Santa Cruz City Council passes living-wage increase

By Josh Copitch Jan 29, 2020

The Santa Cruz City Council voted on and passed a living wage increase during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

The increase applies only to employees with contracts with the city of Santa Cruz.

Depending on several factors, the living-wage for city workers would be $17.90 or $19.53. The change would go into effect on July 1.

According to the council, the wage would depend on whether city employees received minimum vacation leave, sick leave, and health insurance benefits. The smaller amount would go to employees who also received the stated benefits.

Currently, the minimum wage is $12-$13 per hour (depending on company size) as set by the State of California.

According to a minimum wage calculator created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a living wage in Santa Cruz County is $15.58 for one adult without children.

In 2000, Santa Cruz passed the nation’s highest minimum wage at $11 an hour, or $12 without benefits.

This article has been corrected. In an earlier version of this article, the change to the minimum wage was suggested to have been city-wide and not just for city employees.