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Mayor Lee Calls for Major Increase to San Francisco’s Minimum Wage

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today issued the following statement on raising the City’s minimum wage:

“San Francisco is an expensive place for working families. I believe the time has come to bring an increase in the minimum wage to the voters, and I will support a ballot initiative in 2014 that significantly raises the minimum wage to help San Francisco’s lowest paid workers keep pace with rising consumer costs.

I will work closely with the Board of Supervisors, large and small businesses, other employers, nonprofit organizations, labor partners, and those who represent working families to make sure we do this in a way that is fair, supports our businesses and boosts wages for working people. The national debate stirred by fast food chain employees across our country for a $15 per hour minimum wage is worth evaluating, and I will ask this group for a thoughtful analysis of how an increase in the rate will affect our economy, businesses and workers.

I know that a few more dollars an hour can make a big difference to working families, and San Francisco should lead by example. Raising the minimum wage will not only help working families in San Francisco, but it will boost the local economy and drive consumer spending by putting money in the pockets of our lowest paid workers.”

San Francisco voters must approve the increase.

Minimum wage in San Francisco will rise to $10.74 per hour from $10.55 per hour, effective January 1, 2014. Currently, the Minimum Wage Ordinance, passed by the voters in November 2003, calls for annual rate adjustments based on the previous year’s Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose metropolitan area. Employers must pay San Francisco’s higher minimum wage for all covered work performed within the City.  Comparatively, President Barack Obama has called for the federal minimum wage to rise to $10.10 per hour from $7.25 per hour. California minimum wage is $8 per hour, and Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation increasing the minimum wage to $9 per hour by July 2014 and to $10 per hour by January 2016.