St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced on Thursday steps the County is taking to improve pay for low-wage St. Louis County employees and move toward a $15 minimum wage by 2022.
Page said the County has begun the process of increasing wages for its lowest-wage workers by implementing a new minimum wage for all non-seasonal, full-time employees and contracted employees, raising all wages to at least $13-an-hour as soon as possible, with yearly increases to gradually raise the minimum wage for county employees to $15 by 2022.
The incremental approach will allow the County to identify other cost savings that can be implemented to offset the increased out-of-pocket cost for the higher minimum, Page said.
“St. Louis County employees remain the strongest asset we have as we work toward better government,” Page said. “As part of my promise to make government work better for everyone, it is my duty to ensure that the people we rely on every day are compensated fairly for their work.”
Employee salaries that are not considered part the low-wage category are also being evaluated.
Page said County directors will convene a working group to identify County employees who have not received raises in recent years from the proceeds of Proposition P or other sources, identify a fair raise for employees who have only received a nominal increase, and identify costs and possible funding mechanisms for the County to afford the increases.
The County announcement comes as negotiations for 2,100 SEIU Local 1 janitors entered the last scheduled day Thursday, with janitors voting to authorize a strike in the coming days if they are not able to reach a fair contract.
“I appreciate Dr. Page for standing with St. Louis County working families by putting County workers, including contracted ones like me, on a path to $15,” SEIU Local 1 CleanTech janitor Geraldine Spencer, who cleans the St. Louis County Government Center. “This will go a long way towards helping working families pay the bills and strengthening communities across the region. It’s a big step in the right direction.”