There were months of committee meetings, several public forums, and a day-long symposium, but in the end Mayor Ed Murray is set to go it alone in proposing a $15 an hour minimum wage plan for Seattle.
On Wednesday the mayor’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee failed to meet their deadline to chart a course to $15. Murray said in a prepared statement that he was ready to release his own plan Thursday afternoon, but left the door open for an extra-innings deal to be struck:
We are very, very close to a deal that all stakeholders can agree with, but we are still not there yet. Tomorrow at 1:15 p.m., I am prepared to announce a plan for how we raise the minimum wage in this city. Standing with me, I hope, will be members of my income inequality advisory committee. And it is my hope that it will be all the members of my advisory committee.
The committee’s negotiations reportedly broke down over key features of a $15 an hour minimum wage hike, including how long it should take to phase in and whether tips and other benefits should be counted towards the wage floor. The committee included representatives from business, labor, and nonprofits.
Speaking on KIRO radio Wednesday night, Capitol Hill food+drink owner Dave Meinert said he and other members of the mayor’s committee had been putting in long hours throughout the week, but still could not strike a deal.
“Its been really intense, long negotiations,” he said, declining to get into specific details. “We haven’t come to an agreement but the negotiations continue.”
Earlier this month $15 Now organizers filed language for a minimum wage charter amendment with the City Clerk. If enough signatures are gathered an unmitigated $15 an hour minimum wage could be on the ballot later this year.
Meanwhile the City Council Committee on Minimum Wage and Income Inequality continues to hold public forums to work towards their own proposal. Continue reading