Pay Increase for Philadelphia Workers

May 7, 2014 -- Partnership for Working Families

Partnership affiliate POWER enjoyed a concrete victory yesterday when Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter used his executive power to give subcontracted Philadelphia workers a well-deserved and long overdue pay increase. While flanked by Mayor Nutter at City Hall, Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr made the bold declaration that the "local movement to push progressive economic policy is being led by SEIU 32BJ, POWER, and Fight for Philly.”

The executive order extends the City’s current 21st Century Minimum Wage law to subcontractors of City-subsidized projects. It will benefit thousands of workers by creating a wage floor of $10.88/hour and providing healthcare and paid sick leave - key goals of POWER’s economic justice work since 2011. 

Further, the order ties wages for both City contractors and subcontractors to inflation, with a guarantee they will increase to $12/hour for contracts starting in 2015.

POWER’s campaign, which began by focusing on jobs at Philadelphia International Airport three years ago, has led to a concrete victory. To ensure that these gains reach all subcontracted workers and remain permanently part of the City Charter, Ballot Measure #1 must pass on May 20th.

Here's why passing #YesOnONE matters so much:

  • This Mayor or a future mayor could revoke an Executive Order at any time, whereas a Charter change is permanent.
  • An Executive Order is monitored by the Administration alone, whereas a Charter change can be enforced by City Council.
  • The Executive Order is limited to one tier of subcontractors, whereas the Charter change would ensure all contracting levels are covered.

POWER and their allies will continue working the phones, knocking on doors, and getting a huge turnout at the polls on May 20th.