Chicago City Council, industry group reach compromise on subminimum wage raise for tipped workers

3 Min Read

CHICAGO (WLS) — The Chicago City Council will take up a new compromise between the city and the Illinois Restaurant Association to raise the base wages of tipped workers in the city.

Mayor Brandon Johnson touted the plan during his campaign, though it was encountered some stumbling blocks since he took office.

The compromise reached Monday would give restaurants more time to financially prepare for the change.

Right now, tipped workers are paid 60% of Chicago’s minimum wage, but under the new agreement their pay would go up by 8% every year until it hits 100% in 2028, meaning the increase would be phased in over five years. The city initially proposed a two year phase-in.

“Consensus building is important. We want to make sure that everything that goes to city council is what’s best for everybody and the five-year scale up of One Fair Wage is what’s good for the employees,” said 26th Ward Alderman Jessie Fuentes.

“Our economy is based off of working class people doing better, and I’m so excited to be a champion of working class people,” said 22nd Ward Alderman Michael Rodriguez.

The deal was worked out between city council leaders and the Illinois Restaurant Association, whose president, Sam Toia, praised the mayor for being willing to compromise.

“The mayor did run on this platform. We understood it. I know how to count votes. He had the votes, and like I said, if he didn’t want to, you know, communicate and compromise and negotiate, he could’ve ran this with a two- or three-year phase-in,” Toia said.

Johnson tweeted Monday night that this was a “huge step forward in bringing fair wages to food and restaurant workers.”

The mayor’s office also released a statement, saying, “Mayor Johnson was able to bring both sides to the table in securing this agreement, which is a huge step forward in delivering a fair wage for workers, many of whom are Black and Brown women who are heads of households and anchors of their communities. We look forward to continued work with all stakeholders in ensuring that workers and businesses continue to thrive and work collaboratively to strengthen the food and restaurant industry.”

A city council committee will vote on the updated proposal Wednesday. If it passes, it will go before the full council on October 4.

Share This Article
Leave a comment