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Cape Council supports upping minimum wage for city employees

Proposal to set rate at $15 per hour, possibly to be retroactive to April, to come back for a vote

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | May 26, 2023

Cape Coral City Council on Wednesday supported a 4.2 percent increase to bring the minimum wage for city workers up to $15.

The proposal now will be brought back at a voting meeting as a resolution.

Council was given four scenarios for the minimum wage discussion, which included $15 as the minimum wage, a 4.2 percent increase; $15.11, a 5 percent increase; $16, a 11.2 percent increase; and $17, an 18.1 percent increase.

Interim City Manager Michael Ilczyszyn said in looking at all the data and where they are at with speaking to his staff, Human Resources and Finance, the $15 an hour minimum wage could be implemented on July 1, the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year.

That would equate to $712,074 for the General Union, $205,389 for non-bargaining with a total of $917,462 for the total general and non-bargaining employees.

Ilczyszyn said his understanding is that labor and management have already met to start identifying positions and the cities for the scope of work and contract for a wage study.

“We need to get that issued this month in order to have it prepared for October,” he said, adding that the step they are recommending is bringing all employees up to $15 minimum wage. “The intent is to look at the entire compensation package we have for all employees as well as the market data because that is where we are competing for employees. We will utilize that data for negotiations in the next contract and another series of raises.”

Council asked to have two resolutions brought back with a retro pay set at April 1, as well as starting the 4.2 percent increase on July 1, as there was no consensus of which to choose during Wednesday’s workshop meeting.

Councilmember Bill Steinke was in favor of the retro pay, as there has been no cost of living adjustments involved with a pretty large inflation.

“In many salary situations, cost of living adjustments are built in. I am recommending we go back to April to make up for the lack of net for discretionary income,” he said.