Port of Seattle increases compensation for certain airport workers

In 2013, SeaTac approved a $15 minimum wage (and other employment policies) for certain hospitality, transportation, and airport workers. Subsequently, a King County Superior Court judge “ruled that the city of SeaTac does not have the authority to set workplace rules within Seattle-Tacoma International Airport because the aviation hub is owned by the Port of Seattle, a separate government entity.” The case was appealed to the state Supreme Court, which heard arguments last month.

Although the court case has not been decided, according to the Seattle Times, the Port of Seattle has voted to increase compensation for certain airport workers:

Hourly minimum wage for airfield support workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will raise to $11.22 in January 2015, and $13 in January 2017, after a final vote by the Port of Seattle Commission on Tuesday. . . .

Under the new policy, total minimum hourly compensation — including tips, health care and other benefits — will equal $13.72 by January. The workers will also receive paid leave of one hour per 40 hours worked.

Total minimum compensation will increase to $15.50 by January 2017, and will then increase annually at the rate of inflation. . . .

While the wage increase represents a significant jump in pay for many airport workers, it falls short of the $15-an-hour minimum wage for all transportation and hospitality workers approved by voters in the city of SeaTac last fall by Proposition 1.