CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Getting paid more for the work they do took a giant step forward in the city of Cleveland. Clerk of Council Pat Britt has notified "Raise Up Cleveland," that their petition drive was successful. The group supported by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), had enough valid signatures to start legislative proceedings to raise the minimum wage in Cleveland to $15.00 an hour.
SEIU delivered nearly 29,000 signatures to the Clerk on May 2. They only needed 5,000 registered voters seeking an ordinance from City Council that would raise the minimum wage, if passed, to $15 an hour, beginning Jan. 1, 2017.
The proposed ordinance would only raise the minimum wage in the city of Cleveland and not in any surrounding communities. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections verified 11,900 of the signatures.
Now, City Council, is required by the Charter, to introduce the proposed legislation at its next meeting, which will be 7 p.m. Monday, May 16.
SEIU also submitted to the Council Clerk an "itemized list of what it cost to gather the petitions. They paid 149 circulators more than $51,000 dollars to gather the petitions. SEIU spent thousands more on a specialized phone system, transportation, a staff lawyer and other union staff involved in the drive.
After introducing the proposed legislation tonight, Council will then refer it to its Workforce and Community Benefits Committee which will hold public hearings over the coming weeks on the issue.
City Council has the option of adopting the proposed legislation, rejecting it, or adopting it in a different form.
If the petitioners are not satisfied with Council's legislation they can require the original legislative proposal to be put to a vote of the public. Cleveland 19 News will be getting answers and talking to Clevelanders about raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
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