Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday signed an executive order hiking pay for workers on future city-subsidized projects and their tenants -- and promised to charge ahead with plans to push Albany for authority to increase the minimum wage for everyone in the city.
The order raises the pay to $13.13 from $11.90 for jobs without benefits.
Tied to the consumer price index, the minimum wage affected by the order could rise to $15.22 by 2019, the mayor's office estimated.
Tenants at development projects that get more than $1 million in city subsidies will fall under the umbrella of New York City's Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act and must pay the higher wage. The act, passed in 2012 over then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg's veto, covered only workers for city-subsidized developments, not for the tenants. The wage minimum for them is now $11.90.
The mayor's office estimates the order would affect about 18,000 workers over the next five years, with the lowest wages going to $27,310 per year from $16,640. De Blasio said he expanded the law by executive order rather than by a bill because "this is a matter of urgency."
Asked why a bill couldn't have been introduced sometime over the nine months since de Blasio took office, with a City Council that's sympathetic to his politics, speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said the body has a history of backing such legislation.
"That is what we are about -- about uplifting individuals. And the quickest way to get there, we will do that," she said.Minority Leader Vincent Ignizio slammed de Blasio for a "unilateral move" by "mayoral decree." Business groups like the Partnership for New York City cautioned that some prospective tenants "will resist leasing space."
Heaping praise on de Blasio at the ceremony Tuesday was Thomas Perez, Labor Department secretary to President Barack Obama, whose use of executive orders to do what Congress won't has been criticized by Republicans. De Blasio said he's confident Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo would keep his promise to push for more wage hikes, including raising the minimum wage to $10.10 from the $8 state minimum.
Said de Blasio: "I take him at his word."
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story inaccurately characterized the Partnership for New York City’s view of de Blasio’s order.