Mayor Proposes Legislation to Increase the Minimum Wage For City Workers and Contractors

PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Kenney today announced legislation that would raise the minimum wage for City workers and employees of City contractors to $15 an hour over four years.

If approved by the full Council, it would raise the minimum wage governing employees of contractors and subcontractors, as well as City workers, from the current rate of $12.20 an hour, under the following schedule:

  • $13.25 / hour as of July 1, 2019
  • $13.75 / hour as of July 1, 2020
  • $14.25 / hour as of July 1, 2021
  • $15.00 / hour as of July 1, 2022

The measure amends Chapter 17-1300 of the Philadelphia Code, titled “Philadelphia 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Standard.”  If approved, the change will apply to new and renewed City contracts.

“Poverty works its way into households in insidious, subtle ways — including when residents discover that their hard-earned dollar buys less,” said Mayor Kenney. “This legislation demonstrates the commitment my Administration has to finding solutions to pervasive poverty, a commitment that I believe all employers should replicate.”

The bill will be introduced in City Council tomorrow, September 27, by 1st District Councilman Mark Squilla. “With household incomes dropping, I’ve seen first hand the struggles of many Philadelphians — in my district and across the city,” said Squilla. “I’m proud to sponsor a measure that will boost the opportunities and dreams of many of those caught in such a struggle.  I look forward to working with my colleagues on Council to advance this legislation.”

“I applaud the Mayor and Councilman Squilla for continuing the fight for equitable wages,” said Rev. Greg Holston, Executive Director of POWER: Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild. “This legislation is a significant effort toward improving the economic opportunities of hard-working Philadelphians, and sends a strong signal to the private sector and to the State to follow suit.”

Enforcement of the “Philadelphia 21st Century Minimum Wage and Benefits Standard” is overseen by the Mayor’s Office of Labor.  “I look forward to a day when cities and states don’t need to prod employers to pay living wages,” said Deputy Mayor for Labor Rich Lazer. “But until that day comes, it is clear that the City of Philadelphia can lead by example, and this legislation does that.”

The bill also changes the requirements for employers to qualify for a job creation tax credit to be consistent with the higher wage standard.  Copies of the legislation are available on request.