$15 minimum wage approved for all Multnomah Co. employees

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Multnomah County employees will all be paid at least $15 an hour, starting in July 2016.

Multnomah County's Board of Commissioners voted to approve the wage increase Dec. 4. The vote means the wage increase will extend not just to union employees, but it is across-the-board for people employed by Multnomah County.

That includes around 151 union employees, along with 400 temporary and on-call workers, according to spokesman Mike Pullen.

"I'm very proud that we will be able to extend this wage increase to Multnomah County's many on-call and temporary employees," said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. "These employees help us conduct elections and operate our libraries and perform other key services for county residents. It is only fair that they be included with our permanent employees."

Kafoury said Multnomah County is the first county and largest public employer in Oregon to adopt a $15 an hour minimum wage.

Multnomah County will raise its minimum wage for on-call and temporary employees to $13 an hour on Jan. 1, 2015; $14 an hour on July 1, 2015; and $15 an hour on July 1, 2016.

Pullen said the estimated cost of the wage increases is estimated around $100,000 through June 2016 and just under $200,000 from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. The increase in costs from 2016-17 is due to election workers in a Presidential election year.

Some educational interns will not be covered by the wage increase, Pullen said.

The minimum-wage increase only applies to people employed by Multnomah County, and does not extend to workers in Multnomah County who are not employed by the county itself.


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