KC Council unanimously approves raising minimum wage of city employees to $15 an hour

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Kansas City employees will now make a minimum of $15 an hour.

The Kansas City Council on Thursday unanimously passed an ordinance that modifies an earlier action taken by the council requiring employees be paid at least $15 an hour by next year. But this ordinance makes that change effective now.

Positions that paid less than $15 an hour affected the city’s ability to keep positions filled and to hire employees for those roles, according to the ordinance.

Last month, the council passed a resolution directing the city manager to review the salaries of city employees to ensure fair pay.

Jane Brown, general counsel to the mayor, said during a Finance, Governance and Public Safety Committee last month on that ordinance that it’s important the city compensate its employees fairly.

“If we don’t, it results in high employee turnover, higher vacancies, low morale and increased training costs,” Brown said.

Missouri voters, three years ago, approved a statewide minimum wage increase to $12 per hour by 2023. This year, the minimum wage is $10.30.

But according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, $12 isn’t enough for a single adult to get by, especially one with children.

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