SD City Council to take 2nd minimum wage vote

SAN DIEGO - The City Council today will take a second vote on whether to incrementally increase the minimum wage in San Diego to $11.50 an hour.
 
The ordinance, which was initially approved 6-3 two weeks ago but requires a follow-up vote, would also mandate that employers offer five paid sick days to workers each year.
 
The second vote comes a few days after supporters and opponents of the proposal met with Mayor Kevin Faulconer to press their case.
 
Rabbi Laurie Coskey of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice, along with three women who work for low pay, urged the mayor to back their cause and forestall a potential referendum effort. A group of business owners who oppose the increase also met with the mayor.
 
A spokesman for Faulconer said he continues to oppose an increase that would make wages in San Diego higher than in surrounding cities. The state-mandated minimum wage became $9 an hour on July 1.
 
If the San Diego measure goes into effect, it would increase the hourly minimum wage to $9.75 on Jan. 1, $10.50 in January of 2016 and $11.50 in January of 2017. Beginning in January 2019, the pay scale will be indexed to inflation.
 
With six council members supporting the wage increase, a mayoral veto would likely fall victim to an override. That could set the stage for a referendum.
 
Business interests have qualified two referendums over the past year, forcing the council majority to repeal one of their actions and place the other before a public vote -- where it lost.
 
Council President Todd Gloria originally proposed to have residents vote on the minimum wage in November, but the council majority wanted to adopt the wage hike directly.
 
Business leaders say the owners of establishments like restaurants and shops have already reported adjusting their workers' hours or raising prices in response to an increase in the state minimum wage.
 
Supporters of the sick leave requirement said it will keep employees from showing up for their jobs while ill and infecting the public and their co-workers.

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