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article imageSan Diego minimum wage to rise in 2015

By Nicole Weddington     Jul 15, 2014 in Business
San Diego - Some big changes are coming for San Diegans working minimum wage jobs: effective next year, the minimum wage will rise to $9.75, and companies will be required to give all workers five sick days a year.
The decision comes just weeks after the state of California’s minimum wage was raised on July 1, from $8 to $9.
This wage will continue to rise each passing year, planned to increase to $10.50 in 2016 and $11.50 in 2017.
Originally planned to be determined by public vote, it was instead voted on as an ordinance, and won the majority vote at 6-3; the six in favor were Democrats, while the three opposed were Republicans.
Final vote on the measure will be held on July 28. It appears as though it has a very good chance of being passed.
“We are raising up San Diego in a meaningful, responsible way that benefits our lowest-paid neighbors, our economy and our city as a whole,” Todd Gloria, City Council President, said.
Criticism from the Republicans stems from concerns over how this measure might negatively affect businesses in the city. It could, in fact, affect real estate prices by pushing rents up with increased customer spending. That would mean properties listed on San Diego Home Finder will go up.
Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, said that “raising San Diego’s minimum wage and sick leave above and beyond what the state has already mandated puts San Diego at a competitive disadvantage compared to nearby cities…the Chamber 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.”
The main problem they see is that businesses throughout the state have already been raising their prices and letting employees go, in response to the new $9 minimum wage.
Another member of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Channelle Hawken, voiced her unease on this issue — she explained that members of the chamber recently conducted a survey amongst themselves that showed that the rise in minimum wage was an even larger concern than regulating expenses for healthcare. She said 14 percent of them are contemplating leaving San Diego.
Regardless of the stance on the issue, however, it is the people working minimum wage jobs that are rejoicing over this rise in pay. Perhaps the success of this venture in San Diego will encourage other cities in California and across the nation to follow suit.
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