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All City of Racine employees to get $15 minimum wage, medical leave under new proposals

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RACINE — Mayor Cory Mason said he is fulfilling a promise he made in his first year as mayor: to raise minimum wage for all city employees to $15 per hour, including part-time and seasonal workers.

“As mayor, I cannot talk about the need to increase the wages and the economic mobility of our residents if as a city, as an employer, we are still a poverty-wage employer,” he said during his budget virtual address. “Next year, we can proudly say we are no longer a poverty wage employer. I encourage all employers — public and private — to do the same.”

According to the the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Living Wage Calculator, living wage in Racine is $13.68 per hour for a single adult with no children and $30.35 for a single parent with one child.

Paid medical leave

Under current City of Racine rules, public employees need to use their paid time off — such as vacation days and sick time — or give up pay if they need to take off for medical events such as having a child or taking care of a sick loved one or recovering from a surgery.

In 2022, that is to change.

Meghan Markle has penned an open letter to members of the U.S. Congress advocating for a comprehensive paid leave program for newly turned parents. Veuer’s Chloe Hurst has the story!

Mayor Cory Mason

Mason

“Someone who just had a baby and really wants to take eight weeks off, but doesn’t have eight weeks of paid leave and cannot afford to go weeks without a paycheck, that (city) employee currently has no option besides unpaid leave (under Racine’s current rules). This short-term disability benefit (proposed to begin in 2022) will be employer-funded and should make our staff more financially secure when they have a child, need to recover from surgery, care for an ailing parent or other qualifying life event,” Mason said.

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