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Gloria’s Modified Proposal To Raise San Diego’s Minimum Wage Moves Forward

Evening Edition

Aired 6/18/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Gloria's Modified Proposal To Raise San Diego's Minimum Wage Moves Forward

Todd Gloria, San Diego City Council President

Claire Crawford, President & Executive Director Center on Policy Initiatives

Transcript

The San Diego City Council has voted to direct staff to begin conferring with the city's labor unions over a proposal to raise the minimum wage in San Diego to $11.50 an hour.

Increase Schedule Under New Proposal

Jan. 1, 2015: $9.75

Jan. 1, 2016: $10.50

Jan. 1, 2017: $11.50

Indexing to inflation to begin on Jan. 1, 2019.

There will be no exemptions for any industry or business.

Special Feature Business Owners Weigh In On Proposal To Raise San Diego’s Minimum Wage

As a San Diego City Council committee gets ready to discuss raising San Diego's minimum wage to $13.09 an hour, we hear from San Diego's small-business community.

Council President Todd Gloria revised the hourly figure downward today, but many business representatives expressed continued opposition to his plan.

Under the new proposal, minimum wage workers would earn $11.50 per hour. If approved by voters, the increase would occur over three years and be indexed for inflation.

Gloria's original proposal included gradually increasing the minimum wage to $13.09 an hour and allowing workers to earn five sick days a year. The proposal drew opposition from Mayor Kevin Faulconer, some members of the City Council and business groups. Gloria said he met numerous times with representatives on both sides of the issue.

"During those exchanges, I heard that my proposal brought too much change, too fast, and that a higher minimum wage would put San Diego at a competitive disadvantage,'' he said. "This is a common-sense compromise that reduces the potential impact on businesses while maintaining tremendous benefits for our workers and our economy.''

Despite the adjustment, some business groups remained opposed to the increase.

San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders said the organization appreciated Gloria's "willingness" to modify his proposal, but the group's opinion on the matter hasn't changed.

In a statement, Sanders, the city's former mayor, said raising San Diego’s minimum wage and sick leave above the state's mandate "would put San Diego at a competitive disadvantage compared to nearby cities."

"The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce appreciates Council President Todd Gloria’s willingness to consider a minimum wage lower than the $13.09 he originally proposed.

However, raising San Diego’s minimum wage and sick leave above and beyond what the state has already mandated would put San Diego at a competitive disadvantage compared to nearby cities. The Chamber’s Public Policy Committee takes the position that regulations concerning wages should be initiated federally to ensure a level playing field, and at a minimum, they should be set at the state level to avoid city-by-city inconsistencies that would put San Diego’s job creators at a competitive disadvantage.

What we hear time and again from our small business members is growing concern over the unpredictability of state and city regulations. We have also heard concern over a proposal that includes an automatic annual increase based on CPI with no exemptions and without public review.

The Chamber encourages the City Council to wait until the economic impacts of the state mandated minimum wage increase to $10.00 by January 2016 are fully understood and can be analyzed."

Mark Arabo, president of the Neighborhood Market Association, also opposed the increase, but because it didn't exempt small businesses from the hike.

"Not including a small-business exemption for businesses with less than 12 employees, similar to the living wage ordinance that's already on the City of San Diego's books, could be the dagger in the hearts of mom-and-pop businesses in San Diego," Arabo said.

Earlier this month, organizations on both sides of the debate held competing news conferences, and pointed to studies that support their respective views on the issue.

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association and San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce released a report that showed the increase would hurt small businesses and minimally benefit San Diegans living in poverty.

Proponents of the proposal to increase San Diego's minimum wage hosted a rally to drum up support. They say the current rate of $8 per hour isn't enough to make ends meet without government assistance, according to a report released earlier this year by Center on Policy Initiatives, a nonprofit that advocates for the working poor.

KPBS's Maureen Cavanaugh, Patty Lane and Peggy Pico contributed to the Midday and Evening Edition segments of this story.

Comments

Avatar for user 'ptsstaff'

ptsstaff | June 16, 2014 at 10:17 a.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

Tenured instructors are "not required to teach" to keep their guaranteed job. A guarantee with no accountability for performance.

This can be fixed by approaching job guarantees like that of private industry - there are no guarantees!

If tenure were allowed to continue, an even playing field would provide tenure opportunities for heart surgeons, airline pilots, and construction workers, etc., so that they too have guaranteed jobs with no accountability for performance.

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Avatar for user 'ptsstaff'

ptsstaff | June 16, 2014 at 10:18 a.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

Raising the minimum wage is only a band aid over the wound of the financially challenged, but does not HEAL the wounds for the financially challenged.

Our government and special interest groups have done a great job of marketing. We continue to “camouflage” more regulations, more taxes, and fees on businesses, and force the financially challenged to disproportionally pick up the costs that trickle down from businesses to their pocket books for products and services?

Those that earn less than $20 per hour, which includes virtually all those in the food and hospitality industries, are the ones that can least afford higher costs for power, transportation fuels, and food. There is minimal impact to those that can afford the results of our relentless business unfriendly efforts, but little hope for those that barely exist at today's cost of living.

If you can remember several decades back, most couples could survive on one income. However, today most couples are two income families just to tread water in today’s costly economy.

The method to counteract the ever increasing costs to the financially challenged, from the costs of over regulations, over taxation, and uncontrollable fees on businesses that trickle down to the pocket books of the financially challenged, is to raise the minimum wage for the financially challenged. BUT WAIT….is this a camouflaged Ponzi scheme, or just a way to buy votes from the financially challenged?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 16, 2014 at 11:17 a.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

He better not back-down on this.

He has failed San Diego on many fronts, with his ridiculous medical marijuana ordinance as a prime example.

He was gaining some of my respect back with his move to raise the minimum wage, however if he caves he goes back into the worthless politician category.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 16, 2014 at 11:53 a.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

I am sick of it. Do it. Raise the minimum wage, see what happens. You people will only learn the hard way.

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | June 16, 2014 at 12:49 p.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

higher wages = higher taxes and employer fees= more money for the politicians to waste. thats the real bottom line.

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Avatar for user 'kenneth0rr'

kenneth0rr | June 16, 2014 at 2:15 p.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

Has anyone else noticed that Todd Gloria only seems to notice you exist if you're on one extreme of the economic spectrum and not if you're part of the actual working class in San Diego? It seems to me that Todd Gloria's office is out to spend all the money they can on people that are homeless or considered low income, and if you saw the "news conference" to announce that horrible Cable company's gift to the U.S.S. Midway, you know that Todd Gloria will himself do a commercial, even using your company tag line, for a public gift of a million bucks. What what about all the people that work for more than minimum wage and less than $100k a year? We're getting SCREWED at every turn!

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 16, 2014 at 2:44 p.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

Kenneth, what do you want Gloria to do? You think that because he's trying to bring the minimum wage up to a reasonable amount that translates into he doesn't care about anyone else?

If you want to know why the middle class is getting screwed, take a look at the corporate welfare the government gives to millionaires and billionaires.

If you look at the rates of income increases over the past two decades you will see EVERYONE is getting screwed except the super rich 1% - both poor/low wage earners and the middle class are getting screwed, but the minimum wage workers have been screwed the most because their incomes have seen the LEAST movement in the past couple decades. In fact, the minimum wage has not even kept pace with inflation.

What Mr. Gloria is trying to do (and as I said above, I hope he doesn't cave-in on this) is to bring the minimum wage up to where it should have already been had incremental rises been keeping with inflation.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 16, 2014 at 2:53 p.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

OK, I just saw the modification.

UNACCEPTABLE.

Mr. Gloria should be ashamed of himself for dropping the amount by that much.

Seattle approved $15 per hour.

America's Biggest CowTown

The Republican Bosses in San Diego would allow Bangladeshi style sweatshops if they had free reign.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 16, 2014 at 3:01 p.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

Gloria is hideously naive.

Republicans don't compromise.

They just don't.

Look at how many times Obama tried to compromise and was left with the door slammed in his face by obstructionists in Congress.

Now we see Gloria compromising and all the conservative groups in San Diego who opposed this still oppose it.

We need leaders in this CowTown who stick to their principles and don't respond to bullying from the mob-like right-wing political elite in this CowTown.

Why oh why did Mr. Filner have to go out and grope him some t & a, he was the only leader in this town I've seen who actually had the ability to stand up to the right-wing gestapo in this town.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 16, 2014 at 3:04 p.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

Why do you think $15/hour is reasonable for a job that a mentally disabled person can do? there are 8 billion people on earth who can do minimum wage work. $15 is not reasonable.

Do you think minimum wage jobs are meant to support a family or something? Now that would be a very dumb thing to think.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 16, 2014 at 3:08 p.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

People who work full time for a living should be able to afford a basic cost of living.

I am not talking about a luxury lifestyle mind you, they should be able to afford the basics.

The minimum wage should keep up with basic inflation, and it hasn't for many, many years.

I make far above minimum wage, but I think raising the wage benefits everyone.

You get less turnover which save companies money, and you get less people relying on social welfare. I would THINK the conservative would like those things.

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Avatar for user 'deprotinator'

deprotinator | June 16, 2014 at 3:31 p.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

Not sure why these groups keep claiming that rising minimum wage will be bad for business and kill jobs. I'm no historian, but I remember when I was in high school working part-time the minimum wage was about $5/hr. Then it went up, and up again. It's been going up for about the last 80 years. Yet, I haven't seen the sky falling, San Diego looks like a pretty cool place to live compared to 70 years ago. Restaurants, hotels, and plenty of other stores not only still exist, but seem to be doing fine compared to any other time in history. Sure there are some negative areas in the economy, but some of that is due to the recession and some of it is just the natural rise and fall of businesses....like it has been for decades. What real data do people have to claim that minimum wage is killing business (and/or jobs)? Seriously, why do people keep saying that despite the last 80 years of evidence? Aren't the standards of living in this country still just as good as before (maybe even better)?

Business owners should look at the last 2000 years of history and expect that their business environment, regulatory structure, and customer demands will change with the times, and they should plan and execute appropriate business strategies to maintain the well-being of their business. If you fail, you fail...like MySpace, GM, and MC Hammer...it's because you didn't manage your business properly and you can blame that on many external (and internal) factors, but don't blame it on Joe Schmoe who's working 50 hours a week barely making ends meet living in the ghetto with no disposable income to even buy any of your stuff.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | June 17, 2014 at 7:34 a.m. ― 6 months, 1 week ago

dep "Business owners should look at the last 2000 years of history and expect that their business environment, regulatory structure, and customer demands will change with the times, and they should plan and execute appropriate business strategies to maintain the well-being of their business. If you fail, you fail...like MySpace, GM, and MC Hammer...it's because you didn't manage your business properly and you can blame that on many external (and internal) factors"

I agree, but also...Everyone should look at the last 2000 years of history and expect their employment environment to change with the times and they should plan and execute appropriate fiscal strategies to maintain their own well-being. If they fail, they fail... it's because they didn't manage their skills, effort and spending properly.
Those responsibilities you pin on businesses are also individual responsibilities. Just as no business failing will bring down the country, no person failing will bring it down either.

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