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Jersey City Becomes First NJ City to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 for Municipal Workers

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JERSEY CITY - Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced on Feb. 29 that Jersey City would become the first city in New Jersey to raise the minimum wage to $15 for municipal workers, with more than 500 city employees receiving an increase in their take-home pay. The move, accomplished by Executive Order and reflected in the administration’s tax-neutral budget introduced last week, will take effect immediately. 

 

“Last November I stood with the brave organizers of the Fight for $15 right here in Jersey City and spoke about how important it was that we bring relief to New Jersey’s working families. After months of planning, I am proud to say that today we’re actually following through on that commitment,” said Mayor Fulop. “Not only is this the right thing for Jersey City, but it’s my hope that our actions today will help move Trenton towards providing all New Jerseyans a living wage.” 

The Executive Order, signed by the Mayor earlier today, raises the wage of all adult, full-time Jersey City employees to a minimum of $15 an hour. Summer internships for youth under 18 years of age will continue to pay $9 an hour. 

New Jersey’s minimum wage was raised by a ballot initiative in 2013 to $8.25 and indexed to inflation. However, it continues to fall short of what experts estimate New Jersey residents need to afford the cost of living. According to a report by the United Way of Northern New Jersey, a single New Jerseyan without children would need to earn $13.78 an hour to afford basic necessities such as food and shelter, and $19.73 to achieve simple economic stability.

The move by Jersey City is the first such move by any municipality or state government agency in New Jersey.  New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York recently announced their own plans to increase the minimum wage for New York City and State employees to $15 an hour to be phased in over a period of years, however, Jersey City’s increase was included in the 2016 budget and will take effect immediately. 

Last October, Mayor Fulop joined Mayor Baraka of Newark and other officials from around the state in support of a $15 wage for thousands of janitors statewide. In November, the Fight for $15 campaign came to Jersey City to hold a press conference in City Hall announcing further support. Today’s announcement, done at no additional cost to taxpayers, is the culmination of months of planning since then. - Jennifer Morrill, Press Secretary for Mayor Steven M. Fulop

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