City must lead by example in the fight against poverty
City of Racine – Today, Mayor Cory Mason is announcing that by the end of his first full term in 2023, the City will reach a $15 per hour minimum wage for all City employees. One of Mason’s top priorities for the city has been to combat poverty and he recognizes that the City must lead by example if he expects others to do the same.
The first step on the path to a $15 per hour minimum will be Wednesday night when the Common Council will vote on a proposal from the Mayor to increase the City’s minimum wage for part time employees to $10.10 per hour. The measure was recommended for approval by the full Common Council from the Finance and Personnel Committee last week Monday. After this initial step, the Mayor will include wage increases in his annual budget until the City reaches the $15 per hour target.
“Today, I am proud to announce that the City of Racine will pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour to city employees before the end of my first full term as Mayor,” said Mayor Mason. “I can’t, in good faith, say that one of my primary goals as Mayor is to reduce poverty if the City, as an employer, is in some cases still paying poverty wages.”
“If we really value the dignity of work, we have to pay our employees more than a poverty wage,” Mason continued. “Over the past year, I have been engaged with some of our partner organizations like the United Way and Higher Expectations for Racine County who are looking at issues around poverty, employment, and sustainable wages. We know that in Racine, a family of four, with two working adults and two school age children, that both adults must be making at least $15 per hour to sustain their family. And while we have started to see some increases in wages around the community, I believe the City must practice what we preach. I know this will make the City a more attractive place to work and enable us to better recruit and retain employees for open positions.”