$15 bare minimum wage? Berkeley shoots for $19 an hour

This area has the maximum minimal wage in America Berkeley likes to lead the way on progressive problems. And when it arrives to raising the minimal wage, some in the California metropolis are now attempting to take the combat a single stage farther.

Even though staff and their advocates nationwide have rallied close to pushing the minimum to $ fifteen an hour , the Berkeley Labor Fee is proposing a $ 19 bare minimum by 2020.

The Berkeley City Council this 7 days postponed a vote on the proposal until November.

Presently, Berkeley’s minimum is $ 10 an hour. It really is set to rise to $ 11 next thirty day period and to $ 12.fifty three by October 2016.

But the proposal would elevate it to $ thirteen by Oct 2016 and then boost it by $ 1.50 a year till it attained $ 19.

The rationale: Offer personnel much more of a dwelling wage.

And the value of residing in Berkeley can be large. The average rent now tops $ 3,500, according to Zillow.

Still, the prospect of a $ 19 hourly wage inside of 4 many years can make tiny business owners blanch.

The most common word used to explain the proposal by users of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce is “ridiculous,” explained Polly Armstrong, the Chamber’s CEO.

Their worry: It really is too steep an improve. The implementation would be as well rapid. And it will press folks out of company.

1 cafe owner who spoke to CNNMoney said she has been advocating for a greater bare minimum wage. But as it is, her complete-service cafe now subsidizes her get-out shop, which she stated is working in the red as a result of the increases already in location. If the minimum rose to $ 19, she expects she would have to shut it down.

“We can raise our charges. But you cannot demand $ twenty five for a sandwich,” stated Dorothee Mitrani, who owns La Note. “A good deal of mother-and-pop delis and cafes might disappear.”

Armstrong famous that men and women typically examine Berkeley to close by San Francisco, Emeryville and Oakland, all of which at present offer higher bare minimum wages than Berkeley.

But it is not a honest comparison, in her look at, considering that Berkeley is a city of tiny firms, whilst huge organizations with deeper pockets more typically work in the neighboring cities.

“In Berkeley, everybody wants to be at the head of the line to do very good for working folks. But if a business goes out of business, jobs disappear and the city will not have a tax base,” Armstrong explained.

This is existence on $ 7.50 an hour