May 25th, 2010
It will be officially introduced this afternoon by council members Oliver Koppell and Annabel Palma at the request of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. (It’s also the first time I can recall seeing a borough president introduce legislation.) The bill would require any city subsidized development pay employees on the premises a living wage. It includes any tenant of that development project, but would exempt any projects exclusively for affordable housing, cultural groups or social service organizations. It will give the comptroller the power to monitor the bill’s compliance.
The bill defines a living wage as $10 an hour plus benefits.
On hand today, Palma said the bill, which is sure to divide the council and the adminsitration, would get its fair hearing.
“We are creating a workforce lifted out of poverty to self sufficiency,” said Palma today at City Hall. Palma said she hasn’t received a commitment from Council Speaker Christine Quinn that the bill will get a hearing.
But, she added, “I think it will get its due process.”
Another similar bill introduced by Councilmember Melissa Mark Viverito would mandate a prevailing wage for building service employees at all city subsidized developments. It too would give the comptroller oversight authority. At a hearing earlier this year, the administration testified giving the comptroller that power could violate the City Charter.
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