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City of Boise ups starting wages for lowest-paid employees

Some of the City of Boise’s lowest-paid employees got a raise as part of an updated living wage initiative. 

Starting January 3, 112 workers on the city’s payroll saw a boost to their paycheck. This additional funding brought the minimum starting wages for qualifying city employees up from $11.88 to $13.53 to keep pace with the rise of the cost of living in Boise. 

[Deep Dive: Boise Public Library looking to the future after turbulent few years]

City spokesperson Seth Ogilve said the number was determined by a study from MIT. He said the reason for the raises was so the city could “live its values” of paying critical staff more. 

“This wasn’t in connection to retention,” he said. “We did this because we think people should make more money.”

Affected employees were mostly working at the Boise Public Library and custodial staff.

This increase will cost the city an additional $143,000 in the fiscal year 2021 budget. This one came from $500,000 in the FY 2021 budget for raises across the city voted on by council last summer.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the source of the wage study the city cited to determine the new starting wage. It has been changed to reflect that it came from MIT.

Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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