Mayor signs Philly law requiring prevailing wages

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Mayor Kenney signs bill (Tom MacDonald Newsworks)

Mayor Kenney signs bill (Tom MacDonald Newsworks)

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has signed a new law requiring a prevailing wage for people working for large hospitals, universities and other nonprofits. 

The new law covers hospitals, universities, stadiums, the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the port, among other employers.  

Vanessa Highsmith, a security officer at Temple University, eventually could get a raise because of the legislation.

“I will have money left over to do the things for my child.  Little things that might not mean as much to you as they mean to me,” she said. “School uniforms, activities, being able to participate as a football mother, getting my son those cleats that he always asks me for.”

Councilwoman Helen Gym pushed for the law.

“We’re going to make real on this progress of seeing poverty change in this city today, not generations from now — but today and for our children who are here,” she said Thursday. “We can’t allow public resources to subsidize poverty wages period.”

The law takes effect immediately, but applies only once the city signs new contracts or agreements with these institutions. 

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