10/21/2014

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Seattle mayor: No deal yet for $15 minimum wage plan

Seattle mayor: No deal yet for $15 minimum wage plan
SEATTLE (AP) - Business and labor interests have not been able to reach an agreement on raising Seattle's minimum wage, Mayor Ed Murray said Thursday.

The mayor's office had scheduled a news conference Thursday to announce his proposal for raising the minimum wage, but Murray said his advisory group did not come up with a plan to present to him. The advisory group of business, labor, nonprofit and other representatives was formed in December.

"We're stuck at the moment," Murray told reporters.

Murray said he's hopeful there will be a $15 minimum wage in the city, and talks are continuing.

Murray, who made a campaign promise in last year's election to raise the minimum hourly wage in the Northwest's largest city to $15, faces a slew of options. Businesses are pushing for a phase-in, with credits for tips and health care benefits, while other groups are pushing for an immediate wage hike on big employers and a limited phase-in for small and midsize businesses.

A group called 15 Now has filed a city charter amendment measure that it plans to run if Murray and the City Council's proposal has too many exemptions.

Murray offered few details of the ongoing negotiations of his advisory committee, but he said that all sides had agreed to phase in any minimum wage increases. Washington state already has the nation's high minimum wage at $9.32 an hour.

If his advisory group fails to reach broad consensus on a proposal, Murray said he would present his own plan to the City Council.
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