Debate over $15/hour salary for county employees continues

Debate over $15/hour salary for county employees continues

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The debate over raising the minimum wage in Shelby County could be settled Wednesday.

The Shelby County Commission will hold a third and final reading on the proposal to make sure county workers are paid $15 per hour.

Last fall, Mayor Lee Harris raised the pay of county workers who were making less than $15 per hour, but he said that's not enough. He wants to make sure it stays that way for the future.

The administration is now pushing an ordinance that will mandate that change for future administrations of direct-hire county employees.

If it passes, it would not only guarantee a $15 minimum wage, but a living wage or whichever happens to be more at any given point.

Commissioners debated over whether or not the county could afford to pay all employees the salary.

Shelby County Schools said to support a living wage for their part-time employees it could cost between $1.6 million and $2 million. SCS recently increased pay to $15 per hour for full time employees.

Another concern by commissioners is veteran employees making the same as an employee just starting under the mandate.

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