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Deal Sets Minimum Wage For Those Who Work In New Bucks Arena District

Milwaukee Residents Living In High Unemployment Areas Given Preference For Half The Jobs Created

Architectural rendering courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

An agreement between the Milwaukee Bucks and a labor coalition stipulates a minimum wage for many employees of a new Milwaukee arena district, a deal some political leaders hope sets a precedent.

The Bucks and the Alliance for Good Jobs said there will be a minimum wage of $12 an hour by next year and $15 an hour by the year 2023.

State Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said he and his fellow Democrats pushed for a “living wage agreement” during debate over the arena financing bill last year, Barca said he’s happy with the Bucks’ announcement,

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“I think it sets a new standard of trying to bring together family supporting jobs, it just shows the kind of corporate citizens and business leaders that the Bucks have,” said Barca.

Jeffery Greer, a janitor in the Bucks’ current playing venue, the Bradley Center, said he plans to work in the new facility and likes the idea of a pay raise.

“It is the difference between having to choose what bills to pay, to being able to pay all my bills,” Greer said. “It means I can provide for my family with some peace of mind rather than anxiety and instability.”

The agreement also requires at least half of the employees be hired from Milwaukee zip codes hard hit by employment, or under-employment. The Bucks said arena district workers will have a chance to unionize in a neutral environment.