Austin approves $22 minimum wage for city employees

A city of Austin worker picks up recyclable waste in 2020. The Austin City Council has voted to raise the minimum wage for most city employees to $22 per hour.

The Austin City Council voted Thursday to raise the minimum wage for most city employees to $22 an hour — or for now, as close to that as the city’s budget allows — to combat vacancies as Austin’s cost of living continues to rise.

The council’s resolution calls for the city to adopt a living wage of $22 an hour for all regular staff, sworn employees like firefighters and police officers, temporary employees and those employed through contracts with the city. The only group excluded would be employees in the city’s summer youth program.

If the city manager finds that a $22-an-hour wage is not financially feasible this year, the budget will include the most significant wage increase possible. The city manager will also provide a plan and timeline for eventually reaching $27 an hour for city employees, according to the resolution.

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