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Manchester aldermen approve $15 an hour minimum wage for full-time city employees

Two people seated in City Hall chambers hold posters with "$15" written on them
Andrew Sylvia
Manchester Ink Link
Activists on Tuesday night spoke out in favor of a $15 an hour minimum wage for city employees.

The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday approved a $15 an hour minimum wage for all full-time city employees.

Currently, only five full-time city employees earn less than $15 an hour: a customer service representative, a library clerk, two office assistants and a parking maintenance worker. Combined, these five employees’ salaries range from $13.61 an hour to $14.86 an hour, with a total of $9,019.36 required to raise their pay to $15 an hour over the next 52 weeks.

The five employees will now not see previously expected step-related wage raises until they reach the point where they would have hit over $15 an hour. Additionally, the Yager Decker scale, which dictates recommended salary and cost of living steps for city employees, will require reclassification until $15 an hour becomes the new baseline step.

Proposed by Ward 3 Alderman Pat Long, the original proposal would have lifted all city employees above $15 an hour, with the estimated cost of putting the 142 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees below $15 an hour up to that level costing the city $173,364.40.

Long’s resolution cited a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that found an adult with a child would require an hourly income of $30.40 to rise out of poverty levels in Hillsborough County and that it would take 106 hours of work per week at federal minimum wage levels to afford the average one-bedroom apartment found in Manchester.

Tuesday’s resolution passage does not affect Manchester School Department employees such as many paraprofessional educators that currently make under $15 an hour. That change is under the purview of the Manchester Board of School Committee.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information 

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