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Syracuse mayor raises lowest city worker wage to $15, pressuring Albany, Washington

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has told her city

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has told her city employees in October 2015 that she is raising the lowest wage to $15 an hour. This sign was at a rally on Sept. 10, 2015, in Manhattan, announcing a plan to raise fast-food workers pay to $15 an hour over time. Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

ALBANY - Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has told her city employees that she is raising the lowest wage to $15 an hour, as Albany and Washington continue to struggle over making that the standard minimum wage for all workers.

The Democrat’s decision on Wednesday will raise the pay of 60 city workers, but the political implications may go beyond the city line. It follows opinion pieces she’s written in upstate newspapers defending the need for a minimum “living wage” of $15 an hour.

Cuomo has used a state wage board that he appointed to raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour in phases over several years. Now he is pushing for a $15 minimum wage proposed months ago by the Assembly’s Democratic majority, but which Cuomo rejected then as impossible to pass through the Senate’s Republican majority.

Miner has made waves statewide before. She previously took on Cuomo at the peak of his political power by writing an opinion piece in The New York Times critical of his pension reform plan. At the time, she was his appointed state Democratic Party chairwoman. She has also led local officials in pressing Cuomo and legislative leaders to reduce costs on local governments mandated by the state, but without the funding needed to pay for the services and programs.

Some Democratic insiders have pushed her to consider runs for governor or U.S. Senate. She had declined a run for a Congress.

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