The Living Wage Coalition is a grassroots movement of low-wage workers and their allies fighting for economic justice. We believe that everyone who works full time should be able to survive on what they earn and support their families.
The Living Wage Coalition was initiated in 1998 by labor unions, religious congregations and community organizations to develop a movement led and democratically run by low-wage workers. The founding members of the steering committee were the San Francisco Labor Council, SEIU Local 790 (now Local 1021), SEIU Local 250 (now Local 2015 and United Health Care Workers West), UNITE HERE Local 2, OPEIU Local 3 (now Local 29), Bay Area Organizing Committee, San Franciscans for Tax Justice, People Organized to Win Employment Rights, Coalition for Ethical Welfare Reform and Northern California Coalition Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
As a result of a grass-roots campaign, San Francisco’s Living Wage laws – called the Minimum Compensation Ordinance, passed in 2001, and the Health Care Accountability Ordinance, passed in 2002 – require that our tax dollars and use of public property do not go to businesses that pay poverty wages.
The Living Wage Coalition formed the Minimum Wage Coalition which included the Chinese Progressive Association, People Organized to Win Employment Rights, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Mission Agenda/Mission Antidisplacement Coalition, UNITE HERE Local 2, Young Workers Project, the San Francisco Green Party, the San Francisco Day Labor Program and the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, to get the Minimum Wage Ordinance passed at the ballot in 2003, the third city in the nation to have its own municipal minimum wage.
In 2008, the Living Wage Coalition successfully campaigned to expand the Minimum Compensation Ordinance to include participants in welfare-to-work programs and single adults in county workfare programs.
In 2014, San Francisco voters passed amendments to the Minimum Wage Ordinance for stepped increases to $15 per hour in 2018, with annual cost-of-living adjustments afterwards. It is one of the highest minimum wages in the country.
In 2018, the Living Wage Coalition successfully campaigned for amendments to increase the Minimum Compensation Ordinance to $1.50 per hour above the minimum wage for In-Home-Supportive-Services home health care workers, city-funded non-profit workers, and participants in welfare-to-work programs such as CalWORKs parents and $2 per hour above the minimum wage for airport workers and workers at for-profit city service contractors, with annual cost-of-living adjustments every July 1.