Despite granting the meeting they'd requested earlier this week, mayor Kevin Faulconer told a group of faith leaders and minimum-wage workers that his intention was still to veto a proposal to provide workers within city limits access to paid sick leave and a minimum-wage increase.
The measure, spearheaded by city council president Todd Gloria, was approved on a 6-3 vote after hours of public testimony earlier this month.
"We are a country and city of opportunity and if you work full-time you should not be living in poverty," said rabbi Laurie Coskey of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice, expressing disappointment. "The mayor's decision to veto the measure will take away 260 million dollars from the paychecks of hard-working San Diegans…. People's lives are really going to be affected by this."
Detractors of the proposal had threatened to move businesses outside city limits, halt expansion plans, and lay off workers or reduce their hours if the measure passed, which would incrementally raise the minimum wage to $11.50 by 2017.
Realizing the level of support at the council level was likely high enough to pass the increase, opponents suggested that it would be more appropriate to place the issue before voters citywide, rather than enact the wage hike and sick-pay provision with only the council weighing in.
The terms of the new ordinance must be read and approved a second time at an upcoming meeting before being forwarded to Faulconer's office to face a likely veto. As of the first reading, the council votes in favor constituted the two-thirds "supermajority" needed to override that veto.