By Sahid Fawaz
The $15 minimum wage movement has been gaining a lot of momentum recently.
And now Atlanta has joined in.
"On Wednesday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced the city will raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next two fiscal years. The move will initially start with an increase to $13 an hour in fiscal year 2018, which starts July 1.
The Atlanta City Council also approved four additional compensation actions as amendments to the $2.1 billion 2018 budget, which passed unanimously. Taken together, these five compensation actions affect one-third of the city’s workforce, all of whom will see a pay change effective July 1.
Atlanta's commitment to $15 per hour will impact another 10 percent of employees. Workers in all departments at grades 19 and above who make less than $150,000 per year will receive a three percent salary increase.
The city will also spend $2 million in general fund dollars to establish a three-tier payment structure for recruits and firefighters within the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, bringing the starting salary for recruits to $40,000 annually. The new funding structure affects 441 firefighters and recruits. The salary is set prior to including any credentials or educational incentives. This amendment was also adopted unanimously.
Finally, the Atlanta Police Department and Atlanta Fire Rescue will offer a $5,000 one-time bonus for new hires with prior military service and honorable discharge or continued active service through the reserves."
For more on this development, check out the full story here.