New York Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to expand the city’s living wage measure to include thousands of additional workers, as well as increase the amount workers are paid under the law, the New York Times reported on Monday.
De Blasio will sign an executive order on Tuesday to make the change, which his administration estimated could extend coverage to 18,000 workers over the next five years, the newspaper said on its website.
The living wage would go to $11.50 an hour from $10.30 for workers who receive benefits such as health insurance, and for those without benefits, it would rise to $13.13 an hour from $11.90 an hour, the paper said.
The planned action follows moves by several cities to raise wages for workers at the bottom of the pay scale.
Seattle approved a phased-in $15 overall minimum wage in June, while San Francisco residents will vote on a $15 minimum in November and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has pledged to bring the city’s minimum wage to $13.25 an hour by 2017.
During his campaign for mayor last year, de Blasio railed against economic inequality in America’s most populous city.
“We cannot continue to allow rampant and growing income inequality,” de Blasio told the paper. “Every tool counts. If we reach 18,000 families with this tool and get them to a decent standard of living, that’s a game-changer for those families.”
The mayor’s executive order would cover employees of commercial tenants in development projects that take in more than $1 million in city subsidies, the paper said.
The 18,000 workers who would be covered represent about 70 percent of all jobs at businesses that will get financial help from the city’s Economic Development Corporation, it added.
The city’s living wage law was passed in 2012, and officials told the newspaper that it applied to about 1,200 jobs.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, supports a plan to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from $8 now, and allow New York City and other areas to set it 30 percent higher.
If approved by the state legislature, the plan could allow de Blasio to match the minimum wage to the living wage.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)