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November 05, 2003

SF Minimum Wage Win, Plus COLA

One nice bit of news (though not unexpected) was the decisive win for a citywide minimum wage of $8.50 per hour, almost two dollars per hour higher than the California minimum wage of $6.75, and over three dollars more than the federal minimum wage of $5.15.

And just about the same level as the federal minimum wage was back in 1968, when it was just about $8.50 per hour in 2003 inflation-adjusted dollars.

Inflation, that's the reason the minimum wage has sunk to such a low level, yet while Congressional pay, social security benefits, tax levels, and all sorts of other programs are indexed to inflation, the minimum wage is not.

Which is why it's a great thing that San Francisco is also indexing its wage to inflation, so it will increase to keep pace with the rising cost of living. A very few states like Oregon index their minimum wage rates to inflation, but raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation is the key to long term wage justice for lower-wage working folks.

Posted by Nathan at November 5, 2003 11:47 AM