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Commissioners consider raising minimum wage for city employees

Posted at 11:41 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 23:41:02-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — As Tallahassee works to overcome the effects of the pandemic, Commissioners want to make sure City employees have the wages they need to make ends meet.

And while some like City Manager Reese Goad suggest only raising pay a little at a time, Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox says she’d rather see the wage increase happen all at once, and sooner rather than later.

"I want to see what it looks like to go ahead and go to $15 an hour . It passed last November. I think we should pay people for the work that they do," said Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox. "Other companies have already gone there, Costco Amazon, Bank of America, and a Number of other companies have already done that so I thought it would be prudent for us to go ahead and take a look."

ABC27 asked a Florida State University economist about how the wages stack up historically.

“$15 an hour is actually still less than what the minimum wage was in 1968 after you adjust for inflation," says Florida State University Professor of Economics Patrick Leon Mason. "And it still doesn’t bring workers up to where they would be had the wages kept pace with productivity growth.”

Cox says, as long as it doesn’t break the budget, employee rentention is key to keeping the city running smoothly for everyone living here.

"We should be able to lead the way and show others how this can be done so that we can boost the economy in our community, and the city of Tallahassee for our residents as well as for our employees," said Cox.

Commissioners will revisit the wage increase in their July meeting.