Councilman Larry Reid is pitching a more modest minimum raise hike for Oakland than a proposal that a union-led coalition is trying to get on the city ballot this November.

Next month Reid will ask the council to increase Oakland's hourly minimum wage from $8 to $10.20. That is significantly less than the union-backed proposal, which calls for a $12.25 minimum wage that would increase with inflation and require employers provide at least five sick days for minimum wage workers.

The city has commissioned a study to gauge the impact of various minimum wage hikes. A final vote on any minimum wage increase likely won't occur until May.

Restaurant leaders have argued that a sharp minimum wage increase might dissuade top chefs from setting up shop in Oakland. Proponents of a $12.25 per hour minimum wage say it will lift thousands of low income workers out of poverty.

The council simply pass the $12.25 per hour proposal backed by the powerful labor group SEIU 1021. It also could opt to approve a smaller minimum wage increase and let voters decide on the larger increase if it qualifies for the ballot.

Earlier this month, the Richmond City Council voted to raise its minimum wage to $12.30, which will be the highest rate in the state.


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Reid said he hoped that passage of a smaller minimum wage hike might dim the chances for a $12.25 minimum wage in Oakland next year. "I think it's too much, too soon," he said. "My hope is that my colleagues will listen to all the folks that will be impacted and come up with something that is fair."