‘Living wage’ plan nears realization
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.