On Tuesday, Dec. 3, the DC Council will take an initial vote on a bill to raise the minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $11.50 an hour by 2016, and then adjust the wage for the cost of living in the future. Montgomery County in Maryland passed a similar bill last Tuesday, and Prince George's County in Maryland last Wednesday. The Maryland bills extended the implementation time by one year to 2017, however the two counties currently have a $7.25 minimum wage and have an extra dollar to increase.
I encourage Elissa2013 supporters to urge the council to pass a bill that will raise the minimum wage to $11.50 by 2016 and index it to the Consumer Price Index thereafter. I also encourage you to ask the Council to reconsider an amendment that was not passed out of committee made by Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, which would raise the tip credit for restaurants to 50 percent of the minimum wage.
That's not the only significant legislation being considered Tuesday. The Council will also vote on critical improvements to the city's groundbreaking paid sick days law. The Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2013 closes a major loophole in the law that excludes tipped restaurant workers from getting sick leave. It also allows all workers to accrue sick leave from the first day on the job.
The DC Council needs to hear from you! Now! About a week ago, late on a Friday, Mayor Gray sent a letter to the Council saying that he was AGAINST a wage higher than $10, AGAINST giving workers a cost of living increase, and AGAINST helping bar backs and bussers earn more than $2.77 an hour plus tips.
The urgency in addressing the minimum wage came out of the great advocacy around the Large Retailer Accountability Act this summer. Some of you were for it, some against it, but almost everyone told me we should make the minimum wage higher. Now is the time to act and have your voice heard.
On Monday, Dec. 2, Jews United for Justice and the DC Employment Justice Center will be spearheading a call-in targeting Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans and Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser. Councilmember Evans has said that he supports a $10.25 wage. Councilmember Bowser has announced her support for the $11.50 wage but said she is unclear about indexing for cost of living. Let's explain to them why it is important to vote for an $11.50 by 2016 and to give a cost of living increase to keep up with inflation thereafter!
Sign up and take a slot to call! It will be the best use of five minutes tomorrow.
There's lots of information about the minimum wage and paid sick days on the site. I can add more: Let me know what you need to know!