Syracuse Common Councilor Khalid Bey introduced a resolution Oct. 26 in support of Mayor Stephanie Miner’s decision to raise the minimum wage for city employees to $15 per hour Oct. 21.
“This increase for city workers is long overdue,” Bey, Fourth District Common Councilor, stated. “The fairly recently passed Living Wages Ordinance did not include city workers. This is an opportunity for the city to be the example, setting a new standard in the effort to help working families become more sustainable.”
Bey’s resolution would have no legal impact on the wage increase, but would mean city council is in support of Mayor Miner’s decision.
Last week, Miner announced she was raising the minimum wage for city employees from the state minimum, to $15 per hour.
“No hard-working city employee should struggle to make ends meet,” she said in a statement. “For their hard work, and public service, they deserve a living wage. I am pleased to have the support of our Councilors who seek to stand with the working men and women who make our city run.”
However, although most of the Councilors said they supported the new wage, three Councilors, Councilor-at-Large Kathleen Joy, as well as Councilors Jake Barrett and Jean Kessner, reportedly disagreed with the mayor’s method of implementing the increase.
As a result, the resolution, which needed six votes to pass at the council’s Oct. 26 meeting, failed in a 5-3 vote. Councilor Helen Hudson was not present at the meeting.
The Councilors who voted “no” to the resolution said they were not against the wage increase itself, just the city’s failure to acquire council approval.
Miner said she made the decision using authority granted under Section 5-205A (5) of the city charter.
The city’s new wage reportedly went into effect last week.