Reporting Mike Dunn
By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s too late for this week’s elections, but Philadelphia City Council plans to take a look at whether the folks who work the polls on primaries and elections deserve better pay.
Stephanie Singer, the chairperson of the City Commissioners who oversees Philadelphia elections, says the current rate of pay for poll workers here is less than in other cities.
“It’s a little under $100. I’d like to see $152 a day at least,” says Singer.
$152 a day, according to Singer, would work out to about 1.5 times the federal minimum wage. City Council Majority Curtis Jones agrees.
“I know things are tight. But they deserve to be treated with the dignity and respect that a free democracy has to offer,” Jones says.
So Jones plans to schedule a committee hearing on the pay for Philadelphia poll workers.
The city uses more than 8,000 poll workers each election day and Singer estimates that the pay hike would cost the city about an extra million dollars a year. But she says it would go a long way toward recruiting and retaining qualified people. No date has been set yet for the hearing.