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NH News

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 visit collaborativenh.org. 

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