Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The Pittsburgh City Council has once again given preliminary approval to a bill that would force employers to pay workers a prevailing wage at future city-backed developments. The heavily amended bill requires pay equal to or greater than the median wage in the city for hotel, janitorial, cafeteria and grocery workers in buildings that get $100,000 or more in subsidies from the city. If passed and signed by the mayor the law would also pertain to money spent by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The City Law Department says council cannot implement that type of a control over an independent body such as the URA but council ignored that advice. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl vetoed similar legislation with just hours remaining in 2009 and council could not gather enough members to override the veto. It was reintroduced at Council’s first legislative meeting this year. A final vote on the bill is expected Tuesday. Council is also considering a bill that would call for a “Living Wage” to be paid to the same group of workers. That number comes in somewhere around $11.50 an hour.