By Tim Ryan

BERKELEY (KCBS) – How does a nearly 30% wage hike sound to you? It could become a reality for thousands of minimum wage workers in Berkeley.

Mayor Tom Bates is hopeful that Berkeley will match San Francisco’s minimum wage, which stands at $10.55 per hour. San Jose recently raised its minimum wage to $10 per hour. Currently, minimum wage in Berkeley is $8.00 per hour.

“It’s important to get some money in people’s hands,” Bates said in favor of the proposed hike. “If we’re ever going to get this recovery of the economy people have got to spend money. And they’ve got to have money to spend and if people are working hard every day, they deserve to get a bump or raise.”

“That seems like a significant bump in the minimum wage,” said one Berkeley cafe owner, worried about the effect on his bottom line. “I mean, we pay above minimum wage here.”

On Tuesday, the Berkeley City Council was expected to vote to refer the issue to the city’s Labor Commission for further research and draft of a formal proposal, which would ultimately be returned to the City Council for a vote.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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