An initiative proposing a Cleveland-only 85% minimum wage increase was brought forward months ago, which would have phased in a $15-an-hour minimum wage (starting with $12 an hour in January 2018) in Cleveland while the rest of the state remained at $8.15. WIRE-Net, The Greater Cleveland Partnership, Mayor Frank Jackson, Council President Kevin Kelley and others opposed this misguided local minimum wage ballot issue because it would place the City of Cleveland at a disadvantage, hinder job creation, business growth, and the overall momentum the city is now experiencing.
First, we’ve got a Columbus based, union-backed group stirring up Cleveland residents to press for a Cleveland-only 85% increase in the minimum wage (which is currently set under Ohio law at $8.10/hour). A noble objective, no doubt, to raise the minimum wage – but for Cleveland only? There is still significant wrangling underway in Ohio courts about when this might appear on the ballot (and if it is even constitutional for cities to set their own minimum wage), but it seems very likely that it will be on the ballot within a few months, if not in November.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently published an editorial concerning the proposed Cleveland-only 85% increase in the City’s minimum wage.
The editorial pointed out several flaws in the approach being proposed. WIRE-Net’s survey of its Cleveland-based manufacturing stakeholders indicates that the proposal would push jobs and investment out of Cleveland.
For the last 30 years, my work has focused on working with Cleveland based manufacturers and helping them compete, invest, grow and add jobs in the city.