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Greensboro city council agrees on increasing minimum wage for city workers

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Greensboro City Council supports raising the minimum wage it pays city workers.

The council supported a move Tuesday that will allow city administration to pay contract and seasonal employees (excluding Coliseum workers) a minimum of $10 an hour. Benefited employees not already earning $12 an hour would also receive a pay increase.

City Councilman Jamal Fox said this increase is the first step in getting the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

“We have to lead by example and when you take care of your people they take care of you,” said Fox. “They invest more into our community they want to do more and that's what we want.”

Two city council members disagreed with the strategy saying it doesn’t make sense for the city of Greensboro to spend an estimated $267,000 on raising wages, but their "no" votes were not enough to sway a majority of the city council.

City Councilwoman Sharon Hightower said the new minimum wage and even the goal of $15 an hour is still not enough to put working families on easy street, but it sets the bar for other governments and businesses to follow.

“We have to say to businesses coming into our city that we value our employees and we want you to value the employees that you come to employ as well,” said Hightower.

The new minimum wage will affect around 245 city employees. It will take effect as soon as the city administration is able to finalize the new pay structure.

Money for pay increase will come out of funds that have already been set aside for payroll according to city council members.