Wednesday Jolt: Potential Minimum Wage Compromise
City Council member Bruce Harrell says he expects the city's minimum-wage committee to adopt a "phased-in" $15 minimum—including a "phased-out" tip penalty.
City council member Bruce Harrell, one of three council members on Mayor Ed Murray's minimum-wage task force (the Income Inequality Advisory Committee), says he expects the group to come up with a compromise that will include so-called "total compensation" but phase it out over time.
Harrell says he expects the group (which, as we reported in Fizz this morning, has reportedly deadlocked over issues including "total compensation" or "tip credit") to come up with a compromise before Mayor Murray's threatened April 24 deadline to announce his own proposal.
The compromise Harrell predicts would include the (labor-reviled) "tip credit" and "total compensation" exemptions, allowing businesses to pay workers sub-minimum wages if those workers make a total of $15 an hour once tips and other benefits like health care are included, but would phase those credits out over time so that, eventually, all businesses would have to actually pay $15 an hour.
"The phased-in approach is getting some traction," Harrell says.
He adds that he expects the 15Now movement, which has filed its own ballot initiative and is planning a major rally on April 26, will "probably not" buy in to a phased-in approach, but says, "Maybe they will realize that it's a huge step toward getting the business community to realize that we [the IIAC] are for a $15 minimum wage."