CITY OF PHOENIX — In April of this year, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and City Council voted to increase the minimum wage for all full-time city employees to $15 per hour, $4 more than the statewide minimum wage. About 150 employees qualified for this wage increase which went into effect in May this year. Today, council voted to extend that $15 minimum wage to all year-round part-time city employees as well. There are roughly 500 city employees who will qualify for this pay raise. The majority of these employees work in the city’s libraries and parks department.
“Parks and libraries form the very backbone of our community. The city employees who will benefit from this wage increase are the same people who reshelf books in our 17 city libraries and are the caretakers of our children in our parks’ after-school programs,” said Mayor Kate Gallego. “Today’s vote to extend the $15 minimum wage to part-time city employees is an important investment in the people who help our community thrive.”
“This change will positively affect staff who facilitate activities in community and recreation centers, teach in the Phoenix Afterschool Center (PAC) program and work in customer service at golf courses,” Parks and Recreation Director Inger Erickson said. “The role these staff members play is critical to the department goal of making Phoenix a better place to live, visit, and play. Ensuring they earn a livable rate of pay enables the department to maintain a talented and passionate staff.” This investment comes at a critical time as Phoenix is now the number one city in the nation for the number of park acres contained within city limits.
The city’s libraries have also had a banner year with the reinstatement of Sunday hours at library branches and the recent implementation of the All Fines Forgiven program. “It takes so many caring people to make certain our libraries are accessible resource centers for the entire community,” said City Librarian, Rita Hamilton. “With today’s wage increase we convey just how thankful we are to the many part-time employees who help make our libraries successful.”
The wage increase for year-round part-time city employees should be in place by the end of the year.