Without mentioning Bill de Blasio by name, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that raising wages for city workers is part of his "two-pronged strategy" to get to a $15 hourly minimum statewide—and called on the other two citywide elected officials to push the city to lift its own wage floor.
"Reaching out to other businesses, reaching out to other government officials, asking them to come on board, asking Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James, bring the city of New York with us," Cuomo boomed at a rally in midtown. "Join this crusade."
The other part of the governor's approach is to persuade the state legislature to raise the statewide minimum to $15 over the next few years, he said as he announced that State University of New York workers will be the newest members of his $15 hourly minimum-wage club.
The governor has already raised wages for fast-food workers and state employees. The more than 28,000 SUNY workers affected across the state ramp up to the $15 minimum by 2021, or 2018 for those in the city.
De Blasio supports the push for a statewide $15 minimum wage, and in fact was an enthusiastic proponent of an increase before Cuomo was. But the governor has stolen the mayor's thunder, and by apparently calling for city workers to make $15 per hour has turned the tables on de Blasio, who previously established an $11.50-an-hour minimum for city workers. Any mayoral pledge to raise city workers' pay would now look like a response to the governor's call.