News Releases
The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor Lee & Board of Supervisors Introduce Consensus Measure to Increase Minimum Wage in San Francisco for November Ballot

Broad Coalition Addresses Income Inequality with Consensus Measure to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 per Hour by July 2018

Mayor Lee and 10 members of the Board of Supervisors introduced a proposed consensus measure for the November 2014 ballot that will raise San Francisco’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, by July 1, 2018. The Mayor was joined by the Coalition for a Fair Economy, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and many organized labor groups to announce the consensus measure.

“San Francisco is the most progressive city in America when it comes to addressing income inequality, and we are national leaders in our support of working families and low wage earners,” said Mayor Lee. “Working with Supervisor Jane Kim and the entire Board of Supervisors; large and small businesses; other employers, nonprofits, labor groups, and those who represent working families, we are going to help our lowest paid workers by bringing a fair and responsible consensus measure to increase the minimum wage to voters. I thank all of our partners for this thoughtful analysis and evaluation of how to increase the rate responsibly and for coming together to support one ballot initiative in November 2014 that will raise the minimum wage in a way that supports our businesses, protects our economic recovery, and boosts wages for working people.”

“San Francisco is once again setting the bar for workers’ rights and driving equitable economic growth,” said Supervisor Jane Kim. “Despite the successful minimum wage increase in 2003, San Francisco wages have not kept pace with the skyrocketing cost of living.  We have struggled with an ever-widening income gap that has made it difficult for employees to live where they work and support their families.  We are taking a stand for our City today by introducing a ballot measure that not only gets to $15 an hour faster than anywhere else in the country, but also commits to a robust enforcement process.  In a time of economic growth, no worker should be left without a fair and livable wage.”

“The Campaign for a Fair Economy, a coalition of community and labor organizations, has worked hard to ensure that low-wage workers have a fighting chance to survive in San Francisco,” said Shaw San Liu, Lead Organizer for the Coalition for a Fair Economy and the Chinese Progressive Association. “This $15 minimum wage measure will put millions of dollars into workers’ wages, boosting local businesses and the economy. It is an important part of a larger agenda to close the income gap and ensure that working families can continue to live and thrive in our diverse city. We are looking forward to working with the City as we continue leading the nation on workers’ rights and making sure that our new law is fully enforced.”

“The Chamber of Commerce appreciates all of the hard work that all the stakeholders have put into crafting one consensus measure,” said Wade Rose, Co-Chair of the Public Policy Committee of San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. ”We applaud Mayor Lee for considering the impact to businesses – large and small – as he led this effort to bring people together to send one strong measure to the voters this November.”

Last December and again in his State of the City Address in January 2014, Mayor Lee committed to putting forward a ballot initiative to significantly raise the minimum wage in San Francisco. Over the past six months, he engaged with representatives from large and small business, nonprofit organizations, labor unions, workers’ rights groups, and a number of top economists. This diverse group of stakeholders had one goal: work together to come up with a minimum wage that is fair to both workers and businesses.

Based on existing law, the minimum wage in San Francisco will rise to approximately $11.00 per hour, effective January 1, 2015.

The ballot measure includes the following wage increases:

May 1, 2015: $12.25 per hour

July 1, 2016: $13.00 per hour

July 1, 2017: $14.00 per hour

July 1, 2018: $15.00 per hour

Employers must pay San Francisco’s higher minimum wage for all covered work performed within the City. However, the measure provides different rates for youth trainees and senior subsidized employment which will be capped at a rate of $12.25 plus an annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment.

When the San Francisco minimum wage of $8.50 per hour rolled out in 2004, the City had the highest minimum wage rate in the country. Because the legislation called for increases along with CPI, San Francisco still has the nation’s highest minimum wage at $10.74 per hour. Despite CPI adjustments, the minimum wage has not kept pace with the true cost of living in San Francisco. Mayor Lee also supports President Obama’s effort to raise the Federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.