The Chicago City Council has passed an ordinance that will raise the minimum wage for all Chicago workers to $13 per hour by 2019. The measure will increase the earnings for approximately 410,000 Chicago workers, inject $860 million into the local economy, and lift 70,000 workers out of poverty.
On December 1, Mayor Emanuel and a group of Aldermen introduced a substitute ordinance based off of Senator Kimberly Lightford’s bill that gets the City of Chicago to a $10 minimum wage in roughly seven months, an $11 minimum wage by 2017, and to a final minimum wage of $13 by 2019, plus inflation increases after 2019. This coordination will help ensure that increases happen at both the state and City levels without conflict, and it simplifies the early years of phase-in for businesses.
The ordinance also proposes that the tipped minimum wage in Chicago increase by $1 over two years from the current state minimum of $4.95 to $5.45 as of July 1, 2015 and $5.95 as of July 1, 2016, and be indexed to inflation every July 1 going forward.
On September 2, 2014, Mayor Emanuel took the first step toward an increased minimum wage citywide and signed an Executive Order requiring all City of Chicago contractors and subcontractors pay their employees a minimum of $13 per hour for work performed under a City contract. On September 30, Mayor Emanuel requested that all City of Chicago sister agencies join him in this effort. Already, four sister agencies have moved to a $13 minimum wage – and the City Council vote will increase the minimum wage for everyone in Chicago starting next summer. (City of Chicago Press Release, December 2, 2014.)
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