A Montgomery County Township has raised minimum wage for township employees to $10 per hour in hopes of promoting higher wages across the board.
The Upper Merion Township Supervisors voted unanimously last week to increase the minimum wage for all township employees to $10 an hour – that’s $2.75 higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
"The minimum wage has only increased three times in the past three decades, while inflation has increased each year," said the township in a new release Monday.
Employees in the township’s Library and Parks and Recreation departments – including part-time employees – will see the increase.
"Increasing the minimum wage for our employees is the logical next step to ensuring these individuals can sustain themselves by working at the township," Supervisor Chair Bill Jenaway said. "Increasing the hourly wage will likely increase job satisfaction, which will result in a decrease in employee turnover and the costs associated with hiring and training new employees."
The township said since most of the employees who will see the pay increase live in the township that much of the money would stay in the township. The increased pay will cost the township around $40,000 annually, which accounts for about 0.1 percent of Upper Merion’s operating budget, the township said.
Township leaders hope private employers follow that township’s lead.
"Our extremely strong local economy means we need to offer competitive wages to retain quality employees," said Supervisor Greg Waks. "Although the Board of Supervisors does not have the ability to increase the minimum wage for all businesses in the township, I strongly encourage any employer who pays less than $10.00 per hour to follow Upper Merion’s lead."