FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11/14/2014
Council Budget Committee Passes Sawant $15 Plan for All City of Seattle Employees
SEATTLE – An amendment to the City of Seattle 2015 annual budget introduced by socialist Councilmember Kshama Sawant was passed unanimously today to provide funding to bring all City of Seattle employees’ wages to a minimum of $15 per hour beginning April 1, 2015.
The amendment would set aside $1.6 million over two years for approximately 1,500 City employees, including parks, parking lot and custodial workers, who currently make less than $15 per hour.
The Sawant amendment made good on a promise made in January by newly elected Mayor, Ed Murray to bring all City workers to $15 per hour by executive order. City unions and others, including Sawant, had been urging the City in recent months to follow through on that promise. The Mayor’s proposed 2015 budget had not included funding to raise the wages of the City’s lowest paid employees to $15 per hour.
"Today we were able to finally deliver on Mayor Murray’s unfulfilled January promise," said Sawant.
The Sawant budget action was strongly supported by the Coalition of City Unions and a broad alliance of labor and community groups, including the grassroots campaign, 15 Now.
"Despite a year of inaction and resistance by the conservative majority of the City Council, today our city got out of the business of paying poverty wages," said Sawant.
Full Council is expected to vote on the Budget Committee’s recommendation on Monday, November 24.