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City of San Antonio Proposes Raising Minimum Wage To $13 For City Employees

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
Elsa Caballero, President of SEUI Texas, leads protestors in a call for a $15 minimum wage

  The City of San Antonio will consider raising the minimum wage for city workers to $13 an hour, though protesters who gathered at City Hall Friday want it raised to $15 per hour.

About 20 people with the Service Employees International Union gathered on City Hall steps Friday afternoon, demanding the higher increase.  Even though the union doesn’t directly represent city workers, some of them appreciated the message.

“It’s high time that the city look at its workforce and not just pay attention to the federal minimum wage, but to look at what it costs to live here, to look at what people do for the city,” said Dexter Catmint, a supervisor for the San Antonio Library.  He manages 14 people, half of whom earn under $15 an hour.

“No one goes to work for the library to get rich, or for the city for that matter, unless you’re high up.”

City Manager Sheryl Scullery is expected to propose a wage increase to $13 per hour next week. In June, the city council asked the City Manager to see if increasing the minimum wage was a reality.

“It’s currently at $11.47,” said Jeff Coyle, Intergovernmental Relations Director for the city.

“The city manager has gone back, looked revenues, looked at the budget and is going to propose this Thursday an increase to $13.”

City council members would have to approve the increase as part of the budget.

Currently, 17% of the city’s 7,700 civilian employees make between $11.47 and $12.99 per hour and would see their hourly wage rise.  It would be the first time the City of San Antonio agreed to pay more than the federal governments wage recommendations for a family of four.

Based on budget projections, increasing the entry level wage to $13 per hour would cost $2.9 million a year.  A minimum wage of $15 per hour would cost $9.6 million.