners.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
In an interview by Michael Libbie of The News Hour, Project IOWA executive director Julie Fugenschuh explains the origins of the training program and how it benefits trainees, businesses and the larger community.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
Skill QUEST Curbs Dallas Poverty by Helping Workers Move Into New Careers, Dallas Morning News
Texas IAF organizations in San Antonio, Austin, and El Paso are at the forefront of potential living wage victories for county and city employees. Due to the work of COPS / Metro Alliance and Austin Interfaith, the cities of San Antonio and Austin are on the verge of passing proposed budgets which would increase wages from more than $11 per hour to $13 per hour. Bexar County and El Paso County also have upcoming votes to raise the wages of county workers from $9.45 to $10 in El Paso and from $11.66 to $13 in Bexar. Graphic to the right shows the relative impact of this wage work .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