San Francisco’s lowest wage workers will get some relief on January 1 by seeing their wage keep up with inflation

San Francisco Living Wage Coalition

2940 – 16th Street #301

San Francisco, CA 94103

ph. 415-863-1225 • fax 863-1927 ● email:



December 30, 2013

For Immediate Release

Contacts: David Frias, Campaign Co-director, 415-503-7066 cell

Karl Kramer, Campaign Co-director, 415-863-1225 office

San Francisco’s Minimum Wage Increases in January

San Francisco’s lowest wage workers will get some relief on January 1 by seeing their wage keep up with inflation.

“While it is good news that the minimum wage will increase again from $10.55 to $10.74 per hour, making San Francisco the highest in the U.S, it’s still not at a satisfactory level for the low- wage workers who continue to struggle to pay for rent, food and expenses,” David Frias said of the wage increase that he will receive as a security guard and theater usher. Frias is the campaign co-director of the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition.

“With more voices of low-wage workers being heard, it can hopefully increase pressure on governments and corporations to get the minimum wage high enough for workers to have a sustainable living,” Frias added.

The San Francisco Living Wage Coalition is a grassroots movement of low-wage workers and their allies who have been fighting since 1998 for economic justice. The Living Wage Coalition was on the steering committee that led a campaign to pass a ballot initiative in 2003 that established San Francisco’s Minimum Wage Ordinance.

San Francisco’s Minimum Wage Ordinance requires that employers pay at least $10.74 per hour starting on January 1, a 1.8 percent increase from the current rate of $10.55 per hour.

The Minimum Wage Ordinance covers any employee who works at least two hours a week for an employer within the boundaries of San Francisco, or on city-owned property such as San Francisco Airport.

San Francisco now has the highest minimum wage in the country. Santa Fe, New Mexico, has a minimum wage of $10.51 per hour, with an increase for inflation scheduled for March 1. Washington, D.C., has a minimum wage of $8.25 per hour. The D.C. council voted on December 3 to raise it to $11.50 per hour by 2016. The neighboring Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George voted to do the same by 2017.

San Jose passed a municipal minimum wage of $10 per hour in November, 2013, which increases to $10.15 on January 1. The minimum wage in Albuquerque, NM, increases to $8.60 from $8.50 per hour.

The minimum wage under California law is $8 per hour, rising to $9 per hour on July 1, 2014, and then $10 per hour on January 1, 2016. In other states that do not have a minimum wage law, workers fall under the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, which has not increased since 2009.

San Francisco’s living wage law, called the Minimum Compensation Ordinance, increases the minimum wage for workers at for-profit businesses with service contracts with the City or property lease at the airport to $12.66 per hour from $12.43 per hour. Workers with access to the tarmac or security functions at SFO are required to be paid an additional $.50, bringing them to $13.16 per hour. Workers at city-funded non-profit agencies have had their minimum wage frozen at $11.03 per hour since 2008 until the Mayor or Board of Supervisors approve funding for the wage increase.

On November 5 of this year, voters in the town of Seatac in the state of Washington passed a $15 per hour living wage law to cover workers at the airport near Seattle and surrounding hotels. This is second to the $15.38 per hour in Sonoma required for workers on city contracts.

In San Francisco, the City Controller calculates the annual cost-of-living adjustment by the increase in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area from August of last year to August of this year. The increase this year was 1.86961 percent. This calculates to a $.197 increase. In past years, a fraction of more than half a penny was rounded up to the nearest penny, which would have brought this year’s minimum wage to $10.75 per hour.

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