Reporting Anna Duckworth
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SAN JOSE (KCBS)— The City of San Jose released a list of alternatives Tuesday to the upcoming ballot measure that calls for an immediate minimum wage increase from $8 to $10 an hour.
City Council is now getting involved and has come up with a plan to increase the wage gradually in order to give employers more time to prepare. Their concern is that the economy is not strong enough to make the sudden jump.
In looking for middle ground, City Council-member Sam Liccardo said he directed the City Manager’s office to come up with alternatives including a phase-in over several years and exemptions for very small businesses.
“I think the concern is what the impacts might be for very small businesses like the taqueria, the laundromat and other folks who are simply struggling in very difficult economic headwinds,” Liccardo said.
Aside from the phase-in, other possible alternatives include possible exemptions for very small businesses as well as an exemption for employees under 18 years old.
KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:
The initiative for the immediate wage increase was originally developed by students in a San Jose State University sociology class taught by Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton.
“Gas had gone up to almost $4 a gallon. Other basic essentials had gone up. Their tuition had gone up 141 percent in the past three years and they were just having a hard time making it. A lot of my students are workers,” Lipton said.
Other opponents to the proposal include a coalition of businesses called Save San Jose Jobs – Oppose Government Mandated Wage Hike.
But Liccardo said it’s unlikely the council will take action on the alternatives and that there’s little willingness to find middle ground. He added that it’s likely the voters will decide the issue through the existing initiative on November 6th.
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