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City Workers Want $15 Minimum Wage

The Florida Public Services Union is asking St. Petersburg to pay its workers a minimum of $15 an hour.

A union is asking St. Petersburg to pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour.
A union is asking St. Petersburg to pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

First it was fast-food workers, now government employees seem to be picking up the rallying cry for a $15 minimum wage. At least that’s the case in St. Petersburg where the Florida Public Services Union is challenging Mayor Rick Kriseman to enact a wage hike.

The request came as the city and union began routine bargaining talks on Friday, June 13, according to The Tampa Tribune. While union officials maintain $15 is a “living wage,” the city has only agreed to a 2 percent pay increase, the newspaper reports. An estimated 300 city workers, some of whom earn just over $9 an hour, would be affected if the union’s request were granted.

Union chief Rick Smith estimates it would cost city taxpayers about $1 million to cover an increase to $15, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

"Why aren't they embarrassed and apologetic about the fact that people work for the city and are in poverty,” the Times quoted Brian Brehm, a city water treatment plant employee, as asking.

At this point, city officials are sticking with the 2 percent offer, but say further bargaining is possible as talks continue in two weeks.

The cry for an increase in minimum wage has been a hot topic in recent years. The federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 an hour and was adopted in 2009. Florida’s minimum wage, however, comes in higher at $7.93. The city of Seattle recently adopted a $15 minimum wage, but that decision is now being challenged in court.

What are your thoughts on raising the minimum wage to $15? Tell us by commenting below!

DAVID VINCENT June 14, 2014 at 03:13 PM
Hey I believe they deservemore BUT where is the money going to come from? you can bet none of the cities executive staff will be willing to take a pay cut to help out so I guess it is you and I. You can't have a pay raise without a increase in the cost of services it is just basic math. Take it from a small business owner, I already run at a 10% profit margin other business run at 30% or more.
Joel Cottage June 14, 2014 at 04:14 PM
Sounds like more city jobs will be outsourced soon.
Harold Sultzbaugh June 15, 2014 at 05:04 PM
Harold Sultzbaugh This demand defies common sense. Some jobs and some employees are not worth it. Period!
Charles Harbold June 16, 2014 at 10:44 AM
15.00 an hour to stand next to their equipment on the raod that was supposed to be done and now is 4-5 years from being done. Boy, do they really care. I think that is what they are talking about when you see them in a big group.

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