After increasing the wages of the lowest paid workers for Alamo Colleges, COPS / Metro quickly turned its focus to wage increases for the lowest paid workers of Bexar County and the City of San Antonio. Thanks to COPS / Metro’s hard work, both entities are expected to vote in support of increasing the wages of their lowest paid workers to $13 / hour in early September. Leaders also expect that Bexar County Commissioners will vote to establish a wage floor of $9.50 / hour for contracted workers, boosting their bottom wage by $2.25 / hour.
In Austin, the local IAF organization helped form a Living Wage Stakeholder Group which recommended that the City of Austin increase their lowest wages to $13.03 / hour for adult full-time, part-time and temporary workers. Austin Interfaith leaders are urging the council to adopt this proposal; council will vote on the proposed increase in early September.
In El Paso, leaders of Border Interfaith and EPISO succeeded in getting El Paso County Commissioners to increase the wages of their lowest paid workers by 50 cents to $10 / hour. Commissioners have pledged to work with the organization to increase wages even higher over the next two years. The City of El Paso has followed suit, raising the wages of their lowest paid to $10.35 / hour.
In Dallas, Skill QUEST — the long-term job training program created by Dallas Area Interfaith — celebrated its 400th graduate. Leaders are working to expand the impact of Skill QUEST by leveraging additional public sector dollars into the job training program. Skill QUEST is one of six IAF labor market intermediaries working to train people out of poverty and into living wage careers.
[Photo Credit: Maria Luisa Cesar, Texas Observer]
Texas Cities Leading the Way on Living Wages, Texas Observer
Skill QUEST Curbs Dallas Poverty by Helping Workers Move Into New Careers, Dallas Morning News
Luckless at Capitol, Wage Advocates go Local, Texas Tribune