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Calif. Voters Could See Rival Measures To Raise Minimum Wage


An effort to raise California’s minimum wage next year just got more complicated. California’s largest union and a local affiliate are now offering competing ballot initiatives.

The initiatives — one from United Healthcare Workers West and one from its parent union SEIU — would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Multiple ballot measures can split voters, but UHW’s Steve Trossman says he’s not worried.

"You know, we’re excited that lots of different people are supporting $15 minimum wage in California," he says.

Still, minutes before the competing initiative was announced, UHW sent out a notice that its version has the support of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.

Meanwhile, SEIU’s Kristin Lynch says her organization will spend upwards of $20 million on its own measure.

"We are doing our own thing, because we think this initiative is sufficiently different to make that distinction," says Lynch.

It would go into effect a year earlier, in 2020, and double the minimum number of paid sick days to six.

This is the latest of several clashes between the two organizations.

Earlier this year, SEIU stripped UHW of nearly half of its members. And the unions are backing rival initiatives to extend Proposition 30’s tax increases on high-earners.

Correction: The original article and audio referred to SEIU-UHW spokesman Steve Trossman as "Scott Trossman." The story has been updated to correct the error.

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