Hayward school board trustee Luis Reynoso
says city and county leaders have done nothing
to increase the minimum wage. 

After the Hayward school board unanimously approved a resolution giving its unrepresented employees a boost in wages to $15 an hour on Wednesday, school board trustee Luis Reynoso said he wants to make it city and countywide.

“Our city and local officials have done nothing for years,” Reynoso said before Wednesday night’s vote. “If we don’t take action now people will go homeless. That’s what’s going to happen. We need to help our parents.”

The increase is effective immediately and covers only district employees not represented by unions, a small number of the entire workforce, but ensures every employee is at or above the $15 threshold. Currently, no union-represented employees earn below $15 an hour, said a staff report.

“This sets everyone straight. If you want to work with Hayward, you have to pay workers $15 an hour,” Reynoso said in an interview.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Reynoso again challenged the Hayward City Council, a frequent target of Reynoso’s after it sought to unseat him in last year’s November election.

“It’s going to mushroom out. It’s going to propagate,” said Reynoso, adding he intends to seek other local school boards and cities to join the movement. “So the City of Hayward is welcome to join us. This is going to happen.”

Hayward city officials, however, have proven unresponsive over the past few years about enacting any minimum wage increases above the state’s recently approved law to stagger wage increases to $15 an hour by 2022. In the meantime, some East Bay cities such as Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley and San Leandro, citing the high cost of living in the region, have moved to accelerate the increase.

Reynoso said he will continue to apply pressure on the Hayward City Council and urge residents to place a minimum wage measure on the 2018 ballot. “I’m working with some local community leaders that will actually gather enough signatures to put this on the ballot and force the city of Hayward–all of it–to make sure everyone gets paid $15 an hour.”

He told the East Bay Citizen an additional proposal to bring a rent control measure to Hayward, similar to one attempted in Alameda last fall, is in the works.