Seattle-Tacoma to introduce minimum wage for staff

July 23, 2014, Airport World

The Port of Seattle Commission yesterday voted to increase wages and compensation and expand economic horizons for around 3,500 workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport – to ‘improve their quality of life’.


The landmark policy establishes wages and compensation for airfield support positions, which are important for safety and security.


Commission co-president, Courtney Gregoire, explains: “Today’s action will improve the quality of life for those who work at Sea-Tac Airport – not just increasing their pay but providing benefits, paid leave, and training opportunities that many have never had.


“We worked for several months to create a policy that’s the right solution for these workers – one that strengthens safety and security, recognizes the business and operational realities of an international airport, and respects the specific authority we have as a port district.”


Commissioners gave final approval to a resolution that serves as the cornerstone of the port’s Quality Jobs Initiative, which also includes expanded workforce development and training opportunities.


Gregoire adds: “We’ve established a floor for these positions, not a ceiling. Many of the employers at Sea-Tac already provide packages that are more generous, and we applaud them for that commitment.”


Under the new policy effective January 2015, airfield support workers will earn an hourly minimum wage of $11.22; an hourly minimum compensation (including tips, healthcare, or other benefits) of $13.72; and paid leave (one hour per 40 hours worked).


Effective January 2017, minimum hourly wages will increase to $13 and minimum compensation will increase to $15.50, and will then increase annually at the rate of inflation.


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