San Diego City Council places minimum wage increase on June 2016 Ballot

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego City Council voted Monday to adopt an ordinance placing its measure to increase the minimum wage and allow workers to earn up to five days of sick leave on the upcoming June ballot.

The increase to $11.50 minimum wage, which will be decided by the voters on the June 2016 ballot, will be phased in through 2017 with indexing to inflation starting on January 1, 2019. The original proposal phased the wage increase to $9.75 on January 1, 2015 and $10.50 on January 1, 2016 before reaching $11.50 on January 1, 2017. If approved in June, the $10.50 amount would be effective immediately upon certification of the election results. The proposal includes no exemptions for any industry or business.

Councilmember Todd Gloria initiated the legislation in 2014 after conducting considerable stakeholder outreach and it was approved by the City Council later that year. A referendum forced the issue onto the next municipal election which will be held on June 7, 2016.

“While many cities around the nation have already raised their minimum wage, San Diego’s lowest paid workers have been delayed a wage increase and are continuing to face a rising cost of living and high housing prices,” said Councilmember Gloria. “Over 172,000 San Diegans have waited for two years to get these raises that are necessary to help keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables. Today’s action puts this decision in the hands of voters who I believe will agree that this is a sensible increase and the right thing to do.”

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