San Diego Becomes Largest US City to Pass Minimum Wage Hike and Earned Sick Days Policy

Supporters of a hike in local minimum wages left nothing to chance yesterday as a city council decision on a proposal by Todd Gloria neared. Over 400 hundred people showed up at city hall for a 6pm hearing, filling the council chambers and two overflow rooms. Many wore pink signs indicating their support.

Email and social media reminders abounded during the day, including a mid-day Raise Up San Diego-led “Twitterstorm.” More than 100 people testified before the council. Highlights included former basketball star Bill Walton standing up in favor of the measure and United Foodservice and Commercial Workers’ Mickey Kasparian giving an impassioned speech.

In the end, the City Council did the right thing, voting 6-3 to enact by ordinance a minimum wage hike, with raises in three stages effective January, 2015. This means the measure will not be placed before the voters in November.

Additional increases will come in successive years, topping out at $11.50 in January, 2017. Starting in January 2019, further hikes will be tied to the consumer price index.

The measure as passed awards full time employees up to five days a year in earned paid sick leave; part-time workers will earn prorated sick leave based on the number of hours they work.

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