Pittsburgh Implements $15-an-Hour Minimum Wage for City Workers

PITTSBURGH (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS) -

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, to coincide with the national “Fight for $15” strikes and marches Tuesday, issued an executive order that will require city employees to be paid at least $15 an hour.

The order, which will be phased in over five years, will affect about 300 city employees, ranging from laborers to clerical workers, the city said Tuesday in a news release. That’s about 10 percent of the city workforce. Most city employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

“This city was built by working people,” the mayor said, flanked by several dozen fast-food and other service workers at a news conference. “Nobody who puts in 40 hours should have to live in poverty.”

The affected city workers will be given a boost to $12.50 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2017; $13.75 an hour on Jan. 1, 2019 and $15 starting Jan. 1, 2021.

The order also calls on the city finance director to submit legislation to council requiring all city contractors to comply with the same minimum-wage commitments, with penalties for violations.

The city could not immediately provide cost estimates, except in the first year, when it will cost about $150,000 to increase wages to $12.50.

“What we’re doing today is a small step, but we’re going right to the root of the problem,” Peduto said.