iBerkshires.Com  reports the City Council during its special meeting on Tuesday approved changes in the compensation plan that brings all city employees up to at least the state minimum wage of $12 an hour.
The revised plan adjusts all city-side workers to the current state minimum wage of $12 an hour, also retroactive to Jan. 1. The council also approved a revised compensation plan that raises police officer wages by a half percent retroactive to Jan. 1 as part of the city's departure from Civil Service and the adoption of a light-duty policy.
Gov. Charlie Baker signed the law last June that laid out the annual steps to raise the minimum wage from $11 an hour at that time to $15. The new $12 rate went into effect on Jan. 1; each year, the wage will rise by increments of 75 cents until it reaches $15 on Jan. 1, 2023. (Tipped wages will rise over that period from $4.35 on Jan. 1 this year to $6.75 in 2023.)
North Adams has largely kept pace with minimum wage changes in recent years although cities and towns are exempt; they must follow the federal wage law of at least $7.25 an hour.
Bernard acknowledged Councilor Marie T. Harpin for her efforts on pushing this increase on behalf of city staff.
The library trustees had also been concerned that staff at the public library, many of whom are part-time, were appropriately compensated.
Bernard said the library employees had been an issue but the rise in minimum wage would affect all employees on the city side. He did not have an exact count but believed there were fewer than a dozen positions.
The compensation plan was unanimously approved, with Councilor Wayne Wilkinson absent, and passed to a second reading and published.

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