Syracuse Common Councilors are expanding the reach of the city's living wage ordinance. The changes will apply to about 50 workers at the Hancock International Airport.
Food Service workers at Hancock now fall under the changes in the living wage law approved by lawmakers. The ordinance has been extended despite the concern of some of those workers. Both the current food vendor and some employees at the airport opposed the change.
Democrat Common Councilor Lance Denno acknowledges that worry.
“It has been the intention of council for some years to go forward with this expansion,” said Denno.
Common councilors have wanted to include the restaurant workers in the legislation since it was passed in 2005. Previously, only parking attendants were covered by the law.
Under the living wage agreement, employees will be paid between $12.19 and $14.40 an hour depending on benefits.
Delaware North, the current food service provider at Hancock, says the living wage change will raise its costs between $13,000 and $14,000 a week, and has opposed the modification.
The Syracuse Common Council tweaked the living wage rules in advance of the takeover of the airport by the airport authority.
“Given that we had to amend the legislation to implement it post-airport authority, this was the right time to go ahead and encompass that as well," said Denno.
According to Denno, it made sense to do it now.
“We wanted to make sure that when the airport is under the administration of an independent authority, that the operating agreement between the city and that authority requires that that authority recognize the living wage ordinance," he said.