Tuesday morning, leaders from COPS and the Metro Alliance were joined by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff on the steps of the Bexar County Courthouse in support of a three part strategy proposed by COPS/Metro to raise wages for the lowest paid workers in the county, as well as those working for county contractors. Later in the morning, COPS/Metro leaders formally presented the strategy to the commissioners.
At 10:30 AM during the County Commissioners meeting, COPS/Metro leaders asked the Commissioners to raise wages for the lowest paid county workers from the current floor of $11.67 an hour to $14.91 over a three year period. They also asked Commissioners to put the wages of people employed by county contractors on par with the current county living wage. The third strategy laid out by leaders was to close a tax loophole to require that all businesses applying for tax incentives of any kind abide by the current Economic Development guidelines regarding wage floors.
After hearing the presentation, Judge Wolff spoke favorably to all three pieces of the strategy. He directed the County Manager to research how to implement a plan that would raise the current minimum wage from $11.67 an hour to $13 an hour by next year. The County Manager will work with COPS/Metro leaders on an initial plan to be presented at Commissioner’s Court in early January 2015.
COPS/Metro leaders hope the County's willingness to look into the issue will encourage other employers, including the City of San Antonio, the Alamo Colleges, school boards and hospital district to consider raising wages.