As a union, we have always stood up for a more just and equitable society. Every improvement we win, whether it’s for our families or for other families, makes Washington state a better place to live.
That’s why I’m thrilled to share the news that today Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murray is signing a landmark ordinance that will bring Seattle to a $15/hour minimum wage.
The road to this win has been surprisingly short. Since brave fast food workers risked everything by walking off the job just a year ago, the campaign for $15 has been gaining volume and momentum. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members at Northwest Hospital, the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), Swedish-Providence and others marched, spoke out at hearings, called city council, and made our voices heard for $15. Just last month, members at Lifelong bargained a contract that brought everyone there up to $15 immediately and we continue to put a $15/hour minimum on the bargaining table at chapters across the state. We stand together with restaurant, retail, and other workers who believe that it’s time to take bold steps to address income inequality.
While the new $15/hour minimum applies only in Seattle, the impact will ripple across the state. Campaigns in Bellingham, Tacoma, Olympia, and Spokane are already looking to replicate this victory and state lawmakers will see this as a powerful model for raising the minimum wage.
Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to make this historic victory possible. As DESC member Jesse Inman said, testifying before city council moments before their vote on the $15 ordinance, “This is just the beginning of a movement. Let this be a victory that moves us all forward.”