A coalition of activist groups and a few Fort Worth council members are pushing to increase the minimum wage for city employees from $15.45 to $20 per hour.

On Tuesday, advocates for the wage increase, including the Fort Worth for $20 Coalition and United Fort Worth, demonstrated outside City Hall. Council Members Jared Williams, Chris Nettles, and Elizabeth Beck — all of whom favor the $20 minimum wage target over city management’s $16.07 proposal — joined the activists, per Fort Worth Report.

Nettles told Fox 4 KDFW that “$15.45 is just not a livable wage here in Fort Worth.”

He and Williams have requested that City Manager David Cooke devise a plan to increase the minimum wage for city workers to $20.

The proposed wage increase was discussed during a Fort Worth City Council budget workshop on June 18. Fort Worth’s human resources director, Dianna Giordano, told council members that the minimum wage for city employees had increased by 74% since 2014, according to FWR.

She said that city management does not favor the increase to $20 because of the cost to the city and concerns that it would lead to wage compression. Wage compression occurs when employees are paid almost the same despite differences in experience or skills.

Other council members have suggested a compromise. Council Member Charlie Lauersdorf agreed that wage compression could negatively affect city employees and suggested replacing the lower-paying jobs with outsourced contractors, reported FWR.

Some local leaders in the metroplex have criticized the move.

“Fort Worth City Council members don’t seem to learn from California’s progressive policies. They want Texas to follow the same path, driving companies out of the city just like California is losing businesses,” former Pilot Point Council Member Aaron Rocha told DX.

The chair of the Tarrant County Republican Party also weighed in.

“The problem with the people we are electing to government is they are totally ignorant as to how the marketplace works. When there are people willing to work for less than $20/hour, why on earth would we raise the minimum wage? This shows their total disregard for taxpayer money. May 2025 can’t get here soon enough,” Bo French said to DX in a statement.

The Dallas Express contacted Fort Worth City Manager David Cooke for comment but did not receive a response by publication.