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It’s just a union questionnaire… so far

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Greg Hinz at Crain’s

Is Chicago ready for a $25-an-hour minimum wage?

SEIU, the big union that’s expected to play a major role in this winter’s city elections, is asking candidates seeking its endorsement to take a position on that subject, and the group appears quite serious about that and other strongly pro-labor positions it’s pushing candidates to back. […]

Council President Greg Kelley said the council already has started getting responses from candidates. “No one has said no.” Kelly declined to say if a “yes” came from Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, who has already been endorsed by two SEIU locals. Johnson’s spokeswoman failed to return calls seeking comment.

“We’re the union that started the move for a $15 minimum wage, and that was 10 years ago,” Kelley said in a phone interview. “Just a few days ago, Nebraska, of all places, approved a $15 minimum wage in a referendum. . . .We obviously don’t expect to move to [$25] tomorrow. But we do think it’s time that Chicago move farther than it has.”

The wage question is 30th out of 36…

30. Research has found that increasing Chicago’s minimum wage would not only help many low wage workers but would also help the city’s economy. Would you support a $25/hour minimum wage to bring more money into the working-class economy and grow the tax base?



  1. - Lurker - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 12:48 pm:

    For the love of Pete. Can we wait until the State gets to $15 and study the effect? This is inane.

  2. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 12:57 pm:

    Hard to imagine where dems might be if they didn’t have progressive activists and unions basically writing attack ads for republicans on a consistent. Biden or whomever the dem presidential candidate on 2024 just got saddled with another 6000 negative ads for supporting $25 minimum wage

  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 12:59 pm:

    ===You can find “research” or “the science” to say pretty much anything you want.===

    Facts matter.

    If you accept “alternative facts” then your silly is true.

  4. - Red headed step child - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:00 pm:

    Elections have consequences..worker right admendment has empowered unions,enjoy.

  5. - Squints - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:08 pm:

    It’ll drive progressives to the polls. Such a divisive issue could determine who’s in the run off. In a crowded field, you’re just trying to get to a runoff.

    To the policy, that’s besides the point.

  6. - Jibba - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:08 pm:

    With such a large increase already in progress, I think it might be better to focus on free education, medicare for all, and similar things that would help the poor and middle class achieve a happier and more stable life. This also would have the benefit of keeping the free market from eating up most of the additional earnings, which they obviously will try everything to do.

  7. - SaveDemocracy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:10 pm:

    “In an average week in 2025, the $15 option would boost the wages of 17 million workers who would otherwise earn less than $15 per hour. Another 10 million workers otherwise earning slightly more than $15 per hour might see their wages rise as well. But 1.3 million other workers would become jobless, according to CBO’s median estimate.”

    That’s research from the Congressional Budget Office. So we boost the earnings of many, but we have some who lose their income all together. That’s just one example of “research”. You can find studies that make all kinds of statements of fact. If you believe there is one set of “facts” and then dismiss anybody else as “alternative facts”, then you’re the silly one.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:16 pm:

    ===If you believe there is one set of “facts”===

    There are one set of facts.

    Arguing there are “two sets” of facts… LOL

    Arguing facts is how good policy is made.

    That’s why when Rich wants discussions, fact and the cites matter.

    I do appreciate you saying there are two sets of facts…

  9. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    ===Just a few days ago, Nebraska, of all places, approved a $15 minimum wage in a referendum===

    This is a pretty reductionist argument. I agree that the minimum wage should increase over time, but this reminds me of the “It’s over” skit from Portlandia. A state like Nebraska has a $15 minimum wage? The $15 minimum wage is over.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:18 pm:

    I do think, to the question, labor asks towards wages should be negotiated, and as we are facing a labor shortage as unemployment is low/lower, enticing workers with higher wages is a tool.

    If a higher wage can be negotiated, that’s up to both sides finding where that wage should be

  11. - Huh? - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:45 pm:

    A full time job at $15/hr makes $31,310 per year. That is about $5k over the poverty line for a family of four.

    So yeah, a $25/hr wage is a reasonable thing to negotiate.

  12. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:58 pm:

    What Huh? said. The $!5/hour movement started so long ago that it’s no longer really enough.

  13. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:00 pm:

    === So yeah, a $25/hr wage is a reasonable thing to negotiate. ===

    So negotiate it. It’s not negotiating when you try and get the legislature to compel the rate of pay for you.

  14. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:02 pm:

    =Is Chicago ready for a $25-an-hour minimum wage?=

    I don’t know about Chicago but we are not ready for it.

    So I will say “no”.

  15. - Steve - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:03 pm:

    Imagine claiming to be concerned about high school dropouts , without a work history, and proposing that it should be illegal to work for less than $25 an hour.

  16. - Sue - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:09 pm:

    Hey the SEIU should start treating its own employees better before trying to destroy more Chicago area businesses. The union is in a dispute with its own Staff in DC and has been accused of ULP’s. But it’s ok because they are protected by Dems

  17. - Red Ketcher - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:19 pm:

    As H. Lecter says above -\
    Negotiate not Legislate
    All can Exercise the right to Organize
    Then Negotiate

  18. - Techie - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:32 pm:

    A $25/hour wage would yield around $50,000 per year before taxes (roughly $37,500 after), in a city where average rent seems to be around $1,600 to $1,800. Going with the low end, $1,600 per month equates to $19,200 per year. Let’s say the worker actually gets $39,200 after taxes, and they’re still left with $20,000 per year ($1,666 per month) to pay for food, healthcare, transportation, clothes, etc. That’s really nothing fancy and seems totally reasonable to me.

    The biggest issue would be the disparity between Chicago and surrounding communities. It would surely drive some businesses out of the city, but on balance it’s hard to say what the effects would be. I generally support it, but it would clearly present some potential issues.

  19. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:36 pm:

    Can we just pick a number that the minimum wage should be and just index it to inflation? $25/hour at this point would be crushing to businesses.

  20. - RNUG - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 2:46 pm:

    I’d vote no.

    On the one hand, minimum wage is not a one size fits all solution. Cost of living varies widely based on where you choose to work / live. Choose to live and work in a high cost area, you need to have skills to justify the required income level.

    On the other hand, people need to have a way to combat greedy businesses that want high skills for low wages. Unions used to do that job of balancing the opposing forces. I’m not a big fan of unions, but they should be concentrating on the economic issues for their workers. And workers should be grouping together / forming unions to get the leverage they need to earn more. But at the same time, unions also need to reform themselves to stop protecting the incompetent or lazy within the workforce.

  21. - JJJJJJJJJJ - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:17 pm:

    I’d vote yes. The argument is that no one working full time should make less than they need for the basic necessities of life. $15 will quickly not be enough, or maybe never was in Chicago. Therefore it should be raised and tied to inflation.

    Arguments regarding the negative impact on job creation don’t outweigh the benefits. The topic has been well studied by now, I believe.

  22. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:24 pm:

    –But it’s ok because they are protected by Dems–

    Another victim heard from

  23. - Lakefront - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:26 pm:

    Looking at Nebraska - there was virtually no opposition to the referendum. Biz groups didn’t even oppose. Why? Because market forces have already pushed wages beyond $15/hour in the state. Yes markets are unpredictable - but isn’t Nebraska exactly what should be desired? The market determining rates first. The Chicago market is certainly not ready for $25

  24. - very old soil - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    You are at $15 and you want $20 so you ask for $25. Isn’t that how most people bargain?

  25. - very old soil - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:37 pm:

    Also, I don’t why people are upset about the question. The purpose of a union is to advocate for its members not to be a state legislature.

  26. - Lefty Center Lefty - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:38 pm:

    “Research has found that increasing Chicago’s minimum wage would not only help many low wage workers but would also help the city’s economy.”

    As others have stated, it would be nice to have a footnote here to see the research. A raise would obviously help low-wage workers; the size of the raise is the question.

    “Would you support a $25/hour minimum wage to bring more money into the working-class economy and grow the tax base?”

    Again, I don’t think there’s an argument that increasing wages would hinder “the working-class economy.” Pulling a number out of a hat, however, is the opposite of research.

  27. - ChrisB - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:44 pm:

    Obligatory “Earned Income Tax Credits Do More to Lift People Out of Poverty And Are Way More Progressive Than Raising the Minimum Wage” argument here.

  28. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 4:07 pm:

    Why have a minimum wage when the City and County are pushing forward with their Guaranteed Basic Income programs? /s

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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