Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pittsburgh Wages Need Some Redding Up

From the Post-Gazette (via the PGH Comet):

In 2001, council approved legislation mandating a $9.12 an hour wage plus health insurance, or $10.62 without, for virtually every worker whose job was paid, supported or subsidized with city money. "Everywhere that our shadow falls, we will ensure that workers receive a living wage," Mr. Burgess said yesterday.

But City Council then added a caveat that the rule would only take effect after Allegheny County adopted similar rules. County Council narrowly rejected an ordinance, rendering the city legislation dormant.

3 comments:

Nick Pinkston said...

Great blog - you have a lot of great info/insight on Pittsburgh here.

On the redding up of Pgh wages:

I think one of the major issues is that the county and surrounding metro area are more friendly towards those who provide/have high-wage jobs.

They like to go into Pittsburgh for entertainment, education, etc., but they prefer to live outside.

The biggest things I hear about Pittsburgh from business owners is that the taxes are too high and regulations are prohibitive.

It's no wonder that each major highway has a massive retail/commercial community just outside: Robinson, Cranberry, McKnight Rd., Monroeville.

The biggest complaints I hear from families are about the school districts. That's why was we have wealthy communities right outside of Pittsburgh: Upper St. Clair, Fox Chapel, Sewickley, etc.

It's not like we have a lack of land or housing. There are tons of nice houses/apartments in good areas, but with bad schools and no jobs.

Raising wages is just pandering to big labor who, by law, must reside in the county/city in order to work for it. Captive voters anyone? This only helps them cement their entrenched interests further.

I'd like to hear what you think.

- Nick

illyrias said...

Re: City residents

I definitely hear the same things about folks leaving the city for better schools. Personally, I'm excited about the magnet school options in the city. I think they have the potential to be the best schools in the region. I also want my potential future children to go to school at an ethnically and demographically rich school.

I think Pittsburgh needs to work on attracting more city-loving residents like I am - not try to convince suburbia-loving residents to move to the city. It's not going to work.

There's a reason why places like Westchester County and Fairfield County exist outside of New York City. Not everyone wants to live in the city - no matter how awesome your city is.

illyrias said...

Re: Businesses.

Honestly, I don't really know. All I know for sure is that the East Liberty complex is thriving and Target is moving in.

The majority of Allegheny County residents do live outside the city, so it makes sense that there are large shopping districts outside of the city. Also, that's where the large expanses of land are.

Personally, as a city resident, I do 90% of my shopping in the city or online. Between Home Depot in East Liberty, the Strip District, the South Side Works, and my local Giant Eagle. If I leave the city, it's to go to the Waterfront for Target or to Ikea in Robinson. Soon, I won't have to leave for Target.

Honestly, I don't know how this compares to the rest of Pittsburgh residents, but clearly, Target thinks we'd rather shop in the city.