The minimum wage debate has lead to a ballot measure in San Diego. Photo credit:

The San Diego City Council is scheduled to hold a special meeting Monday morning to consider overriding Mayor Kevin Faulconer‘s veto of an ordinance that would increase the minimum wage in the city and give workers five paid sick days.

The council voted 6-3 on July 14 to increase the minimum wage to $9.75 on Jan. 1, to $10.50 in January of 2016 and to $11.50 in January of 2017. Beginning in January 2019, the pay scale would be indexed to inflation.

At least six votes are needed to override Faulconer’s veto.

“The City Council should stand up for the 38 percent of San Diegans who are counting on this raise to help them better make ends meet, and I hope they will override the mayor’s veto,” said City Council President Todd Gloria, who authored the ordinance.

When he issued his veto, Faulconer said business owners would have to raise prices, which would make it difficult for them to compete with similar enterprises in neighboring cities. Otherwise, employees would be laid off or have their hours cut, he said.

In the past, the mayor said he favored state or federal increases because that would leave everyone with a level playing field. The California minimum wage increased from is $8.00 to $9.00 per hour effective July 1.

Business community leaders who oppose the rise in the lowest pay level have said they are considering their options, including collecting signatures to force the issue to the ballot.

Supporters of the sick leave requirement said it will keep employees from showing up for their jobs while ill, infecting the public and their co-workers.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.