Nutter ‘couldn’t wait’ on city contractor’s living wage increase

POWER Executive Director Bishop Dwayne D. Royster spoke after a press conference on Tuesday where Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order to mandate a living wage for city contractors and subcontractors. Credit: Charles Mostoller.
POWER Executive Director Bishop Dwayne D. Royster spoke after a press conference on Tuesday where Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order to mandate a living wage for city contractors and subcontractors. Credit: Charles Mostoller.

The living wage gained new life Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order that will raise the city’s minimum wage for city contractors and subcontractors starting in 2015.

The order calls for companies with city contracts to bump their workers pay from $10.88 per hour to $12 per hour starting on Jan, 1, 2015.

The order also calls for those contractors to pay the top-level subcontractors $10.88 per hour, starting in two weeks. And on Jan. 1, 2015, the subcontractor pay will also rise to the new minimum wage of $12 per hour.

“No person who works for the city or on a city contract should live in poverty either, and we must create ladders of opportunity,” Nutter said.

It was not immediately clear how many workers would see the increase in pay.

This order coincides with an amendment to the Philadelphia City Charter, spearheaded by minimum wage advocate City Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr., which would provide a permanent minimum wage as well as health benefits for subcontractors, including the much-maligned and outspoken airport workers. The airport workers currently work for an average of $7.85 per hour. This amendment is framed as a ballot question on the May 20 primary election.

Dwayne Royster, executive director of POWER, called the order “commendable,” but “it is not a replacement for ballot question #1 which will appear on the May 20 ballot and would, in essence, make this executive order permanent.”

“We don’t want to be the poorest big city in the nation anymore,” Royster said.

There have been several calls for a statewide raise to the minimum wage to no avail. The state minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 an hour.

President Barack Obama has pushed for the federal government to set the minimum wage as opposed to the individual states, but his plan has yet to win support from Congress.

“While I still hope that there will be movement at the federal level on the minimum wage, I couldn’t wait,” Nutter said.

Dawn Rivera. Credit: Charles Mostoller.
Dawn Rivera. Credit: Charles Mostoller.

“I was very nervous about when and how much, but I’m just very relieved because it’s been a battle. I felt like I was going up ]hill for a long time, like I was never going to come on down the side of the hill, but it’s some light at the end of the tunnel.”

Dawn Rivera, airport worker.

Michael Burrell Jr. Credit: Charles Mostoller.
Michael Burrell Jr. Credit: Charles Mostoller.

“I’ve only been with 32BJ for, like, roughly two, three weeks now, so all of this has been on the roll, and it’s just, I know things don’t normally work this fast … but I know there is a lot more ground work for us to do.”

Michael Burrell Jr.

_____________________

Follow Tommy Rowan on Twitter: @tommyrowan

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.

Local

Report: Rich New Yorkers don't move from NYC…

An Independent Budget Office analysis found that the wealthiest residents don't move out of the city any more or less than other New Yorkers.

National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Food truck with a mission hires at-risk New…

A group branding itself as food trucks for social justice specifically hires and trains young men and women with troubled pasts.

Entertainment

'Bachelorette' recap: Episode 10, 'Men Tell All'

Why does the #MenTellAll episode exist? Because they don’t, and it shouldn’t. Is it a lazy vehicle to sell more ad space? Is it to…

Television

Olivia Williams explains the ins and outs of…

Olivia Williams plays a botanist beginning to suspect her physicist husband's work on the Manhattan Project might be ominous in WGN America's "Manhattan."

Movies

Scarlett Johansson on 'Lucy':' 'I guess I’m the…

Scarlett Johansson continues her foray into action movies with thriller “Lucy”, admitting it’s been an unexpected adventure.

Movies

Review: Liking Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'…

Woody Allen's latest, "Magic in the Moonlight," concerns a magician (Colin Firth) trying to debunk an alleged psychic (Emma Stone).

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

Parenting

Buy gently worn back-to-school clothes with Kidizen

Kidizen allows parents to buy and sell gently worn back-to-school clothes.

Wellbeing

Ruling could be beginning of the end for…

This morning, a federal appeals court threw out an IRS regulation that implements subsidies for low-income Americans who bought insurance through Obamacare. These Affordable Care…

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…