I recently became aware of the ordinance passed by the Cook County Board that incrementally raises the minimum wage to $13 over four years starting in July. The initial increase is to $10.60 and it includes sick pay that totals 48 hours worth of time.
I also learned that, because of home rule, a municipality can choose to "opt out" of this ordinance.
This is a major decision which will have far reaching effects on the whole community. The discussion and likely vote on this "opt out," is scheduled for March 20 at the Arlington Heights Village Board meeting.
So far there has not been much input on this with the exception of that from the business community. I feel that this issue has many ramifications.
I would guess there will be some Cook County communities that accept it and some that reject it. We have to decide on what is best for the community as a whole. My point of view is an increase in the minimum wage is timely and badly needed. This is a discussion that runs through the whole country with major states like New York and California having approved increases.
Arlington Heights has long been a community with a well-deserved reputation for providing a high quality of living for its residents, with needed services that make life better for all of us. Those struggling with wages totally inadequate from a full-time job need an increase in their pay. Businesses need steady and competent workers to insure the success of the business.
I feel that both workers and businesses will benefit from a more fair compensation. Please share your thoughts with our village trustees either in person at the March 20 meeting or by phone/e-mail to help them make this far-reaching decision.
Kathy M. Motto