‘Liv­ing wage’ plan nears re­al­iza­tion

Tampa Bay Times - - Local - BY CHAR­LIE FRAGO Times Staff Writer

ST. PETERS­BURG — City Coun­cil mem­bers on Thurs­day set the stage for adopt­ing what may be the most sig­nif­i­cant “liv­ing wage” mea­sure in the Tampa Bay area.

The pro­posal would re­quire busi­nesses seek­ing city con­tracts of more than $100,000 to pay their work­ers a liv­ing wage, which af­ter some dis­cus­sion was set at $12 an hour, in­clud­ing the cost of health in­sur­ance and other ben­e­fits. Four coun­cil mem­bers meet­ing as the bud­get, fi­nance & tax­a­tion com­mit­tee unan­i­mously ap­proved the idea at the be­hest of coun­cil mem­ber Karl Nurse, who is serv­ing his last weeks in of­fice.

“These are not chil­dren,” Nurse said. “These are full-time jobs for adults. I think it’s im­moral that you pay them so lit­tle in wages that you guar­an­tee that they are liv­ing in poverty.”

By ap­prov­ing the mea­sure, the com­mit­tee set the stage for the full City Coun­cil to vote on it. It will likely ap­prove the or­di­nance be­fore the end of the year.

Nurse sought to have the city re­quire con­trac­tors to pay work­ers $13 an hour for months.

Mayor Rick Krise­man’s ad­min­is­tra­tion ob­jected, say­ing it could pre­vent small busi­nesses from

St. Peters­burg ’s City Coun­cil is likely to re­quire some city con­trac­tors to pay $12 an hour.

Karl Nurse, serv­ing his last weeks on the coun­cil, had orig­i­nally sought $13 an hour from con­trac­tors.

Mayor Rick Krise­man has promised to pay city em­ploy­ees $15 an hour by 2020.

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