Split Decision “Plus” in Mandates Vote!
Split decision “plus” for Wilmette minimum wage/paid sick leave ordinances
“No” to paid sick leave
“Yes” to mandatory minimum wage hike to $13 (by 2020)
“Plus” no CPI increase on top of $13 after 2020
It was so great to see so many New Trier Neighbors supporters at the meeting for the final vote on the Cook County minimum wage/paid leave mandates Tuesday night. More than 80 Wilmette residents and business owners supporting “Opt-Out” were in attendance at the Wilmette Village Hall. There were many more Wilmette supporters of “Opt-out” than “Opt-In.” (This is why the Opt-in folks brought in reinforcements from Evanston, Skokie and elsewhere to even the numbers.) More than 30 well informed, thoughtful Wilmette business owners and residents asked the Board to opt-out. Many business owners told personal stories of how the higher wage, or planning for it in the future, will force them to cut employees and raise prices almost immediately. Far fewer people spoke in favor of opting-in, and their arguments consistently centered only on emotion.
In the end – after 12:30 am! – the Wilmette village trustees rejected the onerous mandated paid sick leave ordinance (by 6 to 1)- phew!- but adopted the equally onerous mandatory minimum wage ordinance (by 5 to 2). The higher minimum wage goes into effect October 1, raising the current minimum wage more than 30 percent overnight, from $8.25 to $11.00. By 2020 it will be $13 an hour. Wilmette government workers/agencies are exempt from the ordinance. Apparently it’s a good idea for businesses, but not the government that passed it.
Here’s the “plus:” The trustees all rejected pegging the mandate to the CPI, or rise in inflation every year after 2020, as the ordinance calls for. So July 1 of 2021 (before the $13 an hour wage is raised by CPI) the ordinance “sunsets,” and Wilmette reverts to whatever the Illinois minimum wage is at that time. If the state does pass a new minimum wage law, it may well end up lower than $13, because downstate constituencies will be especially unable to support a $13 – $15 an hour minimum wage. Disconnecting the new minimum wage from CPI is a win.
Interestingly, several trustees spoke about how difficult the new minimum wage will be for businesses to sustain and shared concerns about same. They dismissed the idea that “70 percent of the people of Wilmette have endorsed this” because they know that’s not true as the “opt-in” folks maintain – and then they voted for the higher mandatory minimum anyway!
But remember, the Village Board can vote to repeal its vote, and opt-out anytime in the future. So please report on businesses impacted by this ordinance: Hiring fewer people? Raising prices? Firing some? Can’t afford to take a chance on inexperienced people or the disabled? Harassed by lawsuits or the enforcement regulations? Choosing Glenview or Northbrook over Wilmette to open a business because of the friendlier business climate there? Whether you are a business owner, or a resident who supports our job creators, Please share your reporting with New Trier Neighbors at:firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again for all the amazing support, and all the new folks who are now part of the New Trier Neighbors movement to bring free enterprise, common sense, and the Golden Rule back to the North Shore. Onward!
Minimum Wage – The Facts:
Say NO to raising the mandatory minimum wage to $13/hour.
What you need to know:
– Cook County is trying to dictate to Wilmette small business owners that they must pay $13 an hour to employees by 2020, and this wage will go up by CPI every year after that. Also, that businesses must provide paid sick leave to employees, and this applies even to 16-year-old part-time workers once they’ve worked two weeks in any six month period. Most Wilmette entrepreneurs already exceed the Cook County wage minimums and provide generous sick leave. They don’t need Cook County to tell them how to run their businesses.
-What businesses do need is a community that trusts them, and the ability to be flexible in both prosperous and lean times, through seasonal variations, or through any unexpected hardship. This means they get to decide what wages and benefits they are able to offer.
–Some businesses think the Cook County ordinances won’t impact them. WRONG. The ordinances come with 80 pages of compliance mandates, which all businesses will have to meet. Dial up a compliance consultant now: if you post the wrong sized required sign in the wrong place, that’s $500 per violation PER DAY. This opens the door to people using the mandates to harass businesses and launch frivolous lawsuits.
The good news is that it’s not too late. The Wilmette Village Board can choose to opt out of this ordinance, as 80% of Cook County suburbs have already done. The final vote is June 26th. Your voice and presence at the meeting could make the difference.
Minimum Wage – Must Reads:
Studies and reports:
Minimum wage news:
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