From the Record:
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco gave thanks for county workers on Tuesday when he signed an executive order that raises the minimum wage for full-time employees to $15 an hour.
Tedesco, riding the progressive wave that swept Phil Murphy into office earlier this month, did his part to help the governor-elect deliver on one of his key campaign promises: to nearly double the minimum wage all around the state, which now stands at $8.44. The freeholder board planned to adopt the wage hike by resolution on Tuesday night, making Bergen County the first of New Jersey’s 21 counties to raise the minimum wage.
“Good people are essential to good government, and good managers understand that their employees need to be valued,” Tedesco said at a news conference, where he was flanked by freeholders, a county union leader, and an advocate for working families. “County employees who put in 40 hours or more every week, in service to their friends and neighbors throughout Bergen County, deserve and have earned a $15 minimum wage.”
The wage hike, which is retroactive to Sept. 1, immediately affects 129 blue-collar and white-collar workers scattered about county government. Some are office clerks, others are drivers, and still others work for the county road department and public works.
The county estimates that the wage hikes will cost $360,647 in the first year, which is less than 1 percent of the county’s $52.8 million budget. Tedesco said the minimum wage increases were part of two contracts that the county signed recently with locals 655 and 755 of the United Services Workers Union. Tedesco said there no plans to give the $15 wage to part-time county workers.