City of Edinburg responds to effort to raise minimum wage for city employees

City of Edinburg responds to effort to raise minimum wage for city employees
9 months 1 week 5 days ago Wednesday, August 16 2023 Aug 16, 2023 August 16, 2023 8:04 PM August 16, 2023 in News - Local

A local non-profit is pushing to raise the minimum wage for Edinburg city employees.

La Union del Pueblo Entero said the amount full time city employees are currently getting paid isn't enough to get by.

“We're just trying to fight the inflation that's going on,” LUPE Director of Civic Engagement Michael Mireles said.

LUPE members addressed the city council at a Tuesday meeting to ask them to adopt a wage raise proposal and petition they first sent to the city in January.

“The city is trying to come up with a plan to reach that over a period of time,” Edinburg city attorney Omar Ochoa said. 

The petition from LUPE asks the city of Edinburg to raise its minimum wage for all city employees and contractors.

Full-time city employees currently make $12.24 an hour. LUPE’s proposed ordinance will raise that to $15 an hour.

Previously, the city of Edinburg did not accept the petition from LUPE due to a technicality in the city charter that requires those who collect signatures to live in Edinburg. 

“The people who had gathered signatures for this particular petition were not Edinburg residents,” Ochoa said. “So based on just the black letter rule of law in the city charter, the city did not accept the petition based on that."

Ground Game Texas — the nonprofit that helped LUPE get those signatures — filed a federal lawsuit against the city. In March, a judge ruled that Edinburg not accepting petitions organized by nonresidents was unconstitutional.

“The city accepted the order from the court… and it is trying to determine a plan on how to move forward with adopting some kind of resolution that sets out a timeline for the city's best efforts to reach that number,” Ochoa said.

Ochoa said the city is not against LUPE’s proposal, and that they’re in “productive” discussions with LUPE and Ground Game Texas over it.

Mireles is looking forward to the progress, but he's hoping for it to come sooner than later. 

“We need to make sure that the folks of the area – Edinburg constituents – are heard,” Mireles said.

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