City of Austin votes to raise minimum wage to $22 an hour for city employees

The Austin City Council has voted to raise the minimum wage to $22 an hour for city employees.

Several employees testified during the June 16 council meeting arguing a higher wage is needed due to inflation, and it would allow them to earn a livable wage in Austin.

The resolution directs the city manager to develop a plan and a timeline to adopt a living wage of $22. Right now the starting pay for city workers is $15 an hour.

A city spokesperson tells FOX 7 Austin that "providing a living wage has been a continued priority for our stakeholders and our city staff. The recovery from the pandemic and unprecedented rising costs of living have emphasized the need to accelerate the timeline to increase the living wage."

Officials say if the increase is deemed "not feasible" in the 2023 budget, the city manager is asked to raise the hourly rate "by the most significant amount possible."

More details are expected when the city manager presents his proposed budget next month.

The proposed change would apply to most city workers, from construction workers to airport employees to lifeguards, as well as workers for companies contracted by the city or companies which receive tax abatements.