The minimum wage battle has reached a fever pitch around the city, prompting questionable behavior on the front lines – pencil stabbings? Hold it together, San Diego.
But the work behind closed doors has certainly had its own disputes. San Diego Magazine’s Troy Johnson has uncovered some shaky numbers in research cited frequently by supporters of the move to raise San Diego’s minimum wage to $11.50 an hour over the next three years. He calls the Employment Development Department’s report “a complete and utter sham.”
Johnson specifically takes issue with the conclusion that servers in San Diego collected on average about $9.08 an hour last year, including tips. The problem with that, he says, is that because minimum wage was $8 an hour at the time of the report, this would mean waiters were only taking in $1.08 an hour in tips. Johnson poked the Center on Policy Initiatives for the dubious numbers.
“I understand your skepticism,” said CPI research director Peter Brownell. “We hear these really big numbers about what waiters and waitresses make at some restaurants. But those are anecdotal stories. This [EDD report] is the best numbers out there for us to use.”
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