city-council

The Atlanta City Council unanimously passed a Resolution co-sponsored by Councilmembers Andre Dickens and Felicia Moore to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of the City of Atlanta to increase the minimum wage for all full-time City employees to $15.00 per hour paid in increments over a three (3) year period commencing in Fiscal Year 2018 and ending in Fiscal Year 2020.

“I am proud the City of Atlanta has a rich history of being a model employer in our state. In an effort to continue that strong history, the Atlanta City Council voted today to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of the City of Atlanta to increase the minimum wage for all full-time City employees to $15.00 per hour,” said Atlanta City Councilmember Andre Dickens.

“I believe that the quality of services provided in the City to its residents will be advanced because raising the wages reduces costly employee turnover, eliminates disruption in services, increases productivity and creates a more stability work environment,” said Dickens. “Statistics show that increasing the minimum wage will increase consumer purchasing power, increase workers’ standards of living, reduce poverty and stimulate the economy.”

Currently the Federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 per hour, which is equivalent to just $15,080.00 annually for a full-time worker; however, the minimum wage in Georgia for employees who are exempt from the Federal Fair Labor Standard Act is $5.15 per hour, which is equivalent to just $10,712.00 annually for a full-time worker. Despite inflation, the federal minimum wage has not been increased since 2009.  According to a study conducted by the Institute for Policy Studies, today, the real value of the current federal minimum wage is actually dollars less than it was in 1968 due to inflation.

After years of inaction by the United States Congress many states and municipalities have taken steps to lift families out of poverty and stimulate the economy by raising the minimum wage locally via legislation or initiative. In 2013, President Obama declared his intent, to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour, index to inflation. Since that time, municipalities including New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Pittsburg, PA, Portland, OR and Clarkston, GA and the States of New York and California have exceeded the $10.10 per hour threshold and have adopted legislation raising their respective minimum wage to $15.00 per hour for full-time employees. In 2015, Mayor Reed, by Executive Order, raised the minimum wage for City of Atlanta employees, mandating that every full-time employee earn at least $10.10 per hour.

The Resolution requests that the Commissioner of Human Resources and the Chief Financial Officer are conduct a study to determine the feasibility of the City of Atlanta to increase the minimum wage for all full-time City employees to $15.00 per hour paid in increments over a three (3) year period commencing in Fiscal Year 2018 and ending in Fiscal Year 2020. The Commissioner of Human Resources and the Chief Financial Officer shall consider as part of the feasibility study:

·         The number of City employees currently making less than $15.00 per hour.

·         The dollar amount necessary to bring all City employees making less than $15.00 per hour on par (i.e. to $15.00 per hour or higher) if the increases are phased in over a three (3) years period commencing in FY2018 and ending in FY2020.

The increment are to be paid as follows:

$12.00 per hour in FY2018; $13.50 per hour in FY2019 and $15.00 per hour in FY2020 and thereafter.

·         The effects raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour would have on the City’s workforce (i.e. staffing and potential lay-offs).

·         The effects raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour would have on the City’s pension.

·         The effects raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour for seasonal, temporary and extra-help employees and effect those increases would have on the City’s pension.

·         The effects raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour would have on compression.

·         Sources of funding for the minimum wage increase.

·         Minimum wage data for comparable cities (i.e. Dallas, Charlotte, Seattle, etc.)

·         Minimum wage data for comparable counties (i.e. Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, etc.).

The Commissioner of Human Resources shall provide the results of the feasibility study to the Finance/Executive Committee on December 14, 2016.

Photo: Atlanta City Council (atlantacityga.iqm2.com)

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