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Bay Area Minimum Wages Finally Rise

Fight for Fifteen dollars per hour minimum wage!

Yesterday Saturday September 2, San Francisco raised its minimum wage from $13 to $14/hour, now the highest in the United States, along with neighboring Emeryville. The cities remain the country’s minimum wage leaders, and have been leading ever since San Francisco voters approved raising wages from $8.50/hour in 2003, when California’s minimum wage was just $6.75/hour, to $10.55/hour in 2013. In the previous election, November 2012, San Francisco voters approved another wage hike, to $15/hour by 2018. At the same time, San Jose voters approved a much less ambitious wage increase to $10/hour, effective March 2013.

A slew of San Francisco Bay Area cities then joined the Fight for Fifteen, one by one deciding to bring their minimum wages to $15/hour by 2018 or 2019. California’s minimum wage won’t reach $15/hour until 2022 and not until 2023 for businesses with 25 or fewer workers. Berkeley’s minimum wage was $10/hour on October 1, 2014, and rose to $12.53/hour two years later. The city will reach $15/hour on October 1, 2018. Oakland voters approved $12.25/hour in starting in March 2015, rising to $12.86/hour on January 1, 2017. Oakland has still not approved a $15/hour minimum wage measure.

Mountain View led the way towards higher wages among South Bay cities, pledging to raise its minimum wage to $15/hour by January 1, 2018 back in November 2015 by City Council action. Sunnyvale followed suit in April 2016, while San Mateo, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Cupertino, and San Jose agreed to raise their minimum wages to $15/hour by January 1, 2019. Milpitas and Santa Clara then approved minimum wage hikes in 2017. The minimum wage is currently $11.10/hour in Santa Clara, $12.00/hour in Palo Alto, Los Altos, Cupertino, and San Jose, and $13/hour in Mountain View and Sunnyvale.