SAN FRANCISCO—Beginning Friday, San Francisco will join Oakland as the city with the highest minimum wage in the United States.
Once $11.05, workers will now be paid no less than $12.25 per hour, a change that will affect over 142,000 workers living in America’s most unaffordable city. The hike is the first in a set of increases that will eventually see minimum wage rise as high as $15 per hour by the year 2018.
The change comes in the wake of last month’s protest held by San Francisco fast food workers, a protest that gained national attention after employees took to the streets demanding better compensation.
In addition to Oakland and San Francisco, Bay Area communities such as Berkeley and Emeryville are contemplating similar incremental hikes in minimum wage. The Emeryville City Council is reviewing a proposal to raise minimum wage of nearly $16 per hour by 2019. The city’s proposal includes additional benefits for workers, including tip protection, wage increases proportionate to inflation, and paid sick days.
This June, Berkley’s Labor Commission plans to bring forth a proposal that will bump minimum wage to $15.99 by 2017. This would be a precipitous hike in a city that currently owns a minimum wage of $10 per hour.
“We are winning the Bay Area’s fight for $15. The Bay Area is moving to develop the first regional standard in the country for wages and working conditions,” SEIU 1021 Vice President Gary Jimenez said. “San Francisco and Oakland have set the standard, now it’s time to expand to Berkeley. Richmond, Emeryville, and beyond.”