COPS/Metro Leads the Way for Higher Wages in Texas

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COPS/Metro Alliance and sister organizations are at the forefront of fights for living wages in San Antonio, Austin, El Paso and Dallas.

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.  Both entities are expected to vote in support of increasing the wages of their lowest paid workers to $13 / hour in early September. 

“It was because of our concerted effort, said Mr. Robert Cruz of St. Leo the Great. "We’ve communicated with all the council members, and I think Mayor Taylor saw that the budget would sustain the rate increase. Everything came together. We’ve been very methodical, we’ve been very patient and we’ve been very persistent.”

“The public sector should lead the way,” said Esmeralda Rodriguez of St. Timothy Catholic Church at a recent press conference on the steps of City Hall. “Where we spend our money says a lot about our values, so the City budget is a moral document.” Council members Ray Lopez (D6), Shirley Gonzales (D5), Cris Medina (D7), and Alan Warrick II (D2), joined COPS/Metro leaders to support phasing in a $15 per hour minimum wage within the next few years.

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.  “I have stopped numerous people who work for a contractor in our building doing maintenance work, and cleaning, and I can tell you that several of them are making $7.50 an hour,” Judge Wolff said. “We will tell our contractors that their game is going to change.” 

San Antonio Poised to Increase Wages for Some WorkersSan Antonio Express-News
Texas Cities Leading the Way on Living WagesTexas Observer
Luckless at Capitol, Wage Advocates go LocalTexas Tribune

Additional Background


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