City of San Francisco Minimum Wage Increase Referred Measure (November 2014)

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A City of San Francisco Minimum Wage Increase Referred Measure ballot question will be on the November 4, 2014 election ballot for voters in the city of San Francisco, California.

This measure was spearheaded by Mayor Ed Lee and referred to the ballot by the city council as a compromise between a coalition of labor interests and business interests. If approved, it would raise the minimum wage in the city according to the following timeline:[1]

  • $12.25 per hour by May 1, 2015
  • $13 per hour by July 2016
  • $14 per hour by July 2017
  • $15 per hour by July 2018

The final rate of $15 per hour would result in a minimum salary of $31,000 per year for a full-time worker in the city.[1]

Without this measure, the minimum wage in the city would remain at $10.74 per hour.[1]

The Compromise

Urged by Mayor Ed Lee, the council-referred measure was put on the ballot as a compromise between a coalition of labor interests, the chamber of commerce and business interests. According to the compromise, the labor coalition dropped its efforts to put an initiative on the ballot that would have increased the minimum wage in a more expedited manner and, in return, the city agreed to both put this measure on the ballot and close the healthcare loophole summarized below.[1]

Union-backed initiative

If put on the ballot and approved, the Minimum Wage Act of 2014 initiative, which was designed by a coalition of groups that included the union SEIU Local 1021 and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, would have imposed phased increases to the minimum wage in the city for all workers, including part-time, temporary, contract and full-time employees. For companies employing less than 100 workers, the minimum wage would have increased to:[2]

  • $13 per hour by 2015
  • $14 per hour by 2016
  • $15 per hour by 2017

For companies with more than 100 workers, the minimum wage would have had to be raised to:[2]

  • $13 per hour by the end of 2014
  • $15 per hour by 2016

The abandoned measure also sought to establish an Employment Standards Oversight Committee responsible for ensuring the enforcement of the new minimum wage law. The seven-member committee would have consisted of four members appointed by the board of supervisors and three by the mayor.[2]

Healthcare loophole

The compromise agreed to by the SEIU Local 1021 and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, which motivated them to drop their initiative efforts, also dictated separate legislation to close a loophole that had allowed employers to reclaim tens of millions of unused dollars from the healthcare accounts of their employees.[3]

Support

Supporters

  • Mayor Ed Lee
  • SEIU Local 1021
  • The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment

Opposition

Opponents

Many of the hundreds of non-profits in the city, concerned they would not be able to afford the new wage increase, formed one of the first groups to express opposition to the measure. Many small businesses quickly followed suit. Many businesses, including popular companies like Books, Inc. and Cole Hardware, were eager to announce their opposition to the proposed $15 per hour minimum wage.[3]

Henry Karnilowicz, president of the San Francisco Council of District Merchant Associations, predicted the opposition from small businesses, saying, "Most small businesses in the city would oppose it. Thirteen (dollars an hour) they could tolerate, maybe, but more in the range of $11 or $12 an hour."[4]

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association is also opposed to both the council-approved measure and the union-backed initiative. The association estimated significant price hikes, hiring freezes and staff reduction would result from a minimum wage of $15 per hour. It also said some businesses would be forced to close. Gwyneth Borden, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said, "Restaurants would raise their prices. There's no other way to remediate out of it."[4]

Polls

The San Francisco Chronicle obtained a poll showing solid support for a minimum wage hike to $15 per hour among city voters:[4]

San Francisco $15 per hour Minimum Wage
Poll Support OpposeUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Poll on $15 per hour minimum wage in San Francisco
03/16/2014
59%36%5%+/-4.9400
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org


Path to the ballot

Early in 2014, a coalition of unions and labor activists began circulating an initiative designed to raise the San Francisco minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2017. Through a compromise with the city council and business interests, the coalition agreed to drop the initiative when the city council put this measure on the November ballot.[1]

Similar measures

Local

Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Washington D.C. Minimum Wage Initiative (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Seattle $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Increase Veto Referendum (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Seattle $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Initiative (November 2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of San Francisco Minimum Wage Act of 2014 Initiative (November 2014)
Approveda Philadelphia Minimum Wage Ordinance, Proposition 1 (May 2014)
Approveda City of Chicago $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Referendum (March 2014)
Approveda SeaTac "Good Jobs Initiative", Proposition 1 (November 2013)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of Richmond Minimum Wage Increase Ballot Question (November 2014)

Statewide

Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot California Minimum Wage Supplement for Home Health Workers (2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Idaho Minimum Wage Initiative (2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Massachusetts Minimum Wage Increase Initiative (2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Michigan Minimum Wage Initiative (2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Missouri Minimum Wage Initiative (2014)
Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot New Mexico Minimum Wage Amendment (2014)


Related measures

Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot City of San Francisco Minimum Wage Act of 2014 Initiative (November 2014)

See also

External links

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