Austin ups minimum ‘living wage’ for city workers to $22 per hr to meet union demand – plans to go higher

(Video Credit: KXAN)

The Austin City Council wasted no time in voting to approve a resolution to increase the minimum wage to $22 per hour for city employees due to higher inflation, gas prices, and the cost of living.

A meeting took place on June 16 where hundreds of workers lined up to call for a higher rate of pay, according to Fox 7 Austin. They are insisting that $22 an hour is a “living wage.” For full-time employees, a $22 hourly wage would reportedly equal an annual salary of just over $45,000.

The resolution calls for the city manager to come up with a plan and a timeline to boost the minimum wage from $15 an hour to $22 an hour for city workers. The council approved the pay increase resolution that is intended to fill vacant city jobs and remain “competitive.”

“Providing a living wage has been a continued priority for our stakeholders and our city staff. The recovery from the pandemic and unprecedented rising costs of living have emphasized the need to accelerate the timeline to increase the living wage,” a spokesperson stated from the Democratic stronghold.

(Video Credit: KVUE)

District 2 City Councilwoman Vanessa Fuentes proposed the resolution, justifying the move by claiming that the city has “to remain competitive and ensure that we’re attracting and retaining talented employees,” according to KXAN.

One of those speaking up is a mother of three named Josette Ayala. She works at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and spent her day off advocating for higher wages.

“The baby’s expensive, plus the rent and gas prices. I have to take them all the way to like their babysitter,” she said, according to Spectrum News 1.

She is a member of the union group UNITE HERE Local 23. Organizers say there are around 800 members who work for the City of Austin and the union is one of those behind the push for a higher wage.

AFSCME is another union representing several thousand workers in Travis County and Austin. Group leaders estimate there are at least 500 members who make under $22 an hour.

Ayala makes $16.50 an hour, which she claims isn’t a livable wage in Austin.

“We should get the $22 an hour, especially since we work at the airport under pressure, especially since it’s really, really busy there,” she argued.

The testimony moved Austin Mayor Steve Adler and other council members to vote in favor of the increase.

“As we listen to our neighbors, we all saw the sadness in their eyes and heard the desperation in their voices,” he pandered.

And it is a sure bet that $22 an hour will not be enough for leftists.

Ayala claims the raise would make a big difference for her family and thousands of other city workers.

“Like a more decent life than just living paycheck by paycheck,” she contended.

A report on the minimum wage increase asserts that if it isn’t feasible in the 2023 budget, it will be increased “by the most significant amount possible.”

The proposed budget is expected to be presented by the city manager in July.

If the increase is approved, it would apply to most city workers, including those who work for companies contracted by the city, construction workers, airport employees, and lifeguards, according to the report.

City Manager Spencer Cronk estimates that the increase could cost the city between $18.2 and $22.8 million.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced an identical raise for House staffers in May.

During this same meeting, the woke city council voted to approve a resolution that would “explore every option” that would allow the city to raise the minimum age to buy an AR-15 or other semi-automatic weapons.

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