By Selene Raj
With news of Florida’s Amendment 2 passing, residents can expect the minimum wage to reach $15 per hour by 2026, starting at $10 per hour in 2021.
However, employees of the City of Tamarac won’t have to wait nearly as long to see fairer wages after the commission passed a Living Wage Ordinance.
Living wages refer to the income level at which individuals or families can afford the cost of living in a particular area—including housing, food, and necessities.
Labor activists point out that minimum wages, federal and statewide, are often not up to par with living wages—for example, the federal minimum wage, $7.25 per hour, has not increased in more than a decade, despite the cost of living rising.
Similarly, the minimum wage in Florida before the passing of Amendment 2, $8.56 per hour, wouldn’t be considered a living wage.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a living wage calculator, where users can view the living wages for different municipalities.
In Broward County, MIT lists the living wage at $13.16 for individuals with no children.
Currently, Tamarac city employees’ minimum wage is $14.64 per hour, which could be raised under the newest ordinance, once codified.
The ordinance sought to guarantee that Tamarac would continue paying competitive, living wages to staff in the coming years.
“South Florida is an expensive place to live, and our staff works tirelessly to help the community,” said Vice Mayor Bolton, who was recently re-elected on Tuesday.
On October 28, the ordinance passed 5-0 and will go into effect on October 1, 2021, where the amount will be determined.
“I am pleased that my colleagues supported this ordinance, which codifies our commitment to providing fair wages,” said Bolton.
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- Selene Raj is a writer and a Florida International University graduate. Born in Trinidad and raised in America, she completed her Master's in Mass Communications in 2020, and has been living in Coral Springs since 2004. She is passionate about the communities she lives and works in and loves reporting and sharing stories that are as complex and meaningful as the people who live in them.