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Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune
by Alexandra Kukulka•

Glenview will follow suit with the Cook County sick leave ordinances passed a year ago, increasing the village minimum wage to $12 starting July 1 following a vote last Thursday by the Village Board.

In a 4-0 vote, the trustees gave final approval to adopt the Cook County minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinances, effective this summer, with the condition that the ordinances will be repealed if the state takes action that impacts Glenview.

Trustee John Hinkamp, who had voted at the Jan. 15 meeting to go against having Glenview follow the county, and Trustee Philip White were absent.

Effective July 1, minimum wage in Glenview will increase to $12 an hour and on July 1, 2020 it will go to $13 an hour, just as the county law that went into effect July 1, 2018 calls for, said Jeff Rogers, planning division manager.

After 2020, the minimum wage will go up every July 1 by as much as 2.5 percent or the increase in the the consumer price index — whichever is greater, he said.

The village will also implement the Cook County paid sick leave guidelines starting July 1, Rogers said.

In 2016, the Cook County board passed ordinances that increase the minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2020 and that allow employees to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked — with a maximum of five days a year of paid sick leave.

Glenview “was able to determine its own course of action” as a home rule municipality, Patterson said at a previous meeting. In June 2017, the Village Board voted not to implement the county ordinances.

The board decided to revisit that move in light of the results of advisory referendums that were on the Nov. 6 ballot, he said.

Cook County voters were asked if the municipality they live in should match that $13 per hour Cook County minimum wage law for adults over the age of 18 by July 1, 2020, and then be indexed to the consumer price index after that. They were also asked if the municipality they live in should match Cook County earned sick time law, which allows for workers to earn up to 40 hours of sick time a year to take care of their own health or a family member’s health.

In Glenview, approximately 76 percent of voters responded ‘yes’ to the minimum wage referendum question, while approximately 82 percent did so on the one about paid sick leave, according to election results.

Village staff had recommended that the board go along with the county ordinances “until such time that the state of Illinois may amend” the state’s minimum wage law, according to a Glenview Village Board report.

At the Jan. 15 meeting, trustees Michael Jenny, Deborah Karton, Karim Khoja and Kerry Cummings all made statements in support of opting into the Cook County ordinances. They debated on when the ordinances should go into effect and ultimately agreed on July 1.

Eleven residents addressed the board Thursday, split almost evenly between those in support of opting into the ordinances and those opposing the move.

Those who didn’t support increasing the minimum wage in Glenview — mostly business owners and members of the Glenview Chamber of Commerce — said the ordinances will hurt local businesses and that the board should wait to see what action the state takes before approving the ordinances.

On Feb. 7, the state Senate approved increasing the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour over the course of several years. The current rate is $8.25.

The state measure would increase the hourly minimum wage in Illinois by $1 in Jan. 2020, taking it to $9.25. A few months later, in July that year, there would be another bump to $10 hourly. Then the wage would increase $1 each Jan. 1 until 2025, according to the legislation.

Karen Patterson, the president of the Glenview Chamber of Commerce, said “there are serious ramifications” to implementing the village’s ordinances on July 1. For example, some businesses have already established budgets for 2019, which didn’t take into account the financial impacts of the two ordinances, she said.

She said the increases should not take effect until July 1, 2020, as recommended by staff and the advisory referenda.

“Hit the pause button for now and wait on state legislation,” Patterson said. “Or set the implementation date to July 2020.”

People who spoke in favor of opting into the ordinances said that the board shouldn’t wait to see what action the state takes because Glenview workers deserve to make a living wage and earn paid sick leave as soon as possible.

Resident Elizabeth Martin supports increasing the wage and offering the paid sick time as of July 1, 2019 because, she said, low wage workers have waited a long time to receive those benefits.

“We don’t know that the state will actually pass this law in a very quick nature,” Martin said. “We really need to give them a living wage and the same kind of benefits, as far as sick pay, we want to have for ourselves.”

Trustee Cummings said the village is following the state’s actions regarding minimum wage very closely. In the meantime, the village has to listen to its residents who voted — by way of the ballot referendums — in favor of opting into the Cook County ordinances, she said.

“The residents turned out at the last vote and … voted strongly in favor of both the wage increase and the sick leave. We’re respecting that direction from the public,” Cummings said. “This ordinance includes provisions that should the state of Illinois enact legislation that covers the village of Glenview that this ordinance would sunset.”

Trustee Karton said she supported not going with the county ordinances in 2017, and that she has some concerns about “unintended consequences” of opting in now. But the board has to take into consideration the number of residents who voted in support of the ordinances, she said.

“We were given our marching orders loud and clear,” Karton said.

Twitter @AKukulka11

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