This 33% pay increase also applies to all contract employees working with the City of Austin.
At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, several food service and retail workers have recently been promoted.
Their employer is Delaware North Company, one of the companies under contract with the airport. Operating several restaurants and retail stores in the Barbara Jordan Terminal, DNC was the first to raise Austin’s new minimum wage for its employees.
One of these workers is retail employee Josette Ayala.
“It went from $16 to $20,” she said. “We saw a change in our salaries and that helped a lot.”
Ayala has been working at the airport for over four years. She says the cost of living in Austin has gone up over the years.
“Things keep going up, my rent just went up another $200,” Ayala said.
This $8,000+ annual pay increase reflects the city’s new minimum wage requirements.
In the fall, the initiative was led by Austin City Councilwoman Vanessa Fuentes.
“We’ve had workers on government relief programs living paycheck to paycheck, and some even had to make difficult decisions between rent, pay or groceries,” Fuentes said.
She says this increase sets the citywide standard.
“When an employer like the city of Austin raises wages, it has an impact on the region because other organizations want to stay competitive and want to ensure they can attract employees,” Fuentes explained.
For Ayala, a mother of three, this salary increase allows her to plan for a brighter future for her family.
<Джозетт Айяла, сотрудник отдела розничной торговли в аэропорту Остина>
“[It will] help me pay some of the bills I had or even save some money because like I said I live in apartments and want to save up for a house,” Ayala said.
Council member Fuentes says even with a 33% increase from the previous minimum wage of $15 an hour, it’s still not enough.
She hopes to eventually raise the minimum wage to $22.