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Peduto Pushes $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage For Companies That Want To Work With The City

Sarah Kovash
90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has introduced legislation to City Council that would require companies contracting with the city to pay their full time employees at least $15 an hour.

The bill applies to companies whose contracts with the city are worth $100,000 or more.

According to the city budget department, that will include consulting firms “hired to conduct reviews of functions such as IT and facilities, consultants who perform training services, consultants who we hire to implement new systems.”

Peduto said he doesn’t anticipate any resistance from Council on the issue.

“Certainly whenever we’re utilizing limited tax money, we want to be able to do it so that it provides that type of a wage to the lowest paid workers of any organization,” he said.

In November 2015, Peduto issued an executive order requiring that the city’s minimum wage for full-time employees increase to $15 an hour by 2021. Wage increases spelled out in that order began this year, and Peduto said it’s had a minimal effect on the city budget.

“But it’s already had an effect with our refuse workers, who were making below $13.75 [per hour] for the first eight years of their contract. So without even having to negotiate within their contract, they automatically got a bump,” he said.

Peduto said he’s hopeful that the moves will encourage other local employers to raise their minimum wages. Last year, UPMC pledged to raise its starting wage to $15 an hour by 2021.

Nationwide, workers have been pushing for a $15 an hour minimum wage, particularly for fast food and other low-wage jobs.

The bill has yet to be scheduled for discussion in Council.

This post was updated at 10:52am on Tuesday, Nov. 21 to reflect UPMC's timeline for raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour.