Councilman Curren Price moved to adopt a measure that will increase the minimum wage for healthcare workers to $25 an hour, rather than sending the question to the November ballot for voters to decide.
Since 2020, healthcare workers have been on the front lines of COVID-19, putting themselves and their families at risk. Many have left the profession, and more are considering leaving soon. Raising the minimum wage will help retain hospital workers, by covering a wide range of workers, including nurses, aides, housekeepers, guards, janitors and others.
The item will come back before the council for a second vote next week, because the votes were not unanimous. If passed, the wage measure will go into effect immediately after and will include annual cost-of-living increases beginning in January 2024. Employers are barred from funding the wage increases by laying off workers, reducing their hours, or cutting back on vacation or other benefits.