"Most of the Business Owners Got What They Wanted"
From today's East Bay Express:
Emeryville Business Owners, Workers Weigh in On Proposed $14.42 Minimum Wage
Last night, at a special study session meeting of the Emeryville City Council, dozens of business owners and workers spoke about the city’s proposed minimum wage increase. No business owner spoke out against raising the minimum wage. But almost all of them voiced concerns about the pace of the increase, and whether or not Emeryville should adopt what would be the highest municipal minimum wage in the nation. Some business owners asked for special exemptions for their businesses.
After hearing from the public, the council decided to draft an ordinance that starting on July 1 will increase Emeryville’s minimum wage to $14.42 an hour for large businesses and $12.25 an hour for small businesses. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 55 employees.
The draft ordinance will adjust the large employer wage upward each year to account for inflation. And the small employer $12.25 wage will be increased by a dollar each year until 2019 when it converges with the large employer minimum wage, creating a single minimum wage for all employers.
The Emeryville City Council will vote on the minimum wage next month.
Business owners and workers on both sides of the issue helped the council craft the proposal.
....Ultimately most of the business owners who spoke got what they wanted; a lower phased-in minimum wage increase. Large retailers, janitorial companies, and restaurant chains, of which there are many in Emeryville, will see an immediate increase to $14.42, however.
“The study session proved we had basically reached a consensus,” Emeryville Mayor Ruth Atkin said in an interview. “I expect this will be the version of the ordinance that ultimately goes through two readings and becomes law.”
Read the rest of the East Bay Express story HERE.