Eureka grocery workers not getting a pay bump, emergency ordinance not completely off the table

EUREKA, Calif. (KIEM) — Grocery workers in Eureka won’t be receiving a bump in their hourly wages during the Covid-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean the end for the premium pay ordinance.

At Tuesday’s council meeting the ordinance was not approved. A majority of the council supported the idea, but some members weren’t on board with the timing of it. They said it’s a little too late and wished a similar ordinance been brought forward earlier.

Other members also cited the ongoing vaccine rollout and the county improving to the orange tier for Covid-19 restrictions making the ordinance not as relevant. City staff has been directed to draft an ordinance in case the county moves back to a more restrictive tier status.

“What we could do, is let’s say next week we went to the red tier, council would say I want a special meeting. That special meeting would be to deliberate on the parameters of that ordinance, then the following regularly scheduled meeting we could come with an urgency ordinance for adoption,” City Manager Miles Slattery said during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Mayor Susan Seaman recused herself from this conversation due to a conflict.