July 22nd, 2015
The movement to raise the minimum wage across the U.S. gained ground Wednesday with the huge University of California system announcing plans to increase base pay for its employees and contract workers to $15 an hour over the next two years.
The move follows similar steps by local governments to give employees what activists call a "living wage." Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley have all approved phased-in increases that eventually will take their minimum wage to $15 an hour, or about $31,200 for a full-time job.
UC President Janet Napolitano said that as California's third-largest employer, the university should be taking the lead in ensuring its lowest-paid workers make decent wages. UC has 10 campuses, including UCLA and Berkeley, nearly 240,000 students and a staff of 195,000.