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Friday, May 1, 2015

On International Workers Day, 60,000 San Franciscans Are Getting a Raise

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 1:14 PM

click to enlarge A KATZ / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
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About 60,000 workers in San Francisco should get a raise today. Thanks to the passage of Proposition J last November, the city's minimum wage increases today to $12.25 per hour from the previous rate of $11.05 per hour. The wage is scheduled to increase to $15.00 per hour by July 1, 2018. 

Mayor Ed Lee, SF Labor Council head Tim Paulson, and Chamber of Commerce president Bob Linscheid—the latter two of whom are rarely on the same side of any issue—celebrated the occasion with a joint editorial in today's San Francisco Examiner that challenged the State of California and the federal government to raise their minimum wages as well: 
We’re joining together as San Franciscans — leaders in government, labor and business — to call on Sacramento and Washington, D.C., to follow our city’s lead, proving that it is possible to promote income equality while simultaneously creating America’s strongest economy. Promoting workers’ rights and creating jobs can go hand in hand, as we’ve demonstrated here in our City by the Bay.
The federal minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour. In California, the minimum wage is currently $9.00 per hour. It will increase to $10.00 on January 1, 2016. 

On the other end of the income inequality spectrum, a lot of San Francisco tech workers are disclosing their incomes on Twitter today, using the hashtag #talkpay. A recent essay in Model View Culture by programmer Lauren Voswinkel called on tech workers and others to mark May Day by talking openly about their salaries. Voswinkel argues that such transparency is an important step in combating the racial and gender pay gaps, writing: "The lack of knowledge regarding reasonable salaries and predatory behaviors in tech companies can be directly attributed to the social taboo surrounding people talking openly about their salaries." 

Whichever side of the income inequality divide you fall on, Happy International Workers Day. 

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About The Author

Julia Carrie Wong

Julia Carrie Wong's work has appeared in numerous local and national titles including 48hills, Salon, In These Times, The Nation, and The New Yorker.


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