City of South Bend boosting minimum wage, wants to lead by example

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south bend mayor pete buttigieg
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg poses for a photo on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, at the 95.3 MNC studios in Mishawaka. (Krystal Vivian/95.3 MNC)

The city of South Bend is in the middle of a process boosting the minimum wage for city employees to $10.10 and Mayor Pete Buttigieg hopes private businesses in the area will do the same.

“We’re in the middle of a three year process now that began with the budget we set up last year to elevate the city’s lowest wage to $10.10 so that every city employee is at least making that much,” Buttigieg told WSBT. “Why $10.10? Because when minimum wage was first set up in the 60s, in today’s dollars, that’s actually what it would be worth. So when you look at inflation, minimum wage has actually fallen.”

While Indiana law bars cities from enacting city-wide minimum wage laws for non-city employees, Buttigieg said he hopes South Bend can lead by example and encourage private businesses to increase their minimum starting pay.

“I do think this needs to be a priority because it helps you retain and reward good employees,” he told WSBT. “And it just helps us elevate the community when everybody’s able to do well and you don’t have people working a full time job living in poverty.“

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