Thursday, July 30, 2015

Nutter to sign minimum wage executive order

Mayor Nutter is expected to sign an Executive Order on Tuesday that will raise the minimum wage requirement in city contracts and subcontracts, according to emails sent to City Council members.

Nutter to sign minimum wage executive order

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Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter speaks during a signing ceremony, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at City Hall in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke/File)
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter speaks during a signing ceremony, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at City Hall in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke/File)

Mayor Nutter is expected to sign an Executive Order on Tuesday that will raise the minimum wage requirement in city contracts and subcontracts, according to emails sent to City Council members.

The mayor’s official schedule only cites that at 2 p.m. Nutter will sign an Executive Order and offer remarks. Nutter’s spokesman Mark McDonald would not confirm Monday that the mayor’s new Executive Order is related to the minimum wage issue.

But the following e-mail was sent to City Council members:

 “Dear Member of City Council: 

Mayor Michael A. Nutter invites you to attend a public Executive Order signing tomorrow, May 6th at 2:00 PM in the Mayor's Reception Room in City Hall. 

The Executive Order will raise the minimum wage required in City contracts and subcontracts, and implement annual adjustments for inflation.  The Executive Order will also direct contracting departments and other agencies to implement the requirements as to subcontractors, consistent with recent legislative actions. 

The Mayor would welcome your attendance.”

The invitation did not list the minimum wage amount and at least one council member said Monday that she had not yet seen a copy of the order.

The signing would come exactly two weeks prior to the May 20 primary election, which will feature a minimum wage ballot question.

Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. sponsored a bill to put a charter-change amendment on the May primary ballot, allowing Philadelphia voters to decide whether the city’s living wage standard should extend to subcontractors, including airport workers, to $10.88 an hour. Airport workers earn an average of $7.85 an hour.

The "living wage" standards currently apply only to companies with direct city contracts. A city Law Department ruling last year said the charter does not give Council the authority to force the standard on subcontractors.

The standard requires city contractors to pay their employees $10.88 an hour, or 150 percent of the federal minimum wage.

President Obama has been pushing for a $10.10 federal minimum wage but has failed to win the backing of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. There is also a more progressive movement in some major cities, including Philadelphia, under the umbrella of 15Now who are pushing for a $15 an hour minimum wage.

Click herefor Philly.com's politics page.

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