There are two big competing plans for raising Oakland’s minimum wage. One plan from the Chamber of Commerce is slow and full of exceptions. The other, a ballot initiative from union and community coalition “Lift Up Oakland” is for a $12.25 minimum for everybody. Oakland workers need Lift Up Oakland’s proposal because we can’t wait years for a raise and can’t leave anyone behind making poverty wages.
Let’s stop the Chamber of Commerce’s countermeasure.
6:00 PM City Hall Tuesday July 29th. Tell all your friends.
Oakland needs a raise NOW!
We can’t survive on 8.25!
No more poverty wages and gentrification!
Wages delayed are wages denied!
City Council: Don’t raise your wage while you keep ours low!
Some background on the Oakland minimum wage:
Why Oakland needs a raise: Oakland is gentrifying at an astonishing pace. According to the East Bay Express purchase prices for Oakland homes jumped by 64% from 2012 to 2013. Workers need money to pay for food and rent. Workers need a decent wage for a decent life. If the lowest paid worker in Oakland makes $9 it drags the wages of other workers down. Workers can’t pay rent and groceries with money from raises that come years later.
What raise?: Let’s be real, 12.25 an hour is barely enough to survive in the Bay Area. If you adjusted the 1960’s minimum wage based on worker productivity today’s wage would be over 20 dollars. Seattle and San Francisco are on track to get 15 an hour in the next few years. One Oakland mayoral candidate, Dan Siegel is for an immediate 15 an hour minimum wage. It is utterly outrageous that some on City Council are considering slowing down the 12.25 raise. If this weren’t bad enough, the same council member planning to delay our raise is planning to raise her own on the same day.
The Good: There is chance to win a 12.25 per hour minimum wage on the Ballot for Oakland in November. 33,000 people signed a petition put forward by the “Lift Up Oakland” coalition to raise the minimum wage to 12.25 next year. This would be a 3.25 raise over next year’s 9 dollar California minimum wage. It includes 5-10 paid sick days for all workers.
The Bad: The Oakland Chamber of Commerce and their allies on the city council are now scheming to pass a confusing countermeasure. Because Lift Up Oakland’s proposal is wildly popular they crafted a measure that on paper sets a higher dollar amount but takes 3-5 years to come into effect. The measure includes many exceptions.
(1) Taking into account paid sick time, by time it comes into effect the plan by the Chamber of Commerce measure’s wage will have a wage that is the same or worse than Lift Up Oakland’s wage.
(2) Because of the delays and exemptions the chamber’s measure will cost (by a low estimate) 300 Million dollars in lost wages for workers over 5 years compared to Lift Up Oakland’s measure.
(3) The Chamber of Commerce’s measure does not include tipped workers who would remain at 9$, nor does it include homecare workers, or those in youth training programs.
What their side is doing: There are two council members who have come out publicly for the Chamber of Commerce’s Countermeasure. Pat Kernighan and Lynette McElhaney. These politicians are planning to pass the measure outright as an ordinance. They are trying to get other council members to back the chamber of commerce’s measure. They are hoping that by passing the worse measure they will be able to confuse voters into not voting for Lift Up Oakland’s measure.
What can we do: We have to mobilize to stop them from taking that 300 million from our pockets through a deceitful countermeasure. The chamber of commerce, anti-worker council members and the gentrifying developers have one vision for Oakland. We have a different vision and we can win our vision if we fight for it. Spread the word, call and email, invite your friends and neighbors, let’s tell them that Oakland needs a raise NOW!