January 26, 2016
By Joe Maniscalco
New York, NY – Hard-pressed workers throughout the city will be spending the next three years waiting for a new $15 an hour minimum wage to fully kick in, but folks hired to help the Big Apple dig out of next winter’s “snow-pocalypse” won’t have to wait that long.
The de Blasio administration says that next season, emergency snow laborers will be paid a minimum of $15 an hour to help clear snowy city streets and sidewalks.
At last count, the City of New York employed over 900 emergency snow laborers to help dig out of the more than two feet of snow that was dumped on Gotham over the weekend.
Winter Storm Jonas wound up becoming the second-snowiest event to hit town since 1896. The pile up sparked a rare travel ban, and at least 48 deaths across the Eastern seaboard have been attributed to its might.
Workers who showed up at Sanitation Garages around town eager to help out, were paid $13.50 an hour, which then rose to $20.25 after 40 hours worked.
That pay rate is already well above the $11.50 an hour boost that city employees achieved at the end of December. City workers will see the minimum wage rise to $12 an hour at the end of this year. They won’t get to $13.50 an hour, however, until the end of 2017 — and a $15 an hour minimum wage for city workers won’t be realized until the end of the following year.
Council Member I. Daneek Miller, chair of the Civil Service and Labor Committee, welcomed efforts to lift wages all around.
“The rate of growth for compensation is more or less consistent with what the city is attempting to accomplish by 2018, as we seek to move towards a $15 minimum wage for permanent city employees,” the council member said. “It’s a worthwhile benchmark and I applaud the administration for its work with our municipal unions.”
This time around, snowfall totals in Central Park added up to 26.8 inches. New York City was also walloped back in 2006 when 26.9 inches of snow fell in town.