Atlanta City Council to increase minimum wage to $13 an hour

Atlanta City Council is to increase its minimum wage for full-time city employees from $10.10 (£7.97) an hour to $13 (£10.26) an hour.

The increase in minimum wage, which will come into effect on 1 July 2017, will impact 360 full-time employees.

The minimum wage increase forms part of the city’s $648.6 million Fiscal Year 2018 General Fund Budget, which was approved by Atlanta City Council on 21 June 2017.

The council also approved a policy statement that committed to further increases to the minimum wage for city employees. The minimum wage will rise to $14 (£11.05) an hour from 1 July 2018, and $15 (£11.84) an hour from 1 July 2019.

Included in the pay increases is a new three-tier pay system for city firefighters, which is based on length of service. Effective from 1 July 2017, firefights with up to 10 years of service will earn base pay of $40,000 (£31,568), firefighters with between 11 and 15 years of service will be paid $43,428 (£34,273), and base pay for those with over 15 years of service will be $46,856 (£36,978).

City employees in pay grades 19 or above will also receive a 3% salary adjustment, excluding salaries of $150,000 (£118,380) or more. The minimum salary for a pay grade 19 position is $41,000 (£32,357) a year, depending on the individual’s education and skills.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 (£5.72) an hour, and Georgia’s minimum wage is $5.15 (£4.07) an hour.

Andre Dickens, Atlanta City Council member, said: “Through an enormous amount of hard work, we unanimously passed a budget that is highlighted by an increase in the minimum wage, and increase in wages for firefighters, and an increase in wages for most of our clerical and professional staff.

“I am proud that the City of Atlanta is continuing its rich history of being a model employer in our state. Atlanta employees deserve to be paid a living wage and today’s budget actions and amendments prove that the city will take care of the employees that take care of the people.

“I believe that the quality of services provided to its residents will be advanced because raising the wages reduces costly employee turnover, eliminates disruption in services, increases productivity and creates a more stable work environment.”