Our Minimum Wage Study Committee continues its work, convening each week to learn more about and discuss the potential effects of a wage ordinance in St. Paul.
Each week, we provide an update on the focus of the meetings, our process, and media surrounding this issue. Sign up to receive this weekly update in your inbox.
In this update:
- Saint Paul Minimum Wage Public Input & Discussion Sessions
- Minimum Wage Laws: A Brief History and Overview
- Our Scoping Project Report
- In the News
- Next Meeting
1. Saint Paul Minimum Wage Public Input & Discussion Sessions
A reminder that the City of Saint Paul is hosting a series of facilitated public meetings on a future citywide minimum wage increase. These city-led facilitated sessions will offer additional venues and formats for community members to not only provide input on the minimum wage in general, but also to contribute to the Citizens League Minimum Wage Phase 2 and Study Committee process.
City staff will gather information from this first session and it will be shared with the Citizens League Study Committee.
The meeting on Thursday, June 7 from 5:30-8:30 P.M. is at Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55130 (map).
The second city-led session is scheduled for Saturday, August 4 from 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. and the location will be announced at a later date.
2. Minimum Wage Laws: A Brief History and Overview
At last week’s study committee meeting, the committee heard from C. Snowden Stieber, J.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota Law School, and current Citizens League intern.
Mr. Stieber provided a bit of historical context surrounding the minimum wage in the U.S. and Minnesota.
Here are just a few of the historical facts presented:
- Minnesota Governor Floyd Olson signed an executive order in 1931, implementing a 45 cents per hour minimum wage. (In 2018 dollars, that is $11.39.) Minnesota did not address the minimum wage again until 1973.
- Minnesota has a tiered system of minimum wages, which, starting in 2018, are indexed to inflation:
- Large employers (gross sales over $500k): $9.65/hr
- Small employers: $7.87.hr
- Training wage: $7.87/hr
- Youth wage: $7.87/hr
- People who had attended or completed college made up 25% of minimum wage workers in 1979, but by 2011, they composed 43% of the same workforce.
3. Our Scoping Project Report
Prior to the convening of this study committee, the Citizens League was commissioned by the Saint Paul Foundation for a scoping project gathering community input on a possible minimum wage increase in St. Paul. At last week’s meeting, Citizens League Executive Director Pahoua Hoffman provided a summary of the report.
The report identified key questions, assessed data and research, and identified key stakeholders surrounding this potential effort. This exploratory phase was intended to gain an understanding of underlying opinions and concerns around a possible minimum wage increase in Saint Paul. As part of the scoping project, the Citizens League met with 227 individuals through interviews and listening sessions from November 2017 to early February 2018. Over 100 responses were also received through an anonymous online survey in addition to several emailed submissions.
It is upon this pre-work that the current study committee scope of work is built.
4. In the News
The following articles and online posts surrounding the minimum wage are not endorsed nor approved by the study committee. They are posted here and on our project page simply to provide context during the committee’s work.
- Alison Diffendal: Support a higher minimum wage irrespective of tips —Pioneer Press (Opinion), 5/31/2018
- Minimum Wage Study Committee: Week 4 Recap — Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce Blog, 6/5/2018
5. Next Meeting
The next meeting of the study committee is Thursday, June 7. All meetings are open to the public to observe. Click here for a full schedule.
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Your input on this issue will help inform committee discussions. Each week, there is a standing item on the agenda to report feedback from the community.
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