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L.A. city unions seek $15 minimum wage for workers and contractors

Laws and LegislationEric GarcettiUnions
Coalition of city unions wants $15-per-hour minimum for workers employed by L.A. and its contractors
L.A. city unions seek $15 hourly minimum for city workers and contractors

A coalition of city labor unions says it wants Los Angeles to increase the minimum wage for city workers and those employed by city contractors to at least $15 an hour.

Currently, Los Angeles has a living wage ordinance that requires that city contractors pay at least $12.28 per hour without health benefits, or slightly less with health benefits, according to its Bureau of Contract Administration website.

The Coalition of LA City Unions, which includes unions representing more than half of city workers, wants to raise that minimum to $15, Chairwoman Cheryl Parisi said Tuesday. It also wants to set the same bar for city employees.

"We still have workers in our bargaining unit who are paid less than $15," Parisi said. She was unsure Tuesday how many city workers would benefit from the suggested minimum wage.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana could not be reached for comment on the financial effects the change could have on the city. Aides to City Council President Herb Wesson and Mayor Eric Garcetti did not immediately provide comment on the unions' proposal.

City labor agreements expired this week. Garcetti said Monday that negotiations on new contracts with the unions in the coalition were “just at their starting point.” The budget approved by Garcetti and the City Council for this fiscal year assumed that workers would get no salary increases.

Besides the $15 minimum, the coalition also wants to curb outsourcing of city work and ensure that part-time workers are assigned enough hours to qualify for health benefits. 

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