The minimum wage for workers of companies who enter into service contracts with Santa Monica City Hall has increased to $15.37 per hour, it was unanimously decided Tuesday by the City Council.
All service contracts with City Hall would be affected by the wage increase as of the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.
Previously the minimum wage – or living wage – required in the City’s service contracts was $14.08 per hour.
“The new living wage rate [is] equivalent to that which the Council has approved in a number of recent development agreements … [and] would continue to adjust annually by the consumer price index,” City staff stated in its report to council members.
City staff also estimates about 315 City employees would be impacted by the wage increase. Most of those employees have temporary positions, City staff added.
Also according to City staff, the minimum wage increase would affect 220 agreements involving Santa Monica and its contractors.
It is estimated by City staff that the total cost of increasing the salaries of staff and contractual employees affected by the wage increase is about $700,000.
Contractors who enter into an agreement of at least $54,200 with Santa Monica would be required to heed the new hourly wage term.
Santa Monica adopted a living wage ordinance in March 2005. At that time, the minimum wage was set at $11.50 per hour for all City contracts in excess of $50,000. There were a handful of entities exempt from the living wage adoption, including government agencies, City grantees, and certain nonprofits.
The original living wage ordinance also included an “escalator clause,” allowing for future increases to wage rates and the minimum contract amount. However, in 2008, the ordinance was revised and the escalator clause applying to the contract threshold was removed. Firms providing banking services were also added to the list of exempt entities in the 2008 revision.
In April 2011, the most recent and final revision was made to the living wage ordinance, with City Hall requiring contractors to “provide the same benefits to same sex spouses and domestic partners as are provided to other employees’ spouses.”
Hourly wage increases has become a hot topic in cities, states, and even the nation.
On May 15, fast food workers went on strike in about 150 cities across the nation demanding a $15 per hour minimum wage.