San Antonio City Manager Agrees to Implement $13 / hr Living Wage Standard Set by COPS / Metro!
San Antonio, TX -- COPS / Metro leaders and allies celebrate a huge victory todayâ€” the city manager and a majority of city council members agreed to COPS / Metroâ€™s proposal to raise wages for the lowest paid city workers to $13 / hour for fiscal year 2016. This exceeds the City of Austin living wage standard of $11.38 / hour for city employees -- which Austin Interfaith helped increase last year.
â€œWe are ecstaticâ€” this is a huge step for public sector employees, not only in the state, but in the nation. We are proud to have spearheaded
this campaign and to have gained the support of our council members and the manager,â€ said Mr. Robert Cruz of St. Leo the Great Catholic
COPS/Metro gather today at 4:00 PM on the steps of city hall for a press conference and to celebrate.
Council to Set Budget Priorities, San Antonio Express-News [pdf]
Advocates Fight Uphill Battle to Raise Wages in SA, San Antonio Current
Westside Budget Meeting Exposes Public Frustration, San Antonio Express-News [pdf]
City Budget Process Heats Up Amid Contract Uncertainty, KSAT 12
A New Living Wage in San Antonio, Rivard Report
Bexar County Set to Raise Minimum Wage for Employees and Contract Workers,WOAI
Raising Minimum Wage to $13 for City Employees, San Antonio Current
COPS Metro Alliance Seeking to Raise Minimum Wage, KSAT
Mayoral Candidates Discuss Raising City Minimum Wage, FOX News 29
Mayoral Candidates Grilled on Social Issues, San Antonio Express-News [excerpts]
Mayoral Candidates Discuss Raising City Minimum Wage, News 4 San Antonio
Community Groups Push for County Wage Increase, San Antonio Current
Higher Minimum Wage for Low-Paid County Workers, San Antonio Express-news
Bexar County to Consider Raising Minimum Wage, Fox SA News
The Source: Efforts to Raise the Minimum Wage in San Antonio, Texas Public Radio
Groups Push County to Increase Pay Wage, News 4 San Antonio
San Antonio Citizens Gather to Raise Living Wages in Alamo City, San Antonio Express News [pdf]
COPS / Metro Alliance Launch Living Wage Campaign, San Antonio Business Journal
Judge Nelson Supports COPS/Metro Strategy to Raise Wages in Bexar County, COPS / Metro Alliance
Last year, 325 COPS / Metro Alliance leaders publicly launched their "Living Wages and Economic Security" campaign following a series of Civic Academies on Wages and Work. Mayoral candidates Mike Villarreal and Leticia Van de Putte endorsed the living wage strategy and the Bexar County Commissioners moved to raise the wages of County workers to $13 / hour in 2015. Last week, Alamo Colleges raised the minimum wage for full-time workers to $11.50 / hour. Leaders also succeeded in closing a City economic incentive policy loophole, ensuring that all corporations receiving public subsidies pay no less than $11.47 / hour. COPS / Metro will continue working with student and labor groups to organize public employees and ensure basic workers' protections.
Calling the win just "a beginning," COPS Metro leaders celebrated the $1.39 / hour raise for 49 full-time employees at the Alamo (Community) Colleges. Additionally, the lowest paid part-time and seasonal workers will see their wages rise to $10 / hour thanks to a Tuesday night approval of a "living wage" by the board of the Alamo Colleges. Leaders applauded the action, but say they look forward to wages rising along the lines of the Bexar County plan.
Bexar County Living Wage Hikes
Just days after the assembly, Judge Nelson Wolff sponsored a resolution to raise the wages of County workers to at least $13 / hour in 2015. With majority support among Bexar County Commissioners, Wolff instructed the County Manager to calculate the cost of the wage increase for a final vote mid-January. COPS / Metro sees this as the first step towards a real Living Wage of $15 / hour for County workers.
City of San Antonio Economic Incentives
Soon after, leaders succeeded in closing a loophole that allowed some corporations to skirt San Antonio's living wage ordinance for recipients of economic incentives. San Antonio city management supported COPS / Metro's proposal and city council voted to close that loophole, ensuring that only corporations paying at least $11.47 / hour can apply for any economic incentives.