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Mayor Barrett Proposes a Living Wage of $15 per Hour for All City Employees

June 16, 2021

MILWAUKEE—Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has directed the City’s Department of Employee Relations to initiate an adjustment in the hourly wage of the City’s lowest paid employees. The department has begun the process of raising the lowest City wage to $15 per hour.

“Our employees should be paid a living wage. This is a matter of fairness and respect for all people who work in City government,” Mayor Barrett said. “There are several hundred employees who will see an increase in their pay if my proposal wins approval.”

Among the employees impacted by the change are some library circulation assistants, school crossing guards, temporary election workers, fire cadets, and police aides. The additional cost of the wage changes will be managed within this year’s City budget and included in the Mayor’s budget proposal for 2022.

The formal process for increasing the wages of people making less than $15 per hour includes a change in the City’s salary ordinance. That proposal will be submitted to the Common Council in the current legislative cycle with possible approval on July 7, 2021. The proposed effective date of the change would be September of this year.

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