Seattle’s City Council has unanimously voted to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour on Monday. This makes Seattle sole proprietor of the nation’s highest minimum wage.
The city’s nine-member Council voted in favor of the law after months of discussion by a committee led by Mayor Ed Murray.
This means good news for minimum wage workers who reside in Seattle with the hopes that the increase in wages will allow low-wage workers more opportunities for advancement in their current financial situations.
The wage increases are set to roll out over time; the first raise going into effect in April 2015. According to the breakdown, workers will receive a raise of at least $1 an hour with plans to continue being phased in over the next 3-7 years (depending on the size of the business).
The increase, of course, is not met without backlash, with some skeptics questioning the vote and warning that the city’s booming economy is perpetuating the illusion that it will continue this way forever.
Several cities have taken heed of Seattle’s efforts and are pursuing similar measures, Chicago, San Diego and Oakland, to name a few, while Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, West Virginia and D.C. have already enacted wage increases this year.
To read more on these wage increases, head over to the NY Times.
Urbanites, do you think Seattle is taking a step in the right direction by increasing the minimum wage? Do you think your city will/should follow suit? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.