As City Minimum Wage Increases to $13 an Hour, Movement Grows for $15 by 2021


Raise Chicago Ordinance Would Boost Wages for Hundreds of Thousands of Chicagoans

CHICAGO – As the city minimum wage is set to increase to $13 an hour on Monday, July 1, aldermen, advocates, and workers are joining together to urge the passage of the Raise Chicago Ordinance. The ordinance, currently co-sponsored by 37 aldermen, would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021, eliminate the subminimum tipped wage, and incorporate workers left out of the city minimum wage like those at the city’s sister agencies, youth workers, and workers in transitional programs. Though current law allows for potential wage adjustments depending on inflation, there are no legislatively mandated minimum wage increases in Chicago until the state minimum wage rises to $14 an hour in 2024. Research on previous increases to the city’s minimum wage documented higher take home pay for workers with no negative impact on employment.

“Chicago can’t wait for $15 an hour,” said Ald. Sophia King, the lead sponsor of the Raise Chicago Ordinance. “We have the best and hardest working people in the world here in Chicago. As the cost of food, housing, and healthcare skyrockets, we have a responsibility to ensure that Chicagoans can live and provide for their families. While this increase is progress and welcomed news for hundreds of thousands of workers, we cannot allow wages to stagnate. I am excited to work with my colleagues in the City Council to pass the Raise Chicago Ordinance and make $15 an hour a reality by 2021!”

“In this city, we put working people first,” said Bob Reiter, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor, a member of the Raise Chicago Coalition. “Chicagoans deserve a decent wage for a decent day’s work. That means passing the Raise Chicago Ordinance getting our city minimum wage to $15 by 2021, boosting wages for 400,000 workers. Too many working class Chicagoans are struggling to pay their rent, put food on the table, or afford needed medications. This increase to $13 is a start, but Chicago can’t wait for $15.”

“While downtown flourishes, too many in Chicago’s neighborhoods are falling behind,” said Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative, a member of the Raise Chicago Coalition. “The Raise Chicago Ordinance would provide much needed relief for working people in Chicago by increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021. We are calling on the City Council to take quick action and pass the Raise Chicago Ordinance. The people of this city just can’t wait.”