Bayonne Council President and mayoral challenger Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski is planning to propose a $15 minimum wage at the next council meeting, an idea that has the support of 2nd Ward Councilman Sal Gullace.
“A $15 minimum wage for Bayonne city employees is a step in the right direction not only for our employees, but for our local economy,” she said in a statement.
“City employees don’t just work in Bayonne, they live here, spend their money here and raise their families here. An investment in them is an investment in the success of our whole community.”
The statewide minimum wage in New Jersey is currently $13 per hour for most private and public sector employees.
Studies show that reasonable increases to minimum hourly wages increase living standards, employee morale and consumer spending particularly at small businesses.
A 2019 state law has these employees on a track to reach a $15 minimum wage by 2024 – a timeline that does not match the needs of Bayonne, according to Ashe-Nadrowski.
“Two years is too long for our working families, and too long for our local business community,” she continued.
“While my calls for this move were met with resistance by the City Administration in the past, I hope we can come together, assist those in need and set an example for what can be done by public employers across the state without a direct cost to taxpayers.”
Gullace, who stated this week that he won’t be seeking re-election in May, said he is on board with the proposal.
“Our city employees work hard and their morale is important. They’re part of our team as a City and it’s time that they earn a living wage,” he explained.
Ashe-Nadrowski plans to introduce the resolution to raise the municipal minimum wage to $15 at the next city council meeting on Wednesday, February 16th at 7 p.m.
Davis spokesman Phil Swibinski says that the proposal would have a marginal impact on full-time municipal employees since only three don’t earn at least $15 an hour.
“As Councilwoman Nadrowski surely knows, every full-time municipal employee in Bayonne already makes at least $15 per hour, with the exception of three employees whose hourly salaries are currently less than a dollar under that mark,” he said.
“While Mayor Davis is open to the idea of increasing hourly wages for them and for the small number of part-time employees who are under that threshold, he is committed to balancing the need to compensate city employees fairly with keeping spending under control to protect Bayonne taxpayers.”
Editor’s note: This story was update comment with Mayor Jimmy Davis campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski.