SANTA FE, N.M. — Santa Fe’s minimum wage will go up to $10.84 on March 1, according to a City Hall announcement today.
The city’s “living wage” law calls for the minimum to increase in line with the federal government’s western region consumer price index for “urban wage earners and clerical workers.” For 2014, this index went up 1.69 percent, translating to an 18 cent increase in the current required wage of $10.66.
The living wage applies to anyone who works within the Santa Fe city limits.
While the local chamber of commerce and some business leaders have called for capping the wage rate and doing away with required annual increases based on the CPI, there has not been any effort to change the law among city councilors since 2008. That year, in a compromise move, the yearly increases, which had been set at 50 center an hour per year, were attached to the CPI. The law went into effect in 2004 with a required wage of $8.50.
Mayor Javier M. Gonzales, a vocal supporter of the living wage law during his successful mayor campaign last year, said in a news release, “Santa Fe can and should be proud of our living wage. Announcing the cost of living increase gives us a good opportunity to take stock and remember that at its heart, this is a moral issue. As the costs of things like groceries go up, we must not allow our workers to fall through the cracks.”
Santa Fe has one of the nation’s highest minimum wages. San Francisco’s went to $11.05 on Jan. 1 and that ciity has plans to phase in an increase to $15 an hour by 2018. Seattle also has approved a measure to move to a $15-per-hour rate.